Summers are hot, and one way we Floridians like to chill is by snacking on frozen treats. From classic ice cream and gelato to a healthier frozen yogurt, and now the trendy artisan ice pops, there are countless delicious options that will help you keep cool.
Ice pops, or paletas as they’re known in South Florida, are definitely the biggest trend this summer. Made of natural ingredients such as fresh fruit, almond milk and pure cane sugar, these frosty treats will put a smile on your face without artificially staining your lips. Want to taste the trend? Here are some places I’d recommend:
The Hyppo (St. Augustine, Orlando)
The Hyppo offers creative flavors that mix sweet with spicy and savory such as mango habenero, datil pepper strawberry, and cucumber lemon mint. They also have classic fruit flavors based on what’s in season as well as a few grown-up versions such as sangria plum and champagne mango. How’d they get the name Hyppo? Here’s some trivia for you -- they’re named for the city’s patron saint, Saint Augustine of Hippo.
Feverish Pop Shop (Miami)
This mobile ice pop company has been featured on The Today Show, The Cooking Channel and in Budget Travel Magazine. They’ve grown so popular that in addition to their vintage cart catering, you can now also find them in midtown Miami serving up flavors such as strawberry mojito and Arnold Palmer. Say, when was the last time you had a strawberry mojito on a stick? Handmade with fresh ingredients and a heart full of love, you’ll have a hard time eating just one.
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice (Orlando)
Not quite an ice pop, not just ice cream, this cupful of sweetness definitely serves up a twist. What began as Jeremiah Litwack’s high school hobby has turned into one of the most popular shops in Orlando. Here, they layer Italian ice with soft-serve ice cream to make creamy “gelatis.” They’re both flavorful and colorful!
In addition to ice pops, Florida has its fair share of traditional ice cream parlors, too. Whether you’re in the mood for a banana split, Italian gelato or some unique, locally made Florida flavors such as guava and key lime, here’s a list of some of the best ice cream shops around.
Working Cow Ice Cream (St. Pete Beach)
Locally made using Florida dairy and family owned and operated for over 20 years, you’re likely to find Working Cow Ice Cream in lots of ice cream shops around the state. They handcraft traditional flavors in small batches, creating the creamiest and most flavorful ice cream around. The best place to get a taste is at Uncle Andy’s Ice Cream Parlor in the Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach. They have an old-fashioned diner atmosphere where you can order a single scoop, an ice cream sundae or a gigantic banana split.
Azucar Ice Cream Company (Miami)
Located in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, you won’t be able to miss the giant, double-stacked ice cream scoop sculpture hanging from the outside wall.
At Azucar, you’ll find Latin flavors the way “abuela” used to make them, including cafe con leche, sunset-colored mamey, and creamy avocado with condensed milk. They also have great fruit flavors including sweet pink guava, mango, and lemon basil.
Blue Mountain Creamery (Blue Mountain Beach)
Located in a big, two-story cottage off Highway 30A, it’s not uncommon to see a group of people gathered on the porch as visitors line up for some of the best-tasting ice cream and frozen yogurt in Northwest Florida. The hard-packed yogurt is made on site daily with real yogurt (no powders or artificial flavorings), and the freshest ingredients, producing flavors such as cantaloupe, lemon chiffon, blueberry pomegranate, and orange pineapple.
Gelateria Del Duomo (Tampa)
This family owned shop makes real Italian gelato with natural ingredients and products imported from Italy. Transport yourself to the streets of Rome with creamy flavors such as straciatella, tiramisu, panna cotta, and Nutella. Or, you can go for something refreshingly fruity and tropical like coconut, limoncello, and guanabana.
Key West Ice Cream Factory (Key West)
What’s better than a slice of key lime pie and a cup of Cuban coffee? Ice cream-flavored like key lime pie and Cuban coffee! The Key West Ice Cream Factory produces classic island flavors as well as coconut rum raisin and the unique fruit, soursop. (Don’t worry you vanilla-lovers, they have traditional flavors, too.) They’re a little off the beaten path, but worth the walk. You’ll find them on William Street at the historic Key West Bight Marina.
Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor (Fort Lauderdale)
Jaxson’s has been serving up sundaes and smiles since 1956. Their unique decor of vintage garage sale-style memorabilia, along with fun Americana foods has had them featured on The Food Network as well Good Morning America. On the ice cream menu you’ll find classic flavors such as rocky road, cookie dough, black cherry, and mocha chip, all made fresh daily on the premises. And from their variety of ice cream flavors you can make jumbo sundaes, frosted floats, and Jaxson’s Sparklers, which are perfect for celebrating a big birthday or the Fourth of July. Located just a short drive from Fort Lauderdale in Dania Beach, Jaxson’s is definitely the place to stop on your summer road trip.
The Sugar Shak (Rosemary Beach)
If you’re looking for the king of all sundaes and a dessert that will give you bragging rights back home, then look no further than the Sugar Shak’s Bellyache. This little ice cream parlor in Rosemary Beach offers a sundae made with 16 scoops of ice cream and one of each of their toppings. And since this is a candy store as well, you better believe there are just as much toppings as ice cream, including fun things such as Swedish fish and candy corn. It’s definitely a dessert to be shared among friends and is currently the largest ice cream sundae I know of in the state of Florida.