Best Ice Cream Parlor in Miami 2012!
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Hot weather is just one (obvious) excuse for ice cream. Based on the American Way five-scoop rating, here are the seven coolest parlors ever. — B.H.
Boston-area chocoholics can’t get enough of J.P. Licks’ bittersweet hot fudge, made from scratch from a secret recipe. Layer it over homemade vanilla ice cream, add a dollop of whipped cream and a smattering of walnuts — and that’s what we call a sundae. Head to the flagship Jamaica Plain store for the best people-watching. www.jplicks.com
Artisan Ice Cream
What Picasso is to painting, Jeni’s is to ice cream. Meander to the store at the North Market in Columbus, Ohio, where even the marshmallows are made in-house, and try Gravel Road (salty French-style caramel with coarsely chopped smoked almonds) or Queen City Cayenne (milk chocolate with cayenne and cinnamon). www.jenisicecreams.com
The Miniscoop on Top
Not just for kids (though they dip a mean blue-cotton-candy cone), Izzy’s Ice Cream in St. Paul, Minnesota, understands the desires of the adult palate. Gorge on Dark Chocolate Zin (balsamic vinegar, cocoa, and Zinfandel) or Fig Tart. All cones come topped with a miniscoop of a separate flavor of your choice. Eat yours outside in the Adirondack chairs. www.izzysicecream.com
A metaphor for all that we cherish about South Beach, the Frieze Ice Cream Factory revels in its vivid interiors and art-deco surroundings. What they’re known for is the fruitiest sorbet in Miami Beach, made with the freshest ingredients (like mangoes imported from India) and the most whimsical indulgences (like Almond Joy ice cream). www.thefrieze.com
Funky Bi-Rite Creamery & Bakeshop draws crowds, even on chilly San Francisco days. Located in the Mission, this new über ice cream parlor supersedes its local competition with flavors like goat yogurt and honey lavender. But the best splurge may well be the ice cream sandwiches, made with gingersnaps and pumpkin ice cream. www.biritecreamery.com
Gifford’s Ice Cream and Candy Co., the Washington, D.C., area’s oldest and most distinguished ice cream parlor, gets rave reviews for its signature Swiss Chocolate, a mousselike milk-chocolate extravaganza. Linger to enjoy the nostalgic, feel-good ambience in the Bethesda location, a favorite of more than one past president and of Goldie Hawn. www.giffords.com
Veteran travelers to Italy know that there is gelato, and then there is gelato. For the real thing outside the boot, mangia (eat) what Tèo in Austin, Texas, concocts in its tiny midtown spot. The owner studied with master gelato makers at Vivoli, Florence’s famous gelato shop — and he learned his lessons well. Our favorite: organic Peanut Butter and Nutella. www.caffeteo.com
Flashy Miami has unpretentious local flavor, too
- Story Highlights
- Miamians line up for Cuban coffee at Davids Cafe
- Joe Allen serves fresh comfort food on the Biscayne Bay side of Miami Beach
- Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market offers its own freshly caught fish
- By Patrick Oppmann
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) The Miami area seems to be enjoyed most by people who live somewhere else.
Garcias offers freshly caught fish and a great view from a deck overlooking the Miami River.
More often than not snowbirds, the yearly visitors who winter in South Florida, and other tourists appear to take over. But there are plenty of places that are beloved by locals and wont cost you a fortune.
A good first stop is Lincoln Road, the pedestrian boulevard that runs almost the width of Miami Beach. A farmers market each Sunday is a weekly meeting point for many locals, and although the area has lost some of its identity to chains, there are plenty of unique restaurants and shops to sample.
Start your stroll on Lincoln with coffee at Davids Café (1654 Meridian Ave.). From a large open window facing the street, the cafe keeps the Cuban coffee flowing 24/7 to a wide mix of Miamians who line up for their caffeine fix. Not too much English is spoken here though, so practice the following: cafecito (a shot of sugary Cuban coffee), cortadito (sugary Cuban coffee cut with milk) and café con leche (a Latin latte).
A block west of Davids is The Frieze (1626 Michigan Ave.), which devoted regulars will swear serves the best ice cream in the world. A taste of one of the many flavors of ice cream or sorbet made from fresh local fruits may make you a convert as well. Flavors such as wasabi or tamarind have to be tried to be believed. Whether its the best in the world is open for debate, but for sure The Frieze serves the best scoops in Miami.
At Segafredos, on the West end of Lincoln (1040 Lincoln Road), the real attraction is people watching. Its the place to see and be seen in Miami Beach. Customers spending hundreds of dollars on champagne and cocktails or a few bucks on coffee and simple snacks enjoy the same great view of local characters on parade and the beautiful people who act as if Lincoln Road were their own personal catwalk.
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North of Lincoln Road, on the Biscayne Bay side of Miami Beach is Joe Allen restaurant (1787 Purdy Ave.), a bastion of good food and service that a crowd of mostly local clientele has kept going for nearly a decade. The restaurant has locations in other cities, but walking into the low-key Miami Beach dining room you would swear you stumbled onto a well-kept secret. Joe Allens serves really fresh comfort food: steaming plates of mussels in an Asian broth, homemade pastas, great burgers and a killer meatloaf. This is not the place for celebrity sightings and the latest trendy food, but you will eat well and not break the bank.
Many Miami restaurants boast they serve the freshest fish in town, but few have their own fishing fleet to back up the claim. Garcias Seafood Grille and Fish Market (398 N.W. N. River Drive, Miami) offers its own freshly caught fish and a great view from a deck overlooking the Miami River. Its a trick to get there, and the restaurant is one of the few bright spots in a still run-down area of downtown Miami, so go with good directions. As you lunch on a mahi-mahi sandwich with a beer served in an ice-cold mug and watch the boats go by, the trip to Garcias will seem well worth the effort.
It wouldnt be Miami, of course, without the beach, and every local has his or her own preferred strip of sand. The beach at Collins Avenue and 87th Terrace is a favorite for people who want to relax with the Sunday paper and a fold-out chair. The water and sand seem cleaner than most other beaches and the area is a favorite for kite surfers.
If you arent already a local, you soon will feel like one after a few hours there with the sand between your toes.
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