Best of Miami

Best of Miami 2018: Miami's Sweetest Treats, From Doughnuts to Ice Cream

Best of Miami 2018: Miami's Sweetest Treats, From Doughnuts to Ice Cream
Courtesy of Rosetta Bakery

New Times
' annual Best of Miami issue is live. For hundreds of our staff's picks on the finest places to eat and drink and the most notable people and personalities who defined South Florida over the past year, check out the full issue.

From doughnuts to gelato to cookies, Miamians love our sweet treats. Here are some of the most delicious goodies in the Magic City.
Photo by Alexandria Guerra
Best Bakery: Sullivan Street Bakery. There's a new baker in town. James Beard Award-winning Jim Lahey, best known for creating New York's Sullivan Street Bakery, has opened a production facility in Little Haiti. Through a partnership with Steven Perricone, owner of the long-standing Perricone's Marketplace & Café, Lahey has brought his no-knead method of mixing dough to a growing list of local restaurants and shops. Among the places serving his crunchy and fluffy baguettes and loaves are 27 Restaurant at the Freehand, Proper Sausages, Laurenzo's Italian Market, MC Kitchen, the Four Seasons, Le Zoo, River Oyster Bar, Joey's, Les Bahn Amis, and Café Roval. In early 2019, Lahey and Perricone will open a bake shop attached to the facility, which will sell a lineup of breads as well as sandwiches, salads, pastries, and pizza. 5550 NE Fourth Ave., Miami; 305-751-1144;
Photo by Elena Vivas
Best Boozy Ice Cream: Aubi + Ramsa. ehind a wooden bar, a wall of bottles glows at Aubi + Ramsa. But this is no ordinary bar. Your choice of spirit will come in the form of an icy scoop, not a liquid pour. The space, for patrons aged 21 or older, offers frozen treats fused with various spirits, from tequila and rosé to vodka, gin, and red wine. Try Macallan 12-year single-malt Scotch blended with a creamy Belgian chocolate cream ($7 to $10), or a serving of Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut balanced with a light tangerine sorbet. Then there's the Kentucky Crème Brûlée, an organic vanilla-pudding ice cream made with Four Roses single-barrel bourbon and caramelized sugar sprinkles. A 3.7-ounce serving contains about 4.9 percent ABV and will set you back about $9. Consider it dessert and a significantly cheaper option than a cocktail at a nearby bar. Aubi + Ramsa is open from noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. 172 NE 41st St., Miami; 305-946-9072;

Best Cookies: Phenomenom. It's 2 a.m. and you're in the mood for a fresh-baked cookie oozing with chocolate and sprinkles. Cue the cleverly spelled Phenomenom. You might be familiar with the South Beach shop's owner, 26-year-old Chuck Woodard, who created Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream and opened the brand's first location in Pinecrest in 2012. He sold his ownership in 2014 to pursue Phenomenom. Visit the shop for cookies the size of doughnuts, weighing about six ounces each ($4). With a moist and gooey texture and a soft center, flavors include chocolate chip, M&M's and Oreo, s'mores, half-and-half, and sugar sprinkles. Opt for the milk and cookies, which pairs a cookie with a large cup of milk. Try it noon to midnight Sunday through Thursday and noon to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. 413 15th St., Miami Beach; 754-216-3478;

Best Cupcake: Contenti Cupcakes. Contenti Cupcakes churns out more than two dozen uniquely flavored cupcakes. All are made from scratch. Favorites from this South Miami operation include a key lime cupcake topped with graham cracker crust and key lime buttercream; a sundae garnished with chocolate ganache, sprinkles, and a cherry; and a guava-infused cupcake crowned with a dollop of cream cheese frosting. Orders for mini or standard-size cupcakes, which must be placed three days in advance, cost around $30 for a dozen or more. There's also an option to turn a cupcake into a large cake. Or go for a pie, such as key lime, strawberry, or salted caramel apple.786-395-1787;
Courtesy of Rosetta Bakery
Best Desserts: Rosetta Bakery. About a block from Lincoln Road, an array of Italian breads, pastries, and picture-perfect desserts attracts a steady stream of customers. Inspired by Milan café culture, Rosetta Bakery makes small batches of baked goods ($2 to $10) numerous times throughout the day. Flaky croissants, berry tarts, Nutella-filled bombolones, and large panettones are prepared by Italian chefs who have been specifically recruited to work at Rosetta. The bakery recently opened three other locations, two in Miami Beach and one in Aventura. Outposts in North Beach and Brickell are expected to open within the next year. 929 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-216-7795;
Courtesy of DRO Photography / Mojo Donuts
Best Doughnuts: Mojo Donuts & Fried Chicken. Big things are happening for Mojo Donuts & Fried Chicken in West Miami-Dade. The shop appeared on celebrity restaurateur Guy Fieri's Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Also, owners announced plans to double the size of the store and open two additional locations in Miami-Dade. Mojo's success can be credited to the doughnuts, which have made the shop a raging success since it debuted in December 2016. More than three dozen varieties are lightly fried and then garnished with sprinkles, creams, or chocolate. Flavors include Nutella bacon, banana cream pie, and salted caramel cheesecake ($1.49 to $3.95). Don't leave without a bite of the chicken brûlée sandwich — a hand-rolled, caramelized bun stuffed with a tender piece of fried chicken and cheddar cheese. Doors are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. 8870 Bird Rd., Miami; 305-223-6656;

Best Gelato: Bio Bio. On the edge of Miami Beach's Sunset Harbour, Bio Bio serves made-from-scratch Italian gelato. Among two dozen unique flavors are the sweet and salty, the ricotta and figs, and the yogurt honey and walnut. Each blend is served in a cup or cone, and some can be made into frozen slushies ($5.50 and up). Flavors are 100 percent organic and use fresh and seasonal ingredients. Beyond the shop's creamy blends, find cases of frozen desserts, from chocolate-covered ice pops and gelato cakes to fruit sorbet pops and mini gelato cones. Products, including all gelato flavors, are made daily in the shop's kitchen. Bio Bio is deeply rooted in Europe. The first location was founded nearly 60 years ago by an Italian family-owned company called MO.CA in Northern Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. The Miami Beach shop is the first in the United States. Try it from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. 1201 20th St., Miami Beach; 786-431-2081;
click to enlarge PHOTO BY LAINE DOSS
Photo by Laine Doss
Best Ice Cream Parlor: Mad Lab Creamery. Soraya Kilgore's palace of sweets adds a sparkle to the Design District. Surrounded by tony shops such as Louis Vuitton and Dior, the former Alter and Brava pastry chef's MadLab Creamery entices young and old via edible glitter, swirls of pink cotton candy, golden-sheet sprinkles, and unique flavors of ice cream and chocolate. Try a blend of green matcha and rich chocolate soft-serve topped with hand-spun cotton candy and a whiff of glitter ($6 and up). Or savor a 100-gram piece of dark chocolate and cereal bark ($7.50) along with a slice of fluffy Japanese cheesecake ($7.50). Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 140 NE 39th St., Miami; 305-639-8178;
Best Key Lime Pie: The Dutch. A slice of key lime pie at the Dutch is distinctive. Maybe that's because executive pastry chef Josh Gripper takes the classic recipe up a notch by sprinkling it with sea salt, adding a smudge of passionfruit sorbet, and serving a light raspberry sorbet alongside. Garnished with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, his salted lime pie ($12) is a sweet, succulent, and citrusy explosion. Check it out from 7 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 4 p.m. daily, 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 6:30 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-938-3111;

Best Pastelito: Gilbert's Bakery. Gilbert's began in 1962 after the family bakery in Camagüey was seized by the Castro government. Family members fled to Miami to rebuild, starting with a place on Douglas Road at SW 16th Street. Today the ship is steered by Gilberto Arriaza Jr., who oversees a vast production operation that keeps the streets flooded with croquetas and guava-packed pastries. Yet it's true strength, and Arriaza's passion, is keeping alive the culinary traditions of Cuba that have faded as the country has sunk into economic hardship and the exile community has built a new life. Case in point is the menesier de pollo ($1.25). A flaky pie-dough-style crust is folded around shredded chicken prepared like ropa vieja. Once out of the oven, it's cooled, and a quick slick of sugar syrup gives it a chrome-like shine. Its depth and complexity, combined with an addictive sweet-savory flavor combination, make it a pastry like no other. 3340 Coral Way, Coral Gables; 305-442-2427;
click to enlarge COURTESY OF GLAM VEGAN
Courtesy of GLAM Vegan
Best Vegan Dessert: GLAM. Everything at midtown's GLAM Vegan is — well — glam. Though the name is actually an acronym (Green Living Animals Matter), the word applies to everything at this cozy, chic spot, from the glitzy gold flatware to the periwinkle-hued swag for sale. Everything has the touch of Janette Miller, cofounder and designer extraordinaire. From snacks and soups to flatbreads and bowls, the menu is omnivore-friendly and impossibly fresh. Cofounder/chef Todd Erickson sources locally, and almost everything is made from scratch, including the "meat" for the jackfruit tacos, which undergoes a lengthy marinating, roasting, and simmering process. On the sweet side, GLAM's signature dish is its rich and creamy ube pie ($7). Just like GLAM's gorgeous decor, the ube pie is gold-tinted and plum-colored and almost too lovely for its own good. The unique sweet treat is made with purple sweet potato, gingersnap crust, and allspice and comes topped with glittery gold-flake blackberries. The dish is entirely Instagrammable — and, honestly, who couldn't use a little more GLAM in their lives? It's open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. 3301 NE First Ave., Miami; 786-864-0590;

Next Thursday, June 21, X Miami will host New Times' Best of Miami party, where you can enjoy bites from more than a dozen of the area's best restaurants while sipping unlimited cocktails and jamming to live music. Purchase tickets for $50 in advance, or pay $60 at the door. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit Miami Lighthouse for the Blind.

New Times' Best of Miami Party. 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at X Miami, 230 NE Fourth St., Miami. Tickets cost $50 via 305-571-7579 or or $60 at the door.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss