Over the past few years, we've seen a huge increase in trendy food presence on social media featuring sky high milkshakes, stuffed pizza, hand crafted avocados and everything in between. Despite the tough competition, the ice cream department has definitely not disappointed. As a lactose-challenged student in Boston, my appetite for ice cream in trendy designs and unique flavors has been more than satiated. Although not all my favorite unconventional ice cream shops are solely lactose free/vegan, they are so delicious I can't turn them down (it's a vicious cycle). In no particular order, here are my top picks.

1. Pressed Juciery

Ashley Marino

As if Pressed Juciery wasn't great enough with just their delicious drink offerings, they bring something completely unique to the table with their heavenly vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free soft-serve made solely from fruit and veggie juices, almonds and coconuts. These super simple ingredients make it okay to eat everyday, right?

2. FōMū

Ashley Marino

As a completely plant-based company, FōMū can satisfy just about anyone's ice cream cravings regardless of dietary restrictions. Made in small batches from coconut milk and natural sweeteners in Watertown, MA, this happiness in a cup is another one of my guilt-free dessert favorites! 

3. J.P. Licks

Ashley Marino

With its roots in Jamaica Plain, J.P. Licks is definitely a Boston staple in my book. After over 40 years in business, the extensive menu includes traditional offerings in addition to unique creations such as flavored hot chocolate, seasonal ice cream flavors and some gluten-free, dairy-free and/or vegan offerings like one of this month's special flavors pictured above: Chocolate Fudgsicle Sorbet made with heavenly Dutch cocoa powder. 

4. Amorino

Ashley Marino

Best known for their beautiful gelato rose-shaped creations topped with a macaron, Amorino offers a little taste of Italy anytime you want. With flavors ranging from passionfruit to hazelnut to lemon in addition to some dairy-free sorbet options, you really can't go wrong. Not in the mood for a cone? Opt for a waffle or refreshing fruit drink!

5. Toscanini's

Tiffany Liahkim

Toscanini's offers 32 made in-house flavors at any given time including delicious spins on classics and new combinations such as B3 (brown sugar, brown butter and brownies), churro and lemon poppy seed, Toscanini's is hands down the place to go if you're an indecisive ice cream connoisseur.

6. Emack & Bolio's

ArDelia MacPhail

With some of the coolest history around, Emack & Bolio's has been serving up its delicious ice cream and outrageous cones to the Boston area since the 1970s. While still maintaining some of its rock and roll roots, their many locations also serve up new treats such as ice cream pizza. Not in the mood for ice cream? Opt for some live cultured yogurt, micro brewed soda or homemade chocolates and fudge to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

All things considered, you really can't go wrong with any of these unique shops to get your ice cream fix in. Whether for dietary reasons, curiosity or wanting to spice up your usual ice cream routine, Boston offers some of the best places to make these dessert dreams come true.