Boston Parents Paper Best of the Best 2011
Our Family Favorite Award Winners
Favorite Ice Cream Shop
Richardson’s Ice Cream
156 South Main St. (Route 114), Middleton
Generations of ice cream lovers have been visiting Richardson’s Ice Cream in Middleton for their 16 percent butterfat ice cream since 1952. With more than 85 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt and sherbet, palates of every persuasion are sure to find some lip-smacking goodness, from classic vanilla and chocolate to the more daring green tea, strawberry cheesecake and frozen pudding flavors. Generous portions and reasonable prices make a trip even more delectable. During the warmer months, finish your tasty treat and take a few swings in the batting cages, play mini golf or visit the cows on the farm, which has been family owned and operated since 1695.
J.P. Licks, a Boston institution, has been serving its deliciously fresh ice cream for three decades and its ice cream inventors are continuously topping themselves with their flavor ingenuity (Really? Tomato basil ice cream??). Regular staples like Oreo Cake Batter, Cherry Garciaparra and pistachio are always big hits, plus an ever-changing list of special monthly flavors keeps things fresh and exciting. In addition to its trademark product, J.P. Licks also offers frappes, smoothies, handmade cakes and pies, and they even roast their own coffee. Visit online for their special monthly ice cream flavors and a list of each month’s soft-serve frozen yogurt flavors. Stores are located in Harvard Square in Cambridge; Coolidge Corner in Brookline; Davis Square in Somerville; Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, Newbury Street and Mission Hill in Boston; Newton Centre; and West Roxbury.
Favorite Family Restaurant
Locations throughout Greater Boston
Back in 1935, when Friendly’s first opened in Springfield, the store sold 5-cent ice cream cones. Lots of things have changed in the last 76 years, but one thing hasn’t, and the name of this family favorite says it all. At Friendly’s, families gather for good food, fun and, of course, ice cream. It isn’t always easy to find a restaurant fit for the entire family, but with an affordable and award-winning kids’ menu, burgers and sandwiches that adults can’t resist and a variety of healthier options on the Under 555 Calories Menu, Friendly’s is the perfect place to treat a hungry family for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Check out their updated menu of SuperMelts and brand new ice cream flavors.
326 Cambridge St., Burlington
Yes, it’s possible to find authentic Italian pastry outside the North End of Boston. In the suburbs of Burlington, LaCascia’s Bakery draws in devoted customers with its cases filled with mouth-watering cannoli, cream puffs, bismarks, éclairs, lobster tails, fruit pastries and decadent tiered cakes – equal parts works of art and absolutely delicious. Parents are grateful for the free Italian cookies passed out to the kids, which helps buy some time as you try to make up your mind. The cakes, pies and trays of cookies can be ordered in advance, and the bakery offers an impressive deli with hot and cold sandwiches and a full catering menu. Don’t expect to keep any diets after stepping inside LaCascia’s – a feast for the eyes and the stomach.
Favorite Sweet Treats
49 Massachusetts Ave., Boston
225 Newbury St., Boston
11 School St., Boston (new)
Zero Brattle St., Cambridge
If you’ve haven’t been here yet, you need to go – now. Cupcakes, baked in sumptuous flavors and delicately decorated, are all the rage in cities nationwide. And the award-winning Sweet is all you’ve imagined a cupcake purveyor to be. Four Boston locations offer cupcakes baked fresh every morning with ingredients like Callebaut chocolate, Madagascar bourbon vanilla and Bensdorp cocoa. Sweet creates beautiful cakes and cupcakes to order, to honor a season or holiday and, quite simply, to make your mouth water. They are so service-oriented that, at your request, they’ll even bring your cupcake order curbside as you drive up in your car. If it’s a gift you’re looking for, they’ll box their cakes and cupcakes festively with ribbon and provide a nice card. And if it’s just one little delectable cupcake you pine for, you can purchase it and eat it – right on the spot!