BY ALEX PICKERING + BRIAN CHOQUET
Our idea going into this was to make an essential listicle of places where you can find ice cream after dark, and even late at night. But this is Greater Boston, where you’re lucky if you can find a bar—or, god forbid, a place to eat—after midnight. With that said, we still found it important enough to take a snapshot of the cream scene beyond the traditional beloved joints like J.P. Licks in 2019.
Taiyaki NYC, Seaport
You may have heard about this famous NYC-born Japanese ice cream and waffle shop, which recently opened on Seaport Boulevard to much hype. Popular for its colorful soft serve and cones shaped like fish, Taiyaki crosses tradition and innovation with its desserts, bringing sprinkles and souffle pancakes to Boston’s fastest-growing neighborhood, if you can call it that.
Honeycomb Creamery, Porter Square
A stone’s throw from the Porter Square T stop on Mass Ave is Honeycomb, an ice cream shop that boasts its locally sourced ingredients and outlandish flavors (Honey Lavender is actually on its permanent menu). It also celebrates Taco Tuesdays with rotating flavors of Choco Tacos, so yeah, this is something that you’ll want to check out in the next few months.
New City Microcreamery, Central Square
Known for its challenging prices as well as inventive flavors and toppings, New City stocks its cases with some of the most clever cream flavors in the region: Tarragon, Peanut Butter Banana Fluff, and Strawberry Basil are all in its flavor profile. As an added bonus, it has a number of eclectic toppings—scoopers call ’em “Funk”—including must-munch coconut guava clusters.
Lizzy’s Ice Cream, Harvard Square
To go a more classic route, Lizzy’s just outside Harvard Square offers more traditional scoops and swirls with your typical candy bar chunks as toppings. A standout on its menu is its adult flavors like Baileys or Rum Raisin. Lizzy’s is open for the warm season, meant to be a counter where you can take your ice cream into the square.
Gigi Gelateria, North End
At the mouth of the North End on Hanover Street is Boston’s most iconic gelato shop, Gigi Gelateria. You may already know this, but it almost felt wrong to leave this spot out. It’s perfect for a post-dinner walk, and while we don’t want to get too far off topic, it also offers worthwhile cannoli and pastry for anyone who is sick of the standards. Gigi is open until midnight, but if you’re in the area later than that and still hankering for something cold, just head down the block to Caffé Paradiso. It’s open till 2 am, offering a range of drinks and desserts including an extensive list of specialty cocktails.
The Scoop N Scootery, Arlington
Having started as a ragtag ice cream truck startup, Scoop N Scootery has evolved into a premier late-night ice cream option for Arlington residents. You can get a simple scoop or one of its many signature sundaes, and for those still conscious of their figures, it also offers a vast range of frozen yogurt goodies. While the ice cream is good, its homemade whipped cream may be the real star. And there’s more good news—Scoop N Scootery is open until 2 am from Tuesday through Saturday.
Milk Bar, Harvard Square
Have you tasted the hype yet? As foodies know, Milk Bar was founded by celebrity baker Christina Tosi, and her shops boast a creative menu that can only be found in six cities across the globe. The Harvard Square location is the only one in New England, and while it’s mainly known for cake and cookies, we only care about the cream, which doesn’t disappoint. Milk Bar’s two main soft serves, cereal milk and compost cookie, are uniquely tasteful standouts. It also has an even wider selection of brightly flavored milkshakes and is open until 1 am from Thursday through Saturday.