By Isaiah Thomas, News Correspondent
With frozen yogurt shops seemingly appearing on every street corner, it’s difficult to ignore the presence of the “froyo” novelty as a modern staple of the urban diet. The frozen treat’s reputation as a healthy alternative to ice cream may explain the sheer number and variety of frozen yogurt businesses, a trend that has seen a boom in health-crazed followers, particularly among young urbanites.
Many businesses advertise their frozen yogurt as all-natural and chock full of probiotics.While these claims may be true, is has recently been disputed just how substantial the health benefits truly are, and the extent to which frozen yogurt is an upgrade from ice cream is still up for debate.
Whether it is for the supposed health benefits or the variety of flavors, people continue to flock to frozen yogurt businesses. 16 Handles, a self-serve frozen yogurt franchise named for the 16 flavors available daily, opened last week at its new location in Coolidge Corner. But it’s not necessary to trek far beyond the Northeastern campus for other options. Many frozen yogurt parlors are within walking distance of Northeastern, like BerryLine, Mixx, Pinkberry, Red Mango and Hidyan Café.
Location: 1377 Boylston St.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
BerryLine prides itself on being a “completely local” business. Its comfortable and homey environment reflects this, a stark contrast from the many frozen yogurt franchises that bring customers in with neon-filled, brightly-lit interiors. The flavors rotate and range from tamer raspberry or peanut butter to more daring lychee or Fruity Pebble, and all are on the more tart side. Toppings include the usual fruit and candy options like berries and chocolate chips . If the long line in the Fenway location on a cold January night is any indicator, BerryLine is beloved by the public.
Location: 1256 Boylston St.
Hours: Every day, noon to 11 p.m.
Mixx offers a wide variety of options, including many of the classic flavors and some fairly exotic ones like taro, which is a root vegetable, and Thai tea. But be warned that some of the specialty flavors, like vanilla, tiramisu, and cheesecake, are indistinguishable from each other. Mixx really shines when it comes to its array of toppings, including popping boba, lychee and aloe vera. If you are willing to endure the thumping club beats and stark décor, Mixx provides satisfactory frozen yogurt with the variety to make it worthwhile.
Location: Prudential Center and 288 Newbury St.
Hours: Prudential, Monday -Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Newbury, Every day 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Pinkberry is a good, reliable frozen yogurt provider. The original is tart and refreshing; the rotating flavors, like grapefruit or salted caramel, are interesting and delectable but nothing unheard of; the toppings include healthy options like fruits, nuts and vegetables for the Greek yogurt (like tomatoes and cucumbers) as well as flavors to satisfy your sweet tooth like the milk chocolate crunch (worth the extra 50 cents). Pinkberry will never leave you feeling unsatisfied if you are looking for good frozen yogurt.
Location: 80 Kilmarnock St.
Hours: Everyday noon to 11:30 p.m.
This unsung café offers cheap frozen yogurt, the portions are generous, and more than 40 flavors are available. What makes this place noteworthy is that the various yogurts are created by directly adding the flavor to plain vanilla or chocolate yogurt. Whether you order the avocado or the Twix frozen yogurt options, it is going to be real avocado or Twix flavoring your yogurt. With good prices, great portion sizes and an unusual style, the Hidyan Café’s frozen yogurt merits at least one try.