Americans have been besotted with ice cream since it was first introduced in the mid 18th century. In fact, we consume more ice cream—approximately 1.58 billion gallons—than any other country, with the average person lapping up an average of 23 pounds of the frozen treat each year.
Since 1984, July has been designated National Ice Cream Month. And if that weren’t enough, Sunday, July 16, is National Ice Cream Day, with chains like Friendly’s, Baskin Robbins, and McDonald’s offering special deals.
Prompted by Ice Cream Day, BU Today asked students for help compiling a list of the 10 best Boston area ice cream places, many, happily, conveniently near campus. Below are their suggestions, with our recommended pick for each. While most of the spots specialize in dairy offerings, we’ve noted those that have nondairy and vegan options. So, whether you prefer ice cream in a dish or a cone, dressed up with toppings or plain, celebrate National Ice Cream Day with a few scoops of your favorite flavor—or try a couple of new ones.
1. Emack & Bolios
140 Brookline Ave., Fenway
Nearly three dozen flavors of ice cream, along with an assortment of frozen yogurts and sorbets
Must try: Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel—caramel ice cream, a salted caramel swirl, and chunks of chocolate-covered pretzels
2. JP Licks
311 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline
Dozens of flavors and a rotating list of monthly selections, as well as hard- and soft-serve yogurt and a few lactose-free ice creams
Must try: Raspberry Mango Sundae—vanilla ice cream topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream
3. Ben & Jerry’s
174 Newbury St., Boston
More than 60 flavors to choose from, with nondairy and frozen yogurt options
Must try: Milk and Cookies—vanilla ice cream with a chocolate cookie swirl and chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip cookies
481 Cambridge St., Allston
Vegan ice cream made mostly with coconut milk and a blend of organic natural sweeteners
Must try: Avocado Ice Cream—fresh avocado, hints of lime, and coconut, vegan
5. Cold Stone Creamery
94 Belvidere St., Boston
Known for its design-your-own and signature creations, with low-fat options and lactose-free sorbet available
Must try: Birthday Cake Remix—cake batter ice cream, brownie pieces, fudge, and rainbow sprinkles
6. Il Gelato
Eataly, 800 Boylston St., Boston
Ice cream the Italian way: a dozen mouth-watering gelatos, plus a half-dozen sorbets
Must try: Caramello al Sale—salted caramel gelato
7. Hi B3ar Ice Cream Roll Bar
147 Brighton Ave., Allston
Thai ice cream rolls in 10 flavors, served with decadent toppings
Must try: Piña Colada—coconut and pineapple rolled ice cream
899 Main St., Cambridge
At any one time, 32 flavors on offer, free samples available
Must try: B3—brown sugar, brown butter, and brownies
249 Newbury St., Boston
Italian gelatos and sorbets made with carefully sourced ingredients
Must try: La Stracciatella—a typical Italian ice cream with fior du latte ribbons and crisp dark chocolate flakes
10. Insomnia Cookies
708 Commonwealth Ave., East Campus
Open til 3 a.m. daily for those late-night cravings
Must try: Cookiewich—choice of cookie and ice cream.
Have recommendations for other ice cream places? List them in the Comment section below.