Where to get the best ice cream around Boston

Nearly 2,000 readers shared their favorite places to get ice cream in the Boston region.

A cup of ice cream with sprinkles at J.P. Licks. Globe Staff/David L. Ryan

Ice cream is the perfect treat for cooling off on a hot summer day. From black raspberry to classic chocolate, there are so many flavors to choose from for your ideal cup or cone. We asked readers where to go in Boston and beyond for the best scoops, and nearly 2,000 people responded.

One thing is for sure: Bostonians know and love their ice cream.

Homemade ice cream chain J.P. Licks, which has 17 shops in the Greater Boston area, came in first place, earning 22% of the vote. You told us about Crescent Ridge Dairy, where the ice cream is made according to a 50-year-old recipe, and The Scoop N Scootery, open until the early hours of the morning.


We put together a guide to your top five places to get ice cream, including a map and complete listing of your recommendations. Scroll down to see more. For more ideas about all things ice cream in New England, look here. You can learn about places to get decadent sundaes and the expansion of a soft serve shop to Harvard Square. We know you’ll be craving a spoonful.

5. FoMu

Multiple locations

What’s not to like about FoMu? Called an “Earth-inspired dessert,” FoMu’s ice cream is made from plant-based ingredients, so that even lactose intolerant customers can enjoy it. The shop took 5% of the vote. Readers recommended the Banoffee Pie, which uses fresh bananas, and the Dark & Stormy, where juiced ginger gives it flavor. One reader recommended “anything with their vegan hot fudge,” while Dan J., of Roxbury Crossing, said: “Never thought I would say nut milk based ice cream would taste smoother and creamier and tastier than any dairy based ice cream — but FOMU is incredible — highly recommended for any coconut milk based flavors.”

A vanilla bean ice cream sundae at FoMu. – Globe Staff/Dina Rudick

4. Emack & Bolio’s

Multiple locations

Emack & Bolio’s was started in 1975, when Bob Rook, a music lawyer, wanted to create a place where musicians could go after gigs and enjoy something cold and delicious. Ever since then, rock and roll lovers have flocked to Emack & Bolio’s to get a taste of what the shops call “unique, outrageous flavor combinations.” Today, the chain churns original flavors such as the grasshopper pie, maple walnut, and “deep purple” chip. The spot is a crowd pleaser, earning 7% of the vote. Reader Erin from Salem, N.H., said: “Bananas foster ice cream, on a cone that has been chocolate-dipped with sprinkles… yum!”

3. Ron’s Gourmet Ice Cream & Bowling

1231 Hyde Park Ave, Hyde Park
559 High St., Dedham


Handmade ice cream is on the menu at Ron’s Gourmet Ice Cream & Bowling. Some of the shop’s signature flavors include mocha almond, Oreo cake batter, and Dutch chocolate. You can stop by just to pick up a cone, or you can plan a party and rent out a retro bowling lane. Ron’s garnered 7% of the vote. According to Mary Ellen G. from Brighton: “Both the Hyde Park and Dedham locations have the creamiest, most delicious flavors I have ever had. I usually get the caramel fudge brownie or a raspberry lime rickey. The staff is super friendly, and the atmosphere is friendly and warm. A classic for decades.”

2. The Scoop N Scootery

Multiple locations

It’s no wonder The Scoop N Scootery earned 8% of the vote: They deliver ice cream sundaes to your door until 2 a.m. The shop started as an ice cream truck, before getting their first brick-and-mortar storefront in Arlington. These days, options include sundaes like The Garland, using s’mores ice cream, and the Filling Berry Fluffy, topped with bananas, strawberries, Nutella, and more. Anais L. from Arlington said: “Turtle ice cream, hot fudge, graham crackers, whipped cream. Absolutely delicious! Open until super late!” Meanwhile, other readers praised the “inventive sundaes,” adding that The Scoop N Scootery serves “so many varieties.”

The Hella Nutella sundae with rainbow sprinkles at The Scoop N Scootery. – Photo by Austin Crittenden

1. J.P. Licks

Multiple locations


Founded in Jamaica Plain in 1981, J.P. Licks has created something of an empire in Massachusetts, with 17 stores in the Greater Boston area. Taking 22% of the vote, the chain was the most beloved pick among readers, who lauded flavors such as the coffee cookies ‘n’ cream, maple butter walnut, coconut almond chip, and mint chip. For a specialty treat, you can try the raspberry mango sundae or the peanut butter cup sundae. Readers noted that the employees at the shops are friendly and personable, as Angel from Malden said: “I order a brownie sundae with cookies ‘n’ cake batter ice cream, with chocolate chips in place of the walnuts. I love this place, because the staff of the Charles Street location is always welcoming and fun to interact with.”