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Ice cream may well be the most important commodity available in Cambridge during the summer, especially toward the end of July and through August. There are a lot of places to choose from, but some of them--not surprisingly--are definitely better than others.
In one category there are your basic ice cream places--Baskin-Robbins serves its 31 flavors at 1230 Mass Ave, right across from Lamont Library, and Brighams--which is now open 24 hours, a great boon during exam period--on Mass Ave next to the Coop. Your basic ice cream stores. Brighams tends to get real crowded, so avoid it in the afternoons.
Then there are the stores that serve really good ice cream, or try to. Baileys, at 21 Brattle, is famous for its large, good and expensive cones and sundaes. Belgian Fudge, on Mass Ave across from the Yard, may serve the best ice cream and frozen yogurt in the Square. Although it doesn't have the spread of flavors available at Baskin-Robbins and Brigham's, it has much more interesting ones.
The Spa was the first place ever to serve frozen yogurt, but Elsie's is much better. It does have soft ice cream, though.
And finally, there's the category of ice cream places that aren't in the Square itself but are worth going to anyway. Steve's, a ten-minute drive away in Porter Square at 191 Elm St., is widely held to offer the best homemade ice cream in town, with a great variety of things to put on top. The only drawback is that you usually have to wait a good 45 minutes to get it. Sheila's, on Broadway just past the supermarket, is a lot less crowded but has the same sort of deal as Steve's--homemade ice cream with great toppings.
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