South Florida's Best Cold Treat on a Hot Summer Day

Joyosity via Flickr Creative Commons

With a summer that lasts a good chunk of the year, the people of South Florida need -- make that deserve -- lots of options for cool, refreshing treats. While an ice cold beer does the trick nicely, sometimes you crave the innocence and nostalgia of an icy sweet treat. Here are five of the best cold treats in South Florida. As always, if you know of something great that we missed, please share in the comments. 

Rita's Ice

The velvety frozen custard at this candy-cane-striped franchise is among the more talked-about choices on the menu, particularly the classic, no-frills vanilla. Fans rave about the texture and a richness of flavor that is seldom found among iced treats born from a machine. But the vanilla custard isn't the only trick up this icy maiden's sleeve: The signature Italian ice is a classic go-to when the fires of the hottest, stickiest summers in South Florida ignite.

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Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor Restaurant

You will be tempted to order "the kitchen sink" at this old-timey ice cream parlor. The desire to stuff one's face with all manner of ice cream, toppings, and anything not bolted down to the table is understandable. But if your mission is to refresh and revive, you need to think more Spartan and less Roman Emperor. Do not be distracted by the famous names on the menu. Instead, try one of the sparkling sodas, available in flavors like chocolate, strawberry, or -- most refreshing of all -- pineapple.


This modernized version of a seaside shake shack doesn't mess around when it comes to the icy options. The frozen custard is made fresh daily with nothing but cream, eggs, sugar cane, and natural flavorings. You can get it in a shake, cone, or sundae, but you'll be better off instead by gunning for a concrete. Made with a "dump" of fro-custard, the creamy dessert is whipped and blended at a high speed with the mix-in of your choice. Try the Fort Lauderdale Surfer, made with vanilla custard, caramel, and fresh mango.


You can't walk within 50 yards of Sloan's without being slammed in the face by the sweet, sugar-soaked scent of fresh-made waffle cones. Like a Looney Tunes character, you can almost see the aroma gathering together to form an invisible hand beckoning you into the store. Once inside, don't be distracted by the rows of candy and glittery, feathery trinkets; you need cold refreshment. You'll find it in the ice cream case, where offbeat flavors range from apple pie and circus to more tried-and-true like vanilla and coconut.

Big Kahuna

This novelty of a food truck cruises around South Florida serving frozen and cool treats made with a nostalgic ingredient list that includes Twinkies, Lemonheads, Airheads, Nerds, and Ring Dings. You'll find shakes, snow cones, and ice cream sandwiches in addition to lesser-known treats like ice cream sliders and ice cream nachos. For a refreshing blast of sugary cool, steer in the direction of the shaved ice.

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