As a Miami local and someone with a major sweet tooth, I can’t think about the best things to eat in Miami without listing out all of my favorite Miami desserts! There’s no shortage of bake shops, ice cream parlors, and bakeries to keep me (and my ever-present sweet tooth) satisfied. This is also why I’ve decided to eat desserts only on Saturdays this year versus every day of the week 😉 . But just because I’m restricting myself, doesn’t mean you have to! If you’re visiting Miami, these are the best desserts you MUST try:
*An allergy information section follows each dessert on the list, and while I was thorough with my research, I cannot say the information is completely conclusive. However, I hope it is helpful to anyone with food sensitivities or allergies.
#1 The Salty Donut (multiple locations)
Every time I walk into The Salty Donut, I think, “Why am I here? I don’t even really like doughnuts,” and every time I walk out, at least one of the half a dozen doughnuts I bought already has a bite mark in it. They’re just that good! The Salty Donut team has truly raised doughnut making to an art form, and it’s apparent in the taste and look of every doughnut.
The Salty Donut’s expansive menu changes every few weeks to highlight whatever is in season at that time, but a few classics stay on the menu year-round. Their “Always” flavors include brown butter and sea salt, maple and bacon, chocolate and hazelnut, and white chocolate tres leches. My personal favorites are the seasonal flavors because I love trying new (delicious) things, and they rarely disappoint! Some of their best seasonal flavors are Dragon Fruit, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Monkey Bread, and Flan.
*Not nut allergy friendly – Since nuts are used frequently in many doughnuts, cross contamination is possible. However, one gluten free and one vegan doughnut are always available on their menu.
#2 Chill’N (multiple locations)
I’m not a child, buuuut ice cream is my favorite food 😉 , which is why Chill’N holds a special place in my heart. It is by far my FAVORITE ice cream shop ever, anywhere. They use liquid nitrogen to freeze their ice cream, which makes the ice cream unbelievably creamy. Plus, all the ice cream is made to order so you always get it out right out of the mixer. Like The Salty Donut, Chill’N has year-round flavors that are incredible, but my personal favorites are all the seasonal flavors that pop up throughout the year like Pumpkin, Red Velvet, Apple Pie, and Mango. Awesome year-round flavors to try are Cake Batter, Biscotti, Nutella, and Butter Pecan. You also can’t forget the dozens of mix-n’s they offer, from Krispy Kreme doughnut pieces to mixed berries.
*Nut allergy friendly – Simply mention the allergy when ordering, and they will mark the ice cream cup for allergies and prepare the ice cream in a new mixer bowl. For highly sensitive allergies, be aware that open containers of nut toppings and nut-flavored ice creams are present in the shop. They also accommodate vegan or lactose intolerant diets with their coconut milk, yogurt, and sorbet base options.
#3 Phenomenom Ice Cream Nitrogen Ice Cream & Bake Shop (multiple locations)
The first time I ever walked in here was to try their nitrogen ice cream, and I got completely sidetracked by the warm, chunky cookies sitting in the display. To this day, I have yet to try their ice cream, but I can promise the cookies alone are worth a visit. Besides being super dense and moist, these cookies are packed with home-baked flavor, which makes them worth the $4 each. Especially, the S’mores, Sugar, and M&M Oreo cookies!
*Cookies recently became nut allergy friendly when they discontinued their peanut butter cookie.
#4 Nothing Bundt Cakes (multiple locations)
I’m not a huge cake person, so for any cake bakery to make my list of best desserts in Miami, it has to be exceptional. Nothing Bundt Cakes is so good I buy it for birthdays, parties, or basically any day I’m craving cake. They make the fluffiest, moistest bundt cakes I’ve ever eaten! Unlike many cakes, these bundt cakes are light and sweet without giving you a sugar overdose. Every flavor is perfectly balanced and each bite of cake just melts in your mouth. Indulge yourself in my personal favorites: the classic vanilla and the red velvet.
*Not nut allergy friendly – Their website claims that “Cakes may contain traces of tree nuts and peanuts. Gluten-free flavor is available at select bakeries.”
#5 Azucar Ice Cream Company (Calle Ocho)
I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’ve lived in Miami my whole life, and last week was the first time I have ever visited Azucar (or Calle Ocho for that matter). Even on a quiet weekday night, this tiny ice cream shop was crowded with customers. People sat on clever, guayabera-uphostlered lounge seats, savoring their Cuban-inspired ice creams. I tried the Cookie Monster, Mantecado, Abuela Maria, and Tio flavors, and surprisingly, they all had that unique Cuban flair without being overpowering. I would recommend this shop not just for its super fun flavors, but also for the experience of Cuban culture it captures so well.
*Nut allergy friendly – Simply inform staff of any nut allergy, and they will serve your ice cream from a new container and with a new scooper. For highly sensitive allergies, be aware that open containers of nut toppings and nut-flavored ice creams are present in the shop. Azucar is gluten-free and offers vegan options, such as sorbets and ice creams made from a pea milk base.
#6 Incredible Kettle Corn Food Stand (location varies)
After trying a free sample of this outrageous kettle corn years ago, I continue to track this food stand down whenever it’s near me because no other kettle corn compares! This kettle corn is light and airy, but it still has a nice crunch, and the sweet and salty flavors are beautifully balanced. My favorite thing about this kettle corn is that it’s made with simple ingredients: natural sea salt, sugar, and canola oil. It’s the perfect dessert when I want to satisfy my sweet tooth without eating something super heavy.
*Nut allergy friendly – As far as I can tell from the information provided on their website, Incredible Kettle Corn is nut allergy friendly, vegan (except for the cheddar caramel flavor), and gluten-free.
#7 Insomnia Cookies (Miami Beach)
If you’re from the Northeast, you are probably already a big fan of Insomnia’s ooey gooey, delicious cookies. I used to only have access to these morsels of sweet decadence when I visited places like Philadelphia or New York City, but now I can grab a box any time I’m at the beach! These cookies always taste like they’re fresh out of the oven and just melt in your mouth when you take a bite. You can’t go wrong with ordering some snickerdoodles, double chocolate chunk cookies, or classic with m&ms, but honestly, they’re all delicious! Plus, you can customize any cookies with their in-house ice cream flavors to make a monstrous cookie sandwich. Don’t forget, they also offer delivery service with late night hours (a great option if you don’t feel like leaving your hotel room).
*Not nut allergy friendly – Their website claims that “Many of our products contain or may come into contact with common food allergens, including eggs, milk, wheat, soy, peanuts and/or tree nuts.” Some stores do offer a gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookie.
#8 Robert Is Here (Homestead)
If the name throws you off, you’re not alone, but Robert Is Here is a MUST-VISIT attraction in South Florida. Although it’s technically a tropical fruit stand, I included it on this dessert list because they make the best tropical fruit smoothies and milkshakes. I am a huge lover of their mango milkshake, but you can choose from dozens of other fruits or create your own unique combination. Some fruits they offer are guava, passion fruit, canistel, key lime, and much, much more. They’re may even be a few fruits on their menu that you’ve never heard of!
*Nut allergy friendly – It is best to notify the staff of any nut allergies as they do use peanut butter in some shakes. There are also closed containers of peanuts throughout the fruit stand so be aware. Of course, the smoothies are vegan and gluten-free, but the milkshakes are only gluten-free.
#9 Knaus Berry Farm (Homestead)
Knaus Berry Farm is home to the BEST sticky buns in all of South Florida! Although the menu calls them cinnamon rolls, these soft, chewy buns are covered in a sweet, thick glaze that reminds me more of a sticky bun than a cinnamon roll. Either way, they are scrumptious. In fact, locals love these sticky creations so much they are often willing to wait in 3+ hour lines just to get some! My advice is to arrive as close to opening as possible to minimize the wait and avoid coming on the weekend if possible. Don’t forget the farm is cash only. While you’re there, you may want to sample their other baked goods, beloved milkshakes, and produce. You can even go strawberry picking, too!
*Not nut allergy friendly – Although it is not explicitly stated on their website, cross-contamination with other products containing nuts is a possibility. I am unaware of any gluten-free or vegan options.
Have you ever tried any of these desserts? Let me know what your favorite is in the comments below. And if you’re a Miami local, let me know what other desserts you would add to this list!