From Our Editors
Among the oldest ice-cream shops in the country, Carvel Ice Cream was founded in the early 1930s, when owner Thomas Carvelas borrowed $15 to begin selling ice cream from his truck. After getting a flat tire, he pulled into the parking lot of a pottery shop and began selling frozen treats from his broken-down auto. The impromptu ice-cream parlor was unexpectedly popular, and the up-and-coming youth bought the pottery shop and stayed for years.
Soon, demand for his newfangled soft serve became so high that he patented his machinery and franchised his business. Today, in an all-kosher-certified shop on sunny Rodeo Drive, friendly staffers serve the same creamy confection in hundreds of flavors. Dessert artisans decorate signature ice-cream cakes in brilliant colors and whimsical shapes, and fill ice-cream sandwiches and chocolate-dipped cones with dairy or vegan, nondairy soft-serve options. The shop's relaxing setup boasts a spacious balcony, where guests can watch sports on HDTVs or get a closer peek at the flag on the moon.