MIAGuide

The Best Ice Cream Shops In Miami

From soft serve to stracciatella.
The Best Ice Cream Shops In Miami  image

photo credit: CLEVELAND JENNINGS / @EATTHECANVASLLC

Even if you’re currently screaming for reasons other than ice cream, you still deserve a scoop of frozen happiness. And luckily Miami has some really great ice cream options. This guide has all our favorites. And if you're craving soft serve, we have a guide for that too.


THE SPOTS

photo credit: CLEVELAND JENNINGS / @EATTHECANVASLLC

Ice Cream

Hialeah

$$$$Perfect For:Dessert

This Hialeah ice cream shop was once a Dairy Queen, but it’s now our favorite place to get soft serve in Miami. It has a drive-thru, a couple of shaded tables in the back, and the absolute nicest people working the windows. You have three soft serve choices: vanilla, chocolate, or vanilla and chocolate twist—plus 29 different toppings. About half the menu here is dedicated to soft serve, and our favorite order is a small vanilla cone dipped in butterscotch. It kind of tastes like pancakes, if that makes any sense.

Frice used to only sell wholesale to restaurants, but you don't need a fancy reservation anymore to try their ice cream. Just go to their little scoop counter inside The Citadel. The creative flavors here use fresh (often local) ingredients, and when you taste it, you'll understand why fancy restaurants just serve plain scoops of this for dessert. Options change frequently, but flavors like guava chocolate chip and mamey with cookie butter will make you do an unconscious little ice cream dance. They sell takeout pints too.

photo credit: CLEVELAND JENNINGS / @EATTHECANVASLLC

$$$$Perfect For:Dessert

Whip N Dip is a Gables classic. If you grew up in the area, this was your neighborhood ice cream shop, your best friend worked here on the weekends, and you were terrified of getting burned by the Crispy Critters display (and kind of still are). Besides the nostalgia and high chances of running into high school classmates here, Whip N Dip has six flavors of soft serve we love. The regular ice cream is great too, and available in pretty much any classic flavor you can think of. The line goes out the door most weekends (and we'll happily wait in it).


Below Zero is an Italian/Argentinian scoop shop on the outskirts of MiMo. It’s easy to miss from the street (and is pretty much just an ice cream display case inside) but the ice cream here is very good. They have classic flavors like rum raisin and mint chocolate chip as well as more interesting options like stracciatella, cannoli, and a perfectly balanced banana dulce de leche. There are other good desserts in the freezer too, like frozen alfajores and mini ice cream cakes.


Sweet Melody has a little ventanita out in West Kendall as well as a scoop shop in Coral Gables. Both serve a rotating selection of delicious, interesting flavors like baklava ice cream made with rosewater and mascarpone cheese. Their guava and cream cheese flavor is also outstanding. And they’re always trying new things with flavors based on horoscopes or characters from The Office. We've loved everything we've tried here, and you can trust that any given trip to Sweet Melody is going to result in some of the best ice cream you’ve ever had.


Wynwood’s Dasher & Crank is one of those shops where you’ll want to order everything—there isn’t a flavor that doesn’t sound (and taste) delicious. Personally, we struggle to not order the Salty Beach (coconut ice cream, sea salt, and graham cracker) every time, but we occasionally break our streak for the ube flavor. We’ve seen them try everything from salmon and cream cheese to watermelon goat cheese ice cream here, and somehow they pull it all off.

Lakay roughly translates to “homestyle” in Haitian Creole, and that’s just the type of ice cream this Little Haiti spot specializes in. The ice cream is made with evaporated milk, which gives it a richness without the extra fat of cream. Their soursop ice cream is one of our favorites, but it tends to sell out. If that’s the case, the passion fruit is a close second. And if you’re a fan of rum raisin, Lakay makes one of the best versions in Miami with Barbancourt rum.


photo credit: CLEVELAND JENNINGS / @EATTHECANVASLLC

Peel is a little shop that does a very brilliant thing with bananas: it turns them into soft serve. That’s pretty much what you can expect here—banana-based soft serve with rotating flavor twists like mango or matcha (plus some very cute banana art). Even though it may not taste like ice cream, Peel has absolutely nailed that light, fluffy soft serve consistency. And because this is fruit doing an impression of ice cream, the soft serve isn’t too heavy and makes for an excellent midday snack, perhaps in between shopping at the nearby Proper Sausages and Sobremesa


Azucar is a classic, both for architecture and ice cream. Their giant ice cream cone sculpture is one of our favorite landmarks on Calle Ocho, but the ice cream here is equally as impressive. They do a lot of Cuban-inspired flavors, like their most famous one, the Abuela Maria—with Maria cookies, guava, and cream cheese. Other flavors include cafe con leche and Oreo, sweet plantain, and dulce de leche. They also have a huge painting of Celia Cruz and benches made out of guayaberas.

photo credit: Rami Sabban

Salt & Straw has locations in Wynwood, Coconut Grove, and Lincoln Road. Each one has everything that made this national scoop shop so popular: fun flavors, local collaborations, and really, really good ice cream. Flavors rotate often, but we’ve tried (and thoroughly enjoyed) the bacon biscuit crumble with pickle caramel, pineapple coconut cream pie, and honey lavender. To-go pints are available too, so you can stock your freezer.


Frieze is an ice cream shop that’s been open since Miami Vice was on the air. It’s that kind of charming neighborhood scoop shop with bright fluorescent lights, hypothermia-inducing AC, and a staff exclusively made up of teenagers. There are no ridiculous flavors or sundae monstrosities that exist only for photos here—just mostly cups and cones you can take with you down nearby Lincoln Road.


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