It finally feels like summer has arrived in Boston. We've had consistently beautiful weather and wearing sun dresses and flip flops is at long last the norm. During beach season my daily intake of frozen treats always seems to double. Ice cream after lunch? Sure. Walk to get a cone after dinner? Absolutely. Frozen yogurt at 2pm because I feel parched? You know it.
If you're like me and you're in a total ice cream state of mind, satisfy those cravings at one of these ten dessert Meccas.
1. Branch Line (Watertown, MA)
I am lucky to live just a few blocks away from Branch Line, the newest member of Garrett Harker's restaurant group (Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34). While the restaurant is best known for its rotisserie chicken and snap pea salad, the sweet cream ice cream with caramel and hazelnuts steals the show.
You know me, I am all chocolate all the time, but this dish converted me.
2. Commonwealth (Cambridge, MA)
I started working in Kendall Square in Cambridge two and a half years ago and Commonwealth has become my go-to spot for lunch and after-work drinks. They also happen to make all their own ice cream, in all kinds of wacky flavors.
You can get the ice cream at the bar, at a table or in a pint from their freezer case by the hostess stand.
3. Honeycomb Creamery (Cambridge, MA)
I made my first trip to Honeycomb Creamery in May and I can't wait to go back. Not only do they make delicious ice cream in unique flavors, but you can get a torched marshmallow on top.
Follow Honeycomb on Instagram to make sure you're aware of their specials, like the S'mores Choco Taco.
4. Rancatore's (Newton, MA)
Rancatore's (Ranc's for short) has multiple locations, but the one closest to me is in Newtonville. I love their Cocoa Joel flavor, which is a mix of milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate ice creams, swirled with Oreos.
They also offer an insane variety of cones - chocolate, chocolate chip, M&M, pretzel and more.
5. Frozen Hoagies (Somerville, MA)
There are so many delicious food trucks on the road in Boston, but I feel the most joy when I spot the Frozen Hoagies truck. They recently opened a brick and mortar location in Teele Square in Somerville, making it even easier to enjoy their oversized sandwiches.
I guarantee when they hand you your hoagie you'll ask, "How could I ever finish this?" Then five minutes later you'll be empty handed, licking your fingers.
6. Rosa Mexicano (Boston, MA)
While Rosa Mexicano has become famous for its tableside guacamole carts, definitely be sure to save room for dessert. Each year the restaurant hosts an ice cream festival and the dishes get more and more creative every year. I loved the play on guacamole with avocado ice cream and the fried ice cream served alongside crispy churros.
7. Little G Ice Cream (Boston, MA)
In July 2016 I met Grace Connor, a high school student with a dream to open her own scoop shop. Over the past 12 months the popularity of her ice cream has skyrocketed, landing her in PEOPLE Magazine and on the Rachel Ray Show.
You can find little g ice cream pints at most Massachusetts Whole Foods stores. My favorite flavors are Snack Attack and Birthday Cake.
If you can't find little g ice cream in your local freezer case, don't panic! You can order online delivery via Goldbely.
8. New City Microcreamery (Hudson, MA)
Hudson's town center got a whole lot more delicious when New City Microcreamery opened. The local shop uses liquid nitrogen to make their ice cream, flash freezing the base and the mix ins for maximum freshness and potency of flavors.
New City allows you to taste as many flavors as you'd like before placing your order (be considerate if the line is long).
My favorites are Cake Batter, Vanilla Bourbon and Mint Chocolate Chip. I swear to you, you will never taste a Mint Chip this fresh.
If you like the thrill of the unknown, order a microcone. Each day's flavor is kept a mystery beneath the chocolate shell. You won't know what you're having until you take your first bite.
9. Maple Valley Ice Cream (Hadley, MA)
The best part of my trip to Western Massachusetts in February 2016 was meeting Laurie and Bruce of Maple Valley Ice Cream. Their passion for farming and creating ice cream in its purest form is inspiring. Thankfully, their ice cream is now carried in most Eastern Massachusetts super markets. Look for the white pints with the yellow labels.
My must-have flavors are Mint Chocolate Chunk and the Coffee Toffee frozen yogurt. Did I mention Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are also fans?
10. Beach Plum (North Hampton, NH)
There is nothing better than ending a beach day with an ice cold treat. A friend brought me to Beach Plum in New Hampshire after we'd spent a glorious day on the sand at Jenness State Park, a beach in Rye, NH. We pulled over to eat sandwiches and order frappes to sip on the drive back to Boston.
There you have it! My top ten places to get your frozen treat fix this summer. Tell me, where are your favorite ice cream shops, stands and trucks?