Taste Test: A Fro Yo Face-Off

Find out who reigns supreme when it comes to local, waist-friendly frozen yogurt.

Over the past several years, Boston has been flooded with fro yo. A bit more forgiving on the waistline and more refreshing than ice cream, it’s no wonder that the tangy stuff has Bostonians jumping aboard this bandwagon full speed. With the temperatures heating up, I put a few local frozen yogurt purveyors to the test.

All photos by Fiona Coxe

Zinga (508 commonwealth Ave.; Boston, MA 02115; 857-263-8496 zingafroyo.com)
Zinga is the newest addition to the froyo landscape, having launched in Kenmore Square this past February. The shop offers 12 different self-serve yogurt flavors, almost 60 different toppings, and even cake or waffle bases to make the dessert a bit more luxurious. I elected for a swirl of their traditional California Tart and a swirl of their red velvet flavor. I added some Nilla Wafers and fresh strawberries, and my cup was complete (yogurt here is charged by weight). The traditional flavor was bright and just slightly tangy, and really pleasant overall. The red velvet, meanwhile, was absolutely delicious. Full of rich cocoa and tasting almost as decadent as full-fat ice cream, I could see myself making many a return visit for this one.

Berry Line (1377 Boylston Street; Boston, MA 02215; (617) 236-0082 berryline.com)
Next on my list was Berry Line, located just down the street in the Fenway area. A much smaller operation, the shop (which also has locations on Newbury Street and in Harvard Square) had just three flavors offered. I opted for a swirl of their plain yogurt and their spicy chocolate. Toppings here too were more limited, were not offered self-service-style, and were charged per topping rather than by weight. I selected almonds alone and dug in. The traditional plain flavor here had a much stronger bite to it, and made my mouth pucker. The spicy chocolate had an interesting front-of-the-mouth heat to it, but the flavor fell flat afterwards. My cup found its way to the trash pretty soon after purchase.

Berry Freeze ( 273 Harvard Street; Brookline, MA 02446; 617-738-3300 http://www.berryfreeze.com)
Last up was Berry Freeze in Coolidge Corner. Back to the self-service world, I again chose their plain flavor and added their chocolate for good measure. I topped it off with a scattering of chocolate chips and plump blackberries from their toppings selection. The plain here was a bit more tart than Zinga, but wasn’t abrasive the way Berry Line’s was. It was smooth, with just a hint of creaminess. The chocolate was full of flavor, but it was less rich than I would have liked.

The verdict: The winner of Battle Fro Yo easily goes to the newcomer- Zinga! Bringing to the table more options and a better quality product, I can foresee a refreshing summer ahead.

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