Where to Get the Best Gelato in Greater Boston

When the hankering hits, here's the local scoop on American ice cream's luscious, intensely flavored Italian cousin.


A hand holds up a paper cup of gelato in front of a leafy background. There are two scoops—one white with chocolate chips, one pale green.

Delini Gelato. / Photo by DY Photography

Sometimes you just want some sweet, spectacular ice cream, prepared any which way—in which case, we’ve got you covered. (See also: Greater Boston’s best soft-serve.) But “traditional” American ice cream’s Italian cousin—made with less butterfat and a higher percentage of milk, and served slightly warmer—is its own special delight, densely textured and intensely flavored. And so, when that hankering hits, here’s the scoop on the best gelati in the area.

An opaque pale green martini has a scoop of ice cream in the same color, and there's a mini cannoli on the side with chocolate chips.

Caffè Paradiso’s pistachio martini features a scoop of pistachio gelato. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Caffè Paradiso

Unsurprisingly, Boston’s wicked Italian North End abounds with options for gelato—not all of them, though, are wicked good. That said, there’s a reason that family-owned Caffè Paradiso has been kicking around for 60-plus years: luscious house-made gelati (think hazelnut, pistachio, and strawberry flavors) that make for spirited affogato when doused with, say, coffee or chocolate liqueur.

255 Hanover St., North End, Boston, 617-742-1768, caffeparadisoboston.com.

A hand holds up a paper cup of white gelato in front of a pink background.

Delini Gelato. / Photo by DY Photography

Delini Gelato

Viki Petkova has earned an impressive rep since launching her West Roxbury gelato shop in June 2020—a moment when most businesses were struggling just to stay alive amid early-pandemic shutdowns and other challenges. There’s no way that word wouldn’t get out, though, about the uniquely whistle-wetting flavors crafted here: honey lavender, mango lassi, tropical banana, and (most famously) off-menu offerings of rose oil pistachio baklava inspired by the Bulgarian native’s family recipe. (Note: Delini will be closed for a winter break; watch social media for updates on closing and reopening dates.)

5 Bellevue St., West Roxbury, Boston, delinigelato.com.

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Dragon Pizza

This funky little Davis Square pizzeria—home of some of the best New York-style pizza around, with a rotating array of creative toppings—also makes gelato in-house, because who doesn’t want pizza with a side of gelato? There’s typically vanilla, mint chip, and dark chocolate available, plus “lots of daily specials.” The casual shop also has a full bar, so feel free to accompany your kung pao chicken pizza and hazelnut chocolate swirl gelato with a house spritz or classic Negroni.

233 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville, dragonpizzasomerville.com.

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Eataly

When the weather is fair and fine, swing by the gelato cart Eataly parks on its Boylston Street patio, scoop up something sweet—cioccolato, maybe?—and get to people watching. Neither rainy days nor winter chill should keep you from a cold treat, though: Il Gelato, one of several counter-service concepts housed inside the sprawling food market, still has your back with exceptional Italian ice cream made with milk from High Lawn Farm in Western Massachusetts (and live entertainment provided by a menagerie of shopper-tourists).

800 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-807-7300, eataly.com.

 

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Gelato & Chill

Three words: gelato-filled cannoli. (Okay, one more word: YES.) If your interest is now sufficiently piqued, get thee to Gelato & Chill’s Chestnut Hill location—that’s where you’ll find nut- or chocolate chip-garnished pastries wrapped around ricotta, chocolate, or stracciatella gelato. Those seeking a simple scoop will find them too, of course, at both the suburban shop and the food-hall outlet inside Time Out Market Boston. Try the tiramisu; it is, in a word, amazing.

401 Park Dr. (Time Out Market Boston), Fenway, Boston, 617-717-4989; 199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-717-4989, gelatochill.com.

Giovanna Gelato e Sorbet

Want to hear a sweet success story? Architect-turned-food-entrepreneur Eduardo Kreindel founded this gelato biz in his basement back in 2008, inspired by the ice cream he grew up eating in his native Buenos Aires (which is home to a sizable community of Italian immigrants). Now the Malden-based maker of modern, seasonal flavors (mint, dulce de leche, pumpkin pie, candy cane…) has become quite an operation, selling pint-sized containers of Kreindel’s superb stuff through indie markets as well as select Whole Foods stores in Boston and the surrounding ‘burbs.

193 Maplewood St. (manufacturing facility—not a storefront), Malden, 617-320-4647, giovannagelato.com.

Two cannoli shells are filled with gelato, one with mint chip and the other with dark chocolate.

Gorgeous Gelato’s gelato cannoli. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Gorgeous Gelato

Hey, good lookin’—look no further than High Street Place, downtown Boston’s still-new and hit-packed food hall, for the first Hub location of Gorgeous. The Portland, Maine-founded gelato shop made quite a name for itself with our neighbors to the north, thanks to a pair of owners who traded Milano for New England, intent on producing “the best gelato west of Italy.” That self-described mission may very well be accomplished, as anyone who has tried cups of limoncello, sea salt caramel, or Boston cream pie can attest. And yes, this is another spot where you can get gelato-filled cannoli.

100 High St. (High Street Place), Downtown Boston, gorgeousgelato.com.

 

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Sweet Street Gelato

First things first: Sweet Street has its very own catering food truck, if you’re ever looking to park some cones or cups of, say, birthday cake gelato outside your next party. Alternatively, just treat yourself anytime with a trip to its shop inside Eatery58 Marketplace in Peabody, a North Shore food hall that is also home to Neapolitan-style pizza (Frankie Slice) and specialty java (Capito Coffee). There you’ll also find Sweet Street’s signature gelato sundaes, which add a celebratory note to any day of the week.

58 Pulaski St. (Eatery58 Marketplace), Peabody, sweetstreetgelato.com.

 

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Table Caffé

Right now, she might be best known for the multi-course, communal-style meals served at her restaurant Table—but before long, sportscaster-turned-chef Jen Royle may soon be anointed the gelato queen of the North End. She’s been crushing it with the sweet stuff at Table Caffé across the street, selling out of always-fresh, never-freezer-stored flavors (from classic stracciatella to tangy tangerine) on the daily. Bonus: You can watch her making it on the Italian-made machines through the big sidewalk windows, adding a little entertainment to the experience.

396-400 Hanover St., North End, Boston, 857-250-4286, tableboston.com/table-caffe.