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Toscanini's in "10 Best"

Toscanini's is on Forbes Traveler's "American's Best Ice Cream":


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  1. I'm sorry, that's a "better" source than Cirtysearch or Zagat for what reason now? Toscanini has some interesting flavors, and the ice cream is pretty good, but I think it isn't most people's favorite in E. Mass.For the prices they charge it's rare I even go there any more.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AHan

      Where do you go for ice cream? What are your favorite flavors?

    2. I've been happy enough with Christina's that I haven't been to Toscanini's in years, so I don't feel qualified to compare the two, but I do hate these so-called "Top Ten" or "Best of" lists. They really don't contribute much to the discussion, IMHO.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Blumie

        IMO, most of those 'best of's' are quite biased on whether you advertise with them or not. I pay little attention to them.

      2. Rancatore's in Belmont works for me...but I don't care too much about fancy flavors. I pretty much always get chocolate chip.

        1 Reply
        1. re: KitchenArtsOwen

          Gus Rancatore is the guy who runs Toscanini's He also used to run the SomedayCafe in Davis Square.

        2. Folks, our goal here is to share tips on finding great chow. Previous discussions here about the owner's tax issues have not gone well, so that's not a topic we're going to be entertaining at this time, and have removed some posts focusing on that aspect.

          Please feel free to share your thoughts on the ice cream, not the owner's business practices. Thanks.

          1. I agree that 'top 10' lists are a bit silly-- but I'm still glad to see that Toscanini's made it onto the list -- it shows that Forbes' writers did their homework thoroughly. Is Toscanini's measurably better than Christine's or Herrell's or any of the other fine options in the Boston area? Personally I think it's splitting hairs-- they're all quite good.

            But it's nice to see Toscanini's get some recognition anyway-- their quality has been rock solid for decades, and their flavors are clever and addictive. I especially like the 'burnt caramel'-- it's an absolute classic-- other places offer a similar flavor, but nothing matches it. Also, be sure to try the malted chocolate.

            On the downside, their prices are a bit higher than other places.

            1. I thank some of you for your insightful replies.

              1. A few exotic flavors, not at all my fav. Richardson's, Lizzy's, JP Licks, Emack and Bolios are all on my list before Tosca's.

                5 Replies
                1. re: StriperGuy

                  Burnt caramel is the best, but where can I find Toscanini's these days? Their Harvard Square store closed, though that may not be so much of a loss since whenever I went there, they were out of my favorite flavor. Their store on the corner of Kirkland/Washington and Beacon (in Somerville) closed, but I heard the new coffee shop carries their product. They did have a store in West Newton near Blue Ribbon BBQ, but I never tried it myself. Too much brisket to consider ice cream as a dessert.

                  Is the store near Central Square still open?

                  Whole Wallet used to sell their ice cream, but I have not checked recently.

                  So what's the story with Toscanini?

                  1. re: VivreManger

                    Toscannini's main location in Central Square is still open-- and now features a large, fancy park in front of it (Cambridge went a little nuts I think..)

                    They also have a small store in Kendall square (hidden among new and emerging biotech buildings).

                    And you're right-- they're also in W. Newton at a place called 'Coney Island'-- near the Blue Ribbon.

                    And you can get their ice cream at Whole Paycheck-- however I think it has a better texture if you get it hand-packed at one of their stores..

                    1. re: food_hyena

                      Are you sure you can still get it at Coney Island in W. Newton? They were my go-to store (much better service than in Central Sq.) but I heard they had either closed or switched ice cream suppliers.

                      And the store-packaged stuff, at WP and other stores, isn't close, IMHO. The carton weighs about 1/2 of what a hand-packed carton weighs, which is never a good sign.

                      1. re: winedude

                        Yes, unfortunately Coney Island switched vendors about a year ago. Really, really sad....I loved getting Toscanini's right down the street without having to schlep to Central Sq. Not sure whose ice cream they are peddling now, but I tried it once and didn't like it. Too sweet, not creamy enough for me.

                      2. re: food_hyena

                        The secret hidden Kendall Square outlet is gone. :(

                        But certainly the main location in Central Square is still open.

                        I really don't understand the reaction that this is an outlandish choice for the Boston area's 10 best ice cream places. It might not be your personal favorite (though it is mine), because we are lucky enough to have so much great ice cream! But it seems hard to dispute that it's among the best.

                        I brought an ice cream lover from Kansas City to Toscanini's last summer and he ate a pint and a half at one sitting.

                  2. For fans of these "best of" lists, Christina's is in Yankee Mags list of top 5 in NE..:)

                    1 Reply
                    1. Gus (Toscanini's) taught his younger bro Joe (Rancatore's) to make ice cream. They should both taste similar since they use the same basic ingredients and process. The cream they use has a higher fat content than most, making it much creamier. I haven't found one I like better than either of these...tho I tend to go elsewhere because of the cost.