Ellen and Christine Gain the Freshman 15 in 15 Hours: A Definitive Review of Ice Cream in Harvard Square

By Christine Lee

Even though the temperature is below freezing, there has never been a better time for ice cream. We evaluated four frozen dessert locations around Harvard Square based on flavor, texture, size, and importantly, price. To even the playing field, we sampled each location’s most popular flavor, ranging from classics like cookie dough to newcomers like blueberry cheesecake. Check out our reviews below!

J.P. Licks

Flavors: Cookies and Cream, Pumpkin Cheesecake

JP Licks never disappoints in terms of flavor — its crown jewel, the Cookies and Cream, is thick and rife with Oreo crumbles, packing a flavorful punch. The Pumpkin Cheesecake is a unique take on a classic dessert, with a subtle cheesecake flavor. But if you’re considering JP Licks for a mid-study session pick-me-up, beware: its prices are laughably exorbitant for the portions you get. Nonetheless, it is and always will be a Square staple and a “treat yo’ self” destination.

Ben & Jerry’s

Flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Cookie dough galore!
Cookie dough galore! By Ellen S. Deng and Christine Lee

Ben & Jerry’s is known to many as a grocery store classic, given their colorful pints and outrageous flavors. Making the trek to the Ben & Jerry’s in the Garage, we were surprised to hear that their most popular flavor is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. While the texture was smooth, there was an uneven distribution of dough and chip, leaving us wishing we had stuck to the pre-packaged pints instead. However, the generous portions ensure you at least get that bang for your buck.


Flavor: Original with Mochi and Oreo Cheesecake Toppings

Nothing like a perfect swirl
Nothing like a perfect swirl By Ellen S. Deng and Christine Lee

After a filling meal of sweet potato fries from the dhall, Berryline is the place to hit up for a sweet and semi-healthy treat. We tried the Original flavor, which comes with a tart yet incredibly creamy texture that acts as a blank canvas for the toppings of your dreams. We chose mochi, a chewy and subtly sweet topping that would make any Trader Joe’s fan swoon. Unfortunately, the oreo cheesecake we chose had an overwhelming cookie crust and didn’t quite deliver on its cheesecake promises. At only $4 for a relatively large portion, though, Berryline is the perfect way for you to convince yourself that it’s okay that you slept through that exercise class at the MAC — and sample some yummy toppings as well.


Flavors: Blueberry Cheesecake, Pistachio, L’Inimitable

You can just hear the fancy music playing in the background
You can just hear the fancy music playing in the background By Ellen S. Deng and Christine Lee

If this was Buzzfeed’s Worth It, Amorino would have three dollar signs and there would be classical music playing in the background. The decadent gelato flavors actually lived up to their names, from the rich creaminess of the Blueberry Cheesecake to the luscious Nutella-esque L’Inimitable. With each bite tasting deliciously expensive, our broke college student palates found the portions to be far too small and the cost too high for our liking. On the bright side, a few scoops would certainly make for a fantastic post-exam treat or dessert date destination!

HUDS Froyo

Flavors: Vanilla, Mango, Dulce de Leche, Chocolate, etc.

The HUDS froyo machine is the layman’s favorite source of dessert when the Square is too far and funds are running low. With alternating flavors each week, the frozen yogurt in the dhalls is a surprisingly solid choice to round out your meal. Dulce de Leche is a known fan-favorite, and if you manage to grab a cone on the same night that the brownie bar is out, you have easy access to a variety of toppings. The best part? It’s free!

With exam season looming on the horizon, everyone on this campus deserves some sort of frozen treat. We hope this guide helps you find both your dessert of choice and your sanity just in time for finals!

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