Ben & Bill’s – Where to Eat – Bar Harbor For Locals

The Lobster Ice Cream is A Gimmick for Tourists

Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium
66 Main St
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
(207) 288-3281

Listen, I know Bar Harbor is a tourist trap. From June 1 to Labor Day weekend it’s elbow to elbow with tourists from all parts of the globe buying “Life Is Crap” T-Shirts, and embarrassing stickers that say Bah Haa Bah.  All of us who suffer through 7 months of winter, and 2 months of mud to finally reach 3 days of summer can’t enjoy our natural resources in peace.  Welcome to Bar Harbor, where it’s $50 for a $10 lobster roll, and $60 for popovers and chowder.

As someone who frequently works on the island (Mount Dessert Island, where Bar Harbor is located) during the winter months, I can attest that there is great beauty in both the location and the people here. Finding them though, gets harder with each out of state land purchase. For now, some of Old Bar Harbor still exists, and one place it can be found is at Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium. Easily visible by its amazing lobster chair outside its store, it’s what hides inside that makes Ben and Bills special.

Like the authentically small corridor you are herded through, with people from around the globe asking you if you know what you want for ice cream, long before you’ve had a chance to look at the coolers. The service here stinks, in fact this doesn’t pass the all year round test, but it’s an ice cream shop, so I’m giving them a pass on that. Sure they have signs with all the flavors, but who wants to read the sign? I want to see the coolers! The ordering process is organized chaos, but it works. For someone like me who over analyzes everything, it’s a bit of a frustration, but after visiting many times, I’m down with the process.

What about the flavors? Carmel and sea salt are great, pair that with chocolate chip and a waffle cone dipped in chocolate, and it’s amazing. All the flavors I’ve tried are very good, look, the Lobster ice cream is a gimmick. Mainers do not eat that.

The biggest tip for Ben & Bills, is order a large. People who might not be accustomed to our American pricing tactics might not realize that moving up from a small to a large for .50 drastically reduces the per volume cost. If you are cheap like me, get a large and ask for two cups to split it between your kids. Boom, I just saved you five bucks.

Ben and Bills Ice Cream Lobster