Local Ice Cream Roundup

Louie's Ice CreamLouie's Ice Cream photo by Jessica Blough.

Forge Ice Cream Bar
626 Somerville Ave., (617) 764-5365

Origin story:
Tucker Lewis and Jennifer Park met while working at an ice cream shop before going on to open Somerville staples Diesel Cafe and Bloc Cafe together. They opened their third store, Forge Baking Company, in 2014. Two years later, they expanded their menu to include housemade ice cream, coming full circle. 

What makes it unique:
The ice cream shop collaborates with Forge Baking Company, housed in the same storefront and under the same management. That means high-caliber ingredients: Forge Ice Cream uses the same Intelligentsia coffee in its coffee ice cream as Forge Baking Company uses to make coffee drinks, and the cookies and brownies mixed into ice cream flavors come from the bakery. 

Atmosphere:
A classic ice cream shoppe—stools at the counter, black and white tile floors, milkshakes in tall glasses—with a modern feel. 

Dietary restrictions: 
Dairy-free sorbet

Hours:
2-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday
2-9 p.m. Friday
12-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Frozen Hoagies
864 Broadway, (617) 620-6810

Frozen Hoagies
Frozen Hoagies photo by Micaela Malley.

Origin story:
In 2011, Mary McPartland decided to combine her love of baking with her love of ice cream. She purchased a 1976 ice cream truck off Ebay, added two more trucks a few years later, and opened a storefront in Powder House Square five years ago.

What makes it unique:
Frozen Hoagies’ specialty is ice cream sandwiches made with cookies baked in-house and ice cream from Rancatore’s in Lexington. The cookies are baked fresh every morning with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives.

Atmosphere
Pink and black everything—displays showing the variety of options, chalkboards explaining the order process, and packaged candies and gummies available for purchase. 

Dietary restrictions: 
Vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options are available for both cookies and ice cream. 

Hours:
12-9 p.m. Monday through Friday
12-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Ice cream truck schedule: frozenhoagies.com/find-our-truck

Gracie’s Ice Cream
22 Union Square, (617) 764-5294 

Origin story:
Owner Aaron Cohen used to produce food festivals and wanted to get into retail, which led him to the ice cream business—reminiscent of his job in an ice cream shop when he was 17 years old. Cohen opened Gracie’s in 2015 and named it after his daughter, who is now 6. He recently added his son’s name, Callum, to the Union Square storefront’s sign. 

What makes it unique:
Along with the collection of standing and rotating flavors of small-batch ice cream made on-site, Gracie’s customers can’t miss the welcoming messages postering the walls and storefront, including “It is ok to cry in this place” on the menu and a sign that reads “Eat ice cream and defend vulnerable communities” outside the store. Gracie’s also partners with local schools and gives customers the option of donating a “Selfless Scoop.”

Atmosphere: 
A family-friendly, colorful space covered in chalk art, inflatable ice cream cones, murals on the counter, and art on the walls. 

Dietary restrictions: 
Dairy-free sorbet

Hours:
2:30-10 p.m. Monday through Friday
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday
1-10 p.m. Sunday

Louie’s Ice Cream
193 Broadway, (617) 776-6800

Origin story:
Paul Robichaud didn’t have air conditioning in his car in the early 2000s, so he’d stop to get a cone from Louie’s Ice Cream every day on his way home from work. In 2005, his daily tradition was interrupted when the store closed. Within a month, Robichaud and his wife, Gail, purchased the store and continued its tradition of selling ice cream out of the window. Louie’s, which has been in operation for at least 57 years under various owners, is now run by two of their children, Colleen Robichaud-Mountzouros and PJ Robichaud. 

What makes it unique:
Louie’s takes a walk-up-window-only approach, meaning that it trades indoor seating for picnic benches and attracts nearby foot traffic, kids getting out of school, and families coming from the nearby Foss Park. The flavors are reminiscent of an old-school ice cream shop. 

Atmosphere:
Family friendly, community-oriented, and distinctly summery. “It’s a classic, and we try to keep it as classic as possible,” Robichaud-Mountzouros says. 

Dietary restrictions:
The store’s slush is vegan and dairy-free.

Summer Hours:
12-11 p.m. every day, weather permitting

Tipping Cow
415 Medford St, (617) 718-0558

Origin story:
David Lindsey and Gerly Adrien, who got married at the beginning of June, bought Tipping Cow from Anna Gaul just over a year ago. With their purchase of the five-year-old business came a promise to preserve the integrity of the ice cream store and “give people a piece of love and happiness,” Lindsey says. 

What makes it unique:
Tipping Cow specializes in fresh, creative flavors made in-house that play with seasonal ingredients, including strawberry basil, black forest cake, and caprese salad. “Ice cream is the perfect medium to be creative,” Lindsey says. 

Atmosphere:
The motto of the shop is “gourmet ice cream without the ego,” which is reflected in its simple design to accompany its bold flavors. 

Dietary restrictions: 
The entire store is free of peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame, with dairy-free and vegan options available. 

Summer Hours:
2-8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
2-9 p.m. Friday
2-10 p.m. Saturday
2-7 p.m. Sunday

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