Ice Cream: Scoops

The very best hard-style ice cream in the city.

best ice cream scoops boston

Photograph by Kang Kim, Styling by Karen Evans/Apostrophe, Type by Liz Noftle

The Best Scoops in Boston

(Numbers correspond to scoops shown above.)

Vanilla Bean
 | Batch Ice Cream
Served at Bee’s Knees, Fort Point

Bright and fragrant, courtesy of the whole vanilla beans that are scraped straight into the base.

Dark Chocolate
| Picco
Served at Picco, South End

Melted dark Scharffen Berger chocolate evokes a dense bar in ice cream form.

Salted Caramel
| Coop’s Ice Cream
Served at 3 Scoops, Brighton

A perfect sweet-salty balance and an impossibly smooth texture.

| Toscanini’s
Served at Toscanini’s, Cambridge

Not too icy, not too sweet, with a well-rounded flavor enhanced by a touch of raspberries in the recipe.

Brambleberry Crisp
| Jeni’s Ice Cream
Served at Tatte, Brookline

A honey-vanilla base complements the tart berries and buttery crumble swirl.

| Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream
Served at Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream, Cambridge

Colombian beans produce a roasty finish.

Mexican Chocolate Chip
| Rancatore’s
Served at Rancatore’s, Belmont

Blended with large dark-­chocolate chunks and, for complexity, a touch of cinnamon.

Avocado (Vegan)
| FoMu
Served at FoMu, Allston

Lovely creaminess from both avocados and coconut milk—you won’t miss the dairy.

| J. P. Licks
Served at J. P. Licks, various locations

The sandwich cookies are both pulverized into the base and studded throughout in large chunks.

Bananas Foster
| Emack and Bolio’s
Served at Emack and Bolio’s, Back Bay

Spiced and boozy, with a buttery backbone.

Burnt Sugar
| Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream
Served at Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream, Cambridge

Overcooked sugar makes for a caramelly, slightly bitter scoop.

| Toscanini’s
Served at Toscanini’s, Cambridge

Short for “brown butter, brown sugar, brownie,” it’s nutty, fudgy, and over the top.

Frozen Pudding
| The Ice Creamsmith
Served at the Ice Creamsmith, Dorchester

This oft-neglected, classic New England flavor is essentially fruitcake ice cream—a rum base with bits of candied fruit scattered throughout. Here, it’s at its best.

| The Boston Ice Cream Factory
Served at the Boston Ice Cream Factory, Dorchester

Fresh durian imparts a sweet, moldy-cheese scent and a savory onion finish (note: only for the adventurous).

Graham Central Station
| Bliss Brothers Dairy
Served at Savin Scoop, Dorchester

With intense graham notes and crunchy chocolate bits, this just needs fluff for s’mores in a cup.

Tiger Milk
| Rancatore’s
Served at Rancatore’s, Belmont

An infusion of frosted flakes lends a faintly sweet cereal flavor to this recipe.

How About a Pint?

Here are our favorite pre-packed local ice creams.

best ice cream scoops boston

Illustrations by Liz Noftle

From left to right:

Chilly Cow | Black Raspberry
Available at Whole Foods

Bold, fruity, and pleasantly tart.

Coop’s | OMFG Chocolate
Available at Russo’s, Watertown

The name of this concoction (boosted with a touch of coffee) says it all: It’s an acronym for “Oh My Fudgy Goodness.”

Shaw Farm | Coffee Brownie
Available at Bee’s Knees, Fort Point

The rich coffee ice cream cradles nubs of fudgy brownie.

Hood Red Sox | Green Monster
Available at various supermarkets

Mint ice cream melts into a fluffy texture, while sock-shaped chocolate chunks kick up the kitsch.

Batch | Cinnamon and Chocolate Bits
Available at Whole Foods, Symphony

Redolent of cinnamon, this tastes like a frozen snickerdoodle.

Want more?

Check out our complete summer ice cream package.