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Aug 15, 2011 08:34 AM

Let's talk soft serve

After a couple of weeks on the Cape, I was reminded how much I love soft serve ice cream (especially with the chocolate dip, but my waistline definitely appreciates how hard it is to find that around here). On our last ice cream outing back in town (Somerville, to be exact), we went to JP Licks and I was horrified to discover that a soft serve cone is now up to four bucks. Anyone have suggestions for the cheap and delicious soft serve of my youth? Somerville/Cambridge/Arlington or vicinity...

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  1. You should search, there was a pretty sizable thread last year or two years ago. My vote still goes to Celebrity in Watertown, where a "small" (substantial) cone is about $3 with tax

    10 Replies
    1. re: Luther

      2nd Celebrity...javaberry dipped...

      1. re: Gabatta

        I keep hearing people recommend this and have always wondered... what does "dipped" mean? Dipped in what?

        1. re: Pia

          Usually dipped in chocolate, not unlike Magic Shell. You can also get a cherry dip, from which you can exceed your annual recommended dosage of red dye.

          I grew up eating vanilla cones with a cherry dip from DQ, and while my tastes surely have changed since then, I feel like the cherry dip used to taste a *little* less artificial than it does nowadays.

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              I still love DQ vanilla with cherry dip, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Love grabbing a burger from The Chat in Wayland and then hitting the DQ in Framingham for a cherry dip. Basically got me through my second pregnancy.

        2. re: Luther

          Here's that thread:

          For close to town, I agree with Luther that Celebrity in Watertown is excellent. But even better than Celebrity (although not as cheap as I'd like) is Kell's Kreme in Revere, a little bit further out Revere Beach Boulevard from Kelly's Roast Beef.

          1. re: Allstonian

            I haven't tried Celebrity here in Watertown yet, but oh... Kell's Kreme! Delicious - was going to add that there's one in Swampscott, too (used to live near THAT one - took great dedication to keep away, lol) but drove by recently & was surprised to see an entire little block of stores gone (across from Red Rock). We were thinking that maybe there was a fire - I think (not totally sure) that this was where that Kell's Kreme was.

            There's supposed to be one in the Square One Mall, but somehow it doesn't seem right to have a Kell's w/out beach & ocean...

            Kell's Kreme
            1201 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

          2. re: Luther

            Mmmm......Celebrity really rocks! Very rich soft serve!

            1. re: Science Chick

              The medium may well weigh 1 lb. Plus great flavor choices.

          3. My favorite places to go for soft serve are probably Dairy Joy in Weston (not too far for you) and Dairy Barn in Randolph (maybe too far?). Dairy Joy is generally very expensive for everything there, while Dairy Barn is pretty reasonable.

            6 Replies
            1. re: hiddenboston

              I stopped at Dairy Joy this afternoon. I ordered a small Javaberry cone. The soft serve had a sort of gritty texture (ice crystals?) and the cone was very stale. And, it was $2.99 plus tax. I pass by Dairy Joy all the time but I won't be stopping again.

              Dairy Joy
              331 North Ave, Weston, MA 02493

              1. re: skippy66

                Interesting, I recently had a Javaberry at Celebrity and just the raspberry side also had an unpleasant gritty texture, almost like it was a sorbet instead of soft serve. I wonder if it was an issue with the machine temperature or something?

                1. re: nickls

                  No, the raspberry is in fact a soft-serve sherbet or sorbet and does have a gritty texture. I haven't been as thrilled as many folks with the Javaberry because of that.

                  1. re: Allstonian

                    That's why I prefer just the coffee soft serve, which is excellent, and usually skip the java berry.

                  2. re: nickls

                    It's sorbet or sherbet. Not soft serve ice cream. It's chunky and non-creamy but I wouldn't describe it as icy. Personally I like the contrast with the creamy coffee side.

                    1. re: Luther

                      I agree. The contrast in texture between the raspberry and coffee is part of what makes it so great.

              2. Not your exact area, but I'm hooked on the vanilla soft serve at Pizzi Farm in Waltham (never had anything else there because I can't get past the soft serve). It's better than any other kind I've had (including Dairy Joy and Celebrity) -- and I used to think soft serve was all the same. A kiddie (generous) and a small (enormous) are both under $4.00.

                Pizzi Farm
                549 Lincoln St, Waltham, MA 02451

                4 Replies
                1. re: stomachofsteel

                  I haven't ever heard of Pizzi Farm but just looked it up and I'm going to plan on taking a road trip there w/my kid before school starts . . . we are dyed in the wool Celebrity Fans (but live very nearby) but always on the hunt for new venues!


                  Pizzi Farm
                  549 Lincoln St, Waltham, MA 02451

                  1. re: gansu girl

                    Oh, good Lord, the bus goes there! I can see I'll be on an ice cream journey soon... How is there regular ice cream? (sorry - meant this for stomachofsteel)

                    1. re: threedogs

                      Haven't tried it. I keep meaning to, but then I just order the soft serve.

                      1. re: stomachofsteel

                        Since this thread just got bumped, I can now answer threedogs' question and report that I've tried their regular ice cream and was not impressed. Kind of icy, not as creamy as I'm used to (I'm a diehard Toscanini's fan). I tried a salted caramel pretzel flavor, and the pretzels tasted stale.

                        But the soft serve is still the best I've had.

                2. We get excellent soft serve at Ice Cream Works in West Rox, and I also get very good soft serve at Truly Yogurt in Wellesley. Not super close to you, but both less than $3 for what I consider to be a substantial amount of ice cream! I agree - JP LIcks is WAY overpriced (for everything).

                  Truly Yogurt
                  35 Grove St, Wellesley, MA 02482

                  1. My favorite is Michele's drive through on 3A Weymouth. It's about a mile after you go over the Fore River Bridge going towards Hull. I also like the soft serve stand on Adams St in Quincy just over the East Milton line about a 3/4 -1mile from 93. It's called Dairy Freeze.

                    Dairy Freeze
                    635 Adams St, Quincy, MA 02169

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: catsmeow

                      Just tried Michele's recently, it was decent and had a ton of flavors if you wanted something besides a twist. That place in Everett on Rt. 99 is pretty cheap and good. Louie's Ice Cream on E. Broadway in Somerville had a broken soft serve machine last I knew but usually has soft serve. And of course any fair you go to usually has soft serve, Marshfield is this week I think.

                      Louie's Ice Cream
                      Somerville, Somerville, MA

                      1. re: total13

                        BTW, tried to get soft serve at Louie's and the machine appears to be permanently down - something about needing parts that are hard to get. Still plenty of hard ice cream and good too.