Photos by Haritha Pavuluri, Words by Gabrielle Giacona
With the weather finally taking a turn to springtime sun, my roommates and I decided it would be a great idea to celebrate the nearing of the end of the semester and the return of our long-hidden freckles with an ice cream date. The only issue with this was making our decision on where to go for an ice cream that would please everyone. The obvious solution to us was to simply not choose and instead visit each ice cream shop contender: thus embarking on our “Ice Cream Tour of Newbury St.”
We started at the Eastern end and worked our way back, so the first stop was Ben and Jerry’s. Between the three of us, we got a cup of Cherry Garcia, a cup of New York Super Fudge Chunk, and a cone of Chocolate Peppermint Crunch. All were equally delicious, of course. However, as an incredibly indecisive ice cream enthusiast, I would have to dub New York Super Fudge Chunk the winner. Fudge Chunk is chocolate ice cream loaded with white chocolate, dark chocolate, pecans, walnuts, and fudge covered almonds. Unless you were looking specifically for the fruity or minty flavors of Cherry Garcia and Peppermint Crunch, there was literally no flavor or texture combination that didn’t make its way into this ice cream. It was perfectly balanced between sweet, savory, crunchy, and creamy; in my opinion, it was the perfect 10 of ice creams.
Next, we made our way to Amorino, Newbury’s new gelateria. There’s definitely a different vibe when you walk into Amorino-- dark wood fixtures, rustic brick walls, and lighting that fabulously highlights their assortment of baked goods and gelatos. My one complaint of Amorino would simply be that there was a slimmer range of options for ice cream flavors, however they compensated the smaller selection with the option to put your ice cream on a cup, cone, waffle, brioche, or a crepe. In the interest of saving room in our stomachs for the next few shops, we all opted for cups; however, there were people in front of us raving about their gelato sandwiched between a buttery brioche. At Amorino, we bought amarena (black cherry), nocciola (hazelnut), and mascarpone (cream, with added honey and walnut) flavored gelato. The first bite made us swoon. I had never experienced such a creamy, flavor filled ice cream in all my years devouring pints of Turkey Hill and Edy’s-- definitely ranking Amorino high on the list.
At our next stop, Emack and Bolio’s, we were greeted by a very personable ice cream scooper and a huge display of waffle cones rimmed with chocolate and fruity pebbles. We immediately decided that we could make enough room in our stomachs to order at least one ice cream in that cone. It was a fantastic choice. Deep purple chip (black raspberry ice cream with white and dark chocolate chips) was what we decided to couple with the cone, and the fruity/chocolaty combination was heavenly. It was perfect for the indecisive ice cream shopper- offering the best of both worlds with fruity, sweet, and savory flavors-- as well as the added crunchy texture from the cone.
Finally, we found ourselves at the ever-popular JP Licks. JP Licks is just as overwhelming as each of the other shops we visited, only in JP Licks you are overwhelmed by not only ice cream flavors, but also toppings, sundae options, drink options, ice cream dessert options, and even vegan options. We decided to be daring and order the vegan pistachio ice cream made with hemp milk, and because of our past experiences with JP Licks, felt obligated to top it with their famous homemade hot fudge sauce. The hemp milk made the ice cream delightfully creamy, and the silky flavor of the hot fudge really paired well with the pistachio chunks.
Overall, I would rank JP Licks as the best ice cream shop on Newbury, simply because they have a wide range of options guaranteed to please every member of your group. They were a little pricey; however, compared to Amorino’s gourmet-level prices, they were relatively inexpensive, and the ice cream that you experience is well worth the money.