You know it’s summer in Miami when lines outside the neighborhood ice cream shop snake around the block longer than those at the club. The frozen treat is always in demand here, but a scoop (or two) atop a sugary cone seems to be everyone’s favorite accessory when the temperatures spike.
We’re bringing you five of the top ice cream shops around the city to indulge, cool off and, perhaps, even find a new favorite flavor.
Another storied family-owned spot, this South Beach staple has been whipping up made-from-scratch ice cream for decades, with some inventive names (Sassy Strawberry and Get Down Boogie Oogie Cookie), to boot.
The sorbets here are also on point — not too watery, not too tangy, just right and oh so refreshing. A scoop of watermelon will quench your thirst and satisfy your sweet tooth.
What to order: try something simple here with a real-deal vanilla bean or go posh with the champagne sorbet — both hit the spot.
Look for the larger-than-life, neon-colored ice cream cone ablaze over renowned Calle Ocho (Eighth Street) to find this Little Havana gem. The scoop shop is known for its housemade Cuban ice cream and tropical-inspired flavors like cafe con leche (a Cuban coffee and Oreo blend), platano maduro (sweet plantain) and caramel flan.
With cone in hand, pop outside. The sign and facade offer a backdrop for a must-take selfie. If you’re beach bound, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Loews Miami Beach Hotel also serves Azucar’s treats at Miami Joe Coffee Co.
What to order: Abuela Maria, the classic Cuban snack (guava, cream cheese and Maria cookie crumbs) blended with vanilla ice cream.
In Coconut Grove, this family-run shop serves an Italian version of the frozen treat. You’ll find only all-natural, organic ingredients, including various palate-pleasing options for vegans and lactose-intolerant guests like cookies and cream gelato and mango granita.
Three other locations — Collins Avenue, Miami Beach and The Citadel food hall — make getting your fix easier than reading the brand’s non-GMO ingredients labels.
What to order: a scoop of pistachio made with real Italian nuts. It’s white, not green, so you know it’s the real deal. The Himalayan pink salt caramel is also a fan favorite.
Make your way to South Miami and indulge at this no-frills address. The family-owned mainstay has been serving housemade ice cream since 1985. Read: this crew knows its stuff.
Expect only quality customer service in a no-fuss environment, where ordering a scoop of vanilla with rainbow sprinkles atop a waffle cone is perfectly fine. Come on a Monday when the ice cream chef churns out Krispy Kreme, Peeps and other fun flavors.
What to order: the cult classic Cookies ’n Creme. Ask for a pint to take home for a midnight treat — you won’t regret it.
A relative newcomer to the scene, Luisa “Lulu” Santos opened up her store in downtown Miami a few years ago after learning how to turn out the cold dessert using liquid nitrogen during her senior year at Georgetown University.
You can’t go wrong with any of the creations here, where everything from the ice cream bases (flavors like mango and Key lime reflect what’s in season at local farms) and toppings to the waffle cones and cups are all housemade. Lulu’s milk and cream comes from nearby Dakin Dairy Farm, also home to a cow (aptly named “Lulu”) that the shop adopted.
What to order: choose a base flavor (don’t skip the ever-popular Nutella) and mix-ins like coconut shavings and graham cracker crumbs, and watch your concoction get made right in front of you.