Best of Broward / Palm Beach

South Florida's Best Milk Shake

In a region that is home to dozens of burger joints and seaside shacks, it was no easy task to narrow down the choice of best milk shake in South Florida. That being said, we've compiled a list of ten of the best spots to score a creamy, rich, and cold sugary treat in Broward and Palm Beach. As always, feel free to use the comments section to voice your agreement or to tell us who we should've included in our list.

1. Kilwin's

It's only natural that a store that devotes nearly every fiber of its being to the veneration of the cocoa bean would excel at providing a rich, creamy cocktail that's a veritable chocolate explosion. The double-chocolate shake at Kilwin's bypasses the half-assed -- and some would say, incorrect -- method of using vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. Instead, the shake is the straight-up good stuff: chocolate ice cream blended with chocolate syrup. Prepare to lose yourself in a cocoa-induced frenzy, followed by the subsequent crash.

2. Sugar Rush

When you need a milk shake that will come to you -- more or less -- turn to this highly rated food truck that's based in Miami but frequently makes stops in Broward and even Palm Beach. Classic milk shakes will run you less than $5 each and come in either vanilla or chocolate. The cake 'n' shake is a more involved version of the treat, blending ice cream with milk and cake, plus a topping of whipped cream and sprinkles.

3. Moonlite Diner

Night owls and barflies have great affection for this supershiny diner, where burgers and fries are served well into the evening and a whopping 30-plus shake flavors satisfy the sweet tooth. The hand-dipped shakes -- which are served old-school style and are large enough for two -- are available in all the classic flavors, plus some more creative ventures, like the banana pineapple or M&M. A staff and customer classic is one that Elvis Presley could've gotten all shook up about: chocolate peanut butter banana.

4. Elevation Burger

This hip chain markets itself on the fresh, sustainable nature of its ingredients, so it only makes sense that the shakes (and malts, in case that's more your speed) are made with fresh-scooped ice cream. You start by choosing a base -- chocolate, vanilla, or coffee. Next, toss in one or two add-ons, like Oreo cookies, pineapple, chocolate syrup, or black cherry. It's indulgent, yes, but then, you're ordering a milk shake - not a salad.

5. Howley's

When opting for a milk shake, you're essentially committing yourself to some form of an ice cream meal, so it might as well be worth your dietary investment. The behemoth shakes at this hipster diner are made with four scoops of ice cream. The creation is $5 and is available in the holy trinity of flavors: vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. If that's not nearly enough of a gut buster for you, tack on bananas or Oreo cookies for an additional 75 cents.

6. Grease Burger Bar

It's nice enough that you can sink your teeth into a juicy burger and order a hand-spun milk shake -- or malt -- as your side. But keep scanning that menu and you'll see the magic words in the bottom corner: Milk shakes can also come spiked! Even if you don't feel like slurping up a little liquor with your blended ice cream, it's comforting to know the option exists. The traditional flavors reign supreme: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and coffee, each of which comes topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

7. Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant

There's little not to love at this festive carnival of an ice cream shop. Like everything founder Monroe Udell offers, the shakes are not a modest affair. Served in a 24-ounce shaker, each milk shake is "crowned" with whipped cream. The thick shakes are available in a wide variety of flavors, from chocolate and vanilla to the less expected, like pineapple or root beer. If you're looking for that extra shot of nostalgia, try the malt.

8. Doc's All American

Chances are good this Delray Beach icon -- which opened in 1951 -- has been serving milk shakes longer than you've been around or, at the very least, longer than you've been able to drive yourself to a shake shack. The menu is thoroughly retro, which works in a beachy town, particularly if you're looking for a little break from Delray's ever-evolving dining scene. Step back in time with a rich shake in a vintage flavor, like pistachio or toasted coconut.

9. Relish

Shakes are so common at burger joints that they may well replace fries as the go-to side dish. And that would be quite all right, particularly if the shake in question is handcrafted with fun flavor combos that put the plain ol' vanilla or chocolate debate to rest. Relish goes all out with a selection that includes red velvet, Key lime pie, and chocolate-covered cherry, among other offerings. For a taste of savory with your sweet, the best call by far is the salted caramel, which demonstrates yet again why the introduction of salt to sweet snacks was long overdue in the mainstream food culture.

10. Tropical Café

Proof that a milk shake doesn't have to include ice cream to blow your mind. And since this hole in the wall carries a supercheap menu, you won't blow your budget. These suckers are supersweet and come in an assortment of fruity flavors, like mango, papaya, and tamarind. The object of the New Times desires and past winner of its Best Milk Shake designation is the banana batido.

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Tricia Woolfenden