The origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C. Early references include the Roman emperor Nero (A.D. 37-68) who ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings, and King Tang (A.D. 618-97) of Shang, China who had a method of creating ice and milk concoctions. Ice cream was likely brought from China back to Europe. Over time, recipes for ices, sherbets, and milk ices evolved and served in the fashionable Italian and French royal courts.
After the dessert was imported to the United States, it was served by several famous Americans. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson served it to their guests. In 1700, Governor Bladen of Maryland was recorded as having served it to his guests. In 1774, a London caterer named Philip Lenzi announced in a New York newspaper that he would be offering for sale various confections, including ice cream. Dolly Madison served it in 1812.
FACT: The first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City in 1776. American colonists were the first to use the term “ice cream”. The name came from the phrase “iced cream” that was similar to “iced tea”. The name was later abbreviated to “ice cream” the name we know today.
KLAVON’S ICE CREAM PARLOUR phone(412) 434-0451
2801 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor in the Strip District of Pittsburgh is an old-fashioned gem, the kind of place that makes you feel like you’ve taken a big step back in time. Most of the decor is original: woodwork, soda fountain, the flooring, light fixtures and even the banana split dishes! Old apothecary bottles and other antique pharmacy items still line the old shelves, which only stands to reason because Klavon’s started life as a pharmacy in 1923, and eventually transformed itself into the home of Pittsburgh’s own Reinhold’s Ice Cream. But the really good news is that even the service is old-fashioned! When you step up to the counter to place your order, there is none of this ‘hurry up and order so I can get back to texting someone on my phone’ vibe. The server takes yours orders and chats about the ice cream like some expert tour guide.
Klavon’s serves its ice cream the way ice cream should be; simple and delicious. Single or double scooped cones, Banana Splits, Tin Ceiling Sundaes, Egg Cremes, Milkshakes, and Root Beer Floats are just a few of the old-time treasures you will find there. The ice cream they still use is Reinhold’s, and it’s still made locally.
Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor has its own parking lot which my West Virginia relatives find a relief. And Klavon’s does serve soups, salads and sandwiches, just in case you’re not up to a sundae. If you are, then don’t pass up the experience of their Super Bowl Sundae for dinner. You might want to bring seven or eight of your closest friends to help you out it.
FACT: In 1846, Nancy Johnson patented a hand-cranked freezer that established the basic method of making ice cream still used today. William Young patented the similar “Johnson Patent Ice-Cream Freezer” in 1848.
LARRY’S OLD FASHIONED ICE CREAM PARLOR ph. 727.360.4259
6595 Gulf Boulevard, Saint Pete Beach, FL
Ask anyone who’s been here and they’ll tell you if you love ice cream and you’re ever in Florida you’ve got to visit Larry’s Ice Cream Parlour on St. Pete Beach. They reputedly have the best ice cream in America if not the world. And if your nose is anything to go by, when you first walk inside Larry’s , and smell the homemade waffles cones being made, and tried their homemade free waffle cone special with their Italian gelato flavors (Tiramsui and Italian Pistachio), you’ll be more than ready to agree. They certainly have the best gelato this side of Fierenza, and at Larry’s one is almost always in two-, three- or four-minds as to which flavor to choose. They have over 100 flavors .
The staff is always helpful and friendly as well, and will go out of its way to suggest soemthing that will hit the spot.
FACT: The idea for the Eskimo Pie bar was created by Chris Nelson, a ice cream shop owner from Onawa, Iowa. He thought up the idea in the spring of 1920, after he saw a young customer called Douglas Ressenden having difficulty choosing between ordering an ice cream sandwich and a chocolate bar. Nelson created the solution, a chocolate covered ice cream bar. The first Eskimo Pie chocolate covered ice cream bar on a stick was created in 1934.
40 Short’s Gardens, Covent Garden, WC2H 9AB
It’s a shame that this excellent Covent Garden gelateria doesn’t feature outdoor seating to complete the Italian picture, but the ice cream more than makes up for it, and the Covent Garden piazza and Seven Dials are only a short walk away. Purchase a cone and enjoy it while perched on hot cobblestones. Owner, Matteo Pantani’s sheer enthusiasm for his frankly superior product is contagious – and justified. Many of the ingredients for his frequently changing palette of gelati are imported from esteemed suppliers in Italy. The pistachio is one of our perennial favourites, thanks to the distinctive smoky, creamy flavour of nuts from Bronte, a Sicilian village known for its pistachios. There’s also an outlet on Soho’s Brewer Street, and a third one is planned to open soon in Kensington. Other branch: 53 Brewer Street, W1F 9UJ
EGGER’S ICE CREAM PARLOR phone (718) 981-2110
1194 Forest Ave Ste B
Staten Island, NY 10310 40.6263 -74.1296
Egger’s definitely hands down has the Best ice cream on Staten Island. I love bringing my kids in there since they have such a lovely selection of candies for The staff is beyond friendly, even though the wait may be long at times to sit It’s worth it because the ice cream is all homemade and made on the premises. This truly is a wonderful place. At peak times this place is swarming with families and friends of all ages. They have enough staff to handle it as long as you dont mind waiting a minute or two. In all of the best restaurants, doctors offices, shopping centers etc. there will always be a wait, but in return will be well worth it. Once you are seated the flow of service is practically perfection and if its not there will always be someone else nearby that can help you out. I highly reccommend visiting Eggers so you can experience the joy yourself. Splurge with some extra toppings and chocolates and maybe even grap a couple of pieces of your favorite candy on the way out! Enjoy your visit, I’m sure you will.
ANNIE’S ICE CREAM PARLOUR (Above)
(aka Annie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlour) This place is located in Bathurst, over the mountains from Sydney, Australia, and is a MUST visit. Right on the corner of George and Church St, the bright pink signage of Annie’s is hard to be missed. The outdoor tables shaded with baby pink and green sun umbrellas are occupied with children, licking colorful ice creams. But once inside one is overwhelmed with the PINK.
All the ice cream at Annie’s is home made, the old fashioned way; with flavours cleverly named after some local locations, eg. Sofala Gold (named after nearby Sofala, a town where gold was found) which is vanilla ice cream with honeycomb through it; and Bridle Track (a rocky road track runs from Duramana, northwest of Bathurst, to the old mining town of Hill End) which is a delicious rocky road chocolate ice cream with marshmallow, turkish delight and choc chip in it.
Gelato, or Italian ice cream, is a top treat in Florence, Italy. I’ve eaten gelato myself at the first four and the other two are highly recommended.
Gelateria La Carraia
When I first arrived in Florence in 1997, this was my first stop, one of Florence’s best-loved ice cream shops. They serve excellent homemade gelato in a large variety of flavors. My cone with two flavors cost one euro. Located in Piazza N. Sauro near Ponte Carraia, in the Oltrano area (across the river). They also have another shop, Gelateria La Carraia 2, at Via Benci 24/r.
Gelateria dei Neri
This small shop has hand-made ice cream in a variety of flavors, some of them unusual, and make sorbetto and soy based gelato, too. My favorite was the chocolate and orange. Gelateria dei Neri is at Via dei Neri 20-22, toward the center from the river and Ponte alla Grazie.
Vestri is an artisanal chocolate shop with, as you’d expect, excellent chocolate gelato. They have only a few flavors but they’re very good, made the old-fashion style and kept in metal canisters rather than being on view in a glass case. Vestri is a small shop north of Piazza Santa Croce on Borgo degli Albizi 11r.
L’Angolo del Gelato
L’Angolo del Gelato makes a good stop on your way into or out of Florence if you arrive by train or bus. L’Angolo del Gelato is on a corner of Piazza Santa Maria Novella so you can admire the church while eating your ice cream. It’s inexpensive and they have a few interesting flavors such as my favorite, cinnamon.
Vivoli is highly recommended by Joe Palisi, an Italy traveler who has contributed photos to this site. He says it’s his favorite gelateria and he’s been there several times. Vivoli gelato is made fresh daily with natural ingredients and costs a little more than average. Vivoli is at Via Isola delle Stinche 7, about a block off Piazza Santa Croce.
Grom says they make “Il Gelato Come Una Volta”, Italian ice cream as it was once made. They use high quality ingredients and have a long list of flavors with additional flavors of the month. Grom is of Piazza del Duomo on via del Campanile at the corner of via delle Oche. It opens every day at 10:30 and closes at midnight during the summer season and at 11pm during the winter season. Grom can also be found in other northern Italian cities and Perugia as well as in Paris, Tokyo, and New York City.