6 Naples ice cream places to add some sweetness to your summer
I scream, you scream — you get it.
It's a scorching hot July in the middle of a pandemic, and I'm taking comfort in the chilly, melting, sugary goodness of ice cream.
And, boy, does Naples have a plethora of chilly treat options from which to choose.
Here are six creameries in Naples plus a bonus sweet treat place for the health enthusiasts in our midst.
Antojitos y Mas
Antojitos y Mas is well worth the 20 minute drive to Golden Gate from the Daily News office in North Naples. The shop's most popular item is the mangonada, made with house-made mango ice and topped with fresh mango, a sweet-and-sour chamoy sauce, lime juice, Tajin and a stick of tamarind candy. For even more dreamy tropical goodness, Antojitos serves ice cream in a hollowed out pineapple topped with fresh pineapple slices.
(4981 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples; 239-216-7501; facebook.com/antojitosicecream1)
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Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream
Sub Zero uses liquid nitrogen to freeze ice cream before your very eyes. The shop has an extensive toppings and flavors menu, and can make almost any imaginable combination deliciously real. Cinnamon and bubble gum, why not? Chocolate chips, brownie pieces and pistachios wrapped in a marshmallow frozen yogurt? Done. Sub Zero offers cream bases for every dietary restriction or taste preference, including frozen yogurt, coconut-milk cream, custard, and lactose-free ice cream to name a few. Flavors include amaretto, root beer, peach, maple and tiger's blood along with classics such as vanilla and chocolate.
(2359 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples; 239-260-5716; subzeroicecream.com)
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This North Naples ice cream paradise serves 48 flavors of homemade ice cream, water ice and sorbets. I haven't conquered all 48 yet, but I'm getting close. I've dabbled in velvety dulce de leche and reveled in the glory of tangy black raspberry. Then there are the house-made Belgian waffles B. Yummy serves; their outsides crisp with caramelized sugar, their insides warm, fluffy and deliciously conquerable.
(2378 Immokalee Road, Naples; 239-260-1407; byummy.shop)
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Regina's is an old classic in downtown Naples. It's been around since 1988, but it's got more of a 50s vibe, with a jukebox on one wall and a toss hook game on another. Bright red stools line a counter that overlooks a small alley off Fifth Avenue South. And then there's the ice cream, with kitschy local namesakes like the Port Royal praline, the Chokoloskee chocolate and the Naples special butter pecan. Regina's also supplies its own house-made sugar cones, plugged with a jelly bean to keep even a single drop of ice cream from escaping.
(824 Fifth Ave. S., Naples; 239-434-8181; fifthavenuesouth.com/business-directories/reginas-ice-cream)
Royal Scoop is another Southwest Florida classic with flavors you'd be hard pressed to find elsewhere, such as the SpongeBob, a yellow vanilla ice cream packed with cookie dough pieces and rainbow sprinkles, and a pink Champagne sorbet. Royal Scoop also serves sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily.
(Multiple locations; royalscoop.com)
Rita's Italian Ice
Yes, OK, I hear you. Technically Rita's is not ice cream, it's Italian ice and soft-serve custard, but it's just so darn good. Last year, the chain moved to its new Pine Ridge Road location and added a drive-thru. A DRIVE-THRU, YOU GUYS. Now I can eat my Swedish Fish Gelati without leaving my car. It brings tears to the eyes, truly.
(1575 Pine Ridge Road, No. 1, Naples; 239-417-4827; ritasice.com)
BONUS: The Bowl
This place has acai and pitaya bowls so good, they might as well be considered ice cream. The AB&J bowl is blended with acai, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, almond butter and almond milk and topped with granola, blueberries, banana, hemp hearts, coconut shreds and honey. It's so tasty you wont even realize it's good for you.
(Multiple locations; the-bowl.com)
Jean Le Boeuf is the pseudonym used by a local food lover who dines at restaurants anonymously and without warning, with meals paid for by Naples Daily News. Follow the critic at facebook.com/jeanleboeufswfl or @JeanLeBoeuf on Twitter and Instagram.
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