The Best Shaved Ice In MiamiDesserts for those days when just the idea of putting on pants makes you sweat.
For a city that gets as hot and humid as the counter at a 24-hour fritanga, Miami really lacks a shaved ice culture. It's weird, especially because Miami is mostly made up of people from places that know what raspados, granizados, cremoladas, and cepillados, are all about. Nevertheless, we do have places serving these sweet refreshments for those days when just the idea of putting on pants makes you sweat.
Korean Kitchen in North Miami Beach is the best (and, tragically, one of the only) places in Miami to get classic Korean dishes. One of those is bingsu, a shaved ice dessert that Korean Kitchen offers in three flavors: Oreo, strawberry, and mango. Go for the mango. Plus, Korean Kitchen puts a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some whipped cream on top for good measure. You'll want to split this with someone because, like most of the dishes here, it's pretty massive.
To say that Loly’s does Nicaraguan shaved ice underplays just how innovative this Sweetwater classic is with its recipes, like the relleno, which layers crushed ice with dulce de leche and buttery cubes of Nica pound cake. If that just sounds too heavy, get a regular raspado layered with Loly’s housemade fruit jams, like nance and passion fruit. What we really love about the raspados here is that they’re made with coarser crushed ice, which melts slowly—even on the hottest day in August.
This is the best place in Miami to get kakigori. The little Design District food truck has fluffy, delicate shaved ice and a bunch of different flavors. Each order of kakigori also gets its own custom whipped cream. So, if you order the Passion Fruit Mountain (which you should), you will also get passion fruit whipped cream—not only on top but also buried inside. Besides that, we also love the tiger tempura, which tastes like cereal milk in frozen form and is topped with Frosted Flakes.
Snow Kool is a little shop in a Doral strip mall that’s making some excellent shaved ice and boba. You can top their not-too-sweet taro shaved ice with a few different kinds of popping boba, which is nice if you’re feeling indecisive and can’t decide between tea or shaved ice. But don’t just come here for sweets. They have a menu of Chinese noodle dishes, pork roujiamo, and more savory items worth your attention.
The award for the most over-the-top-but-not-in-an-insufferably-Instagrammy-way shaved ice goes to Lutong Pinoy for its halo-halo. This Filipino dessert is refreshing yet rich, and features more textures than we have words for. Lutong Pinoy starts with a bowl of crushed ice and drowns it in evaporated milk. Then comes a whole kitchen’s worth of toppings: jams, jellies, tropical fruit, ube ice cream, a chunk of flan, and a sprinkle of Fruity Pebbles because why the hell not? As you could imagine, it's meant to be shared.
What you’ll find at this North Miami spot is technically shaved ice in that it is made of ice and it is shaved—but it’s quite different from the other versions on this guide. Most shaved ice desserts consist of water-based ice and all the flavor comes from syrups and toppings. Here, the flavor is in the ice itself because it's made out of flavored milk. Because of this, the ice crystals form differently and you get these beautiful, impossibly thin ribbons instead of little granules. We love the mango flavor, which tastes like a Miami summer and feels like Dippin Dots’ sexy cousin. You can add all sorts of candy to it like a kindergartner at a yogurt shop, but we stick to a drizzle of condensed milk and some fresh fruit.
This spot specializes in dressed-up versions of cholados, a Colombian creation that straddles the line between drink and dessert. Amazonica serves their version of a traditional cholado, The Paradise, with a berry puree, diced ripe mango, green apple, strawberries, pineapple, and bananas, along with the requisite drizzle of condensed milk. They also have an affogato-inspired cholado and even one featuring Miami’s favorite pairing of guava and Maria cookies with vanilla ice cream and arequipe (Colombian dulce de leche). Amazonica has locations in Upper Buena Vista, Aventura Mall, and Brickell.
Summer Love Ice House is not in Miami. It's in Hollywood. But we figure since you've made it this far in a shaved ice guide, you'll want to know about it. Shaved ice is the only thing this place serves. It’s delicious and comes in flavors like taro, mango, Oreo tiramisu, and more. Each is served on a wooden tray with little portions of tapioca, red bean pudding, condensed milk, brown sugar syrup, and mochi rice cakes for you to customize your mountain of finely-shaved ice.