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Frohzen
Photograph: Michael Pisarri

The best ice cream in Miami is the tasty cold fix you’ve been craving

When the city heats up, cool down with an ocean breeze, shady trees and, of course, the best ice cream in Miami

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil
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Before the best coffee shops in Miami courted us with a cold brew and rooftop bars tempted us with the promise of a cool breeze, a visit to a Miami ice cream shop was the only choice for locals looking to satisfy their sweet tooth and cool off after a day of sunbathing at one of the Miami beaches. So even when the temperature doesn’t call for a chill treat (which, granted, is rare), Miamians can’t help but scream for the organic gelato, funky soft-serve and old-fashioned sundaes served at the city’s best ice cream shops, from Little Havana to Midtown Miami to Wynwood and beyond.

A restaurant we love so much that we welcomed them into Time Out Market

  • Restaurants
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

If Miami had a signature ice cream flavor, it’d be whatever Azucar is serving. The Little Havana scoop shop—which boasts a second location inside Time Out Market Miami—translates the city’s sights, sounds and people into knockout combinations you won’t find anywhere else. Take the Abuela Maria (vanilla ice cream, Maria cookies, guava and cream cheese) and the seasonal Knaus Berry Farm cinnamon rolls owner Suzy Batlle soaks in bourbon and mixes into handmade ice cream—it doesn’t get more Miami than these two. 

Best ice cream shops in Miami

The husband-and-wife duo behind Frice spent years working in pastry kitchens in the Pacific Northwest before bringing their chef-driven ice cream business to Miami. And, man, were we missing out. Theirs starts with a traditional French custard base that’s flavored with locally sourced ingredients, including fruit and dairy products from South Florida farmers. It’s this hyper-local approach to ice cream that’s made Frice a hit with restaurants throughout the city, many of which boast exclusive flavors you won’t find at other establishments. Currently, Frice is available for delivery on the apps and to enjoy IRL at the Citadel, where you can try scoops as well as buy pints and cakes to enjoy at home.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • West Coconut Grove

Kush Hospitality’s ’80s-themed dessert bar serves over-the-top, retro-themed shakes and good times. It’s named after owner Matt Kuscher’s mom and styled just like the childhood home where he grew up. The place is so authentic, in fact, you’ll see old photos and notes written by a young Kush scattered about. Vicky’s serves your basic shakes and soda floats, plus pop-culture-themed creations and special monthly flavors. Our fave? The Golden Girls tribute, a cereal-rimmed beauty with whipped cream and an adorable photo of the gals clipped to the glass. Beer, wine, coffee and locally made Sweet Melody ice cream are also sold here.

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From Portland to Miami, Salt & Straw brings a bit of the Pacific-Northwest’s hipster attitude to South Florida. The flavors are a thoughtful exploration of current dining trends, social causes and even holidays. Ever eaten an entire Thanksgiving feast in ice cream form? You can at Salt & Straw. For Miami, the team partnered with local chefs and artisans to create a few special varieties you’ll only find there, though flavors rotate monthly so you’ll need to act fast. Salt & Straw now has two locations in Miami, one in Wynwood and a second in Coconut Grove.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Wynwood
  • price 1 of 4

This bubble-gum-colored shop doles out hyper-local flavors customized in partnership with Miami businesses, such as JoJo tea. It’s a thriving enterprise that continues to grow, adding hundreds of new creations each year, plus sundaes, slushies and more. Needless to say, you’ll never get sick of Dasher & Crank’s selections, though a few staples do stick around longer, like the Yoko matcha, lavender, chocolate crank and a smattering of non-dairy options, which they always have on rotation.

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Wynwood Parlor perfected the simple combination of freshly baked cookies with high-quality ice cream and grew it into a mini empire of handheld desserts. From cocktail-inspired flavor duos (think piña colada and mimosa) to childhood classics rolled in Fruity Pebbles to vegan varieties, there’s something for every age and taste. Get your sandos delivered or shipped (they travel better than most frozen desserts) or try them in person at one of two locations in Edgewater and South Beach.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Miami
  • price 1 of 4

This homey, female-owned café in Shorecrest serves classic sandwiches and light fare, plus quirky desserts and ice cream with punny names. If you try one thing, make it the unicorn poop. The shop’s signature treat tastes like birthday cake and nothing like animal droppings; the rainbow-colored concoction mixed with cotton candy is one big, deliciously tasting sugar rush. The C is for Cookie will leave your mouth blue for hours, but the cookie-packed ice cream is worth looking like the Cookie Monster for the day.

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If you’re wondering how Frohzen got to serving such photogenic ice cream, look no further than Salvatore Martone, Le Jardinier’s executive pastry chef and a longtime protégé of the late Joël Robuchon. With a pedigree like his, whimsy and creativity are to be expected. Frohzen’s house-made ice cream is presented as sundaes with a flurry of toppings, frozen cupcakes with swirls of frosting and even macaron ice cream sandwiches—a very fancy option that we’re very much into.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Coral Gables
  • price 2 of 4

Morelia Gourmet Paletas only does artisanal Mexican popsicles and they do it so well. The colorful pops are made with all-natural ingredients and fully customizable so no two paletas will ever be the same. Choose from an array of toppings, like cookie crumbles and sprinkles, and amp it up further with a drizzle of Nutella or caramel. The quickly expanding local chain boasts locations throughout South Florida but should you find yourself in a paleta desert, Morelia also delivers and they’ll throw in all of the extras so you can DIY your creation at home.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Hialeah Gardens
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This Cuban cafeteria in the heart of Hialeah doles out thick-crust Cuban pizzas and large, Cuban-style ice cream sandwiches in an assortment of flavors. For the uninitiated, a traditional Cuban ice cream sandwich features two slices of moist, yellow sponge cake that have been rolled in sugar and stuffed with tropical ice cream flavors like pineapple, guava and coconut. If it sounds incredible, it’s because it is. You might never go back to the regular cookie variety again.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Design District
  • price 2 of 4

Pastry chef Soraya Caraccioli-Kilgore’s playful dessert spot sells vibrant unicorn cakes, rich chocolate bark and soft-serve in unexpected flavors. Her ice cream, in varieties such as matcha and berry rhubarb, is already pretty special yet she always finds a way to kick it up a notch with add-ons like edible glitter, gold leaf, gold dust, cotton candy and fancy sprinkles—and we’re all the more grateful for it.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Design District
  • price 2 of 4

This cool ice cream shop resembles a bar with its long counter and sexy, dim lighting—though none of it is a coincidence. Aubi & Ramsa serves delicious boozy ice cream that you’ll need to be 21 or over to consume. Whether to stay or to go (they’re all served in single-serving containers), order up your usual nightcap, with a twist. Get mezcal with Mexican chocolate, tangerine sorbet with champagne and more treats that’ll satisfy your cravings for a cocktail and dessert.

Sweet Melody Ice Cream
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. Sweet Melody Ice Cream

Mike Romeu and his sweet little girl, Melody, are the adorable team behind this homegrown ice cream business. It got its start selling to local restaurants but now Sweet Melody has several homes of its own, including a ventanita in Kendall and a scoop shop in Palmetto Bay. Romeu is always dreaming up new flavors, like Kooki Monster and Abuela’s Flan, which you can get solo, in a sundae, a shake or whipped into an ice cream cake for special occasions. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Coconut Grove
  • price 2 of 4

Bianco makes its gelato the old-school Italian way, using all-natural, organic ingredients. If you’re into food that’s made simply, this is the ice cream for you. Pistachio is white, not green, as it should be when you’re using actual nuts in your dessert. There are also delicious vegan options that are satisfying and dairy-free. The Coconut Grove spot has expanded to include a second location at the Bal Harbour Shops.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • South Beach
  • price 1 of 4

As quintessentially South Beach as the beach itself, this charming, this family-owned parlor has served legions of loyal patrons for more than three decades. The Frieze does things the good old-fashioned way, meaning its ice cream is made in-house with all-natural ingredients. If you order vanilla, it tastes like the bean, not the extract.

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  • Wynwood
  • price 2 of 4

Stationed in the 1-800-Lucky courtyard, this small truck doles out those whimsical, fish-shaped ice cream cones that flooded your Instagram feed two summers ago. While not everything you see on the internet tastes good, these cones do. Get swirls of matcha, black sesame and other Asian soft-serve flavors covered in sprinkles or with a gold unicorn horn if you’re feeling extra.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Flagami
  • price 1 of 4

Named for the famous ice cream parlor in Havana, Coppelia serves up traditional ice cream, milkshakes and sundaes just like its namesake did in Cuba more than 50 years ago. With that, this place specializes in nostalgia-tinged dessert, featuring pre-revolutionary Cuban favorites like the Copa Lolita, a caramel flan sundae, and flavors like mamey and mantecado.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • price 2 of 4

Old-fashioned Jaxson’s pays homage to the ice cream parlors of the past, down to the charming carousel right out front. It’s small and crowded with walls full of stuff—license plates, toys, trinkets and other Americana collectibles. There are seemingly just as many flavors as there are trinkets, but you can always count on Jaxson’s for the classics. Order up a chocolate sundae or regular vanilla and don’t be afraid to keep it simple.

  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Coral Gables
  • price 1 of 4

This South Miami neighborhood spot is a mainstay for traditional, no-fuss ice cream. Servings are cheap, cookies are freshly baked and the staff—made up of mostly teens and kids from the area—are cheery and eager to let you try whatever is in the freezer.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Dadeland
  • price 1 of 4

This old-timey Miami spot has been around since the 1950s. It’s vintage and charming, even if the flavor options are seemingly stuck in the past. Forget the trendy salted caramel and other of-the-moment varieties you’re used to and stick to vanilla, chocolate and other classics. Feeling competitive? Eat 12 scoops of ice cream and get your name on the wall at Wall’s.

Prefer your sugar in cocktail form?

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