The 17 Best Ice Cream Shops In and Around Boston

From J.P. Licks to Milk Bar.

Everybody knows that Massachusetts has its fair share of big-name ice cream brands, from Friendly’s to Baskin Robbins to Ben & Jerry’s. But when it comes down to it, nothing beats small-town shops and hidden city gems scooping some of the best flavors around. Whether you’re strolling around Boston or heading out to the ‘burbs, we’ve rounded up the region’s top ice cream peddlers perfect for your next frosty treat.

J.P. Licks
J.P. Licks

Various locations
There’s no better way to kick-off this list than with Boston’s beloved J.P. Licks. For over 40 years, J.P. Licks has been the area’s signature ice cream spot, and you can find one in just about every nearby suburb complete with your favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt flavor on their menu. For those party people, the shop also creates custom cakes layered with ice cream, frosting, candy, fondant, and more, ranging from $34 to $55.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order delivery via GrubHub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash.

Gracie's Ice Cream
Gracie's Ice Cream

Kendall Square & Union Square
Gracie’s isn’t your typical ice cream parlor. Known for whipping up the dreamiest creamy concoctions (think: Honey Cornbread and Poptart), Gracie’s takes your mid-day or after dinner dessert drive up a notch. And if you happen to swing by the Kendall Square outpost, check out Earnest Drinks while you wait—the onsite coffee shop-meets-bar is on hand to give your dish a boozy upgrade.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out online, or get delivery via GrubHub, Caviar, Postmates, and DoorDash.

Taiyaki NYC
Taiyaki NYC

Seaport 
This New York-based chain brings traditional warm Japanese taiyaki waffles filled with the freshest soft-serve to the Seaport. Presented with brightly colored swirls and a variety of candied toppings, Taiyaki NYC creates truly unforgettable—not to mention Insta-worthy—treats. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Honeycomb Creamery
Honeycomb Creamery

Cambridge
Crafted with local, in-season ingredients, Honeycomb Creamery’s offerings are sourced from Mapleline Farm in Western Mass, guaranteeing no stabilizers or growth hormones. Expect consistently new flavor batches alongside unique creations like ice cream tacos and mini cookie-wich desserts. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out online.

Carlisle, Westford, & Lancaster
Since 1939, Kimball’s has been a Massachusetts favorite, earning its beloved reputation with more than 50 flavors of homemade deliciousness. That’s right—all homemade. The flagship farm in Westford ups the fun factor with summer activities like rentable bumper boats and more.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Amorino
Amorino

Newbury Street & Cambridge
Amorino serves up aesthetically pleasing and tastefully satisfying snacks for gelato aficionados strolling down Newbury Street or roaming around Harvard Square. Go for the classics or mix things up with an ice cream-stuffed macaron tailor made to sweeten up your week. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery online.

Pepperell
Started in 1939 by veterinarian Dr. “Doc” Davis, this parlor is part ice cream mecca and part hangout spot for Pepperell locals. And it’s easy to see, or taste, why: The hand-made ice cream is crave-worthy, from the basics (butter pecan, rum raisin) to the more adventurous (Caramel Apple Pie, Peanut Butter Moose Tracks). Pay homage to the founder with Doc’s Special, a giant cup brimming with any two scoops, sliced bananas, hot fudge, strawberries, and marshmallow or whipped cream. Or take your pick from Doc’s soft-serve, waffle cones, flurries, frappes, and sundaes. You won’t be disappointed, and you most definitely won’t leave hungry. 
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

Sterling & West Boylston
Meola’s founder, Anthony A. Meola Sr., started working at a West Boylston dairy at only 10 years old. After racking up years of experience, he later opened Meola’s Wayside Ice Cream. Now, the family-owned, over 100-year-old business serves up more than 65 delicious flavors including Toll House Cookie, Maple Walnut Pistachio, Milky Way, and Coffee Kahlua Brownie. You know what to do.
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

Acushnet Creamery
Acushnet Creamery

Acushnet
Another heavenly homemade option, Acushnet Creamery has grown to offer a long list of flavors and specialty desserts including frappes, floats, smoothies, ice cream sodas, and ice cream sandwiches. If you’re planning a road trip this summer, scheduling a stop-off here is a veritable must.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Toscanini's
Toscanini's

Cambridge
Known to offer the city’s finest sweets and deemed the best ice cream in the world by The New York Times, Toscanini’s lives up to hype with flavors like Peanut Butter Fluff, Burnt Caramel, Goat Cheese Brownie, and Belgian Chocolate. Not far from the Kendall T stop, if you’re back to commuting on the red line or simply looking for a nearby snack, you know where to make a pit stop.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out online.

Cape Cod Creamery
Cape Cod Creamery

Hyannis, South Yarmouth, & Dennis
This family-owned and operated creamery offers some of the smoothest gourmet ice cream around. With handmade offerings like Provincetown Pistachio, Sandbar Swirl, and Hyannis Heath Bar, you’re in for a memorable sweet treat. Plus, the shop happens to stock only the finest ingredients and proudly uses hormone-free cream from New England dairies, cocoa from France, vanilla from Madagascar, coffee from Colombia, and mint straight from Italy.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Uhlman's Ice Cream
Uhlman's Ice Cream

Westborough
With more than 45 years in the business, Uhlman’s offers more than 60 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt. Start with fan-faves such as Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Oreo, pistachio, and rum raisin, then dive into limited edition numbers like peach and Ginger Creamy with fresh shaved ginger. Old-fashioned sodas, frozen lime rickeys, and made-to-order whoopie pies are other signature treats that pair nicely with any hot day. What’s not to love? And if you’re planning on hosting an outdoor gathering, you can book Uhlman’s ice cream truck for your next extravaganza.
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

Northampton
Herrell’s is known for innovation and evolution. Case in point? It was the first shop to mix name-brand candies into ice cream (a la Heath Bar). Western Mass’ go-to for premium gourmet ice cream, they’ve made changes to the menu as of late, with regular, kosher, vegan, and dairy-free delicacies for all to enjoy. Get amped for originals like Burnt Sugar and Butter, Chocolate Pudding, and English Toffee Crunch.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out online.

West End Creamery
West End Creamery

Whitinsville
Located on a quaint family farm not far from the city, West End Creamery peddles a long list of hand-dipped flavors as well as fat-free frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet, and soft-serve delights. And if you’re looking to extend your outing, throw in a round of mini-golf on the farm’s scenic course. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Milk Bar
Milk Bar

Cambridge
Highly anticipated import Milk Bar, known for its signature Cereal Milk soft serve, opened in January 2019 and has experienced quite the buzz since establishing itself as a Harvard Square staple. Founded by James Beard award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi in NYC’s East Village, Milk Bar offers a range of goodies like cakes, pies, cookies, cake truffles, and of course, ice cream. Let’s not forget unique toppings like crispy corn flakes for a savory and sweet treat all in one.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery online.

Worcester
As part of Gibson’s Dairy Farms’ creamy empire, only the freshest milk goes into the lineup at this more than 75-year-old stunner. Choose from over 60 ice creams and 20 non-fat yogurts. And as the (literal) cherry on top, they have an endless array of toppings like fresh cut strawberries, homemade brownies, and hot fudge to fulfill your frosty dreams.  
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

Dorchester
Dorchester’s best kept secret, Sugarbowl Cafe has scrumptious breakfast and lunch options as well as a hearty host of ice cream options for those suffering from a mid-day sweet tooth. They even have ice cream-inspired iced coffees (think: Toasted Almond, Blueberry, and Butter Pecan) to help get your mornings started off right.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

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Jillian Hammell is a contributor for Thrillist.