Basia’s Scoop (#3: Christina’s)

by Basia Rosenbaum ’18

There is a Cambridge debate over ice cream: Toscanini’s vs. Christina’s. Central Square vs. Inman. Cocoa pudding vs. chocolate mousse (below left, along with cactus pear, right).

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A couple weeks ago I went to Toscanini’s, and this week I tried Christina’s.

Starting with location, Christina’s takes it. Just 10 minutes down the road from CGIS, I wondered why I didn’t go to Inman more often. Fun restaurants (including Punjabi Dhaba serving great cheap Indian food), cute shops, and a branch of the always amazing 1369 Coffee House.

Walk inside and Christina’s has a completely different vibe. Whereas Toscanini’s feels almost hipster—minimalist décor, flavors written in chalk, people coding over ice cream—Christina’s feels like an institution. This is not a shop designed to impress; rather meant to let the flavors speak for themselves.

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The range of flavors at Christina’s is impressive and there is an excellent combination of standard favorites with creative offerings. There’s maple walnut, black raspberry, rum raisin, and pistachio. But also Adzuki bean, banana cinnamon and Khulfi.

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Butter almond and peanut butter chip

Some of the flavors were amazing; some were less impressive. The butter almond was fantastic, but after a few bites I realized the peanut butter chip wasn’t one to order again. Cactus pear sorbet? Such an interesting option (and color). But while yummy initially, it was just too sweet and left me with a taste of pure sugar. The chocolate mousse is fantastic (better than Toscanini’s cocoa pudding in my opinion) and their chocolate chip cookie dough is great (as all chocolate chip cookie dough flavors are).

My best advice is to taste before you buy (and taste extensively). Depending on what flavor you order, you will leave with an entirely different impressive of Christina’s. Find the right flavors and this might be your favorite Cambridge ice cream.

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Chocolate chip cookie dough

You can also find Christina’s at the weekly Farmer’s Market in the Science Center. Albeit serving just a few options, the mobile Christina’s is great way to try the ice cream closer to campus.

Toscanini’s vs. Christina’s. I’d have to say that I come out of the side of Toscanini’s. But when we’re talking about good ice cream, why would we even have a debate? The more good ice cream options, the better.

Basia’s Scoop (#1: Lizzy’s)

by Basia Rosenbaum ’18

Birthdays, a post-exam treat, summer nights. All perfect occasions for the best dessert there is: ice cream.

Ice cream and I have had a serious relationship since childhood (my mom even has compromising photos of my face smeared in chocolate to prove it). Vacations always include multiple trips to determine the best ice cream. High school was filled with nightly ice cream breaks. So, of course, ice cream was a priority when I came to Harvard. Check Crimson Crave weekly to see some of my favorites.

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You can’t beat the Lizzy’s location. And creative flavors are a plus—bringing out the inner child in all of us with chocolate cookie dough (because isn’t that the problem everywhere else—who wants vanilla cookie dough?) I went full childhood adding rainbow sprinkles on top and it was delicious.

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Lying underneath: half chocolate cookie dough, half Columbian Fudge Avalanche

But Lizzy’s is one of those places where tasting matters. Ask for a sample, ask for two, because there are ways you can go wrong. The Columbian Fudge Avalanche (coffee with fudge and walnuts) was a great ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ kind of flavor. But I could have done without the Charles River Crunch (chocolate with almond toffee).

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In the spirit of Ben and Jerry’s-esque fun and creative flavors, Lizzy’s is a valuable asset to the Harvard Square ice cream scene. Look for the adorable cow mascot and grab a scoop.

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The traditional mint chocolate chip

Note: Basia will be publishing a Best of Boston Ice Cream series – check back for more next week!