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Toscanini's Ice Cream Company (known simply as Toscanini's or Tosci's) is an ice cream parlor and café in Cambridge, Massachusetts, founded in 1981. It has won the Best of Boston award for best ice cream in 1997,[1] 2009,[2] and 2010,[3] as well as other Best of Boston awards.[4] It has also been highly rated in Gourmet magazine,[1] and claims to have been highly rated in the New York Times food section.[5]


Toscanini's original (and presently only) location is at 899 Main St. in Central Square. Other locations have included the Someday Café in Somerville, Massachusetts (closed August 2006), a location in the MIT student center (closed December 2000), and a location on Massachusetts Avenue in Harvard Square (closed December 2006). Toscanini's ice cream can also be found in some restaurants and supermarkets in the Boston area, such as Whole Foods Market.

Owner Gus Rancatore recently published an Amazon Short with author Helen Epstein, entitled Ice Cream Man: 25 Years at Toscanini's,[6][7] presenting a personal story of how Toscanini's came to be. The short has spent several weeks on Amazon's top ten list.

Seizure by the Massachusetts DoR[edit]

On January 17, 2008 the business was seized by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue because of failure to pay more than $167,000 in taxes dating back to 2000. Ice cream maker Samuel Mehr set up a website with a PayPal donation link,[8] and an overwhelming amount of support from the local community and beyond provided the owners with more than $30,000 toward satisfying the tax bill. A payment plan was organized with the MA DOR to pay the balance. After being closed for eight days, Toscanini's Ice Cream and Coffee Shop re-opened for business on January 25.[9]


  1. ^ a b Tosci's Ice Cream Wins Boston Award
  2. ^ Best of Boston 2009 Ice Cream: Toscanini's
  3. ^ Best of Boston 2010: Ice Cream Toscanini's
  4. ^ Search Results: toscanini's
  5. ^ About Toscanini's, from Toscanini's official web site
  6. ^ Ice Cream Man: 25 Years at Toscanini's, an Amazon Short by owner Gus Rancatore with Helen Epstein
  7. ^ Ice cream maker still sweet on MIT: Toscanini's owner looks back on 25 years, an article in MIT Tech Talk
  8. ^ Goodnough, Abby (January 30, 2008). "Special Flavor: The Big Rhubarb". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  9. ^ Abelson, Jenn (January 26, 2008). "Shop is set to lick its tax problem". The Boston Globe. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′48.6″N 71°5′57.5″W / 42.363500°N 71.099306°W / 42.363500; -71.099306