Ice cream parlor

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Gelato selections at a Sicilian ice cream parlor

Ice cream parlors (or parlours) are places that sell ice cream, gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt to consumers. Ice cream is typically sold as regular ice cream (also called hard-packed ice cream), gelato and soft serve, which is typically dispensed by a machine with a limited number of flavors (e.g. chocolate, vanilla, and "twist", a mix of the two). It is customary for ice cream parlors to offer several ice cream flavors and items.


In the 1800s, an early form of an ice cream parlor was existent in Philadelphia, United States which sold "all kinds of refreshments, as Ice Cream, Syrups, French Cordials, Cakes, Clarets of the best kind, Jellies, etc."[1]


Entry to an ice cream parlor in the United States

Parlors vary in terms of environment, some only have an order window and outside seating, while others have complete indoor facilities. Additionally, some parlors have drive-through windows. Some parlors remain open all year round (typically in warmer weather locations) and others in colder climates stay open only during warmer months, particularly from March to November. Parlors in major metro areas, including those in colder climates, often remain throughout the year to satisfy high consumer demand for frozen ice creams, yogurts, and sorbets.

Some ice cream parlors in Moscow, Russia offer alcoholic beverages along with ice cream.[2]

Product overview[edit]

Gelato being scooped in an ice cream parlor in Venice, Italy

Gelato is Italian ice cream that typically has almost half the butterfat content of ice cream and a smoother texture. Gelato parlors often produce their own product and are less likely to serve American-style ice cream or soft serve. Sorbet is a frozen treat made from fruit, syrup and ice. No milk or cream is used. Frozen yogurt is a common low-fat ice cream alternative with a smooth texture that is similar to soft serve ice cream. All of these frozen products may be sold in ice cream cones, cups, sundaes, and milkshakes. Some parlors may also sell ice cream cakes, ice cream bars and other pre-packaged frozen sweets. In addition to frozen dessert products, many modern ice cream parlors also sell a variety of hot fast foods.

List of ice cream parlor chains[edit]

Interior of the Coppelia ice cream parlor in Havana, Cuba. Coppelia serves approximately 35,000 customers a day 4,250 gallons of ice cream, and has over 400 employees.[3] It is one of the largest ice cream parlors in the world.[4]

United States[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beard, James (2008). Beard on Food: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom from the Dean of American Cooking. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 180. ISBN 1596917156. Retrieved March 2013. 
  2. ^ Fisher, Dan (September 24, 1977). "Caviar splits may catch Ivan's fancy". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ McGrew, Patrick (August 8, 2012). "A California Architect Visits Cuba". Community Television of Southern California. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ Boudreaux, Richard (November 5, 1991). "Culture : Castro's Revolutionary Cry: Let Them Eat Ice Cream!". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ Luna, Nancy (June 18, 2012). "Next SoCal Farrell’s to be chain’s biggest ice cream parlor". Orange County Register. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ Rochester, Helen (April 13, 1977). "Ice-cream parlor revives old-time delights". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved March 7, 2013.