We tried every ice cream place in Brookline…



With so many options, choosing the best ice cream place can be a daunting task. To help, we tried every choice for you, and rated based on taste, ambiance and more.

Welcome to “A Taste of Brookline,” where we try different specific genres of food in the town so you don’t have to – unless you don’t trust our opinion, but we assure you that if the three of us agree, it must be right. Anya, Taj and Jamie, three seniors and self-proclaimed food connoisseurs are longtime Brookline residents and like to think they know their way around dining in our town.

For our first review, as warm weather comes to an end, we decided to start getting excited for next summer with some ice cream.

The average American consumes 20 pounds of ice cream each year, according to a Zippia report. We went to every ice cream place in and around town to make sure that your 20 pounds of ice cream this year will be well-chosen.

At each location, we tried a classic vanilla ice cream, as well as one other flavor that we deemed “interesting.” Most of the time, this flavor was determined by asking an employee what their favorite “obscure” flavor is.

Odd Fellows Ice Cream
Overall rating: 1.5/5

Though Odd Fellows did not rank high on our list in terms of ice cream quality, we were impressed by the Halloween decorations and the artwork that lines the walls. (ANYA RAO/SAGAMORE STAFF)

We were excited for Odd Fellows. It is surrounded by an enormous amount of fine dining options: Shake Shack, Chilacates, Legal Seafoods and more. Needless to say we were shocked with the mediocrity we tasted. Odd Fellows ice cream is aggressively below-average at best and comes at a pretty high price ($6.50 for a scoop). Odd Fellows falls pretty low on our list. It just seemed to lack personality and that comfortable, homey feeling. It is worth noting that the space is well-decorated, with Halloween decorations already in full swing in early October.

This tastes like cold milk with some sugar—which after writing we now realize is just vanilla ice cream. We liked the small, visible vanilla beans; they added a nice touch. The texture lacked the solidity we were looking for. Instead it was icy, drippy and watery and its below-average taste got worse with each bite.

Despite being early October, decorations were in full-swing. (ANYA RAO/SAGAMORE STAFF)

Flavor of choice: “From Outer Spice” (cinnamon-infused miso ice cream)
Where to begin? The idea, simply put, is unnecessary. We’re all for creativity in a traditionally boring medium, but some combinations should never even touch a table outside the test kitchen, let alone our tongues. The transition between the most forward notes—sickly sweet miso soup—and the base notes of cinnamon and apple spice was entirely unacceptable. At a staggeringly high price, we were left scrambling for cups of water to get the taste out of our mouth. Ice cream is a highly subjective art form, but when From Outer Spice failed to check a single box, we were left wondering which fake hipster, ice cream aficionado had led us astray.

White Mountain Creamery
Overall rating: 4/5

The unpleasant look on Taj’s face was quickly wiped away upon his first bite of ice cream at White Mountain Creamery, a new favorite spot of ours. (ANYA RAO/SAGAMORE STAFF)

White Mountain Creamery finds itself on the outskirts of Chestnut Hill right next to Boston College, but it is worth the trip. While its technology may be stuck in 1970, White Mountain Creamery has character. It feels like there is a little man in the back of the store whose job is to pour his heart and soul into each scoop. It is disconnected from the corporate world that has taken over the ice cream industry in modern-day society, and sticks to keeping things real: $1.25 for bottled water and open until midnight. If we ever want to eat our feelings late at night, we know where we will be going.

This was an above-average vanilla. Creamy, but not too creamy. Definitely had the touch of love we look for in vanilla ice cream.

Flavor of choice: Pumpkin
This might have been our favorite ice cream of the day. The perfect taste of fall. Not too sweet, but still distinctly delicious. The flavors shine through beautifully and combine with a light, yet strong texture. This will definitely become a new go-to flavor.

Fro-Yo World

First and foremost, we would like to acknowledge that frozen yogurt and ice cream are by no means the same, but also that, in general, it seems fair to place them in the same category. Unfortunately, Fro-Yo World was closed at the time of our arrival. However, as frequent go-ers, we can assure you that it sets the bar fairly high for fro-yo, even as the only place devoted to fro-yo in the area. With a constantly rotating array of flavors and an extensive variety of toppings, it is safe to say that anyone can find something to their liking at Fro-Yo World.

Far Out Ice Cream
Overall rating: 4/5

Far Out brings an innovative take on ice cream to Brookline, combining fruit with creamy, delicious ice cream. (ANYA RAO/SAGAMORE STAFF)

After hours of unique, yet ultimately traditional ice cream experiences, the New Zealand-style creamery was, per the name, far out. Its novel technique of blending fresh frozen fruit directly into a vanilla or chocolate base yielded us our creamiest, lightest serving. For this reason, we did not try the plain vanilla ice cream, as it didn’t really feel acceptable as an order.

Flavor of choice: Vanilla with strawberries and mango
Our vanilla with strawberries and mango had barely begun to melt before it was gone. We scarfed it down, with only the tiny, strangely-tasting spoons slowing our progress. To note, the point off of the rating comes from the wooden spoons, which have quite a distinct taste. The perfect blend of sweetness and freshness, our order was, no doubt, a perfect choice.

J.P. Licks
Overall rating: 2.5/5

A classic, JP Licks is a pillar of life in Brookline, but not necessarily for quality ice cream. (ANYA RAO/SAGAMORE STAFF)

What is there to say? J.P. Licks is nostalgia. You go to J.P. Licks because it is a familiar experience, essential to living in Brookline. You don’t, however, go because you are getting the best ice cream in town. (You aren’t.)

There isn’t much to say here. It was vanilla, plain and simple. Nothing stood out as particularly delicious, but nothing took away from the experience. We’d compare it to the pints you buy from the grocery store: tasty in an almost sterile way.

Flavor of choice: Rum Raisin
Rum and raisin. A timeless classic. Your grandpa and his grandpa’s favorite flavor. Jamie, a future grandpa himself, is proud of this storied tradition, so why not get acclimated a little early? The ice cream was quite impressive, with texture and taste both receiving passing grades. The balance of rum and sugar was exactly where it needed to be. The raisins, on the other hand, were a different story. Somehow, the strangely excessive amount of rum they had absorbed completely overpowered the sweetness, leaving them an inedible, bitter mess. We’re convinced that, were we to have eaten the half-bowl of raisins we left behind, Jamie would have risked a DUI on the drive home.

Jamie’s Ice Cream Co.
Overall rating: 4.5/5

With a cute ordering window, Jamie’s Ice Cream Co. is an awesome spot for the summer, but make sure to check it’s open before you go, seeing as their hours are limited. (ELEANOR BERGSTEIN/SAGAMORE STAFF)

Reasonably priced at $5.50 a scoop, Jamie’s Ice Cream and Co. is a safe choice for quality ice cream. Their window service style makes the place very accessible, and outdoor seating is convenient for a hot summer day.

This might be the best vanilla we have ever had, although we wouldn’t recommend it if you do not like the taste of milk. The key ingredient of ice cream, milk, was pretty prevalent here. We thought this contributed to a very comfortable, homemade feeling, which makes sense considering all their ice cream and waffle cones are homemade.

Flavor of choice: “London Fog”
This tasted exactly like milk tea. It was the perfect texture and the right level of sweet. It had hints of a wide variety of inexplicable flavors, coming together to form a perfect fall flavor. Absolutely will be ordering again.

Athan’s Bakery
Overall rating: 0/5

Upon our arrival to our final stop, Athan’s, for gelato, we found they had none. Unwarned. So, don’t count on Athan’s.