Instagrammable “Cool” Desserts in Orlando
While there may in fact be other desserts worthy of delaying your gratification for a quick picture, these all share a cooler element that we all need in Florida until about November 30th. I definitely haven’t found all there is around Central Florida when it comes to sweets that cool you down, but this list should last you through the summer.
If you haven’t visited À La Cart in the Milk District, it’s a dedicated food truck park that has covered seating and a great selection of beer. It’s a really chill spot to hang out and try a wide variety of street food in one place.
The newest resident food truck has moved in adding a great dessert option after you’ve gotten something savory. Dulce Pecado hails from Miami and is offering the 407 sweet milkshakes and decadently topped waffle pops.
Whether you choose from their menu or make your own, these are rich and intense treats.
VEGANS: They just recently started offering vegan slushy options.
Pictured below is the Guava-Yava: Sweet guava dip and a delightful combination of cream cheese and guava chunks including maria cookies and condensed milk.
You could just visit Phenomenon on Lee Road and watch as your nitrogen ice cream is made right in front of you, but my recommendation is to go for the full gut-busting experience. That means a huge ice cream cookie sandwich. The cookies are massive, soft, gooey bookends to your chosen flavor of ice cream. This treat is honestly hard to finish because of the sheer size, so I would suggest sharing it.
The shop itself is full of color and a few cartoon pandas, so it makes a great backdrop to get your pictures without running around a shopping center looking for an ideal backdrop.
Gelato-Go has locations in Florida and New York, and our local shop sits pretty on Park Avenue. I’m happy to report that their gelato is rich and creamy, and not at all icy or bland. The flavors run the spectrum so whether you want something light and fruity or deeply chocolate you’ll be satisfied. You can of course try before you buy. If gelato isn’t calling your name they have coffee and pastries as well.
For the full experience you can ask for extra chocolate topping and record in slow-mo as it rains all over your gelato. This isn’t actually the most instagrammable scoop they serve, but the mix of hazelnut and coffee is quite delicious.
I love driving down back roads and finding random spots I didn’t know existed. That’s exactly how I found FrutaMix in Ocoee. It’s a family-owned restaurant where they create authentic Mexican treats both sweet and savory, including homemade ice creams, smoothies, paletas, fruit waters and fruit salads.
Pictured below is the Piña Loca. Inside a full pineapple is a mixture of fresh fruit, cucumbers, mild chili powder, salt, lime, some gummy candies, a Tamarind candy straw, and Chamoy sauce. If you want a little less chili powder or Chamoy they totally work with your preference. For those who can’t do a dairy dessert, this a wildly refreshing option.
Waffles and ice cream are such a brilliant match, but over at Purple Ocean Superfood you feel a little bit better about the indulgence. At any of their Orlando locations you can order frozen açaí on top of a buckwheat waffle with fresh fruit. If you want to bypass the waffle, their bowls are amazing served plain or even in half of a pineapple. For optimal aesthetics visit the Florida Mall location where they have an adorable airstream.
Side note: If you order the waffle, it will take a hot minute.
Forget everything you thought you knew about only indulging in marshmallows during a brief Florida cold snap. Sugar Rush knows that if done correctly, the marshmallow is a year-round dessert. If you don’t believe me just wait until you’ve tried one of their frozen s’mores.
They take ice cream and other toppings and stuff them inside a huge marshmallow. COME ON, this is a genius level confection. They have an incredible Key Lime Pie flavor for a pique Florida dessert. Follow their instagram account to keep tabs on where their mobile truck is headed.
All coffee is technically instagrammable, because that’s just what people do now. However, to be truly gram-worthy you need a little more than pretty latte art. How about whip cream and cereal? That’s what you’ll find over at Los Authenticos. This classic drink can be made into an iced latte that they top off without making overly sweet.
We've seen a surge in rolled ice spots around town, and I.CE.NY is Baldwin Park’s neighborhood shop. Here you can create your own mixture of flavors 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.
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.
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.
With the influx of new restaurants opening in Orlando, sometimes we forget about some that we were so excited about just a few short years ago. KrungThep is always a great option for a cool dessert, even later in the evening when so many dessert spots are closed. Yes, you can get sandwiches and tea here, but it’s a great dessert only joint if you just want enjoy a brick toast. If you are unfamiliar with brick toast, imagine sweet chunks of soft but slightly toasted bread topped with ice cream and other goodies. Choices include matcha, Ferrero Rocher, and other seasonal flavors that rotate.
They recently announced their signature fruit bowls are back, and they’ve also released the “KrungThep Burger” which is another vessel to enjoy their ice cream in.
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.
Pro Tip: I have absolutely driven across town to try something they advertised on IG and they didn’t have it, so if you are going for something specific and driving more than five minutes to get there I would call first.
Downtown’s vegan ice cream shop has been a big hit ever since it opened. Popular for their insta-worthy ash cones and toppings, 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. They do have some dairy flavors if you aren’t vegan.
Yeah, OK so technically my stacked latte isn’t a menu item, but it should be. Order your drink of choice, grab the metal straw I know you have handy, and stack a gorgeous Valhalla Bakery item on it. Take a bite and a sip with ease and look like a complete weirdo to onlookers. Win/win.
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 a bit of a shock to my palate when I first tried it 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.
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. The first picture below is horchata ice cream on a churro cookie. I MEAN! They are just such a blessing to my stomach. 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.
Leave it to me to go to a juice shop and find the closest thing to a dessert. At the Orlando location you can get soft SWERVE ice cream and add the toppings of your choice. The vanilla and chocolate soft swerve is a frozen blend of homemade coconut base and 5g of plant based protein per serving!
For those that struggle with food and dietary restrictions, it’s vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.
Who doesn’t want a supersized, over-the-top milkshake every now and again? Grovetucky Farms is a milkshake truck that serves up decadent milkshakes that are truthfully hard to finish.
They came on the food truck scene hard, becoming known for including huge chunks of cake, cupcakes, and other large sweets atop the already decked out milkshake making them a feast for the eyes and the gram. Pictured below is the birthday shake whose cupcake I ate before getting my picture. Sometimes we just can’t wait. You need to follow them on Instagram to see where their trailer is headed.
If you are near College Park and have the urge for a Bubble waffle, you should know that this neighborhood spot has you covered. Blended Bistro Boba got a bit of a makeover recently, but you can still find bubble waffles on the menu.
You choose the ice cream and the toppings and snap a picture in front of their new branded wall up front.
Of course any creation from Kelly’s is insta-worthy because it’s delicious and we want to share our scoops. However, the overall aesthetics of our pics can be taken up a notch thanks to the beautiful job Richard Minino did on Kelly’s outdoor mural over at the Fern Creek location. If you haven’t tried the rose pistachio or mexican chocolate, do yourself a FLAVOR and get on that now.
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 are several photogenic areas of this shop. Inside you will find colorful wall art and in the parking lot directly behind it you will find the pink, black and grey wall.
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. As a proud Universal pass-holder I can tell you when you are about to keel over from heat exhaustion a frozen butter beer actually brings you back to life.
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.
Twistee Treat is just so OG it deserves to be on this list. Growing up in Winter Garden this was our after-school jam minus the instagramming. The only item I have ever ordered is the vanilla soft serve dipped in butterscotch coating and it's perfect every time.
There are so many great local spots to get something icy and delicious, I didn’t capture them all in this particular blog post, but I suggest you do a Yelp search to find local spots near you.
Special mention to other places I enjoy for a cool down:
West Orange Creamery in Ocoee
Wondermade in Sanford
Royal Tea in Orlando
Quickly Boba & Snow multiple locations
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice multiple locations
All photos are property of LemonHearted Creative 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.