Best of Boston

2024 Best Ice Cream


The week before Gus Rancatore opened the doors to his ice cream shop, Toscanini’s, in Central Square, he stood on the sidewalk just up Massachusetts Avenue in Harvard Square, surveying the landscape. It was 1981, a time in Boston when Rancatore says there were a “comical number of ice cream stores,” from the hallowed Bailey’s downtown and iconic Steve’s in Davis Square to the small local chain Brigham’s. That day in Cambridge, it was winter — and snowing. “I looked to my left, and I looked to my right, and people were everywhere eating ice cream cones,” Rancatore remembers. “I thought to myself, This will probably work out.”

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