It's the holiday season in Miami, and the best gift you can give someone to beat this heat is a scoop from our top picks. We journeyed everywhere from Homestead to North Miami in search for the best creamy frozen treat. We covered the entire spectrum from gelatto, creme glacee, helado to yes -- good old fashioned ice cream.
10. Wall's Old Fashioned Ice Cream
Wall's is an old school 'mom and pop' shop, and for the South Miami area, it's definitely a neighborhood joint. They placed 10 on our list because they're ice cream is usually top notch, but when we stopped by the ice cream was pretty hard, icy and compact for our palette. If you go though, try their Oreo Heath Bar or Plain Vanilla flavors which are pretty good.
9. Glaser Organic Farms
If you've ever been to the Coconut Grove Farmers' Market then you will know who these guys are. They've created a wonderful product with their nut milk ice creams, which are 100 percent organic, non-soy and have zero percent cholesterol-- oh, did we forget to mention they're delicious. Their Chocolate Mousse Ice Cream is made from organic coconut, coconut water, cashews, dates, fair-trade raw cacao and dark cacao, organic raw agave and vanilla beans. They sell these gems on their online store.
8. The Frieze
We know many think The Frieze is king when it comes to ice cream, and many will bluster over the fact they're not in the Top 3. Their kosher ice cream is good, that's undeniable, but it just didn't wow us as much as some others did. Their ice cream flavors seemed a little transparent and we wished they popped a bit more. This establishment has a friendly and knowledgeable staff though, and we enjoyed their Sweet Cream flavor most.
7. Hani's Mediterranean Organics
Ever tried goats milk ice cream? We have, and loved it. Hani went from being an international businessman to goat farmer, and he is completely self-taught in the culinary arts. His goats milk ice cream is like nothing you've ever tried before. The consistency is a mix between a sorbet and an ice cream, in that it's very light and pure tasting. We tried the papaya and wild orchid and it was infused with floral and fruity notes so good, we had to put it on this list.
Spanish for sweet, and that is exactly what this store offers up with their delightful paintbox of sugary flavors. Miamians will feel right at home with platanos maduro, Cafe Cubano and Avocado. The consistency of these are gelatto smooth and delectably creamy. It's hard to pick a favorite but we think a must try is the Cafe Cubano flavor.
5. Real Sorbet
They're not technically a food truck, since their products come from their eco friendly cart, and everything they do comes from that sustainable mindset. You won't find them at food truck rallies but they do frequent farmers' markets. Their flavors come from locally sourced fruits, and their ice creams are made with almond milk, giving us yet another dairy-free name for our list. Next time you see them, try their holiday batch of Maple Gingerbread ice cream, you'll thank us later.
4. Dolci Peccati Food Truck
Owner Nati has amazing gelatto in spades. Her product is rich, dense and oh-so-creamy. The flavors are pretty dead-on to their labeled names. What's more, you get the convenience of her driving the gelatto closer to you at Food Truck rallies. A key factor that heightens this product is the fact that ingredients are personally imported from Italy by a friend of the owner. It's gotta help right?
3. L'Atellier Gourmet
This store is well known for their macaroons and French confections but what we were pleasantly surprised by, was how damn good their creme glacee was. It may have to do with the fact that they only contain seven ingredients or less, are low fat but don't taste it, or it might simply be because the smoothness of their products make you involuntarily dream of warm summers in France with a refreshing treat in hand. Either way, get down there and try their creme glacee people. We mean it.
2. Todo Frio
If you're looking for out of the box ice cream flavors, then Todo Frio is for you. They may add hot guava syrup on everything, but it's only because we like it that way. Order the Sizzling Pineapple, which comes with scoops of coconut, mango and guava ice cream served in a hollowed out pineapple half. It's topped with bananas, strawberries and some more of that hot guava syrup. Aw yeah.
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1. Milani Gelateria
One word-- Bacio. A single hazelnut chocolate spoonful will make you an immediate fan of this place. Milani is owned by Francesco Pasqui, a young Itlaian entrepreneur who on a whim came down to Miami to start up his now thriving business. He studied gelatto making at Carpigiani, and when we asked where he gets his recipe inspirations from, he took out a container full of freshly picked produce from local Miami farms. A main attraction in the store is the custom made revolving gelatto refrigerator, which keeps the batches at precisely -11 degrees, the perfect temperature for gelatto. The product is unbeatable, and it's why they made it to the top of our list.