Parents are submitting their picks for the best ice cream around Boston to our interactive list - with a handy map so you can easily find a spot near you!
Review your favorite Boston ice cream shops below and help other parents find a new place to score a cool treat with the kids.
Our list of favorite Boston dessert spots has plenty of sweet ideas, too.
Amanda Banta: The flavors at J.P. Licks are bold, diverse and delicious. Do you know any other shops offering Candy Cane ice cream as a seasonal special in August? If you're looking for something other than traditional milk based ice cream, J.P. Licks has a variety of dairy-free ice creams, hard and soft frozen yogurts, including no sugar added flavors, sherberts and sorbets.
Amanda Banta: Crescent Ridge is a family friendly spot popular throughout the year. Order your scoops from the dairy bar, with more than 40 flavors of hard ice cream, and visit the cows that roam the 42 acres of farmland.
Crescent Ridge has dairy, sugar and gluten free flavors as well.
Check the website for the farm's upcoming seasonal events.
Lizzy's Homemade Ice Cream
Erynn: Lizzy's two locations carry a long list of delightful flavors like Colombian Fudge Avalanche and Charles River Crunch, plus uncommon options like dairy-free, lite, and no sugar added flavors. Ice cream cakes add to the frozen treat overload!
Lizzy's also hosts sundae parties (and has DIY kits that they box up for you) for the ice cream lover in your life!
Rancatore's Ice Cream and Yogurt
Amanda Banta: Rancatore's began in 1985, when owner Joe Rancatore opened his Belmont shop after several years helping his brother manage Cambridge-based Toscanini's, another spot that made it on our list. The shop experiments with new flavors like Tiger Milk, which tastes like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Frosted Flakes, providing customers with housemade ice cream that stands apart from other stores.
If sundaes are your jam, check out Rancatore's for their homemade hot fudge and butterscotch.
Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream
Amanda Banta: A South Shore favorite, Peaceful Meadows' regularly features 24 flavors of homemade ice cream and a monthly rotation of seasonal specials throughout the year. Your sundae creations are endless with that many flavors and Peaceful Meadows' offerings of toppings.
After you finish your cone of Orange Pineapple pick up a pint of chocolate chip to store in the freezer for a treat later in the week.
Amanda Banta: FoMu ice cream splits from the traditional dairy base and uses coconut milk and natural sweeteners to make its all natural frozen concoctions. Just like its alternative ingredients, FoMu's flavors aren't the typical offerings. Avocado, Espresso Bean made from cold brew coffee and Bourbon Maple Walnut are some of the most popular offerings.
The Scoop N Scootery
Kristy Pepping: Scoop N Scootery offers several yummy sundaes made with with both ice cream or frozen yogurt bases. Staying true to their start as a food truck, you can either go to their store or place an order online and have it delivered to your door. They also offer cookies too. Please note they only deliver within a three mile radius of their store.
Kristy Pepping: This ice cream not only uses all local ingredients, but makes every ice cream flavor from scratch. For example, their milk and heavy cream come from Mapleline Farm in Hadley. The Honeycomb Creamery process is super unique and only a handful of ice cream places in the country can claim their ice cream is totally from scratch.
Flavors range from traditional double chocolate to seasonal s'mores to vegan gin and tonic sorbet.
Forge Ice Cream Bar
Kristy Pepping: Forge Ice Cream Bar is run by two best friends who started some other local greats like Diesel Cafe, Bloc Union and Forge Baking Company. This ice cream place looks like an old fashioned version seen in the 1950s so a fun place to go with your kids. Plus, all their ice cream is homemade. If you are looking to make a meal out of it, Forge has a full menu complete with catering options.
Gracie's Ice Cream
Erynn: Gracie's keeps a rotation of 12 flavors in stock, one of those being non-dairy at all times. As they experiment with new flavors, you might see new listings a few times a week! Their small shop hand makes every flavor in super small batches and tries to make most ingredients in-house.
Fun flavors like the Gronk Smash (which has peanut butter ice cream, potato chips, pretzels, Kit Kat, peanuts, and chocolate chips!) will give everyone in the family a sugar rush!
Tipping Cow Ice Cream
Kristy Pepping: Although you can find this local Boston ice cream on the shelves of some local supermarkets, sometimes it's nice to go out for ice cream. Their shop in Somerville is just the ticket. It offers their unique flavors that are all made with natural ingredients. Flavors include ice cream like Apple Cider Sorbet, Cranberry and Espresso.
Toscanini's Ice Cream
Amanda Banta: Toscanini's in Cambridge is consistently recognized as some of Boston's best ice cream and it's easy to see why with flavors like Churro, Green Tea and hundreds of other possibilities offered throughout the year. The shop aims to offer 32 homemade flavors each day, with some of their signatures always in the rotation.
A unique option by Toscanini's is the Micro Sundae, an espresso cup size version of a hot fudge sundae made with any flavor ice cream being served that day. The Micro Sundae is an excellent option if you want the taste of a sundae without going full bowl in!
Italian Cafe Gelato
Kristy Pepping: If you are an ice cream connoisseur, you know there is ice cream, frozen yogurt, custard and of course the Italian version, gelato. If you crave this more dense and creamy version, head to Italian Cafe Gelato. They offer scoops of their gelato, milkshakes and other desserts like apple strudel. If you are in the mood for an entire meal, they also have a full menu.
Kristy Pepping: Do your kids want to try a new style of ice cream? Frollz is located in Square One Mall and offers Thai-style ice cream. This ice cream is rolled up instead of in a scoop. It makes it easy for kids to share and looks like little sandwiches. They were the first ones in the state to serve up this tasty twist on ice cream.
Nona's Homemade Ice Cream
Amanda Banta: With flavors like Hingham Harbor Sludge and Cohastronaut playing to the locale it's easy to see why Nona's Homemade Ice Cream is a popular spot on the South Shore. All it took was one chocolate frappe to make Nona's my son's new favorite ice cream shop. The shop has a long list of delicious flavors of ice cream, sherbet and sorbet on rotation throughout the year. Stop in for a classic or try something new like a margarita ice sorbet or a gingerbread ice cream.
Dairy Bar open April to mid-October
Amanda Banta: After opening in 2014 the Ice Cream Dairy Bar at Hornstra Farms quickly became a local favorite with a delicious set of consistent and seasonal flavors. Hornstra is a working dairy farm, one of the last in the area, and sits on a picturesque spot that makes for a perfect ice cream picnic. Visitors of all ages can delight in visiting the farm's newborn calves and getting a peek at daily farm activities.
Melt Ice Cream
Kristy Pepping: Melt Ice Cream uses local ingredients to create their flavors. They offer traditional and unique ice creams to try. Flavor options range from oreo to ginger to potato chip toffee.
Cherry Farm Creamery
Amanda Banta: With dozens of flavors of hard and soft ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet there is something for everyone at Cherry Farm Creamery. Cashew Turtle, Kahlua Chip, Ginger and Salted Caramel Heath are just some of the options available regularly while the shop also has seasonal specials year-round.
If you feel like sharing with your family, order the Pig's Trough sundae, a 12 scooper with plenty of toppings and whipped cream. Unlike the pig, you can use your spoons on this one!
DownRiver Ice Cream
Amanda Banta: North of Boston is DownRiver Ice Cream, which prides itself on using high quality local ingredients to make its ice cream. The shop's flavors are as creative as their names, such A River Runs Through It (chocolate ice cream with caramel), Kung Fu Grasshopper (Oreo cookies mixed into mint ice cream), and the Willy Wonka Explosion (vanilla with a variety of favorite candies mixed in).
DownRiver is an environmentally friendly store, serving its frozen creations in containers that can be composted, recycled or eaten.
Primary photo: Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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