Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach
Photo by Nicole Danna
In South Florida, we know heat — and we know how to beat it. Between air conditioning, swimming pools, a dip in the ocean, and all these damn ice cream and serve-yourself fro-yo shops, we've got summer meltdowns covered. But enough with the trendy, soft-serve yogurt. When you want the real deal, there are plenty of places to turn.
Icy treats can be traced all the way back to the Persians, who would save snow in cold underground chambers until it was hot out and then pour grape juice on it. The Arabs are thought to be the first people to incorporate cream instead of just frozen water, and the Chinese are credited with the first device that churned the frozen goods into what we would recognize as sorbet or ice cream. It wasn't until the 1500s that ice cream made its way to Europe and the rest of the Western world. But America has long put its own stamp on ice cream, including the invention of the hot fudge sundae and, more recently, alcoholic ice cream. From crazy flavors and adult-only scoops, to design-your-own ice cream cookie sandwiches, to sundaes sprinkled with everything but the kitchen sink, here's our list of Broward and Palm Beach Counties' favorite spots to get summer's most essential treat: ice cream.
Photo courtesy of Sprinkles Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop
10. Sprinkles Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop
279 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach; 561-659-1140; visit sprinklespalmbeach.com.
Since 1984, this Palm Beach ice cream shop has been dishing out some of the best homemade ice cream in Palm Beach County. Originally founded by mother-daughter team Eve and Therese Williams, today the shop continues to sell more than 20 flavors of specialty ice cream, over a dozen floats and shakes, and a wide-ranging menu that includes smoothies, salads, sandwiches, and even flatbread pizza. Located smack dab in the center of Palm Beach Island's downtown hub, the shop has seen many a celebrity visitor over the years, serving the likes of Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart, Jimmy Buffet, Robert Kraft, Brooke Shields, Hoda Kotb, Glenn Beck, and, of course, Donald Trump. The publicity doesn't stop there, though. In 2002, People magazine voted Sprinkles' Triple Chocolate Supreme — a combo of rich chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips — the #1 ice cream in America. The most recent addition to the Sprinkles menu lineup is a gourmet coffee bar, where fresh-ground beans are used for made-to-order lattes and cappuccinos.
Photo by Nicole Danna
111 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-303-3912; visit sloansicecream.com.
Sloan's is the pretty pink ice cream parlor you only feel comfortable walking into while holding the hand of your 5-year-old, tutu-adorned niece. If you can man up enough to brave the princess-festooned parlor, however, you'll be rewarded with dozens of unique ice cream flavors, all made in-house, and a menu that spoons over a long list of sundaes, floats, smoothies, and made-to-order ice cream cookie sandwiches. Here, it's all about choice: everything from Mom's apple pie and Dad's milk chocolate, to Elvis' peanut butter and banana, to Minnie and Indy's Wonderworld — a pink buttercream ice cream swirled with Lucky Charms marshmallows, mini M&Ms, and fresh-baked Rice Krispie treats. We challenge you to find some of these flavors served anywhere else. If you can't decide which one to try, get the luxury sampler — a boat of nine scoops — and show them all who's king of the ice cream shop.
Photo courtesy of The Boardwalk Italian Ice and Creamery
8. The Boardwalk Italian Ice and Creamery
209 N. Federal Hwy., Boynton Beach; 561-600-9593, visit theboardwalkice.com.
Head to this Boynton Beach ice cream shop for a short trip to the Jersey Shore boardwalk. The owners have styled the Boardwalk Italian Ice and Creamery so it will transport you further north via a dessert-focused menu offering everything from fried Oreos and funnel cake to candy apples and cotton candy. Of course, the main focus is the ice cream (soft serve and regular varieties) and Italian ice. Mix both of them together for a fun, frozen layered treat. The menu offers more than a dozen rotating flavors. If you need something to enjoy at home, the shop also packs to-go pints and offers ice cream pies (not cakes) as well as ice cream-stuffed cannoli.
Photo by Nicole Danna
7. La Michoacana Natural
636 Belvedere Rd., West Palm Beach or 3881 S. Congress Ave., Lake Worth; 561-514-3030.
There always seems to be a line leading to the walkup window at this small stucco building at the corner of Congress Avenue and Second Avenue North in Lake Worth that houses the Mexican ice cream shop known as La Michoacana Natural. No matter what time of year, customers flock — dozens at a time — for a taste of the funky Mexican-style desserts. The shop is the first location of three shops opened by a Mexican family, each reminiscent of the paleterias (or ice cream shops) found throughout Mexico. The house specialty: helados (Spanish for ice cream) or paletas de leche and paletas de aqua — frozen fruit bars that can be either water- or cream-based. The shop offers nearly two dozen flavors in all, including popular Mexican favorites like the bright pink besos de angeles — "angels' kisses" — a fruit-flavored ice cream with chunks of dried fruit, a regular pick among the Spanish-speaking patrons. Make sure you also try the mamey fruit (a creamy orange scoop with flecks of real fruit in the mix) and pine nut (known here as piñon, flavored with the edible nuts of the Mexican pine tree).
Photo courtesy of The Magic Cow
6. The Magic Cow
4298 S. University Dr., Davie; 954-382-1677; visit themagiccow.com.
Like a trip to Candy Land, at the Magic Cow in Davie you'll get truly mouthwatering (and made-to-order) ice cream creations. A selection of more than 20 flavors includes Rocky Road, Blue Cotton Candy, and Destination Dark Chocolate. The shop has a freezing stone slab, so flavors can be mixed up with your favorite toppings right before your eyes. These include homemade Scottish tablet, a sweet, hard, candy-like confection made from sugar, condensed milk, and butter that's flavored with vanilla or whiskey.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to South Florida dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.