It’s summer in the ‘Ville, and that means one thing: ice cream. The sweet shops in each part of the city—from the newly opened Tipping Cow in Winter Hill to longtime favorites like Louie’s in East Somerville—each have their own signature scoop. No matter which neighborhood you’re in or what it is you’re craving, you’re sure to find it around town.
415 Medford St.
Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Anna Gaul and Dang Pham have been slinging nut-free ice cream at farmer’s markets and speciality food shops throughout the area since founding Tipping Cow in 2014, and the company’s first retail location opened this spring in the same stretch of shops that hosts the newly opened Somerville Bread Company.
Tipping Cow offers unique flavors like sweet corn and ginger berry—even olive oil. (The earl grey and lemon flavor is a must try, if they have it.) Sundaes come piled high on a brownie or cookie, with sprinkles—rainbow or chocolate—and candy. We recommend adding gummy bears on top, smooshing them deep down into your scoops and enjoying the chewy morsels you’ve created.
The shop is certified nut-free and always offers at least one dairy-free, egg-free sorbet; no dietary constraints can keep you from these sweet treats.
Gracie’s Ice Cream
22 Union Sq.
Sunday through Thursday, 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Nowhere else in Somerville can you grab a scoop of ice cream on a marshmallow fluff-dipped cone but at Gracie’s Ice Cream. And get this—they use miniature torches to toast the marshmallow while you wait.
The shop is open year-round and has a rotating selection of playful flavors made with ingredients like cold-brewed coffee, poptarts and fruity pebbles. Box of broken cones arrives? No problem; the Grace’s team will make a short-run, small batch flavor like “broken cones, broken dreams,” which has chocolate covered cones inside.
As a tribute to the Union Square invention, Gracie’s sometimes adds fluff to its ice cream, too. The list of ice creams and sorbets changes frequently, but there are consistently 12 flavors available at a time, and the shop always has at least one dairy-free option.
Louie’s Ice Cream
Monday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Sunday, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Louie’s is a seasonal spot that’s been serving the city for decades. The streetside shop opened its windows for the summer 2016 on May 23. Louie’s has a real traditional feel—like the Friendly’s walk-up window of your youth, but with much, much better ice cream.
Louie’s is also the best value of the bunch. A single scoop is four bucks and is considerably larger than any other shop in town.
But you won’t want to leave Louie’s without trying the slushes. The ice cream served up here is good—great, even—but the slush is out of this world. There are a variety of fruity flavors to choose from: coconut, mango, watermelon or strawberry. It’s perfect on the days when it’s too hot for anything but a fruity treat.
But be warned: The shop usually closes right after Labor Day, so you’ll want to grab a scoop before then.
Open daily, noon to 9 p.m.
As the name suggests, Frozen Hoagies specializes in ice cream sandwiches. The cookies are baked fresh at the Powderhouse Square shop and filled with ice cream sourced from Chilly Cow in Arlington.
The best thing about Frozen Hoagies is that you can mix and match cookies and ice cream—the shop offers a bunch of different options, and the hoagies are made right to order. Cookie options include staples like chocolate chip and fudge brownie along with more inventive flavors like aztec chocolate and nutella-stuffed chocolate chip.
Chilly Cow serves up just about every flavor you can imagine, including plenty of vegan options. Sundaes and cookieless creations are also available—but why wouldn’t you want a cookie?
You can also find Frozen Hoagies’ massive ice cream sandwiches—seriously, you’ll need a spoon—out of their food truck, which you’ll find cruising around Boston and Somerville.
Forge Ice Cream Bar
626B Somerville Ave.
Open daily, 7 A.M. TO 7 P.M.
Tucker Lewis and Jennifer Park are back at it with another soon-to-be Somerville favorite: an ice cream shop that opened adjacent to Forge Baking Company in late June.
Opening Forge Ice Cream Bar is like coming “full circle” for Lewis and Park, as the couple first met while working in an ice cream shop over 20 years ago.
The duo are making all of their ice cream in-house, with many of the ingredients—like brownies, cookies and granola—coming straight from the bakery next door. “The shop itself nods to a 1930s soda fountain,” Lewis says, with lots of special touches. Forge Ice Cream Bar serves nine flavors at a time, including at least one dairy-free sorbet.
The vintage-inspired cafe is directly next to Forge Baking Company, which opened in late 2014. In fact, the owners removed the wall that initially separated the bakery and ice cream shop, allowing customers to move between the two spaces.
All of the sweets, none of the separation. That’s a concept we can get behind.