Ice Cream

The Suncoast Celebrates National Ice Cream Month

Do you know what is cool about July?  Obviously, not the weather.   By July, you can tell the seasoned Floridians versus those who are new to our weather game.  Those who have experience basking in our hellish temperatures and weighty humidity barely work up a sweat going about daily routines.  For some of our newbie friends though, this time of year can have them questioning if those winters up north were really that bad as opposed to the heat they are dealing with now. (Short answer would be yes, the winters were really that bad.)

We need some cooling off and unbelievably, July will be delivering extreme frigid excitement. Established in 1984 and declared a proclamation throughout the land by then-President Ronald Reagan, National Ice Cream Month was born. As if we needed a reason to indulge in a cone or cup of our favorite frozen concoction, we have an entire 31 days dedicated to ice cream.  I’m in, how about you?

I don’t care how old you get, standing in line for an ice cream cone, reviewing all of the cartons in the display case and agonizing on this one decision of which flavor to choose is a right of passage.  Realizing the joy, you and your tastebuds will receive from this strange creamy, dreamy treat makes the decision all the more important.  You could play it safe and get chocolate, which is always good.  Or, you could go for vanilla or mint chocolate chip, those are right up there in the favorites category too.  But sometimes you just need a Rocky Road or Butter Pecan to remind you life can be extra sweet. 

Fortunately for us, Sarasota County boasts dozens of ice cream joints to satisfy your sweet tooth during National Ice Cream Month.   From established ice cream shops to modern cold-slabs and Nitrogen hotspots to the iconic ice cream truck, the options are too plentiful to list.  Instead, we are featuring just a few of the many wonderful ice cream options for your July (and beyond) consumption.  We are limiting our suggestions to a “Fab Five” list below, but we know there are so many more worth mentioning.  Please feel free to give a shout out to your favorite ice cream shop in the comments below.

Abel’s Ice Cream  Located at 1886 Stickney Point Road Sarasota, Abel’s Ice Cream has been the #1 rated ice cream shop on Trip Advisor, Google and Yelp for eight years running.  They also hold over 40 national ice cream ribbons.  Along with those serious accolades, their ice cream shop is always bustling with a steady and loyal clientele.  From cones to cups, shakes to malts and all the sprinkles and fudgy delights in between, Abel’s Ice Cream hits all the marks.  You can also get Sarasota-roasted coffee and fine chocolates or popcorn to pair with your ice cream.  Can we say decadence?   Abel’s Ice Cream | Home | Sarasota | Siesta Key (

Big Olaf Creamery  With several locations around Sarasota County, Big Olaf Creamery offers a variety of fun, tasty ice cream sensations.  Each batch of ice cream is hand mixed and churned by local Amish Craftsmen.  Inspired and unique flavors like Kahlua Krunch and Strawberry Cheesecake, along with icies and gelatos keep faithful patrons satisfied throughout the year. Home – Big Olaf

Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream What might seem futuristic for some is actually a lot of fun for ice cream lovers of all ages.  Combining science with ice cream draws “oohs and aahs” from all onlookers.  With a process of adding liquid nitrogen to a liquid base, you can see your ice cream freeze in real time.  Ice cream, cakes and catering options mean you can bring STEM learning plus the ice cream to your next home party or event.  Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream – Sarasota, FL | Facebook

Ice Cream

The Soda Fountain & Vinnie’s Pizzeria  Located at 349 West Venice Avenue in Venice, The Soda Fountain is a little step back in time chock full of quaintness, charm, and plain old great ice cream .  Old fashioned egg creams and true fountain drinks abound in this cute atmosphere with high-top tables and New York eatery feel.  Ice cream cones, cups, sodas, and specialty malts and shakes make this the perfect location for a cone and a slice of pizza if you are so inclined.  NY Style Pizza | The Soda Fountain of Venice

Sunny Days Ice Cream Truck  Who doesn’t stop everything they are doing as soon as the jingling tunes from the ice cream truck catch your ear?  Nothing better than being treated to a refreshing ice cream on a hot summer’s day, especially when it comes rolling up into your neighborhood and all you have to do is gather a few dollars to get your treat.  In and around North Port, Sunny Days Ice Cream Truck has been delighting locals, not only in their neighborhoods, but at festivals, schools, and activities for years.  With pictures of all the favorites (Bomb Pops, Sponge Bob, and Dora Ice Cream shapes, fudgesicles, and all of your childhood ice cream fantasies) pictured on the outside of the truck, choosing is as easy as a point of the finger.  Sunny Days Ice Cream Truck in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, North Port

Photos courtesy of Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream Facebook page & Deposit Photos

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