Best Ice Cream in Boston and North
Best Ice Cream in Boston and North
ICE CREAM! ICE CREAM! We all Scream!
We all have our favorite spot for ice cream. But who has the Best Ice Cream in Boston?
You might like hard-packed or soft serve, a regular cone or a sugar cone or you might like yours in a cup. But one thing is for certain, we eat a lot of ice cream between April and October.
We mostly limited our picks to shops that make their own ice cream. Many small local stands use a larger dairy’s ice cream in their shops.
After trying many of these shops, Toscanini’s is probably the overall winner for me by a small margin. It’s hard to imagine a smoother, creamier ice cream with such intense yet mellow flavors. You know exactly what the flavor is but it doesn’t punch you in the face. Toscanini’s is the winner for Best Ice Cream in Boston on just about any list since they opened in 1986. There are 32 possible flavors at any one time, they rotate the favorites and create new flavors all the time. The B3 (burnt butter, brown sugar, brownie bites) is the most popular flavor, which is no surprise since it is unbelievably delicious. In addition to the ice cream made in-house, they offer a changing variety of homemade ice cream toppings including fresh whipped cream made daily. All of their ice cream can be topped with their decadent hot fudge, turtle top (imagine a more magical Magic Shell) and of course, free sprinkles or chocolate jimmies. They make ice cream sandwiches to order with homemade cookies and sell coffee/tea. There is some seating inside but it does get crowded. Rather a better option is the park across the street which has lots of benches and sometimes a free concert. www.tosci.com
Benson’s has been in the same family since 1932 and they still make all of their ice cream right on the premises. During the summer they make “native” flavors using local produce being harvested from nearby farms. You can’t go wrong when these fruits are in season and they serve Native Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry or peach in season but the Native flavors are only available for a few short weeks and they often sell out. I promise you have not had a better strawberry. Benson ice cream is creamy and smooth, never icy. The cost is a little pricey but they are not stingy with the portions. There is plenty of outdoor seating and parking available. They are open April to October. www.bensonsicecream.com
Gracie’s their ice cream right in the shop; about five feet away from where it’s served, in tiny, tiny batches. When possible, they also make their own ingredients in house. There offer 12 flavors at any given time, one of which is non-dairy. So it can be hit or miss to whether one hits your fancy or not. They generally have a couple typical flavors like Oreo, mint chip, vanilla and chocolate and some pretty unique flavors like salty whiskey, strawberry pop tart, peach basil, earl grey and cinnamon blueberry. But the thing to get is the toasted fluff cone. Gracie’s spreads fluff inside the cone and then torch it right in front of you. I can’t even describe how good this is. I just wonder why everyone is not doing this???? The ice cream is creamy and rich. Portion size is a little small but the price is quite reasonable. Check the website for their hours as they tend to change a lot. www.graciesicecre.am
J.P. LICKS, (CAMBRIDGE, BOSTON, SOMERVILLE, NEWTON, MARKETPLACE LYNNFIELD AND WELLESLEY)
J.P. Licks has over 300 recipes from which they make all of their ice cream, sorbet, sherbet, lactose-free ice cream and frozen yogurt offerings, they even carry a peanut butter flavored doggie sorbet. They use all natural ingredients and also do not use any highly processed ingredients. In addition, everything J.P. Licks makes and serves is Kosher certified. Frequently they offer new and interesting flavors like El Diablo hot chocolate, tomato basil and chocolate chip cheesecake. J.P. Licks has been recognized as one of the best ice creams in Boston several years running and considering that this is a small chain, that is quite impressive. They have 13 stores now, 4 Boston locations and 9 in neighboring towns. The line can be quite long but moves quickly. The prices are a bit on the pricey side yet worth it. www.jplicks.com
All of Christina’s ice cream is made on the premises with only the best quality and freshest of ingredients. On any given day treat yourself to any of at least 50 flavors of rich and creamy ice cream in creative flavors. Christina’s offers a lot of great selections of inventive flavors such as Burnt sugar, Lavender, Banana cinnamon, concord grape sorbet, adzuki bean and ginger molasses. The parking situation is usually challenging, especially on weekends. The cost is pricey but they give you a decent portion. www.christinasicecream.com
Moo’s offers about 30 flavors of homemade ice cream some unique to Moo’s Place. Along with their award winning hard premium ice cream and 24 flavors of soft serve, they also make homemade slushes. Moo’s offers both indoor and outdoor seating with plenty of parking is available. It gets pretty busy but the lines move quick enough. Service is usually pretty friendly and the counter staff is well-versed in the ingredients of the different flavors. They are open April through October. www.moosplace.com
Hayward’s Ice Cream opened in 1940 and the same family is still running it. They make their own premium grade ice cream using only fresh ingredients and they also offer frozen yogurt and no sugar added ice cream. Over 70 flavors is available with some seasonal varieties. You can take home their ice cream in 1/2 gallon pre-packed containers. www.haywardsicecream.com
Shaw Farm Store and Ice cream stand sells its own ice cream and dairy products. Their products arrive in the store mere hours after packaging. The 4th generation of the family now runs the business. They are a certified organic farm. Their ice cream is rich and creamy and they offer about 75 different flavors. In addition to ice cream, they make their own ice cream sandwiches and flavored milk (which is Sharon’s favorite). They have banana, strawberry, coffee and chocolate milk. They are open year round. There is both indoor and outdoor seating and they offer ice cream to take home in quarts and half gallons. www.shawfarm.com
Husband and wife team, Rory Hanlon and Kristen Rummel founded and operate Honeycomb Creamery. All of their ice cream is made completely from scratch. They pasteurize their own base and customize each ice cream flavor. Only a handful of ice cream shops in the country do this. All of their milk and heavy cream come from a local farm. They use fresh, local and in-season ingredients. Kristen makes her own vanilla extract to use in the ice cream and no stabilizers, gums, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are used. Honeycomb offers several flavors of vegan ice cream which is made with homemade cashew or brown rice milk. Rory bakes his own waffle cones and then hand rolls them into their classic shape. Cost is a bit pricey for small portions. .www.honeycombcreamery.com
Lizzie’s has over 50 flavors of homemade ice cream. Their ice cream is creamy and rich, not icy. They also offer Lite ice cream, Sherbet, sorbet, Tofutti frozen yogurt, Dairy free and no sugar added. Many flavors of both wet and dry toppings is available. You can buy pre-packed ice cream in different size containers to take home. There is very limited seating. www.lizzysicecream.com
Hodgies Ice Cream has been serving award winning homemade ice cream and cooked to order grill food since 1984. Their frozen dessert menu includes over 40 flavors of premium ice cream, various sherbet flavors, No Sugar Added ice cream, dairy free sorbet, and hard serve yogurt. They also carry soft serve ice cream and soft serve yogurt. They offer 7 sizes for cones and cups which is more than any other shop I know of. There is a large picnic area with tables available and parking is not a problem. All ice cream is made on the premises and it is creamy and smooth but on hot days melting is a problem. Fortunately, they provide a water bubbler on the side of the building. It is cash only but they do have an ATM. www.hodgies.com
Established in 1989, Pete’s Scoop features 67 Flavors of Richardson’s Ice Cream. (The 8th and 9th generations of the Richardson family still manages the farm and ice cream operations. Their ice cream is creamy and a good all-around ice cream. It does not have the same quality of small batch homemade but is still very good). Pete’s also serves sugar free ice cream, soft-serve, fat free frozen yogurt, smoothies and Richie’s Italian slush. You order at the outside takeout windows, order at one window and pick-up at the next window to keep the lines moving. The cost is quite reasonable. There is a driving range on-site with a bucket of balls for $5. www.petesscoop.com
Mel’s features Gifford’s ice cream. The park is a family friendly Fun-Park featuring an Arcade, Go-Karts, Laser Tag, Laser Maze, two Mini-Golf Courses, a Driving Range, and Batting Cages. It becomes Spooky World in October. They are open for ice cream April through October. www.melsfunwaypark.com
1st Annual Boston Pizza Festival, Boston
Boston City Hall Plaza, July 8-9th, 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
The Boston Pizza Festival is a 2-day outdoor festival featuring live music, food and giveaways. Local and international vendors in the food industry will be there. Each pizza vendor will be selling their own product. This gives attendee’s the unique opportunity to try pizza from all over. Vendors will have a chance to enter and win “Boston Pizza Festival Pizza Champion” contest. Each pizzeria will have regulated pizza prices so that you can try several places without going broke.
Over 25 different pizza vendors including Antico Forno, Bricco, Reach for the Pie, Babbo Pizzeria, Ribalta, Quartro, Pizzeria Regina and many more. It is open to all ages. You must be 21+ and show valid ID to receive a wristband to purchase beer and wine. The tickets are $15 or $20 the day of. VIP Admission Pre-Sale tickets cost $50, with Limited Availability. VIP tickets include one hour early admission, access to VIP seating at pizza seminars, free sample sizes for the first hour and a VIP gift bag. Ticket is non-refundable and good for one day only. No pets allowed. www.bostonpizzafestival.com
Sky-High Fourth of July at Top of the Hub, Boston
Top of the Hub, located on the 52nd floor of The Prudential Tower, will once again present its annual Fourth of July celebration. The evening-long party begins at 6:00 p.m. on July 4, with a complimentary Chef’s Welcome Reception featuring an array of passed hors d’oeuvres, food display stations, and an open bar and cocktails. You will enjoy a five course dinner designed by Executive Chef Stefan Jarausch and a cash bar will also be available throughout the evening. A simulcast of the Boston Pops concert begins at 8:30 p.m and you will have a great view of the fireworks over The Charles River at 10:30 p.m. The evening is priced at $250.00 per person (exclusive of gratuity and alcoholic beverages with dinner). Seating is limited and the 21+ evening is ticketed, prepaid and nonrefundable. For information and reservations, please call (617) 536-1775. The event is dressy-casual attire, with collared shirts required for the gentlemen. www.topofthehub.net">