Even if you’re currently screaming for reasons other than ice cream, you still deserve a scoop of frozen happiness. And, luckily, Miami has some really great ice cream options. This guide has our favorites, from the excellent Wynwood scoop shop where we once tried pickle bacon ice cream to a classic Cuban spot that’s become a Calle Ocho landmark.
Salt & Straw’s Wynwood location has everything that’s made this national scoop shop so popular: fascinating flavors, local collaborations, and really, really good ice cream. Flavors rotate often, but we’ve tried (and absolutely loved) the bacon biscuit crumble with pickle caramel, pineapple coconut cream pie, and honey lavender. They also have a Salty Donut guava and cheese collaboration and a chocolate tres leches made with Panther coffee. To-go pints are available too, so you can stock your freezer with whatever flavor you inevitably fall in love with.
Sweet Melody is making our favorite ice cream in Miami at the moment. They have a little ventanita out in West Kendall with a rotating selection of delicious and creative flavors. In the past, they’ve served baklava ice cream made with rosewater and mascarpone cheese. Their guava and cream cheese flavor is outstanding. And they’re always trying new things with flavors based on horoscopes or characters from The Office. You can trust that any given trip here is going to result in some of the best ice cream you’ve ever had.
Frice is just fantastic. They used to only sell wholesale to restaurants, but they finally got their own scoop shop inside The Citadel in Little Haiti - and this is great news. The flavors here are creative and delicious. Options change frequently, but the ones we’ve had (like guava chocolate chip and mamey with cookie butter) all made us do an unconscious little ice cream dance.
In Miami, there’s a Cuban version of almost anything and Hialeah’s Tio Colo is making Cuba’s answer to the ice cream sandwich. And their bocaditos de helado are as good as any ice cream sandwich we’ve ever come across. They put a perfect rectangle of ice cream between two slices of sugar-dusted white bread. The bread-to-ice-cream ratio is perfect, and it won’t fall apart while you try to eat it. Order at least two.
Wynwood’s Dasher & Crank is one of those shops where you’ll want to order everything - there isn’t a flavor that doesn’t sound (and taste) delicious here. Personally, we struggle to not order the Salty Beach (coconut ice cream, sea salt, and graham cracker) every time, but we occasionally break our streak for the ube flavor. We’ve seen them try everything from salmon and cream cheese to watermelon goat cheese ice cream here, and somehow they pull it all off.
Kith Treats is an ice cream shop inside a sneaker store in South Beach. We know that’s a lot to process, but all you really have to know is that this ice cream is great and a favorite of stylish teenagers who might make you feel very old while you wait in line, especially if you just turned 30. Anyway, they have this machine that does a really nice job of mixing in all sorts of cereal and candy and other good things you want incorporated into your ice cream. You’ll have to finish it before you’re allowed in the sneaker section though.
Peel is a little truck that parks outside Elev8tion Fitness on Saturdays and Sundays from about 9am-4pm. Their soft serve is made with coconut and banana - and not just any bananas either. They use rescued bananas from local produce shops that would otherwise go to waste. You can order it plain or with toppings like peanut butter, strawberry, or pineapple. It’s refreshing, light, and doesn’t give you an intense sugar high like some of these other scoops. It’s worth trying regardless if you’ve just worked out or woke up.
Azucar is a classic, both for architecture and ice cream. Their giant ice cream cone sculpture is one of our favorite landmarks on Calle Ocho, but the ice cream here is equally as impressive. They do a lot of Cuban-inspired flavors, like their most famous one, the Abuela Maria - with Maria cookies, guava, and cream cheese. Other flavors include cafe con leche and Oreo, sweet plantain, and dulce de leche. They also have a huge painting of Celia Cruz and benches made out of guayaberas. Never change, Azucar.
Taiyaki’s stall inside 1-800-Lucky is currently open and serving their fish cones, which not only look adorable but taste great. We would happily eat those soft, warm, fish-shaped waffle cones by themselves, but they are obviously better when filled with soft serve. Flavors include matcha and black sesame, pineapple, and vanilla. You can take it to-go or eat it on 1-800-Lucky’s patio.
Frieze is a solid neighborhood scoop shop on Lincoln Road. Don’t expect anything too innovative or adventurous here, just some classic flavors that satisfy any ice cream cravings you may be experiencing. The ice cream is kosher and they have non-dairy sorbet made with real fruit too.