First opened in 1983, Inman Square staple Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream serves up an almost intimidating range of homemade flavors. Over 50 varieties are offered daily, 36 of which are always available, with dozens more appearing seasonally or occasionally. The possibilities may seem endless, but we’ll go with Burnt Sugar, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, or Carrot Cake in a pinch. A huge selection of sorbet ensures that dairy-free dessert seekers won’t leave empty handed.
Whether it’s hot and humid or peak blizzard, Bostonians always find an excuse to satisfy their ice cream cravings. Score a scoop from any of these local providers and you’ll understand why.
Gracie’s is a small, eclectic Union Square shop that just can’t stop inventing. The parlor’s past-and-present repertoire lists 58 flavors, which have included everything from Chai Chip to Salty Whiskey, and new variations seem to be announced weekly. At any given time you’ll find a dozen flavors on offer (including one that’s dairy-free). But the innovative spirit doesn’t stop at ice cream: Gracie’s recognizes the sweet heritage of Union Square by serving up fluff cones and fluff cone crowns, the latter of which is served rimmed with bacon bits, fruity pebbles, and more.
FoMu is not your grandma’s ice cream. The plant-based treat is made with coconut instead of cow’s milk, earning it the appreciation of vegans everywhere. But coconuts can be creamy, too—and the thick end product is delicious enough to win over even the most orthodox dairy lovers. Addictive flavors like Bourbon Maple Walnut, Avocado, and Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake can be found at any of FoMu’s three brick-and-mortar location across town, all of which serve George Howell coffee.
Toscanini’s comes with a serious pedigree: The independent ice cream shop has existed since 1981 and has been praised by The New York Times, Boston Magazine, and Bon Appétit. The shop recently traded in its Central Square digs for a spot east of Kendall, but it continues to sling ever-changing unique homemade flavors like Peanut Butter Miso, Butter Almond, and B3 (a mix of brown sugar, brown butter, and brownies) to its hungry followers. Anyone looking for the full after-dinner experience can perk up with Barismo espresso, loose-leaf teas, lattes, and—naturally—an affogato.
Cambridge’s Honeycomb Creamery takes scratch-made to the next level. Flavors are thoughtfully composed from local, in-season ingredients whenever possible and divided between classic, seasonal, and vegan offerings. Mini ice cream cakes are sold in-house while full sized iterations can be commissioned online. Bonus: Visit on a Taco Tuesday (!!!) and try the house-made, ever-evolving version of a Choco Taco.