Living in Florida, one thing that we’ve come to appreciate are the cooler treats in life. Mind you, my family LOVES ice cream and different decadent desserts, but these three stores have most certainly left an impression upon us – The kind that keeps us going back for more and more. If you’re looking for a frozen treat while visiting the Tampa Bay area, be sure to check out these three top picks for Best Ice Cream Parlors in Tampa Bay!
(These are offered in no particular order – We love them all!)
My Top 3 Picks for Best Ice Cream Parlors in the Tampa Bay Area
Dairy Inn – 1201 9th Street N., St. Petersburg, FL 33701
The Dairy Inn is a real treat for the ice cream fan. Home of the oldest ice cream parlor in St. Petersburg, they also offer great breakfasts, burgers, NY deli-style subs and “The Real Deal Authentic Philly.” Best of all? Ohh yes, they do have ice cream! They have soft-serve ice cream cones and cups, hand-dipped ice cream, frozen bananas, more shake and malt flavors than you can shake a stick at and, if you’re concerned about the calories, they also have “deliciously smooth and almost healthy” smoothies! With flavors like a TropiColada (Mango, Banana, Pina Colada) and the Malibu Mudslide, it’s easy to forget that these are supposed to be good for you!
Paciugo – 300 Beach Drive NE # 120, St. Petersburg, FL 33707
Close to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Florida Holocaust Museum and several beautiful parks, Paciugo is one of the best spots to pick up a frozen treat. While I placed this under my choices for best ice cream parlors, Paciugo actually carries something even BETTER – Gelato! For those who don’t know what Gelato is, it’s an Italian treat that is softer and more creamy than American ice creams. Often mixed with fruit purees or nuts, it’s made with milk instead of cream, meaning that it has about 70% less fat than most ice creams. You won’t know this is the healthy stuff though – with more than 30 different flavors offered each day, you’re encouraged to mix and match flavors in your cup, creating a delicious and decadent treat…that’s still kind to your waistline!
The Candy Kitchen – 13711 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
This is our vote for family favorite, hands-down. We discovered The Candy Kitchen during one of our beach excursions. After a day of swimming, boogie-boarding and soaking up the Florida sun, it’s just a pleasant stroll to the BEST sweet shop in all of Florida! We’re talking over 500 varieties of candy and more than 200 nostalgic candies, with names that are sure to have you going, “Oh, I remember those!”
They have 12 flavors of gooey homemade fudge, 25 different kinds of salt water taffy, giant jawbreakers (my son’s personal favorite)… and they have been making their own homemade ice cream and Italian ice since 1950! After a day at the beach, The Candy Kitchen is our perfect way of ending the day.
There are many great treats to enjoy when you visit the Tampa Bay area of Florida, but you’ll definitely want to sample some of the great frozen treats in the area. With all these beautiful beaches and bright sunshine, Tampa Bay residents know exactly what tickles the taste buds and placates the palate!