HomeFoodThe inside scoop to your local iced treat parlors

The inside scoop to your local iced treat parlors

Published June 4, 2024

Have you ever walked into an ice cream parlor or cafe on a perfect summer’s day craving an iced treat but unsure of what to order? What better way to get the inside scoop than knowing the personal favorites of the employees themselves? As a certified consumer and distinguished critic of iced treats, I have curated a review including classic to unique and riveting flavors with suggestions from five wonderful employees from various locations.

Carmel Bakery (photos by LAUREN GALICIA)

Carmel Bakery on Ocean Avenue

Bakery employee Jay Tayler suggests a single shot of espresso over Marianne’s Irish Coffee and Chocolate Chip ice cream in a plastic cup—an affogato, an Italian dessert consisting of ice cream “drowned” in coffee. It has a similar consistency to a root beer float, a little milky and foamy on the top. The coffee on coffee bombards taste buds, though it’s not overpowering and maintains an impeccable balance with the sweet cream and chunks of chocolate. For caffeine-lovers or for after a long day spent at the beach, this iced treat is nothing short of energizing.

Cafe Carmel

Cafe Carmel on Ocean Avenue

Marianne’s ice cream once again makes an appearance through Kelly Given’s pick of a scoop of their famous Heaven in a cup. It’s vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter goodness all in one spoonful—a swirled symphony of classic flavors. The peanuts add a slight salty nuttiness and texture, as do the fudgy brownie pieces. This is right up any peanut-butter fiend’s alley.

Cafe del Mar in Dolores Street

Hidden in the streets of Carmel lies this peaceful, pastel cafe of homemade gelato heaven. Andrew Hala recommends the amaretto cherry gelato, complete with an adorable wooden spoon. This creamy, stretchy concoction has a light almond flavor with black cherries that burst in your mouth, and some sort of crystalized amaretto syrup ribboned throughout. The flavors complement each other immensely, dancing and lingering on one’s tongue in a delightful waltz.

Cafe del Mar

Earthbound Farms at 7250 Carmel Valley Road

Jazmine Gomez prefers a chocolate and vanilla swirl of their organic soft serve in a cone. While the wholesome garden atmosphere adds to the experience, this soft serve is light and refreshing, perfect for summer. Be warned to eat or lick fast, for it melts as quick as the wings of Icarus.

Revival at 463 Alvarado Street in Monterey

Earthbound Farms

The sheer amount of ice cream makes it worth the drive, not to mention the selection of 12 incredible flavors. One of Emma Hart’s go-to’s is the Pineapple Orange Guava in a cone. Its tropical flavor is reminiscent of that of Disneyland Dole Whip except upgraded to a more rich and substantial texture. Any flavor paired with their freshly-baked waffle cone, which you can smell the moment you step in, is a dangerously good combination. Sitting on the open patio with this fruity order has you absorbing your daily Vitamin C, a must on bright summer days.




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