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By Josh B. Wardrop / July 18, 12:00 AM
The Inside Scoop: Boston's best ice cream

A dozen delightful spots for fabulous and flavorful ice cream

In spring and summer (and fall and winter, to be honest), New Englanders love their ice cream—so it’s no surprise the region has produced so many popular and enduring local and national chains serving up frozen favorites. Born in Vermont, Ben & Jerry's—home to chilly creations like the massive 20-scoop Vermonster sundae—is known the world over. Other local favorites include J.P. Licks, which boasts more than two dozen flavors, including Cake Batter Oreo and Cherry Ortiz, named for Red Sox slugger David Ortiz; and Emack & Bolio’s, a “rock ’n’ roll” ice creamery (various locations) famed for custom cones adorned with everything from Fruity Pebbles to s’mores.

Not a chain, meanwhile, but certainly not to be forgotten is the one-and-only Cabot’s (743 Washington St., Newtonville, 617-964-9200), which has served outrageous sundaes like the Straw-Anna—a blend of ripe banana wheels, vanilla ice cream, strawberry topping, and whipped cream—for four delectable decades.

A sweet and frosty treat may bring out the kid in all of us, but it isn’t just the junior set that loves ice cream. Adults can get their ice cream fix with a more mature twist at Picco (513 Tremont St., 617-927-0066), sipping a delightful adult ice cream soda, which features sweet Belgium lambic ale poured over vanilla ice cream. Or sample ice cream flavors with an extra kick at Lizzy’s (29 Church St., Cambridge, 617-354-2911), which boasts—in addition to its full range of traditional, kid-friendly varieties—alcohol-infused flavors like Bailey’s and a sinful rum raisin.

Think ice cream can only be enjoyed from a take-out window or some beachfront stand surrounded by seagulls? Think again: in ice cream-mad Massachusetts, even high-end eateries get in on the action. The Beacon Hill Bistro (25 Charles St., 617-723-1133) earns acclaim for its housemade ice cream, in flavors like caramel, banana rum and cassis sorbet. An evening of fine dining in the Italian-centric North End isn’t complete without a palate-pleasing scoop of gelato at Caffe Vittoria
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