I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
New England-style ice cream means huge scoops so thick that every bite bends the spoon. With the long-awaited return of actual sunshine to Boston, we’re inaugurating ice cream eating season with a complete run-down of the very best creameries in town.
Born and bred in Jamaica Plain and exported to every neighborhood in the city, this is Boston’s answer to Ben & Jerry’s. They’ve got a rotating menu that changes every month, and always offers a funky mix of delicious standards like Extreme Chocolate and more daring novelty flavors like Tomato & Basil. J.P. Licks is known for its friendly, hometown feel and great customer service.
1618 Tremont St, 6:30 am – 11 pm.
Emack & Bolio’s
Along with J.P. Licks, Emack & Bolio’s is the other big dog of Boston ice cream. Born in the 1970s, they’ve got a very trippy, rock n’ roll vibe. They claim the idea for such a chill ice cream shop came out of the Boston Blue Laws, which mandated that clubs close at midnight. Enter Emack & Bolio’s, and Boston’s hippies had a brand new hang out spot! Ever since, they’ve been dishing out all-natural, super creamy flavors like Trippin’ on Espresso, Chunk o’ Funk, and Space Cake. They’ve also got a wide variety of specialty cones including a Froot Loops covered delicacy!
290 Newbury St, 12 pm – 11 pm
Toscanini’s proudly (and quite loudly) states that they are the best ice cream in Boston, a claim backed up by a giant quote from the New York Times hanging outside the store. They’re a Cambridge favorite with experimental flavors in a more upscale hipster setting. They use a lighter base than some of the other classic New England shops on this list and are famed for their deliciously savory Burnt Caramel ice cream.
899 Main St (Cambridge), 8 am – 11 pm
Picco, short for Pizza and Ice Cream Company, is a one of Boston’s favorite bar/restaurant/ice cream parlor establishments nestled in the South End. It’s your go-to spot for fancy restaurant ice cream in sophisticated flavors, which you can order to go from the bar if you’re not there for a full sit-down dinner. They also offer The Sampler, or your choice of three ice creams or sorbets for only $6.50.
513 Tremont St, 11 am – 11 pm
Cabot’s Ice Cream and Restaurant
Cabot’s has called Newton home since 1969, and has for almost fifty years been an area classic. It’s got more of an old diner feel than the other hip spots on this list, so it’s naturally the perfect venue to order a sundae to beat all sundaes. Stick to a classic and get the Hot Fudge Sundae, or go nuts (literally) with the toppings and build your own. They also make a killer ice cream cake!
743 Washington St, 8 am – 10 pm.
Abbott’s Frozen Custard
Since 1926, Abbott’s has been New England’s go-to custard joint amidst a ton of denser ice cream offerings. They’ve got silky, traditional flavors; other than chocolate and vanilla, you might find only one or two other choices that rotate frequently. Everything is made fresh daily and makes for the perfect base for tons of fun toppings.
360 Washington St, 1 pm – 9:30 pm.
Fomu is ice cream heaven if you’re avoiding dairy, as all of its products are plant-based, kosher pareve, and allergy friendly. Using coconut, almond, or soy milk, FoMu churns up dense ice cream in small batches for a high quality product. Try a scoop of your favorite flavor between two vegan cookies for an awesome ice cream sandwich, or house-made mochi ice cream!
617 Centre St, 12 – 10 pm. (South End location opening soon!)