Why is ice cream so much fun to talk about? Perhaps because it comes in so many different flavors, textures and styles, that there’s something for everyone. Irresistibly creamy and delicious, it can conjure up memories of lazy, hot summer days even in the middle of winter. Whatever it is, never have we had more numerous and joyful responses than when we asked colleagues at WGBH about their favorite ice cream. From traditional hard-serve, to dairy free, soft serve, and even hand-rolled, custard-style, or liquid nitrogen ice cream, they were more than happy to share their favorite spot for a scoop.
The Scoop n’ Scootery
Sarah Dywinski, Project Specialist in Local Development and Marketing, says one of her favorite places to get ice cream is at Arlington’s The Scoop n’ Scootery. Not your average ice cream joint, Scoop n' Scootery will serve you in the store, but they'll also bring their delicious ice cream, frozen yogurt and magnificent sundaes right to you, keeping everything cool, in transit, with thermodynamic freezers. Sarah exclaims "They will DELIVER ice cream sundaes to your door until 2am!" She explains, "With fun sundae names referencing pop culture (Chuckie Finster, Patty Mayonnaise, Tyrion, Curious George and Basic Becky to name a few) I’m always discovering new, inventive combinations at their locale. Try the Pikachu!"
112 Mass Ave., Arlington, 617-394-8634, thescoopnscootery.com
Abbott's Frozen Custard
Marketing's Digital Designer, Kari Mueller, claims a visit to Abbott's Frozen Custard was always in order when she visited her home town of Rochester, NY. Now, she's happy to report, "Since they opened a location right in Brighton, (up the street from WGBH), I can get my fix any time." About as satisfyingly creamy as it gets, Abbott's Frozen Custard has been a fixture in Rochester since 1926, and has a loyal following. Kari adds "There's a store, as well, in Needham, and they've just opened one up in Lexington! The best is just a scoop of the chocolate almond."
360 Washington St., Brighton, 617-562-8600 | 1853 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, 781-538-4361 | 934 Great Plain Ave., Needham, 781-444-9908, abbottscustard.com
White Mountain Creamery
Production Secretary for National Productions, Emily Frazee, was happy to talk about her preferred Ice cream venue. "My favorite place," she says, "is White Mountain Creamery in Chestnut Hill. It's located at the end of the B line, next to Boston College’s campus, so it’s the perfect place to grab an ice cream and circle the reservoir. Their ice cream (and yogurt) is all homemade, every day, in a variety of fun flavors. It's always rich and creamy. I highly recommend it!"
19 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, 617-527-8790, whitemtncreamery.com
Regina Daley, Employee Communications Manager in Human Resources, has her own local treasure. She says "I don’t live on the Cape, but I have beachfront property. I live two minutes from Yogurt Beach, in Newton, and boy, the view is delicious! They offer 12 flavors–Kona coffee, coconut, and Original Tart are my favorites–that you can mix and swirl. They have six sauces, including my top choices, marshmallow and hard shell. There are 10 fresh fruit–emphasis on fresh–toppings, and five cereal toppings. To seal the deal, there are 40 candy toppings–the crushed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are top of my list. The beach-themed shop is always spotless, offers indoor and outdoor seating, as well as friendly and helpful staff. It’s not ice cream, but I promise you’ll enjoy not only the frozen treat but also the self-serve experience. Plus, it’s the healthier choice, right? (Wink, wink.)"
Yogurt Beach also has locations in Hopkinton, and Plainville.
665 Watertown St., Newton, yogurtbeach.com
Anna Remus, a Digital Producer for MASTERPIECE, loves the artistry of the ice cream creations at Hi B3ar. She explains "Hi B3ar is an ice cream parlor in Allston that specializes in Thai ice cream rolls. It's super fun to watch them create your masterpiece! They have a menu of combinations you can choose from, or you can make your own. As a coffee and chocolate fiend, I love the Morning Call!" Thai rolled ice cream is a popular treat sold on the streets of Thailand, and has become a trend in Boston in recent years.
147 Brighton Ave., Allston, 617-208-8216, hib3ar.com
Toscanini's Ice Cream
Senior Traffic Manager in Local Corporate Sponsorship, Stephanie Saltzman, points out that a sign in the window of Toscanini's Ice Cream shows that they were rated “Best ice cream in the world!” by the New York Times. Stephanie adds "And if that is not enough to make you a believer, their unique flavors will. I would recommend the B3 (brown sugar, brown butter, & brownies), the Khlufee (cardamom & nuts), or the chocolate pudding (really has a consistency of pudding). But also, don’t sleep on their fruit varieties or sorbets – they are all bursting with flavor! The lines can be long in the summer, but it is well worth the wait."
159 First St., Cambridge, 617-491-5877, tosci.com
Marilyn Schairer is a Producer and Reporter for 89.7 FM. She says "My favorite Ice Cream place right now is Rita's in Chelsea. Rita's is making a comeback in the Northeast. It's a native business of Philly and even has a jingle. My absolute favorite is the Mango Gelati with vanilla custard! I love the texture because it’s a combo of mango flavored Italian ice sandwiched between a bottom and top layer of creamy, buttery vanilla custard. I’m so happy Rita’s has come back to New England again!"
Mystic Mall, 170 Everett Ave., Chelsea, 617-889-0302, ritasice.com
Event Producer, Abby Ballou's favorite spot for ice cream is Picco in the South End. (FYI they have fab food too). She says "They also placed in our Gourmet Ice Cream event last month." A South End favorite, Picco is also known for it's thin crust pizza.
513 Tremont St., Boston, 617-927-0046, piccorestaurant.com
Rota Spring Farm
Senior HRIS Analyst for Human Resources, Melissa Summers, nominates Rota Spring Farm in Sterling, describing it as a 'typical New England farm with homemade ice cream'. She goes on to say: "I love that on a good day, we can have ice cream, visit the baby goats and watch the cows amble from the field to a stream to a lake; who knew that cows likes to swim?! My nephew loves it there for the ice cream as well as the farm-life. Half the time, his ice cream melts from all the 'cow action'. With a petting zoo right on the premises, and fresh, creamy ice cream made right on the farm, you really can't go wrong!"
117 Chace Hill Rd., Sterling, 978-365-9710, rotaspringfarm.com
Crescent Ridge Dairy
"You asked: Crescent Ridge Dairy in Sharon," answers WGBH volunteer Joyce Schwartz. "The ice cream is sooo good. The choice of flavors is amazing, including my favorites, frozen pudding, ginger, and Grape-Nut pudding. The lines are frequently long, but you are bound to meet people you know, or make new friends while you wait. If you want to treat yourself very well, order a specialty dish, like a hot fudge sundae; the portions are so large, it will take multiple sittings to finish!"
We had more than one fan of Crescent Ridge Dairy. Communications & Media Relations Coordinator, Caitlin Walsh raves, "Crescent Ridge in Sharon is hands down the best ice cream around, no competition. I have family that lives in Canton, and we visit them a lot during the summer (they have a pool, so duh), and stopping by Crescent Ridge is a must with every visit, of course. Their ice cream is homemade – you even see the cows on the farm when you go to their stand (and goats!) – and it’s beyond perfect. Creamy, not too soft, perfectly churned, rich, tons and tons of flavors, and double scoop cones that are usually the size of your head. They have everything. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats Crescent Ridge ice cream on a hot summer day."
If you need more encouragement, Crescent Ridge Dairy has twice been voted one of the ten best ice cream places in the world by Smithsonian!
355 Bay Rd., Sharon, MA, 781-784-2740, crescentridge.deliverybizpro.com
New City Microcreamery
Alyssa Mullinax, a Senior Accountant in Finance, claims "The best place to get ice cream is definitely New City Microcreamery in Hudson! They make their ice cream batches by mixing in liquid nitrogen, so they’re able to make small batches of unique flavors (like avocado lime!). They also have a secret speakeasy in the back that serves up boozy milkshakes."
Word is New City Microcreamery is looking to open another store in Boston, as soon as this summer, 2018, so be on the look out.
28 Main St., Hudson, 978-333-7144, newcitymicrocreamery.com
Reasons To Be Cheerful
Senior Director of Production Technology, Tim Mangini says: "When we want the best possible ice cream, we make our own at home, but when desperation or convenience are at hand, we love Reasons to be Cheerful, in Concord. Fresh and unexpected flavors on an ever-changing menu and a wonderfully friendly staff make it a great shop to cool the summer heat."
110 Commonwealth Ave., Concord, 978-610-6248, cheerful-reasons.com
The Ice Cream Lady
Thomas Devlin, Radio Operations Manager, gives a shout out to The Ice Cream Lady in Douglas (Near Northbridge and Milford.) He says "The ice cream is good, prices are reasonable, and helpings are a very healthy size. At the end of the season, they have a 'free' day where you can order everything, and you are just asked to tip the servers. That’s a busy day there!"
63 Main St., Douglas, 508-476-2631, facebook.com/The-Ice-Cream-Lady
Uhlman's Ice Cream
Judy Christensen is an Auction Volunteer. She says "My favorite ice cream place is Uhlman’s in Westborough. They have a shop, only open from spring to fall, that has been there forever. It is a family that used to do a lot of farming in Westborough. Uhlman’s has great ice cream and reminds me of a place from the past. When my kids were growing up, we used to go there regularly and would always find someone there we knew. They draw such a large crowd that there is a policeman stationed there on the weekends to direct traffic."
Once you’ve chosen from one of the 60 or more flavors on offer, you can sit and watch the cows graze as you dig into your deliciously creamy ice cream.
232 East Main St., Westborough, 508-366-2411, uhlmansicecream.com
Production Assistant in Education, Glenn Johnson recommends Northfield Creamie, calling it: "The only place in the little town of Northfield that ever gets crowded." He continues, "They source delicious ice cream from a variety of local spots and create their own delicious concoctions. My favorite is Bizzy’s Blitz – a decadent blend of vanilla soft serve, peanut butter sauce, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Everything is served by friendly staff, attending long lines in a quaint New England town center."
62 Main St., Northfield, 323-459-5499, facebook.com/Northfield-Creamie
Flayvors of Cook Farm
Jessica Napier, Post-Production Assistant for MASTERPIECE, grew up in Western MA. She thinks Flayvors Ice Cream in Hadley totally deserves a shout-out. "What I love about them," she says, "is that they are a family-run farm that uses milk from their own dairy cows—you can really taste the difference! It’s also fun to be able to get a scoop then walk around the farm and meet the cows in person. I still have yet to find a cone as good as their Inez flavor (coconut ice cream with chocolate chunks and almonds). Now I’m hungry for ice cream!"
129 S. Maple St., Hadley, 413-584-2224, flayvors.com
Mt. Tom’s Homemade Ice Cream
Director of Marketing at WGBY, Geoffrey Oldmixon, recommends Mt. Tom’s Homemade Ice Cream in Easthampton. "I like Mt. Tom's not only because of famously unique flavors (actually, I'm fairly plain in my own personal selections), but also because of its locale. It's a quintessential Western, MA experience to spend the morning hiking up Mt. Tom for a view of surrounding towns, and then coming down on the Easthampton side for a lunchtime ice cream treat. For those who like options, Mt. Tom's makes their own candy, cones, whipped cream, etc. So, there's no shortage of flavors (including vegan items)."
34 Cottage St., Easthampton, 413-529-2929, mttoms.com
Down River Ice Cream
We had two recommendations for Down River Ice Cream on the North Shore. Jane Holland, Director of Benefits, says "The ice cream is homemade with fresh ingredients! I haven’t tasted anything else like it. You can sometimes wait in long lines on a beautiful day but it's always worth it. It sits at one of the major entrances to Crane Beach in Ipswich, so it is a favorite of mine after a hot day at the beach."
Gene Lee, Director of Production Finance & Grant Management agrees. "I live on the North Shore, in Hamilton, which is not too far from Crane Beach in Ipswich. My family and I often go to Down River Ice Cream in Essex (they have another location in Rowley), which is on the way to the beach. How can you beat a summer day at the beach followed by homemade ice cream, or finishing some fried clams with ice cream afterwards?"
241 John Wise Ave., Essex, 978-768-0102 |120 Newburyport Turnpike, Rowley, 978-948-2077, facebook.com/downrivericecream
Nona’s Ice Cream
Kaja Fickes is the Director of Major Annual Giving in Development. She raves about her local ice cream establishment, Nona's Ice Cream. "Nona’s is a classic establishment with charming ice cream shops in Hingham and Scituate, both serving up locally inspired flavors like Harbor Sludge (much yummier than it sounds!) and Hurricane Madeline. They also take their scooping on the road with a festive ice cream truck, available for community events and private rentals. Nona’s is also an integral part of the community, hosting fundraisers like elementary school nights when favorite teachers come and scoop, and all proceeds go to the local elementary schools."
19 Main St., Hingham, 781-749-3999 | 1 Mill Wharf Plaza, Scituate, 781-378-1464, nonasicecream.com
Sarah Marks is a Marketing & Strategy Manager for PBS Distribution. She says "My favorite spot is Dairy Twist in Pembroke. There are tons of amazing flavors, and they also have soft serve. The portions, by the way are ginormous. Also, there is a super cool old pink roadster out front!"
Open since 2002, Dairy Twist prides itself on large portions and vast selection.
580 Washington St., Pembroke, 781-826-5955, facebook.com/dtwist
CAPE AND ISLANDS
Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium
Callie Crossley, Host and Executive Editor in Radio, says: "Others may argue, but they would be wrong about the best ice cream places on Martha's Vineyard. I am an ice cream aficionado. Number one on the island–Ben & Bill's–full title Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium in Oak Bluffs. It is the best!!!!! I'm not embarrassed to say I've pressed my face against the glass and begged them to scoop one last cone after they've closed the doors. Yep, it's that good."
Ben & Bill's have a second location in Falmouth on the Cape, and a third in Bar Harbor, Maine.
20 Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs, 508-696-0008 | 209 Main St., Falmouth, 508-548-7878, benandbills.com
Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream
Smitty’s in Falmouth is a favorite of two of our colleagues.
Amy Vince, who's a Producer for The Point with Mindy Todd says: "The ice cream is delicious, and all made on site. There are many, many flavors to choose from including ginger which is my favorite and hard to find. There’s a big lawn with lots of outside seating, and trees for climbing. Smitty, the owner, is also a big supporter of the Falmouth public schools, offering discounted ice cream for events and fundraisers."
Elizabeth Walbridge, a Digital Production Coordinator in Children’s Media adds: "Smitty’s has three locations, but I go with my mom to the one in East Falmouth. They have a couple dozen different flavors of homemade ice cream, cakes, frappes (milkshakes for those not from New England), and ‘famous’ sundaes. My favorite flavors are blueberry and coffee. And there really is a Smitty –- Richard Smith owns and operates the three locations, employing a staff of Cape Cod kids every summer. Part of the tradition of a vacation on Cape Cod is finishing off a long day in the sun with ice cream, and most shops get pretty busy in the evening. Smitty's has ample parking, and it’s easy to find. I love the huge lawn in front of the shop; it's a perfect place to perch. The opening and closing of Smitty’s every year are definitely the markers for me of the beginning and end of the summertime, and mom and I always go on the last day to stock up on our favorite pints."
326 E. Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, | 538 Falmouth Rd., Mashpee, | 3261 Main St., Barnstable, 508-457-1060, smittysic.com
The Ice Cream Smuggler
WGBH News Host, Henry Santoro gives a rousing endorsement of The Ice Cream Smuggler in Dennis. He says "I've been a summertime fan of the Ice Cream Smuggler on Rt. 6A in Dennis (Cape Cod) since it opened in 1979. It's individually owned and has never been part of a chain. My kids have grown up going there and still love going back every summer. And I'm not the only one who's a big fan, Chef Ming Tsai talked about it on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate - saying 'It just screams “Eat me, eat me NOW!'" They have tons of flavors, all made in-house, from apple pie to vanilla yogurt. And there vegan options, too. The Smuggler's Treasure is a real sundae lover's dream: 8 scoops of ice cream...two fountain toppings...two candy toppings...sliced bananas...whipped cream...nuts...and...cherries. YUM!
716 Main St., Dennis, 508-385-5307, icecreamsmuggler.com
Catherine Giarrusso, Business Manager for Studio Six says: "I want to put in a word for Somerset Creamery in Somerset and Cataumet. My mother grew up going to the original Somerset location, and l grew up going to the Cataumet location on the Cape. The homemade ice cream is a dreamy dairy delight on its own, but–and I can only speak for the Cataumet location–when you walk in, you get enveloped in the smell of the waffle cones they make fresh on-site. I dare anyone to walk in there and not add one to their order. For those like myself who opt for the cup, they have you covered–you can get a waffle cup too! And don't worry, the line moves quickly. Somerset Creamery for the win!"
1931 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy., Somerset, 508-672-5510 |146 County St., Somerset, 508-673-0700|1268 MA-28A, Cataumet, 508-563-3430, somersetcreamery.com