The bitterly cold winter never stopped a true New Englander from enjoying a nice cold treat. While many think of Boston as specializing in lobster rolls, Fenway Franks, and Boston Cream Pie, there's actually a huge selection of novelty ice cream shops. According to Business Insider, Massachusetts sits in fourth place among all 50 states for its level of ice cream consumption.

As a native to Boston, I am no stranger to eating ice cream despite sub-zero temperatures. While I love a good scoop from Ben & Jerry’s, Cold Stone Creamery, or Emack & Bolio’s, I find something particularly exciting about special, lesser known ice cream shops that serve up inventive flavors made in-house. If you find yourself in the Boston area, here are eight lip-smacking ice cream shops you should check out, because you won’t find them anywhere else.

1. Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream

Established in 1983, Christina’s is a Cambridge favorite. They have over 50 creative and unique flavors including khulfi, honey lavender, and fresh rose. But don’t fear, Christina’s isn’t short on flavors for the less adventurous – their Oreo ice cream is the best I've ever had.

2. FoMu

chocolate, coffee, milk, ice cream, ice, cream
Meredith Davin

Vegans and lactose-intolerants rejoice! FoMu serves dairy-free, coconut milk-based ice cream that tastes just as creamy and delicious as the regular stuff. This alternative ice cream has  unique flavors such as avocado, caramelized parsnip & tart cherry, and chai chili cashew. They even make smoothies and frappes with soy or almond milk base options, as well as plant-based ingredients baked goods. If you can't get to one of their three store locations, you can spot their ice cream in New England restaurants or grocery stores.

3. Frozen Hoagies

In addition to their store location in Somerville, there's a Frozen Hoagies Ice Cream truck that roams around Boston in the summer time. If you are craving for more than just ice cream, hit up Frozen Hoagies for a heavenly scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two gooey cookies.

4. Toscanini’s

coffee, caramel, sweet, milk, ice cream, chocolate, ice, cream
Amber Wolf

Voted Best Ice Cream in Boston for multiple years and deemed "The World's Best Ice Cream" by the New York Times, Toscanini’s doesn’t fall short on flavors to choose from. Located in Cambridge, this ice cream parlor has invented some adult-oriented flavors like vanilla bean porter and bourbon gingersnap.

#SpoonTip: Try the b3 flavor – a decadent combination of brown sugar, brown butter, and chunks of fudge brownie.

5. Lizzy’s Homemade Ice Cream

Founded in 1995, the original Lizzy’s is located in the heart of Harvard Square. They also have a location in Waltham. While their flavors aren’t as unique as some other shops, their ice cream will satisfy your craving without fail.

#SpoonTip: Get a scoop (or two, or three) of the Charles River Crunch – dark chocolate, toffee, and walnut with hot fudge.

6. Hi B3ar Ice Cream Roll

This unique Thai ice cream stop recently opened its doors in Allston in August 2016. It’s the first rolled ice cream shop in Boston proper. Their ice cream starts in liquid form and is poured onto a chilled steel plate. Once solidified, the flattened-out dessert is carefully scraped into beautifully perfect rolls of ice cream. Hi B3ar’s specialty is the Matcha Lady (matcha and red beans) and you can choose to add as many toppings as your heart desires.

7. Cabot’s Ice Cream & Restaurant

Cabot’s Ice Cream has been around since 1969 and is a favorite of everyone living in its hometown of Newton and beyond. In addition to serving diner food, they create ice cream sundaes bigger than your face. My favorite is the Brownie Banana-Go-Round Sundae which includes sliced banana wheels with ice cream, hot fudge, and a gooey double chocolate brownie. You can’t go wrong with the Belgian Waffle Sundae or the Slice ‘n Bake Sundae, either. 

8. J.P. Licks

candy, milk, cream, chocolate
Nicole Lacasse

Originating in the Jamaica Plain (hence, J.P) area of Boston over 30 years ago, this ice cream store now has 13 locations around Massachusetts. They offer hard or soft frozen yogurt, frappes, smoothies, specialty cakes, and pies. In addition to various year-round flavors like Maple Walnut and Cappuccino Crunch, J.P. Licks also bring in new flavors very month: one of January’s flavors is Cortina Olive Oil.

#SpoonTip: Go for the Cookie’s n’ Cake Batter in a waffle sprinkle cone.

Next time you find yourself in Boston, venture beyond familiar ice cream brands and check out these unique parlors with one-of-a-kind flavors. You won't be disappointed.