Best Ice Cream on LI: The Inside Scoop


Photos courtesy of Lexi Capitali

(Clockwise from left): Ice cream from Carvel, Marvel, and Ralph’s

 Marvel, Carvel, and Ralph’s are three of the most popular ice cream establishments on Long Island. When summer comes around, many Long Islanders debate which of the three to get a treat from, but do not always get down to the heart of the matter: which one is truly the best? Well, I tried them all, so you don’t have to…even though I recommend that you do!

     First stop: Ralph’s Italian Ices. Ralph’s is known for its ices, not its ice cream, so trying both was a necessity in order to get accurate results. My order was a small vanilla soft serve, and the server’s recommendation was a medium chocolate peanut butter. The vanilla soft serve was okay, but nothing too special. It just tasted like regular soft serve. However, the medium chocolate peanut butter was very sweet and definitely something I would want to have more than once. 

     Freshman Reese Shaprio is a Ralph’s Ices super-fan. She commented, “Personally, Ralph’s is the best. They have so many flavors to choose from, and they have stores all across Long Island, so it is always around if I want it for a treat.” From experience, there are better flavors to get at Ralph’s than to the two that were tried; however, I still rank it third compared to Carvel and Marvel.

     Second stop: Carvel. Carvel truly has some of the best ice cream, and many people — especially Lynbrook residents, since we have two in the area — get it year-round. My order was a medium vanilla soft serve with caramel sauce, and it was so very good. The soft serve at Carvel is truly some of the best soft serve around. It just melts in your mouth and is something that I could eat forever. Carvel fan and sophomore Sara Curley agrees; she said, “Carvel is my favorite place to get ice cream. I always find something I like, and I am never disappointed with their ice cream.” Carvel has some of the best ice cream, however, it is not the best. Therefore, it is coming in at (a very close) second place.

     Third and final stop: Marvel. The trip to Lido Beach was well worth the ice cream. Though it is farther away than the other places, Marvel never disappoints. My order was a small pistachio soft serve with chocolate sprinkles. The soft serve at Marvel, no matter the flavor, is to die for. The flavors are amazing, and the texture of the soft serve is perfect. People all across the South Shore go down to Lido Beach year-round just for their soft serve; during the summer, there is always a line wrapped around the corner for their ice cream. If that does not tell you that this is the best ice cream on the South Shore, I do not know what will. “Marvel is the best treat on a summer night,” said junior Amanda Larrow. “Being able to get such great ice cream with the beach right down the block just makes the experience even better. I cannot wait to eat the ice cream directly on the beach since they added a store on the Long Beach Boardwalk,” added Larrow. 

     The verdict? Marvel is the winner with Carvel in a close, close second. Marvel is really just the best place to get ice cream, and to me, the summer season does not begin until I have a Marvel soft serve cone in my hand. Carvel and Ralph’s are both very good, but they fall a bit short in comparison. Despite the long drive for Lynbrook residents, there is no better spot for ice cream than Marvel.