It’s never not summer here, which means it’s never not a good time for a cold treat. Luckily, we’re full of places to chill out and eat something good and cold and sweet. We’ve rounded up a combo of longtime favorites and hot new spots for ice cream, paletas, cold-brew coffee, and, of course, icees.
Did we miss one? Comment below.
Wall’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream
Another Southwest Miami tradition is sitting on the picnic tables outside of Wall’s Ice Cream (simply Wall’s to locals), the Metrorail running overhead while you enjoy one of their famous bananas splits. It’s a family owned business in South Miami that has made an indelible mark on Miami, and makes every customer feel special and acknowledged.
A tart frozen lemonade from the A.C.’s Icees truck at Kennedy Park is perfection during a hot, sticky Miami day. This truck, which also serves flavors like piña colada and cherry, has been around for decades pumping out the same refreshing rotation in the parking lot of the park, which itself is a Coconut Grove treasure. It’s cash only, so be sure to stick a few bucks in your pocket when you head out.
Palace Cafe and Dairy
This place has great Cuban food, but what its known for is the creamy, cold, refreshing ice cream and batidos (Cuban milkshakes). It’s a little hole in the wall, but look behind the bars on the windows, and walk right up to la ventana to get yourself one of the best mamey milkshakes in town. Pop a squat on the benches outside and take in the deliciousness.
With a rotating board of fresh ice creams made daily, Azucar is the go-to spot for a sweet treat in Little Havana. There are more than 100 flavors, from originals like the Abuela Maria, which has a vanilla base mixed with guava, cream cheese, and crispy galletas, to classics like chocolate. The Miami sun can be pretty brutal, and Azucar’s ice creams are probably the perfect way to cool down.
Robert is Here
Six-year-old Robert used to sit on the side of the road and try, but fail, to sell his dad’s cucumbers. His dad, thinking drivers didn’t see the little boy, put up a sign that read, “Robert is here.” By noon, he’d sold all the cucumbers. The next day a farmer added tomatoes to Robert’s inventory. Since then, Robert has been selling all kinds of fruits at his stand (now more of an open air market) at the same spot and turning it into milkshakes (which are to die for). Come for weird and wonderful produce, like canistel and sapote.
Newsflash: It is hot, y’all. Whether it’s December or June in South Florida, we’re never not down to have a paleta, especially one from La Michoacana. This Homestead ice cream shop keeps it extra fresh by producing some amazing flavors like Cucumber Chili, Nopal Cactus, and Arroz con Leche – along with the classics, of course.
Stracciatella. Nocciola. Cioccolate. That’s about all of the Italian we need to know to navigate the freezer at the most authentic gelato shop in Miami. The owners, Frederico and Carla, brought their family recipes from Italy to the Grove and their passion for gelato shows in every creamy scoop. Pop in, sit down for a coffee, and enjoy the real deal.
Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream
Lulu’s ice cream is the most delicious science experiment around. The instant freezing process makes for the smoothest, creamiest ice cream you’ll find in Miami, and the waffle bowls are made fresh too. The ingredients are sourced locally, which means there’s a rotating list of seasonal flavors on top of the classics.
Whip’n Dip Ice Cream Shop
This place has occupied its tiny little storefront on Sunset Drive for decades. Their milkshakes are so thick you can barely get them through a straw, and their chocolate malt shake is as classic as it gets. No fancy machines, no exotic flavors, just some of the best classic ice cream around, with generous scoops. Whip’n Dip will even give you some of their homemade Mango-flavored ice cream if you bring in a bag of mangoes from your backyard tree during the summertime.
The Frieze is a beautiful independent oasis in the commercial desert that is Lincoln Road. It offers some of the best classic ice cream on Miami Beach. They’ve also got some of the best milkshakes and floats on the Beach. It’s perfect for that post-beach day snack as you start the long walk back to your car.
Mr. Kream Wynwood
At this ice cream shop, you can expect to find a DJ spinning hip hops hits in the corner and walls covered in graffiti art. It’s always a dance party, and the ice cream flavor names match that party vibe. You can try “A$AP Rocky Road,” “Snoopstachio,” and even some good ole’ “Purple Rain.” What keeps us coming back, though, is their famous “Fat Boy Brownie Sundae.”
Miami Coppelia Ice Cream
This Little Havana gem is set up like a traditional cafeteria and has an old school vibe to it. And it shares its name with a famous ice cream shop in Cuba, which explains why you can get ice cream and flan combos, like the Copa Lolita. ¡Que delicioso! Their other popular flavors include guava, almond, and coconut.
This Taiwanese dessert food truck in The Wynwood Yard and at Lincoln Road Mall brings us the shaved ice and ice cream hybrid we never knew we needed. You eat the paper-thin layers of ice cream with a fork instead of a spoon and they’re modeled after Taiwanese “snow dessert.” Their coconut flavor is vegan, and they also have bubble teas.
Cream Parlor is a homey Miami place for food AND ice cream desserts. It’s got teacups and vinyls on the walls, and a patio in the back to eat a cone outside. They’re known for a flavor creation called “Unicorn Poop.” That says its all. You can add toppings like Berry Captain Crunch and Lucky Charms marshmallows to bring out your inner kid. The staff is even willing to help you create your own dessert if you don’t see one you want on the menu.