Battle Froyo

By Nell Birch and Andrea Zhu

While the political battle raged in the media, two Panel staffers set out to investigate a battle even closer to home: the battle of froyo. With clear eyes, full wallets, and empty stomachs, we set out to determine once and for all, who serves the best yogurt?

Sweet Tart:
749 Beacon Street, Newton Centre

As newcomers to this establishment, we were surprised when we entered Sweet Tart–in the best way. Sweet Tart stepped up its game with bright yellow paint, pink furniture, large bins filled with every sort of candy you could imagine, fun cylindrical cereal dispensers, an extensive fresh fruit bar with one sort of berry we didn’t even recognize, and Ghirardelli chocolate and caramel sauce dispensers.

Unique flavors like Red Velvet and Dulce de Leche were impressively decadent for soft-serve frozen yogurt, but we’d still prefer ice cream for that sort of flavor; the plain also had a strong yogurt taste that we enjoyed. The texture, unfortunately, was icy and grainy; it also melted very easily. Overall, Sweet Tart wins on variety and quality of toppings, but we wish we could just have that assortment with ice cream instead of their subpar yogurt. We rank Sweet Tart third on our list.

Berry Freeze:
273 Harvard Street, Brookline

Berry Freeze, although in a convenient Coolidge Corner location, was also somewhat disappointing. Not as bright or as welcoming as Sweet Tart, Berry Freeze was grey and quiet upon our entrance. With seven flavors to choose from, the offerings were original and fruitier than those at Sweet Tart. However, the lemonade-flavored frozen yogurt had an off-putting flavor; its lemon flavor was too strong and did not mesh well with the frozen yogurt. The plain yogurt was better, with a clean, tart taste. Both yogurts had a good texture, very smooth and pleasantly solid.

Berry Freeze’s toppings selection was more limited than Sweet Tart’s. Offerings consisted of more classic candies, as well as fruit. While the chocolate chips were good quality, the fruit was macerated and syrupy. We rank Berry Freeze fourth on our list.

288 Newbury Street, Boston
Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street, Boston
George Sherman Union (Boston University), 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston
1380 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge (Harvard Square)
180 Linden Street, Wellesley (Linden Square)

Pinkberry felt more like a social destination than any of the other places we reviewed, for not only the fun pink and green decor but also the crowd of people inside.

Fruit toppings are especially fresh here. You can see the staff cutting them up behind the counter rather than refilling from a huge container of already-cut fruit. We highly suggest trying their ‘deluxe’ toppings as well for something you couldn’t get at any other froyo place. Most notably, however, Pinkberry is the only place where the non-plain flavors are preferable to plain. Unlike at other yogurt shops, they are a perfect blend of the flavor and yogurt, neither trying to imitate ice cream nor a peculiar sugary mix of fruitiness and tart yogurt. The plain, while good, is no better than that of any of the other providers.

One con is that you can’t serve up toppings yourself, and sizes are predetermined rather than charged by weight. However, because it’s so good, you feel as if someone put effort into planning your frozen yogurt dish and making sure all the flavors work together in harmony: like you would at a restaurant instead of a chain or self-serve cafeteria. We rank Pinkberry first on our list.

1377 Boylston Street, Boston (Fenway)
303 Newbury Street, Boston
3 Arrow Street, Cambridge (Harvard Square)
1668 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge (Porter Square)

Berryline, the frozen yogurt option closest to Winsor, was a familiar but pleasant experience. The yogurt at Berryline was refreshingly tart with a sweet, rather than chemical, aftertaste. Smooth and creamy, the yogurt’s texture was pleasing and not distracting, although it melted faster than some other options. While the flavor selection, three choices that rotate regularly, was more limited than that of many other locations, each flavor was palatable in yogurt form. Like at Pinkberry, toppings are not self-serve, but there is a larger selection of toppings than at Berry Freeze, with higher quality fruit and more interesting choices, like Tazo chocolate flakes.

Berryline also serves Belgian waffles, an offering unique to any frozen yogurt location, and perhaps appealing in the winter when colder options could lead to numb tongues. Given the location and intriguing waffle possibilities, we rank Berryline second on our list.