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Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

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.

See also:

- Five Best Hot Fudge Sundaes in Broward and Palm Beach

- Alcohol-Infused Ice Cream: It's Here!

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 culture 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 and a sundae that has everything but the kitchen sink; here's our list of Broward and Palm Beach County's favorite spots to get summer's most essential treat, ice cream.

 

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

10. Sprinkles Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop

Since 1984 this Palm Beach ice cream shop has been dishing out some of the best homemade ice cream in Palm Beach County. Founded by mother-daughter team Eve and Therese Williams, today owner Donna Marks -- who purchased the shop in October of 2000 -- continues to sell more than 20 flavors of specialty ice cream, over a dozen floats and shakes, as well as a wide-ranging menu that includes smoothies, salads, sandwiches -- even flatbread pizza. Located smack dab in the center of Palm Beach Island's downtown hub, the shop has seen many a celebrity 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, however. 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: a gourmet coffee bar, where fresh-ground beans are used for made-to-order lattes and cappuccinos.

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

9. Sloan's

With four locations across Palm Beach County including West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton, Sloan's is the pretty pink ice cream parlor you only feel comfortable walking into hold the hand of your five-year-old, ballerina-tutu-adorned niece or daughter. If you can man up enough to brave the princess-festooned parlor alone, here you can find 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 and Minnie and Indy's Wonderworld, a pink buttercream ice cream swirled with Lucky Charms marshmallows, mini M&M's and fresh-baked Rice Krispie treats. We challenge you to find some of these flavors served anywhere else. 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.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

8. Sonny's Gelato Cafe in Boca Raton

Here, it's all about the gelato -- all 20 or so flavors made fresh daily at this longtime Boca Raton eatery and gelato cafe. What most overlook, however, are the several Italian-style ices with fun flavors like sour apple and tangerine. Today, Sonny's offers more than just gelato, however. The small store also has a case of fresh-baked Italian pastries, and in the past six years has developed a standard menu serving popular dishes like fried calamari and chicken regaloi, making it the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and a decadent dessert in one stop. Just take a seat outside on the large patio at the corner of Glades Road and Federal Highway and you'll know why everyone says its as charming as it is affordable.

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

7. UdderSweets

With two locations including a new shop in the Weston Town Center and the original location on Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale, UdderSweets is truly nothing but sweets, a veritable candy land stocked with enough chocolate and confectionary wonder to keep the tooth fairy in business in South Florida for decades to come. The ice cream selection is enormous -- over 30 flavors in all -- but that's not what makes this establishment stand out. It's the over-21 flavors, as in you must be over 21-years-old to partake in a scoop or two of the Captain Rum Raisin and Cappuccino Kahlua. Too bad the Heavenly Hash doesn't have any...well, you know. Here, the motto is "we scoop it, you make it," meaning you can create your own sundae from scratch. We suggest taking a designated driver in case all the, umm, sugar sends you into shock.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

6. Yo Mama's Ice Cream

Owners Lee and Lonnie Feldman opened this sweet shop in January 2010 following the success of their popcorn business known as Pops Corn, and have been scooping up some of the area's best homemade ice cream creations ever since. One step through the door and you're immediately hit with the sweet smell of sugar thanks to a double-dose of dessert goodness with fresh-popped kettle corn and ice cream hand-made daily on-premise. Try the coconut cream with a fresh-pressed waffle bowel or cone, a specialty ice cream with real bits of white chocolate chips, and flakes of fresh-shaved coconut for an extra dose of flavor and texture. The popcorn doubles as a sundae topping, making it one of the many reasons Yo Mama's ice cream really is better than your mom's. Yes, we went there.

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

5. The Florida Snow Factory

Awarded New Times 2013 "best" dessert, this new ice cream parlor and dessert shop is sweet-tooth overkill. What to order? The snow cones, made with fresh-shaved ice using old-fashioned, hand-operated, ice-cutting machines? Soft-serve frozen yogurt, offered in hundreds of flavors? Or handmade ice cream cookie sandwiches? The bestsellers are the shaved ice, with more than a dozen flavor combinations like strawberries and cream or Dreamsicle. Both begin with a layer of either regular or soft-serve vanilla ice cream at the bottom, topped with layers of fresh-shaved ice and finished with any of the Hawaiian syrups mixed fresh in-house. Customizable, made-to-order ice cream cakes allow customers to pick two of their favorite ice cream flavors and add endless toppings swirled into the mix. Cakes are topped with sprinkles for a delicious, take-home treat.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

4.Baci Gelati

Like a trip to a European cafe, at Baci Gelati in Fort Lauderdale you'll get truly mouthwatering homemade Italian gelato and made-to-order coffee thanks to co-owner Alessandra Ruospo's authentic recipes and preparation. Offering a selection of more than 20 flavors that rotate frequently, look for a blackboard of specials under a red umbrella on the sidewalk outside the shop; it will let you know the day's specials. The cafe draws customers from as far as Miami and West Palm Beach for both its food and atmosphere, as well as what Ruospo says is her own special version of the Italian coffee bar. A little slice of Italy right here in Broward County, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a peaceful end to your day. The cafe also serves food, mainly a selection of fresh-made panini sandwiches on homemade focaccia or ciabatta bread.

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

3. POPS Costa Rica Creamery

It's not always easy to find something different when it comes to this frozen dessert. Sadly, no one in South Florida is doing the new trend with goat milk ice cream, or trying their hand at lavender and rose scented flavors. But if it's variety you're looking for, try POPS Costa Rica Creamery in Riviera Beach, the first of two U.S. locations including a year-old Pembroke Pines shop for the Costa Rica-based ice cream shop that has more than 100 locations across Central America. Here, the menu is made up of flavorful, tropical picks you won't find anywhere else, including creamy mango, passion fruit, banana, coconut and the house favorite, dulce de leche. OK, you've had those already? Not this good -- and you sure haven't had a "Churchill," a Costa Rican specialty milkshake-style drink made with champagne kola ice cream (given its name thanks to the use of a non-alcoholic Jamaican cream-flavored soda) and topped with powdered milk, an authentic Tico recipe brought stateside.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

2. La Michoacana Natural

There always seems to be a line leading up to the walk-up window at this small stucco building at the corner of Congress Avenue and Second Avenue North that houses the Mexican ice cream shop in heart of Lake Worth known as La Michoacana Natural. No matter what time of year they come -- dozens at a time -- for a taste of some of the best homemade ice cream around. The shop is the first location of now three similar shops opened by a Mexican family, each reminiscent of the paleterias (or ice cream shops) found throughout Mexico. While michoacana is a word that has no solid translation in English, it is said the name derives from the tiny town of Tocumbo, Mexico -- what is today known as the heart of an ice cream revolution that spawned hundreds of Michoacana paleterias. Like its nearby neighbor, Tacos al Carbon, La Michoacana in Lake Worth looks like it could be straight from the streets of Mexico City with large, colorful wall murals advertising the house specialty: helados (Spanish for ice cream) and paletas de leche and paletas de agua (frozen fruit bars that can be either water or cream-based). The Lake Worth shop offers nearly two dozen flavors in all including a popular Mexican favorite 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. Another must-have: the mamey fruit (pictured here), a creamy orange scoop with flecks of real fruit in the mix. A personal favorite was the pine nut, known here as piñon, made from the edible nuts of Mexican pine tree.

Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Broward and Palm Beach

1. Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor in Fort Lauderdale

This landmark ice cream parlor, opened by Monroe Udell in 1956, still makes each of its more than 60 flavors of ice cream by hand; each batch mixed one-by-one. Today, the old-fashioned ice cream parlour not only boasts one of the largest -- and best -- ice cream selections in the area, but also one of the nation's largest collections of American memorabilia. Expect super-sized scoops, waffles and ice cream, frosted floats, giant shakes, parfaits and banana splits. Of course, Jaxson's is perhaps most famous for its "kitchen sink" sundae -- probably because it includes a taste of everything -- but it's also a restaurant with a menu offering "country kitchen" fare, equally small-batch homemade goods, from wings to clam rolls.

Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.




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