26 ways to stay cool, Orlando
I never knew I loved shaved ice so much, and thanks to Sala's Slurp Shack in Apopka I rekindled my cool side with a frosty mound that is the perfect cool down. They have over 20 flavors to try, or get a mixture with the rainbow pictured below. Pro tip: A large is easily shared with a friend and the bright blue exterior wall is great for pics.
We've seen a surge in rolled ice spots around town, and I.CE.NY is one of the newer options located in Baldwin Park. Create your own mixture with toppings of your choice, or go big with a Hong Kong bubble waffle. Pictured below is a concoction of Thai iced tea ice cream, Pocky sticks, fruit loops and chocolate drizzle. If waffles aren't your thing you can choose a brownie or cookie as your baked good. Pro Tip: Take your treat just a few steps outside to enjoy while overlooking Lake Baldwin.
This local chain just keeps growing and I think it could be because cookie butter gelati and chocolate soft serve is one of the greatest combinations known to man. They now have fourteen Central Florida locations, so there is no excuse to say you've never been; one is undoubtedly in your area. Pictured below is horchata gelati paired with vanilla soft serve from the newest location in College Park.
La Isla del Frappe is a large food trailer, practically a full restaurant on wheels that parks at Goldenrod and E. Colonial. While you can get actual food like tostones, monfongo, and burgers, I'm a little addicted to their amazing frappes.
As you approach the colorful trailer you will see a grid of the over 40 types of frappes. So many options stuffed with chocolate covered strawberries, Swiss Cake rolls and rainbow sour strips and the additional candy of your choosing. When you go you'll feel like you are in the middle of a family reunion that you weren't invited to but are welcome to attend. If you visit on the weekends be prepared to wait, they tend to garner long lines. Pro Tip: The chocolate base is substantially better than the vanilla in my humble opinion.
It's a good thing that the Pop Bar came to the Prime Outlets, cause it's the perfect way to dull your parking rage. The pops are basically gelato on a stick, however there are fruit sorbet flavors as well. They will cost you around $5.
Boba is plentiful in Orlando, but I can assure none of them have quite the regal swag as Bambu. Over in the Westside Crossings shopping center you'll find Bambu desserts and drinks with several options for smoothies, Vietnamese coffee, popsicles, boba, and Hong Kong waffles with ice cream, among other items. Go pick a chair, sit proudly on it, and treat yo self.
If you love ice cream but aren't a fan of bovine growth hormones (shouldn't that be all of us) head to Frozen Cow Ice Cream. Located in Winter Garden off of Vineland Road, Frozen Cow boasts ice cream from Florida free-range cows, no high fructose corn syrup, and the use of only pure sugar cane. It's a bright and clean space perfect for taking a gaggle of kids after they've ran through the splash pad in downtown. The creation below is a doughnut ice cream sundae best split with friends for half the guilt.
Ice & Bites serves delicious taiyaki with ice cream, as well as fanciful affogato. Pick your choice of ice cream (I got lavender) and get a mug full of it topped with cotton candy and two pocky sticks and your espresso on the side. Additionally they have Sno, boba teas, milk teas, and other ice cream creations.
Kelly's Homemade ice cream is a neighborhood favorite. Her Mexican Chocolate, Alligator Tracks, and Rose Almond Pistachio are some of my favorite flavors. She continuously has new seasonal options to keep guests engaged as well as new items like this waffle taco ice cream sandwich. Pictured below is cinnamon crunch + birthday cake and I barely lived to tell the tale of how good this combo was.
Whether you want a simple scoop of ice cream, an egg cream or an ample sundae, this relatively new spot in Ocoee is a great spot to gather with plenty of indoor and outdoor patio seating. The owners struck a nice balance of an old-fashioned soda fountain with classic branding and modern fixtures. On my first visit I ordered a 16 oz milkshake ($5.50) with hazelnut ice cream, whipped cream and of course a cherry on top. Rumors: Word on the street is that they will start carrying flavors from the Greenery Creamery so that will save people on the west side a drive.
New to downtown you can grab vegan ice cream here along with regular dairy flavors. Popular for their insta worthy ash cones, this small shop offers flavors like ube, matcha, blueberry lavender and orange honey saffron. Get out of your cookies 'n cream comfort zone and try something new here. It's located in the bottom of the 420 building on Church Street and street parking it easiest here. Pictured below is the ube and matcha flavors on a ube cone.
Doughnuts and ice cream are the ultimate dessert combo. Valkyrie knows this well, so everyday at their East Orlando location you can get vegan soft serve desserts (follow their Instagram for daily flavors) as well as Dole Whip concoctions. Flavors and cool options vary so check their Instagram for up to date offerings. If a hot doughnut isn't the answer while you are sweating through your shirt, try one of her cooler treats.
If you don't know what Chamoyada is, it's a Mexican dessert that you may or may not love. It is essentially a combination of chamoy sauce, shaved ice, chili powder, fruit chunks and a tamarind straw. I won't lie, it was weird and I can only imagine it's an acquired taste. However that is just one of the many options you can get at this hole-in-the-wall in Apopka off of O.B.T. The other item I tried was a delicious fruit cup topped with strawberry ice cream. Much more pleasing to my personal palate.
If I only had one option for ice cream for the rest of my life Midnight Sun would win easily. Currently, the only place you can get happily bloated off their goods is at the Deland Farmer's Market on Friday nights from 6PM - 9PM. I promise you, it's worth your gas money. Pro Tip: The market itself is a great Friday night getaway where you can meet lots of vendors, enjoy the local brewery and visit local shops.
If you are at the East End Market and are looking for a cold treat you can head into Domu and ask the bartender for their current flavor of soft serve ice cream. They've had matcha, taro, black belgium chocolate with activated charcoal just to name a few flavors. Leave room after you indulge in the KFC wings for a swirl.
If ice cream isn't your jam don't forget about refreshing popsicles you can grab around town. At the Pop Parlour you can choose between fruity, creamy, and boozy. There is the location downtown near Lake Eola, perfect to grab during the Sunday Farmer's Market or the location on the UCF campus.
DaJen Cafe & Creamery
Queen of the vegan chefs, Jenn Ross not only makes amazing vegan dishes with a Jamacian twist, but she also makes her own vegan ice "irie" cream. I have no pictures to share because I inhaled her offerings too quickly, but from her strawberry irie cream to her peanut butter milkshakes, I promise that you will NOT miss dairy one bit. Although I'll miss her gas station days, I'm so excited for her new restaurant to open in Eatonville very soon.
Famously known for their marshmallows, Wondermade now uses their space in historic Downtown Sanford as a full dessert cafe. Walking through the downtown area is supremely better with a "smores popsicle" or "Krispwich" in hand. Even if you don't go for something instaworthy, their flavors are sure to please with unique options like avocado and cornbread ice creams.
Not everyone is a fan of ice cream, and for those people I would suggest a cold slush. A tiramisu slush to be exact. Over at Vivi Bubble Tea the options are a bit overwhelming, so if you like tiramisu, imagine a chunk of it being shoved into ice without being overly sweetened and slurp away. It was quite refreshing. Pro Tip: There is a parking lot directly behind it with a back entrance which is where you will find the pink, black and grey wall.
If you aren't paying attention you might walk right by the Paleteria pop cart. Over in the Plant Street Market in Winter Garden you'll find pops that are huge and delicious. I could barely finish the Nutella pop I got. You can go creamy, fruity, or stuffed like the banana pop stuffed with Nutella or coconut stuffed with dulce de leche. Grab one of these as you walk through downtown Winter Garden.
This particular spot is on I-Drive (the quieter end) has plenty of rolled ice cream flavors and options. Rolled ice cream is much lighter than traditional ice cream so it's a great alternative for something light when you have a sweet craving. Pro Tip: This particular location is right near some terrible tourist shops littered with Florida memorabilia that you really need to walk through just for fun.
Frozen Butter Beer + Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
Full disclosure: I've never read a Harry Potter book or watched a movie so I have no idea what significance Butter Beer has to the story. All I know is, on a hot, stank, the-air-is-suffocating-me type of day at Universal, I live for a Frozen Butter Beer followed only by a trip to get some pistachio soft serve at Florean Fortescue's.
I'm still trying to learn the different Korean desserts like Bingsu (shaved ice with toppings) and Patbingsu (pictured below) which is shaved iced crunchy cereal, almonds and condensed milk. Still not sure I have is straight, but I know it tastes good. If you need something simpler they also have adorable fruit popsicles you can enjoy while taking in the lake view. Also noteworthy, Snowbean is open until 2 a.m. and a pretty quiet chill place if you need a late night escapade.
If you haven't heard of Zero Degrees until now, it's a Asian-Hispanic fusion chain focusing on snack foods and drinks with heavy presence on the West Coast. Nothing here is healthy, it's truly a menu of guilty pleasures. This ube milkshake was a fun, sweet cool down, topped with a sour rainbow stripe, a toasted marshmallow, because why not. Someone actually asked to take a picture of it after I purchased it, so needless to say it has a strong instagram lure.
I'd never be a good Disney blogger because I rarely go and when I do I cry for my wallet . I did take my first ever trip to the World of Pandora not to long ago and tried the Rum Blossom - Bacardi Superior Rum with layers of apple and desert pear limeade topped with Passion Fruit Boba Balls. It was a bit too sweet for my liking, but it served me well in the three hours I waited to ride the Flight of Passage. Never again.
I know I'm not blowing anyone's mind by adding Twistee Treat to this list, but I have to because it was the only place I ever got ice cream from growing up. The only item I have ever ordered is the vanilla soft serve dipped in butterscotch coating and it's perfect every time.
Other notable spots to check out include Goff's, Red Cone ice cream, Freddy's Frozen Custard, Peterbrooke Chocolatier, and the many Boba spots around town.
All photos were taken by me and cannot be used without my permission. All food was paid for by me, this is not a sponsored post and I was not paid to include any business within this round-up.