Best Of

New Places for Cool, Sweet Treats in Southwest Florida

Where to find ice cream, sorbet, gelato and more

BY July 1, 2016

Frosty concoctions are welcome any time of year, but nothing helps beat the heat better than an ice cream sundae, filling açai bowl or wine-saturated sorbet from these freshly minted dessert hot spots.

Sandbar Breeze ( If the wind blows you in the direction of RSW, make a quick detour here. There’s something for everyone, from the Sandbar Breeze ice cream (pineapple with orange and coconut macaroon) to Bananas Foster gelato. But the stars are delightful alcohol-kissed sorbets and ices, including raspberry-Shiraz, margarita and Champagne.

The Bowl ( What’s inside these bowls (left) looks decadent but is guilt-free. Using frozen açai berries, tropical fruits and nut butters, the blended bases are thicker and more nutrient-dense than smoothies and eaten with spoons like sorbet (and can therefore double as meals).

Best Ice Cream ( Often, the best of anything means customization. Last year Naples got a branch of Sub Zero for flash-frozen liquid nitrogen single-cup experiments, and now a mom-and-pop place using a similar formula has debuted in Fort Myers. Create your own flavor or try one of the owners’ inventions—you can even call in an order of vegan coconut-milk ice cream.

Mitch’s Cookie Café ( There has been a profusion of Royal Scoop franchises and partnerships in recent months, but none has been more exciting than the debut of this old-fashioned ice cream parlor in East Naples whipping up floats, milkshakes and cookie sundaes. It pairs the classic Southwest Florida scoops with freshly baked munchies.

Love Boat Dessert Bar ( In a similar move, Love Boat, which has been the Fort Myers go-to for more than 50 years, partnered with Sweet Bean Café to launch this eatery in January. It takes a selection of the Boat’s 50 flavors and combines them with the Bean’s from-scratch coffee cakes and pastries. (P.S., before the end of summer, the same plaza will also welcome a Norman Love chocolate salon serving gelato.)

Belgian Yummies ( Late last year Jack and Rita’s on Immokalee Road got a quick-change makeover and became a new charming spot featuring Belgian chocolate. It’s being used to craft heart-shaped ice cream bars, ice cream cakes and toppings for cones and Belgian waffles, too.

Sandy Scoops (239-641-0106): Part of the reinvigoration of the strip mall anchored by 21 Spices near the Naples Bay Resort, this quaint beachy-themed parlor has tubs of the usual hard suspects plus shaved ices reminiscent of snow cones.


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