The Silkiest Soft Serve Ice Cream to Try This Summer in Boston

By Eric Twardzik
Dairy Joy

Gone are the days when discerning dessert lovers turned their noses up at soft serve ice cream. We couldn’t be happier, because we know the silky frozen treat takes down the temperature like nothing else. Whether you’re craving flavors straight from childhood or something new, these Boston-area soft serve purveyors won’t let you down.

BLACKBIRD DONUTS | The Best Ice Cream Sandwiches in Boston
Donut Ice Cream Sandwich - Blackbird Donuts

All locations of Blackbird Doughnuts locations serve Ice Cream Doughnut Sandwiches, which pack a puck of chocolate or vanilla soft serve between a donut of your choice. If you’re craving the uncut stuff, visit their original South End location, which also offers Chocolate, Vanilla, or Twist without the donut.

Vinal General Store

The new sandwich shop next door to Somerville’s Vinal Bakery deals in delicious nostalgia, from classic candy bars to the Vinal Spuckie (that’s old Boston for an Italian cold cut sandwich). So of course this cute shop is serving up soft serve for its first summer in business. It starts with a rich, creamy, vanilla ice cream base from local dairy Hood, available with rainbow or chocolate sprinkles. Get a cone or try a float using an old-school soda like Moxie. The team is currently recipe-testing its own fondly remembered flavors (Vermont-style maple creemees, anyone?), so stay tuned for more sweet treats.

Eventide Fenway

Photo Credit: Zack Bowen

One of the best offerings at the Boston outpost of this Maine-born oyster bar doesn’t come from the sea, but rather from an ice cream machine. Eventide Fenway always serves one signature sundae: Brown Butter Soft Serve with bourbon caramel and maple candied pecans. Check the menu and you might also find a rotating seasonal flavor, like Ginger Ale or Pumpkin Spice.

Dairy Joy

A drive to Weston is worth it to experience Dairy Joy, a frozen-in-time roadside snack stand selling burgers, fried seafood, and soft serve ice cream. The menu flavors from your childhood recollections, plus Javaberry, a house-favorite Coffee and Raspberry twist. Perhaps surprisingly, Dairy Joy also features a strong selection of dairy-free soft serve flavors, like Strawberry Lemonade and Salted Caramel.

Central Square restaurant Pagu is the unique realization of chef-owner Tracy Chang’s influences and experiences, from Spanish tapas to ramen to French-trained baking—so you can imagine this version of soft serve isn’t your typical twist. The seasonal, dessert menu-mainstay Matcha is bright green and earthy with just enough sweetness, with or without a swirl of Maple, served in a cup and flecked with crunchy cacao nibs.

Buttermilk & Bourbon

Credit: Emily Burke

The house-made soft serve at Back Bay restaurant Buttermilk & Bourbon always surprises and delights. From coffee to marshmallow-Oreo and even cherry cheesecake, rotating flavors of Soft Serve of the Day pack the punch we’ve come to expect from celebrity chef-owner Jason Santos. We love this ice cream in a fresh-baked salted pretzel cone—but Soft Serve Mimosas are a fun menu favorite for a reason, too.

Updated by Jacqueline Cain 

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