When was the last time you ordered a real ice cream sundae? You know, the kind with three or more scoops of different flavors of ice cream, tons of gooey hot fudge or butterscotch sauce, maybe some slices of fresh banana, and a mountain of whipped cream dotted with a cherry. Probably when you were a kid.
Pop into Serendipity 3 (yes, it’s the sibling to New York City’s Serendipity) on Lincoln Road in South Beach, and you’ll find a list of Drugstore Sundaes with good old-fashioned toppings like pineapple, strawberry and caramel. Keep reading the menu and it gets even more tempting, with killer combos like the Black ’N White Sundae (marshmallow cream, white-chocolate fudge and milk-chocolate fudge over vanilla and chocolate ice cream), the Red Velvet Sundae (pictured) and the Outrageous Banana Split, as well as the Coward’s Portion (a smaller banana split). Order at the counter or find a table in this cute, colorful cafe.
No-frills Strachan’s Homemade Ice Cream (strachansdesserts.com) in Dunedin, close to Clearwater, is known for its off-the-wall flavors like popcorn, Irish crème fudge and Cherry Wow Za (cherry ice cream with walnuts and chocolate chips). Even more unusual are the beer flavors at Sweet Dreams (gainesvilleicecream.com) in Gainesville. Guinness ice cream was served on St. Patrick’s Day, and Black and Tan (Guinness and Bass) on Crazy Flavor Night. This shop makes its small-batch ice cream in the back room, where creativity flows. How about Jack Daniels- and Jim Beam-flavored ice cream with Johnny Walker-soaked raisins? Visit on Crazy Flavor Night (July 15), and be surprised. — Patricia Letakis
Best Beachside Ice Cream Shops
- Polar Bear Homemade Ice Cream – New to Panama City Beach, this stand is adorned with polar bear art. Favorite flavor: soft-serve vanilla with hand-dipped blue raspberry shell. 269.339.8669
- Sugar Shak – The name fits; a mega candy rush awaits at this Rosemary Beach shop. Favorite flavor: espresso chip. 850.231.3655
- Big Olaf Creamery – It opened on Siesta Key 30 years ago. Amish artisans are still at the helm today. Favorite flavor: royal banana crunch. bigolafs.com