Dairy Dome – Stoneham MA

1 06 2011

Usually on the first Wednesday of each month, I’ve been DJing a fill-in slot for Late Risers’ Club on WMBR. I can get loud for a couple hours and it’s nice not to be limited to local fare as Pipeline! always is. The only problem is finding a way to kill three hours before work after getting up in the morning. Today that issue was solved by driving up 28 and finding a Red Raspberry Sno-Cap cone.

Simply enough, there’s not really any way to miss this building. It’s one of the few ice cream places in the state that’s in the registry of historical buildings. Not that it’s been an ice cream place for its entire life: what is now the Dairy Dome began its life as one of the first gas stations in the country very early in the 20th century.

Since 1980, Dairy Dome has been housed beneath the yellow dome that marks your real arrival in Stoneham. An array of patio furniture is clustered around the outside of the building, and inside there’s just as much room to sit when the elements are more severe. The ice cream business here has become just part of the whole, with a full deli and catering options taking over much of the interior space, and that patio becoming a Christmas Tree lot in December.

For some reason, the name of this place had me wary that the only options were going to be general soft-serve flavored by shots. While those options are available (generally for about 50 cents less), the real ice cream is made here on the premises. I was bummed to find their black raspberry fudge whited-out by masking tape, but the samples I tried of other flavors all impressed, and one of the 3 flavors of the month truly struck my fancy – the red raspberry sno-cap.

The girl at the counter professed it was her favorite, despite the fact that the white dots on the chocolate sno-caps had all seemingly been absorbed into the ice cream. A first bite registered this as a top tier raspberry flavor with real fruit apparent throughout and the sno-caps were a great twist on the typical chips that get mixed in here. With a bit more heft and flavor, this is the sort of treat that I’m only bummed that I hadn’t found long ago.

Somehow the rest of my spare time eroded quickly thanks to an overlong stop at Ocean State Job Lot. It’s amazing that a quest for cheap planters somehow turned into me filling a cart with all sorts of assorted oddities from bags of potting soil to notebooks to honey roasted chipotle peanuts. I just need to remember that it’s now too warm to buy chocolate and leave it in the car and expect it to retain form.

Cone – kiddie $3 regular $4 large $5

Sundae – regular $5.50 large $6

Frappe $5.50

Dairy Dome

474 Main Street, Stoneham, MA

781 438-9425

Open year round?

Hours 10a-9p?





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