Chocolate desserts aren’t exclusively for the love birds on Valentine’s Day. Kids want in on the fun, too. So this year, take all of your sweethearts on a date that will end in a blissful, collective “I love you.” These three family-friendly dessert shops have all the ooey, gooey chocolatey cakes and ice creams everyone in your family will adore.
Azucar Ice Cream
When you see a towering, plastic ice cream cone with five toppling scoops rising up over the door, you’ll know you’re at Azucar Ice Cream Company in Little Havana: a family-owned boutique that dishes out dozens of fresh, house-made ice creams and sorbets daily. While the grownups relax in this brightly colored, energetic little shop, the little ones can draw hearts and sign their names on the chalkboard walls. The shop is known for its tropical, Cuban flavors such as guava, café con leche, and avocado. But for the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, Azucar is making an extra-special flavor: red velvet. It includes red chocolate cake and uses cream cheese to represent the cake’s traditional frosting, and the dark red and white makes it look just like a tasty Valentine in your hand. When they see it, the kids’ eyes are sure to pop.
Snuggle into one of the cozy, couch-like booths at the Icebox Cafe on Miami Beach and sink your fork into the chocolate delight cake. It will surprise you with every bite. The outside looks simple: just a dark chocolate icing. But as soon as you slice into it, the layers of flavors appear like the rings of a tree trunk. There’s the dark chocolate cake. Then the bittersweet chocolate mousse. Then the creamy cheesecake brownie. And all of that is topped a glorious dark chocolate ganache. This one is for the true chocolate lovers – the brave souls who don’t mind having chocolate smeared all over their faces in public when it’s all done.
The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3 is so massive you’ll need the whole family to finish it. Pop into this old-timey soda fountain and desserts shop – an export from New York City – during a shopping trip to Lincoln Road Mall. The stained-glass light fixtures and unusual frozen desserts in this shop bring a splash of character an otherwise cookie-cutter shopping strip. The hot chocolate is the signature dish, and it’s easy to see why: Serendipity freezes its hot chocolate into a milkshake-like consistency, then pours it into a giant sundae bowl. Next comes a mound of whipped cream and so many chocolate shavings you’d think they grated an entire candy bar. The chilly, creamy drink is always overflowing from its glass by the time it reaches your table, so get everyone slurping before it melts.