Travel

Cambridge Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Toscanini
159 First St, Cambridge
Considered by many to be best ice cream in America (it’s been around since 1981), Toscanini is another example of a small business in Boston that has stood the test of time. Not much has changed since those first scoops almost forty years ago: Toscanini is still a family business, and all the ice cream is still made, churned, and chilled in-house. There are generally thirty-two flavors at any given time, ranging from classics, like French vanilla, rum raisin, and cookies and cream, to the wild cards, like orange khulfee (India inspired), Earl Grey, and salty butter. The coffee is as good and admittedly, we are not averse to ordering a scoop of vanilla and drowning it in espresso for a do-it-yourself affogato. The homemade silky chocolate ganache whipped into steamed milk is every bit as good as it sounds.
J.P. Licks
1312 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
In 1981, at the age of twenty-six, ice cream-lover Vince Petryk opened J.P. Licks in his Jamaica Plain neighborhood outside of Boston (hence the initials J.P.). Today, there are thirteen locations in and around Boston—including the original in Jamaica Plain, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, and Fenway/Kenmore—making this a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike. Part espresso bar, part bakery, part ice cream shop, J.P. Licks's awesome rotation of soft-serve frozen yogurt may be its best selling point, particularly in a city where scooped ice cream largely dominates the scene. Although...the ice cream cakes and chipwhiches at J.P. Licks are really good, too.
Christina’s
1255 Cambridge St., Cambridge
Bostonians are loyal creatures, and that stereotype holds true when it comes to ice cream. Christina’s has been a Cambridge institution for more than thirty years now, and it’s built up some die-hards fans who will wait out in a snowstorm for a scoop. The homemade ice cream is light and fresh-tasting, and Christina's is known for flavors that are inventive without getting too outlandish, like coffee Oreo, banana, carrot cake, and a seasonal Concord grape sorbet that’s available for only a few weeks a year. For occasions, the shop makes beautiful ice cream cakes that (blessedly) can be ordered same-day.
Flour Bakery
190 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Flour Bakery is best known for their pastries and desserts (owner Joanne Chang famously beat Bobby Flay when he tried to take on her sticky buns in Throwdown), which are more than enough to justify a visit. Less famous but equally good are her lunchtime sandwiches and salads, which can be ordered at the counter and taken to go. Needless to say, the bread on the sandwiches is game-changing—we’re partial to the focaccia—and it’s kind of sinful to leave without taking dessert to-go, also. Locations Downtown, and in South End and Back Bay.
Clover
1326 Massaschusetts Ave., Cambridge
Clover actually bills itself as “fast food,” a comparison that’s not totally wrong considering that their average serve time is 3.5 minutes (seriously)—though that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Ayr Muir, the passionate founder behind the food-truck-turned-chain sources all of his produce fresh daily and scrawls the daily-changing menu on a whiteboard each day to reflect what’s been delivered. There are no freezers, and all of the food is prepared directly in front of you, as there’s no back of house whatsoever. While the daily changing menu means you never know what lunch is going to be, you can always expect it to be fresh, veggie-heavy, and flavorful. Clover's growing quickly, with several food trucks roaming constantly and brick-and-mortars in East Cambridge, Brookline, and Kendall Square.
Clover
1075 Cambridge St., Cambridge
Clover actually bills itself as “fast food,” a comparison that’s not totally wrong considering that their average serve time is 3.5 minutes (seriously)—though that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Ayr Muir, the passionate founder behind the food-truck-turned-chain sources all of his produce fresh daily and scrawls the daily-changing menu on a whiteboard each day to reflect what’s been delivered. There are no freezers, and all of the food is prepared directly in front of you, as there’s no back of house whatsoever. While the daily changing menu means you never know what lunch is going to be, you can always expect it to be fresh, veggie-heavy, and flavorful. Clover's growing quickly, with several food trucks roaming constantly and brick-and-mortars in Harvard Square Brookline, and Kendall Square.
Clover
5 Cambridge Ctr., Cambridge
Clover actually bills itself as “fast food,” a comparison that’s not totally wrong considering that their average serve time is 3.5 minutes (seriously)—though that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Ayr Muir, the passionate founder behind the food-truck-turned-chain sources all of his produce fresh daily and scrawls the daily-changing menu on a whiteboard each day to reflect what’s been delivered. There are no freezers, and all of the food is prepared directly in front of you, as there’s no back of house whatsoever. While the daily changing menu means you never know what lunch is going to be, you can always expect it to be fresh, veggie-heavy, and flavorful. Clover's growing quickly, with several food trucks roaming constantly and brick-and-mortars in Harvard Square, East Cambridge, and Brookline.
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