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taiyaki ice cream boston
Photograph: J.Q. Louise

17 best ice cream shops in Boston

Get the scoop on Boston's best ice cream shops. Everything from traditional flavors to new and crazy to the perfect ice cream sandwich is up for grabs.

JQ Louise
Tanya Edwards
Edited by
JQ Louise
Written by
Tanya Edwards
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New Englanders love ice cream. We’re home to Ben & Jerry’s, Springfield, MA is the birthplace of Friendly’s, it’s simple facts that our region tends to float to the top of most polls measuring ice cream consumption per capita. And Bostonians know that we have some of the best ice cream shops in the country, maybe the whole world.  

Today, the best ice cream shops in Boston continue to satisfy adventurous eaters with their gourmet concoctions and bold ingredients—while still cranking out the classics for those New England traditionalists. Treat yourself this season and pair an ice cream cone with the best burgers in Boston or the best pizzas in Boston for a fun night out.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of the best desserts in Boston!

Time Out Market Boston

Table Caffé is a North End favorite for gelato and is the sweetest offering from founder Jen Royle. Table Caffé’s homemade gelato brings a little bit of the North End here to Fenway and it couldn’t be the sweeter treat.

Amazing Boston ice cream spots

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Jamaica Plain
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​​Since its start in Jamaica Plain over 40 years ago, this local ice cream institution has spread to locations throughout the city, with 17 locations, from Beacon Hill to Harvard Square. Always a good time, the lively atmosphere and creative scoops keep ice cream lovers coming in the door. During the summer, expect a wait, but that just gives you more time  to decide between classics like brownie batter and seasonal flavors that surprise, like peanut butter and chili, which is made with sriracha. Don’t skip the thick and delicious frappes if you prefer drinking your ice cream.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • East Cambridge
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Open since 1981, Toscanini’s continues to push the flavor boundaries, with intriguingly satisfying combinations like B3 (brownies, brown sugar, brown butter) and the amazing burnt caramel, which was created by total accident. With two locations in Cambridge, you’ll never run out of options. Flavors are updated regularly, so if you’re craving something specific, check the daily menu before heading over.

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  • Restaurants
  • Central Sq

This Central Square shop, which also has locations in Hudson and Sudbury, lures in ice cream lovers with unique, New England-inspired scoops. While its cases include the usual fan favorites like cookie dough, birthday cake batter and coffee, it’s this spot’s list of original concoctions that make it a must. Among its nostalgic, locally influenced flavors: salted cookies and cream, peanut butter banana Fluff and malted milk ball. The shop also offers a handful of vegan options with a coconut milk base, if dairy isn’t your thing.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Seaport District
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Taiyaki NYC’s innovative, Asian-inspired ice cream creations landed in Boston’s Seaport District in 2019, and they’ve been a hit ever since The most popular treat on the menu is the chain's signature soft serve swirled into a fish-shaped cone—but they also have other unique options like its Unicorn Float, which is served in an inflatable unicorn tube. Expect a line—because there may be plenty of fish in the sea—Taiyaki NYC may be one of the sweetest.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Somerville
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This Union Square ice cream shop in Somerville, along with a Cambridge outpost inside Earnest Drinks, brings a certain toastiness to their ice cream by serving it in in Fluff-filled cones toasted with a blowtorch The shop makes small batches of unique flavors like Guinness, ube and honey cornbread, with new flavors regularly coming into the rotation. Top your scoop with the house-made version of Magic Shell and definitely go for the toasted Fluff cone.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Back Bay
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Founded in Boston in 1975, the shop is the result of the city’s bars closing early (darn blue laws). Bob Rook, an entertainment attorney, opened the show in a Coolidge Corner basement to give bands a place to hang out when clubs closed at midnight. These days, they’re known for ice cream in funky flavors, like bananas foster and grasshopper pie, as well as a selection of frozen yogurts, sorbets and small-batch vegan scoops. Emack & Bolio’s also pioneered the flavored cone, which can be covered either in marshmallow or chocolate, then sprinkled with toppings like crushed Oreos, Fruit Loops, jimmies and shaved coconut.

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Cookie Monstah
Photograph: J.Q. Louise

7. Cookie Monstah

Cookie Monstah is a Boston classic that started out as a single food truck and has since blossomed into several brick-and-mortar locations. Founded by Melissa Gale, this Boston-must-try is known for their massive cookie and ice cream sandwiches, where the cookies are as much the star as the ice cream. Be warned, you may want to share, as the sandwiches are massive!

https://media.timeout.com/images/105910510/image.jpg
JQ Louise
Editor of Time Out Boston
  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Porter Sq

Most of our favorites on this list are doing inventive and unique flavors, and Porter Square‘s Honeycomb Creamery is ahead of the game with creating delicious and inventive alternatives. Its craft ice cream is perfect for people seeking out-of-the-box creations. With options like malted vanilla, bay leaf and lemon curd and even a gin and tonic sorbet, you may just find a new go-to summer flavor.

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Amorino
Photograph: J.Q. Louise

9. Amorino

If you are looking for a picture perfect ice cream cone to star in your fun social media post, stop by this global ice cream brand on Newbury Street or Cambridge for a cone of gelato that looks like a blooming flower. Beyond just being pretty, Amorino delivers rich, creamy flavors like tiramisu, bergamot, and our must try, stracciatella.

https://media.timeout.com/images/105910510/image.jpg
JQ Louise
Editor of Time Out Boston
  • Restaurants
  • West Roxbury

We’re sending you out to West Roxbury for gelato, and we promise that you’ll thank us. 

Using only the finest ingredients, this spot makes all of their gelato from scratch. The menu changes to include seasonal inspirations, but classics like its vanilla (made with beans, not extracts) and chocolate (flavored with French Valrhona cocoa) are constants. 

While the gelateria has Italian influences, the shop also dabbles with Middle Eastern flavors like Persian Stracciatella infused with Iranian saffron, as well as spiced coffee, which combines freshly roasted Borealis coffee with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom

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