If you miss the Museum of Ice Cream and its Instagrammable backdrops, you're in luck: A new ice-cream shop on Ocean Drive offers the most photogenic treats in South Beach.
At Icy-N-Spicy, Xiaoli Liu serves rainbow-colored treats with European and Asian influences, such as desserts that combine Japanese mochi ice cream and French macarons.
Sorbet in tropical flavors like mango and coconut is served in a cone, topped with gummy bears, and finished with a delicate sprinkling of orange pearls. Mochi, the Japanese rice cake that's traditionally eaten to celebrate the new year, is filled with ice cream, dipped in chocolate, and decorated with tiny sugar stars.
As a girl growing up in China's Sichuan province, Liu fell in love with sweets thanks to her mother, who owned a tea and dessert shop. Liu pays tribute to her mom's recipes by putting a creative spin on them. Locally sourced ingredients such as peppers and seasonal fruit, flavorings like lavender and matcha, and bright hues like blue and red are incorporated into her desserts.
Decked out in gold, white, pink, and baby-blue balloons and splashes of color, the beachfront shop in the lobby of the Carlyle is the perfect backdrop for a selfie with some gummy-bear-studded mochi.
Liu says the location is the perfect space to display her creations. The colorful decor of the parlor mirrors not only her elaborate sweets but also the vibrance and variety of the scenery outside. "Eating ice cream can be like a ritual," she says, "and it's twice as pleasurable to do while reclining on beach chairs or strolling down a boardwalk with all kinds of people."
Icy-n-Spicy offers 16 flavors of gelato ($7.30 to $8.30) and nitrogen ice cream in strawberry, Nutella, coconut, and taro options ($7.30 to $8.30).
Mochi ice cream is available in salted caramel, lychee, and matcha ($3). Toppings include salted sunflower seeds, gummy bears, lychee, mango, orange, and rose pearls ($1 each).
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Other treats include
If you're into luxury, order an assortment of high-end chocolates covered in gold and presented in a gorgeous goblet ($80 to $150).
Beverages include soda ($3.63), cold-bottled coffee options such as Dunkin' Donuts mocha ($4.52), lemonade in mango and watermelon flavors ($3.67), and Monster energy drinks in original and lo-carb versions ($4.10).
Icy-n-Spicy. 1250 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-296-7088; facebook.com/icynspicymiamibeach. Daily 11 a.m. to midnight.