As old-school ice cream novelty fans already know, Klondike is discontinuing the beloved Choco Taco, a nearly 40-year-old ice cream truck staple; the internet is sad about it. (Some suspect a mere publicity stunt — here’s hoping.)
Is it that a Choco Taco is greater than the sum of its parts? The sugar cone shell and nuts are kind of soggy, and the ice cream and chocolate are kind of mediocre, after all, but put it all together, and the result is magical — or at least nostalgic.
Choco Taco-related desserts are already a staple at a small handful of restaurants and ice cream shops in Greater Boston, and a couple others are offering limited-time specials as a goodbye to the beloved treat. Here’s where to eat Choco Tacos — either the real thing or fun takes by local pastry chefs and ice cream makers — in and near-ish Boston, while supplies last.
Local Takes on Choco Tacos That Will Be Available Forever(ish)
1702 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Open since 2016, this popular ice cream shop features scratch-made, small-batch flavors like black sesame with raspberry jam, cold brew coffee chip, and salted caramel crackle, focusing on local, seasonal ingredients and dairy from Mapleline Farm in Hadley. The shop has a long-running taco Tuesday special, featuring its own take on a Choco Tacos from noon until 10 p.m. (or sellout) every Tuesday. They’re currently available on a first come, first served basis, and the flavors rotate every few weeks. (Keep an eye on Instagram for updates.)
Next Tuesday, August 2, the flavor will be s’mores — a chocolate waffle cone with malted vanilla ice cream and torched marshmallow sauce, dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in graham cracker crumb. $8.25 each.
Special ordering is also available for bulk purchases, with several flavor options available, including vegan horchata; there’s also the possibility of creating a custom flavor. Plus, Honeycomb Creamery caters events, with one option being a staffed ice cream taco stand.
The Paddle Inn
27 State Street, Newburyport
Up in Newburyport, the Paddle Inn — from the Trina’s Starlite Lounge team — has been serving its own Choco Taco, by chef Suzi Maitland, for years. Available nightly, it’s a housemade tuile taco shell with vanilla ice cream, Mexican chocolate, and cookie crumble, priced at $10 for two tacos.
Also on the menu: mai tai popcorn, Caribbean fish fry, barbecue pulled pork pupusas, bacon bourbon burgers, and more. Non-Choco Taco desserts currently include a rotating ice cream and peach and rhubarb cake.
Local Takes on Choco Tacos That Are Limited-Time Specials
94 Derby Street, Hingham
Pastry chef Kate Holowchik, aka Lionheart Confections, has been making her own version of Choco Tacos for years at various local restaurants and her own pop-ups. “I love them because I first started doing them at Yvonne’s, showing people that simple desserts and pastries we grew up with can get a fancy makeover too,” says Holowchik. “Not all dessert has to be elaborate and quenelles. Plus you can’t help but smile when seeing and enjoying a Choco Taco. It’s that nostalgic quality that bring us back to the days of chasing ice cream the ice cream truck.”
These days, she’s in the kitchen at Shōjō’s newish suburban sibling Nomai, and Choco Tacos have been making some special appearances on the dessert menu. They’ll be available again this weekend — Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30. The current flavor is Thai tea cookie dough brownie with a housemade shell, chocolate magic shell, and Thai tea milk crumb.
First come, first served; available for dine-in or takeout. Watch Holowchik’s Instagram account for updates on future availability and flavors.
Yellow Door Taqueria
2297 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, Boston, and 354 Harrison Avenue, South End, Boston
Can’t make it down to Hingham? Holowchik is also popping up at Yellow Door Taqueria with Choco Taco doughnuts for one night only — Tuesday, August 2, from 4 p.m. until sellout, $7 apiece. The half-moon shaped vanilla brioche doughnut is filled with vanilla bean pastry cream, dipped in chocolate-peanut ganache, and garnished with a waffle cone tuile.
24 Orleans Street, East Boston
Cunard Tavern chef Anthony Pino is serving a Choco Taco daily, in limited numbers, throughout summer 2022, $9 apiece. Pino’s version features a housemade vanilla tuile cookie, vanilla bean ice cream, milk chocolate, and crushed, roasted peanuts.
Honeycomb Creamery (see above) is popping up at both Lamplighter Brewing taprooms several times during August — Broadway schedule here; Cambridge Crossing schedule here. Choco Taco enthusiasts might see flavors like s’mores and vegan horchata crunch, but watch Instagram for updates.
Desserts Featuring Actual Choco Tacos (While They Last)
Boston Burger Company
37 Davis Square, Somerville; 1105 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge; 1100 Boylston Street, Boston; 133 Washington Street, Salem
The mini local burger chain is known for its “freak frappes,” its take on the over-the-top milkshakes that have swept social media over the past few years, popularized by Black Tap in New York City. Think of a frappe (or milkshake for the non-local folks), and then think of another dessert or two to pile on top of it. A whole slice of cake or pie? Sure. Giant handful of candy? Yep.
A current freak frappe on the menu is the “Churro-ly We Can Taco Bout It,” a caramel frappe with a Choco Taco, churros, caramel and chocolate syrups, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Get it while you can.
20 L Street, Hampton, New Hampshire; 50 Old Granite Street, Manchester, New Hampshire; 142 Congress Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Heading up north? This is a bit beyond the Greater Boston area, but this trio of New Hampshire burger and whiskey bars features live music — and a boozy Choco Taco frappe...while supplies last. It’s frozen hot chocolate spiked with Jim Beam vanilla, plus vanilla ice cream, chocolate frosting, crushed sugar cones, whipped cream, chocolate chips, and a Choco Taco.
Not a fan of Choco Tacos or looking for something similar to fill the void once the supplies run out? Here’s a guide to some of Greater Boston’s best ice cream sandwiches and other frozen treats, from gelato-stuffed cannoli to doughnut sandwiches stuffed with ice cream.