Florida might be best known for its grouper, oysters and other delicacies from its waters, but don’t forget about the Key Lime pie and other after-dinner treats that make every meal complete. We scoured online reviews and food critics’ recommendations to give you these favorite dessert spots around Florida.
Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant (Orlando)
1905 N Orange Ave Orlando, FL 32804 betterthansexdesserts.com
With a name like “Better Than Sex,” maybe this is a spot you shouldn’t google while still at the office. The names of their treats aren’t much more SFW, but we hear “Cookie Nookie Pie” and “The Morning After” and “Missionary Crisp” are among the naughty-but-nice offerings.
Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe (Key West)
200 Elizabeth Street Key West, Florida 33040 keylimeshop.com
Kermit’s will make you rethink Florida’s iconic dessert. Here, fans covet the chocolate-covered Key Lime pie on a stick. Kermit’s has two locations in Key West (and a showroom in DeLand) but the original remains open on Elizabeth Street.
Azucar Ice Cream Company (Miami)
1503 SW 8th St Miami, FL 33135 azucaricecream.com
“Azucar” is Spanish for sugar, and no place in Miami stands as tall as a monument to the frozen variety than Azucar Ice Cream Company. First-timers should begin with Abuela Maria, a traditional recipe that combines vanilla ice cream, guava and cream cheese and is served with maria cookies.
The Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern’s Steak House (Tampa)
1208 S Howard Ave Tampa, FL 33606 bernssteakhouse.com
Visitors to Tampa know Bern’s as “that famous steakhouse” but locals regard it equally as famous (maybe more so) for its epic dessert room, which sits on the second floor above the restaurant. Inside are 48 individual booths with a six-channel stereo system allowing guests to pick their music. The banana cheese pie and macadamia nut sundae are legendary here or try a bite of all the favorites with a sampler plate.
Swah-rey (St. Petersburg)
2105 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL 33713 swah-rey.com
Downtown St. Pete has become the hipster headquarters of Florida these days, so we’re not surprised to see a dessert bar that brags about its wifi connection, USB ports and draft beer offerings. And whereas some dessert bars might boast about larger-than-life portions, the strategy at Swah-rey are mini-dessert/drink combos aimed at the more calorie-conscious customers. If you’re undecided, try a mini cupcake with champagne hook up.
Yoder’s Restaurant (Sarasota)
3434 Bahia Vista St Sarasota, FL 34239 yodersrestaurant.com
This Amish paradise opened its doors in 1975 and has been awing its customers ever since with hearty country dishes and made-from-scratch pies created each morning. If you had to name a favorite, it’s probably the banana cream pie, but Yoder’s fruit pies (ranging from apple to peach to cherry to just about any fruit you can pick from a tree) are equally tempting. And if you’re a fan of apple butter, don’t think about leaving without a pint of Yoder’s own homemade variety.
Mitch’s Cookie Cafe (Naples)
7785 Davis Blvd Naples, FL 34104 mitchscookies.com
Mitch’s boasts that it has a secret mixing technique that gives its cookies a “cake-like” texture. The bakery’s signature chocolate chip cookie remains Mitch’s pride. If you’re not planning a trip to Naples anytime soon, no worries: Mitch’s has online ordering and ships everywhere in the country.
Love Boat Homemade ice Cream (Fort Myers)
16229 San Carlos Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33908 loveboaticecream.com
Love Boat features 50 flavors of ice cream – one for each year they’ve been open. (1967 for those doing the math). Even with three stores in southwest Florida, don’t be shocked if you have to stand in line for scoops of “gator tracks,” “grasshopper” and peaches and cream.
Zeno’s Boardwalk Sweet Shop (Daytona Beach)
1103 Main St Daytona Beach, FL 32118 worldsmostfamoustaffy.com
Maybe Zeno’s website URL gives away their specialty, but that’s okay. Taffy is old-school and Daytona’s boardwalk is as old-school as it gets. Here your “dessert” comes priced by the pound and is available in about any flavor you can imagine. (Willy Wonka has nothing on Zeno.) If taffy isn’t your thing, then just wander over to the brittle, fudge and chocolate offerings. Looking for something truly original? Try Zeno’s “seafoam” – an impossible-to-describe candy that starts out crunchy before melting in your mouth.
Karma Cream (Gainesville)
607 W University Ave. Gainesville, FL 32601 karmacream.com
Karma takes it name seriously; this bakery is one with the universe for offering both dairy and vegan treats. All its offerings are certified organic, and dishes are served in reusable glassware or compostable to-go materials. Earl Grey ice cream is a favorite here. Try it with a cardamom rose cookie for the complete experience.
Sweet Theory Baking Company (Jacksonville)
1243 King St Jacksonville, FL 32204 Facebook page
Vegan and gluten-free desserts are revered treats at Sweet Theory, which inhabits a small but funkily decorated spot in Jacksonville’s Riverside district. Longtime fans recommend the Yoga Pants doughnut. We’re not sure what the ingredients are, so maybe “yoga pants” is more of a clothing recommendation if you plan on eating more than one.
Lofty Pursuits (Tallahassee)
1355 Market St A11 Tallahassee, FL 32312 loftypursuits.com
Lofty Pursuits is more of an old-fashioned soda fountain than a traditional dessert shop or bakery. While the restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, the sit-down soda fountain rotates through 200 flavors of ice cream. Longtime customers get flavor updates via Facebook or even automated text messages. The shop’s selection of homemade hard candy has legions of fans as well.
Chrisoula’s Cheesecake Shoppe and Cafe (Pensacola)
236 W Garden St #2A Pensacola, FL 32502 chrisoulascheesecakeshoppe.com
This multi-award-winning cheesecake purveyor offers its pies in flavors nearly ranging the full alphabet (amaretto to white chocolate raspberry). If you’re looking for something more unusual, try Chrisoula’s no-sugar-added, gluten-free or layered cheesecakes. Still can’t choose? Try a selection of mini cheesecakes.
Pink Pelican Ice Cream Bar (Panama Beach)
543 N Richard Jackson Boulevard Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Facebook page
The colors and flavors of the frozen treats at Pink Pelican will blow your mind. But piece it back together for a scoop of Sponge Bob, a cake-flavor concoction with sugar cookie dough. Longtime fans will confess that a single scoop of ice cream here is likely going to fill your tummy plenty.