A Field Guide for Finding Boston’s Freshest, Creamiest Gelato

By Eric Twardzik
08/02/2021
Gelato & Chill

A direct flight to Italy isn’t a prerequisite for enjoying great gelato. Ice cream’s smoother, denser cousin—more slowly churned, and made with a lower fat content—is in good local standing around Boston. From the dessert menus of some of our favorite Italian restaurants to standalone shops and food hall stalls, here’s where to find gelato that will have you living la dolce vita.

The gelato served at Southie enoteca Fox & the Knife is prepared in-house by the chef de cuisine and pastry chef. Pistachio and Stracciatella are regularly available by the scoop, but additional flavors are in rotation for cookie sandwiches and more elaborate desserts—the restaurant’s Dirty Chai Affogato, for example, features a rich gelato made with the cardamom tea, while a honey-thyme gelato tops a summery Strawberry Crostata. 

Delini Gelato

Photo Credit: Didi - DY Photography

Opened in West Roxbury in 2020 by a Bulgarian immigrant who grew smitten with gelato during a trip to Italy, Delini sells scratch-made gelato in flavors like Crème Brulee, Mango Lassi, and Salted Caramel. However, a notable flavor doesn’t appear on the menu: Rose Oil Pistachio Baklava, which features baklava prepared by the owner’s mother, is so popular that it remains unlisted as the shop can’t always keep up with demand.

Photo Credit: Emily Kan

The rotating gelato selection at Mida includes flavors like Pistachio, Chocolate, and Orange Creamsicle, and is available at both the Boston and Newton locations of this neighborhood Italian restaurant. However, visitors to the South End original are in for a special treat: The gelato there is finished with a drizzle of Greek olive oil that chef-owner Douglass Williams says adds a “touch of lusciousness” to the sweet dessert. 

Exterior of SRV

SRV makes its gelato entirely without eggs, which chef-owner Michael Lombardi says is key to allowing other flavors to shine. Among the tastes that await at this South End spot are creative entries like Mint with chocolate torta and Chocolate & Goat Cheese, featuring milk chocolate with a tangy swirl. The South End restaurant also prepares dairy-free sorbets, including a classic Frutti di Bosco (“fruits of the forest”) and a sweet-and-savory special of Melon sorbet served with a prosciutto chip.

Eataly Boston

Photo Credit: Eataly

You’d think that Italian food emporium Eataly would be a great place to score gelato, and you’d be correct. The Back Bay location of the continent-spanning mercato boasts an ever-changing selection of flavors incorporating local and imported ingredients, but you can always find Fior di Latte, Cioccolato, and a dairy-free Limone sorbet. During summer weekends, a dedicated gelato cart situated on Eataly’s Boylston street patio serves the frozen dessert al fresco. 

With suburban locations in Chestnut Hill and Hingham and a spot inside Fenway’s Time Out Market, there’s ample opportunity to try Gelato & Chill. And you should, as the maker relies on local dairy and other ingredients imported from Italy to produce its creamy gelato. The focus here is on classic flavors like Stracciatella with Valrhona chocolate bits, Pistachio made with Sicilian pistachios, and a Nocciola that features Italian hazelnuts. 

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