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Good soft serve ice cream?

I'm having a pregnancy craving for some soft serve ice cream ...really good, creamy, non-fake tasting (read: not TCBY), non-healthy soft serve. If anyone has had the delicious Cadbury soft serve in England, that's what I'm envisioning. I live in Somerville but am willing to travel. Any thoughts?

On (semi-)related note, is the Pinkberry knock-off place still in Harvard Square? And can anyone say if it compares with the real thing?

Thanks so much!!

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  1. Celebrity Pizza & Ice Cream, Watertown.

    5 Replies
        1. re: Prav

          Yes Javaberry is the bomb. I wish I had one right now. I love their ice cream cones.

      1. re: Luther

        Please tell me the ice cream counter hasn't opened yet for the season or something like that so I will go home and eat dinner like a sensible person instead of driving to Watertown.

        1. re: djd

          Sorry, but they're open and serving year round!

      2. Chilly Cow in Arlington has great soft-serve frozen custard.

        Yes, Berryline is still there and I love that place! Haven't had the original Pinkberry, though.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Pia

          Don't know if fabled Abbotts Frozen Custard of western NY state (now with a location in Needham) does so:


          1. re: Pia

            I have to second Chilly Cow's frozen custard. The chocolate especially is absolutely sublime; but I don't think this is what the poster is looking for in "soft serve".

            There is a place called "Dairy King" on the Revere Beach Parkway in Everett, diagonally across from the Wendys.. It's actually a combination florist/ice cream stand (I know, right?). I'm the only one in my family who really doesn't like soft-serve, but as a non-soft-serve fan, Dairy King has really good ice cream. Texture and flavor are excellent. When I complimented his product, the young owner explained that he uses a mix that has twice the butterfat of most soft-serve mixes, and that is what makes the difference.

            As I said, I prefer hard ice cream to soft, but this is a place to check out.

            1. re: sablemerle

              Dairy King carries Richardson ice cream for the hard ice cream and does a banana spits starting at around $7. Its pretty comparable to Louie's in Somerville. I keep wondering, though, every year if they are going to open because the owners tried to get the permits to run a used car dealer on that lot (it was rejected). Jay's in Malden is also a decent option and has those flavored yogurts which start with the hockey puck. I am not a huge fan of the chilly cow custard, though I am in the minority on that.

              Folks that say they use a product with twice as much butterfat are being disingenuous. I am more familiar with commercial ice cream base, which I believe can be used in soft serve machines (there are powders and other options), and it comes in 10/14/16% butterfat. But that is for plain ice cream base, chocolate for instance is usually 10%. So they are probably comparing their product against low fat products (which are around 5% butterfat). But just about everyone sources hood ice cream base, possibly 10%, corn sweeteners, stabilizers, maybe UHT (more expensive).

              1. re: itaunas

                Is this open this season yet? It's the place with the big multicolored sign advertising 64 flavors or some ridiculous number?

                1. re: Parsnipity

                  Yes, according to Johnresa below its open and their sign says 64 flavors or something, although it seems like less. I wish they would upgrade some of the ingredients, but enjoy their banana split which is also part of the sineage. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6093...

                  I have seen the Richardson delivery truck running around a lot. Which makes me think of Alexander's in Medford which has a small ice cream counter/parlor at the front of the store. Never had the soft serve there though...

              2. re: sablemerle

                Dairy King IS very good. I also like a place that is a drive through on 3A about 1 mile from the Fore River Bridge on the left heading towards Hull. I always look forward to it on the way home after a day at the beach. It's called Michele's...330 Bridge St which is also 3A. They also have coffee, etc.

                1. re: sablemerle

                  Does frozen custard taste different from ice cream? All my memories of the stuff date back to prehistory, a.k. childhood (also I think I'm mentally mixing up custard and Junket).

              3. If you're in Somerville, head directly to Louie's, on Broadway near the McGrath Highway. Excellent soft-serve. Also, Dairy Barn in Randolph if you're down that way.

                I recall seeing soft-serve on the menu at Christina's in Inman Square, but I think it must have been in a dream. (Yes, many of my dreams revolve around food.)


                5 Replies
                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  I agree with MC about Louie's and Dairy Barn. I also like the soft serve at Bubbling Brook in Westwood. One note: Check ahead with Louie's, as they don't seem to have very consistent hours.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    >Yes, many of my dreams revolve around food.

                    Hahahaha. Yes, I think it was a dream. I've been to Christina's um pretty often over the last ten years and have never seen soft serve there...they would rock it though.

                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Went to Louie's last night—the close-to-my-heart-for-non-culinary-reasons Ipswich Dairy Queen has in fact reopened(!), but I was truly too full of clams and onion rings for it—and I pity the scooper guy, because the way my face fell when he said "the chocolate soft-serve machine is broken" must have been tragic to watch.

                      I enjoyed my mint chocolate-chip and Dutch chocolate cone fine, but sadly, there is NOTHING like chocolate soft-serve. Especially after clams. Le sigh!

                      1. re: djd

                        Hah! I had the same experience about two weeks ago. My son got a vanilla soft-serve, which was very good, but I just shared a few licks of his. Really wanted to try the chocolate.

                        I think Carvel's is a bit creamier, but Louie's was pretty close. Both have a nice vanilla flavor...not artificial-tasting.

                        Dairy Maid in Middleboro pretty good on our way to the Cape this weekend, although I think Carvel and Louie's have a bit more body (read that butterfat!)

                        1. re: bear

                          Second trip to Louie's yesterday and again no chocolate soft-serve. Also they were out of most of the hard flavors. With two days of the long weekend to go? This is starting to get dismaying.

                    2. If you in the mood for a ride, Skip's drive-in in Merrimac, MA, off rte 495N, great soft serve, burgers and Susy-Q's fries, totally awesome and BAD!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: treb

                        is Skip's open for the year yet?

                      2. Wow!! I should have asked with more than a week to go until my due date! I'm thinking I now have some summer plans with the kiddo. I think soft serve might be a great first "real food!" :)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ClippyZ

                          Don't worry, you'll have some 'grace time' after the event to enjoy those great summer tastes.

                        2. Actually, Carvel has really creamy soft serve, especially the vanilla. There's one on Eastern Ave. in Malden.

                          I also posted about soft serve a while ago. Here are the responses. I've tried a few of them, but so far Carvel is the creamiest. I still have to try Costco's, though.


                          4 Replies
                          1. re: bear

                            Yes, Carvel is good, and there's a reason for that. I remember reading once that they had one on the highest butterfat content around --not sure if that is still the case --but no doubt it's really good soft serve...

                            1. re: twentyoystahs

                              Wow, soft serve with actual dairy fat in it? I thought it was all whey powder, corn syrup, and oil.

                              1. re: Luther

                                Both Celebrity and Dairy Joy use Hood soft serve. It is real ice cream.

                                1. re: Velda Mae

                                  Good to know... what's your source?

                          2. Dairy Joy, on route 117 in Weston, is open for the season. Vanilla, Orange, Creamsicle (vanilla/orange swirl), coffee, raspberry, javaberry (coffee/raspberry swirl). Yum!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Blumie

                              I second the vote for Dairy Joy in Weston. Great fried clams too!

                              1. re: andieb

                                Yeah, just don't stray to the rest of the menu (except the o'rings).

                                1. re: Blumie

                                  Dairy Joy is so obscenely overpriced I refuse to go there on principal.

                                  1. re: AHan

                                    Me too. We tried getting food there twice last summer, and the prices were outrageous, especially for what you get. The onion rings were the only good thing we tried besides the ice cream too. Never ever order the veggie burger.

                                    1. re: AHan

                                      I feel the same way but if I get within a 1 mile radius sometimes I just believe I am stimulating the economy.

                              2. Tasty treat in Ashland has good soft serve.

                                1. Berryline is still in Harvard Square. And it is wonderful! It's a little less pricey than pinkberry and the closest substitute you'll find in the Boston Area. They have mochi now and the flavors of the week are mango and coconut. Mango is amazing.

                                  Berryline is my go to meal replacement when I don't like the menu at Harvard's D-halls.

                                  1. I love the HUGE serving of soft serve (yogurt) at Costco's. AND, the price is sweet, too!
                                    Congrats on your new baby. Enjoy as the time just flies!

                                    1. Bubbling Brook in Westwood. Rte 109 (Walpole line). They have soft serve and hard ice cream and they also have dips for the soft serve.

                                      1. This thread makes me miss Dairy Maid in Raynham on Route 44, long since knocked down for yet another car dealership. Many fond memories of soft serve in the parking lot on a hot summer night. :)

                                        1. Not soft serve per-se but definitely creamy. A Rita's opened in Salem and their custard is very creamy. I love getting their gelati combining the custard and italian ice.

                                          1. Dairy Maid in Everett is open for the season and they have delicious soft serve. I normally prefer hard ice cream but their strawberry soft serve has me addicted.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Johnresa

                                              I do love that strawbery soft serve! i think they have pitachio and coffee soft serve too.

                                            2. I would wholeheartedly recommend the very modest Cafe Kiraz on Hampshire Street just southeast of Inman Square. They cut off these big chunks of great vanilla or chocolate (I think) soft serve and put it into this crazy drill-like machine with any topping you can think of. You get a full pint and it is really awesome...I could even imagine eating a full pint on a nasty, cold day like today.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: hckybg

                                                A bunch of places around Boston do this --Amsterdam Cafe comes to mind. I like their chocolate w/oreos blended in...mmm.

                                                1. re: hckybg

                                                  I love the drill! It's also good at Angora Cafe on Comm Av in Alston.

                                                2. Ron's Gourmet Ice Cream in Dedham Square and West Roxbury -- it's a bit of a hike, but it was named No. 3 best ice cream in the WORLD by National Geographic, so I think it's totally worth it. My boyfriend and I live in Dedham, so we walk there for a treat at least once a week in the summer months. The soft-serve is just as good as their many hard ice cream flavors!

                                                  1. After having Celebrity yesterday and Spadafora's in Malden today, I slightly preferred my cone from Spadafora's but it wasn't a fair comparison because I ordered a dip at Spadafora's. The small at Spadafora's was also quite large (probably equal a medium at Celebrity, although our large was larger with a much larger price). Celebrity has more normal soft serve flavors, plus the puck soft serve (as I mentioned Jay's in Malden center offers those). Their bananna split is only $5.95 (I believe you can do soft serve or richardsons, but we did the latter).... and was better quality ingredients than Dairy King. No coconut ice cream (and less flavors than some other options) and around 6-7 slush flavors today. Outdoor seating only, but open every day now.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: itaunas

                                                      forget soft serve and run to Abbotts in Needham for frozen custard. We live north of boston but are going crazy to return there after our first visit. Everything else tastes thin and fake after that. Tried the vanilla and chocolate and it just tastes like pure milk/cream with a gentle addictive flavor and a wonderful creaminess, between soft serve and premium ice cream. If you like a rich dark chocolate you wont like this. But for us it was sublime.. more like the flavor of childhood choc ice cream or choc. milk, before the world upped the intensity of the flavors of everything. What and where is Ritas in Salem?
                                                      Is it frozen custard?

                                                      1. re: chompie

                                                        I agree. Abbotts is my favorite, too.

                                                    2. Cravings in Wakefield center blends all kinds of optional add-ins into their soft-serve - not just the usual candy stuff but things like carrot cake.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                        Do you know if Craving's makes their own hard-serve ice cream?? Or is it Meletharb's that they scoop at Cravings?

                                                        1. re: jackattack


                                                          Apparently they make their own. Although the mix-ins are listed under the yogurt options, they can also be blended into the ice cream.

                                                      2. i think berryline is better than pinkberry--they have more flavors than just green tea and original (they rotate them). banana yogurt with strawberries is amazing....

                                                        there is a second one opening on mass ave. near cambridge commons too! not sure when though.

                                                        as for soft serve, there is a great place by the T stop of the blue line at Revere Beach.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. Many moons ago an ex-boyfriend took me to a little ice cream shack in Quincy that was soooooo amazing. I still dream of the soft with brownie dough mixed in. Does this ring a bell for anyone. I can't give any clues as to where it's located.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: tallullah

                                                            Frozen Freddies? Mama Scoops? Quincy Creamery?

                                                            1. re: jackattack

                                                              I don't know! At least with these names I can try to figure it out.

                                                              1. re: robertlf

                                                                *dingdingding* we have a winner! Thanks robertif.

                                                              2. re: tallullah

                                                                Mama Scoops in West quincy has a fine twist cone. Maybe you're thinking of Dairy Freeze in between East Milton Square and Quincy--on Adams St.?

                                                              3. Amen to Dairy Maid in Everett, though I'd suggest the hot fudge sundaes. There's something disturbingly addictive about said fudge.

                                                                1. Liberty Ice Cream at the intersection of Speen, Mill and Pond Streets in Natick

                                                                  Fabulous ice cream! Excellent soft serve. Ice cream sandwiches which are a wonderful treat for the office, where there is a strong preference for the black raspberry. I also love the chocolate peanut butter serve in hard serve. Moderately hard - I gather peanut butter makes the ice cream softer.

                                                                  You can get bacon and eggs, hot dogs and grilled cheese, but I can never get myself to order anything but ice cream. Reasonably priced, owners are charming. Closed on Sundays.

                                                                  1. Kell's Creme ....the original on Revere Beach and a newer one just over the Swampscott border past the beach in Lynn.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: catsmeow

                                                                      We went to Kell's Kreme for the first time on Saturday.

                                                                      Wish I'd seen the post above about not being able to bring dogs on the beach after March 1. Still, though, a great time.

                                                                      Small roast beef at Kelly's (pink, juicy, delicious) followed by a short walk to Kell's for a twist cone. Incredibly smooth and creamy soft serve. Only problem was when it started melting about 15 seconds after purchase -- trying to juggle a dog, a cone and napkins without getting soft serve on my shirt was an experience.

                                                                      1. re: TroyOLeary

                                                                        I love Kell's Creme! Imagine my surprise to find the one in Swampscott, not too far away from me (like my waist needs it...) The sizes of those cones are huge, too...

                                                                        Mmm... getting hungry...

                                                                      2. re: catsmeow

                                                                        BarmyFotheringayPhipps and I discovered Kell's last night, after hitting Kelly's. I was slightly dismayed to find AFTER the purchase that they charge 50 cents extra for jimmies, but damn those were above-average jimmies. And the ice cream - wow. Just wow. So good!

                                                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                                                          Yes, Celebrity has been deposed. That might have been the best soft-serve cone I have ever had.

                                                                      3. My two favorites are Cabots in Newton and Dairy Joy in Weston.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: yummieeee

                                                                          Cabot's is great and I like the turkey burger too. But they don't have soft serve ice cream. They do have the yoghurt transformed by giant screw, but that is not the same.

                                                                          1. re: meganhyde

                                                                            Not only is it yogurt, but it really isn't all that good. It is oddly flavorless. I keep trying it thinking it was just me, but it's just cold, sweet creamy substance. No discernible yogurt flavor or ice cream flavor. I like Cabot's a lot for many, many things (belgian waffle= swoon) but not this.

                                                                        2. What soft-serve places do you guys recommend avoiding?

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: djd

                                                                            since being so spoiled by Abbots, we finally found a soft serve that i somewhat close.. which is Richardsons van/choc swirl. After Abbots, we didnt love anything, including Richardsons, but tried their soft serve and its really good esp with the choc and vanilla mix. But be aware that many places that serve Richardsons hard scoop, do not use their soft serve, so you may only find it at the Middleton one, or probably at the Reading one.

                                                                          2. I think I'm blessed with good soft serve location karma - I live near Celebrity in Watertown and work near Dairy Freeze on Adams st in Quincy. Both are among the best I've had - but now I have to say not the best - Today I found a place that tops both. Its not really in easy driving distance but I had to post about it - anyone been to Finbar's in Orleans? We're down on the cape for vacation, and went today. Finbar's is in the site of a former Dairy Queen, just off the Rt 6 Rotary on Rt. 28 in orleans.

                                                                            It was a slightly bad sign when we drove up and saw the Taylor service truck there (Taylor is the company that makes the softserve machines) - so no chocolate vanilla twist for me, but we still were able to get a Vanilla cone. It was super rich and creamy and tasted like real vanilla. Clearly made with real ice cream base. mmmmmmmm!

                                                                            Anyone else been?

                                                                            1. Yesterday, I got a very good ss cone from the truck at the Copley Sq Farmer's Market. It was the first time I went to this market, so I don't know if it's there every week. It was parked across from the hotel next to the Trinity Church.

                                                                              1. What do folks think about the soft serve truck parked right outside of Boston Common (on the Arlington Street side.)
                                                                                I had a twist yesterday w sprinkles and thought it was pretty good.
                                                                                Then today I had a soft serve at Sullivan's on Castle Island...not so good. They don't have sprinkles and I just feel like there's something missing if i can't have my sprinkles on soft serve. It is supposedly non-fat yogurt and I didn't think it had much flavor. JP Licks, on the other hand, has non fat yogurt soft serve and depending on the flavor i think it's ok.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: twentyoystahs

                                                                                  JP Licks' peanut butter FF fro yo is amazing. A close second is the oreo.
                                                                                  For the "real stuff" there is a very sketchy looking florist + ice cream place (Dairy King?) on Revere Beach Parkway that twists a mean cone. Not soft serve (or ice cream) but the only frozen yogurt they had on offer as of last week was a to-die-for raspberry with oodles of different chocolate bits. Generous scoops at this place too!