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The 5 Best Restaurants in Miami to Take Out-Of-Towners

C'mon, who doesn't love ice cream?
But Azucar is so much more than just an ice-cream and sorbet parlor — it's a cultural experience.
This Little Havana gem makes use of local ingredients to create ice cream that tastes just like Abuela used to make... [download article]


Azucar Brings Cuban Flavors to Bishop Arts

The streets of Bishop Arts are flowing with ice cream.

Fort Worth ice cream shop Melt recently opened an outpost on Bishop, where there’s also locally owned Yaya Best Tex Mex Yogurt. Not to mention ice cream floats at Espumoso Caffe and paletas at Picolé Pops and Encanto Pops. Besides that, the two chocolate shops — Dude Sweet Chocolate and CocoAndré Chocolatier — sometimes make their own ice cream.

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"With flavors such as flan, passion fruit, and mamey, this is a real Cuban experience that you cannot miss when you are in the neighborhood."

- Miami Culinary Tours

The 10 Best Ice Cream Shops in Miami

Nestled in the heart of Little Havana stands Miami’s legendary creamery Azucar (1503 SW Eighth St.), home of iconic Cuban and tropical flavors like flan, plátano maduro, passionfruit, and the trademarked Abuela Maria, classic vanilla ice cream with guava, chunks of cream cheese, and Maria cookies. The giant ice-cream cone above the entrance may be what lures in tourists and locals alike to this Calle Ocho sweet shop, but its Azucar’s use of high-quality, handmade ice cream — the kind Abuela used to make — that keeps them coming back for more.  

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Suzy Batlle: Ex-Banker Hit Sweet Spot Founding Azucar Ice Cream

Suzy Batlle didn’t know anything about running a business when she founded Azucar Ice Cream 4½ years ago. But her chosen career as a banker...

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The Queen of Cuban Ice Cream

Mamey, mantecado, Mulatica: delicious touchstones for many Cubans. And, at Cuban-American Suzy Batlle’s ice cream parlor Azucar Ice Cream Company, they are also among the 70-plus flavors of house-made confections. 

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Azucar Ice Cream Company sits in the heart of Little Havana and pays homage to owner Suzanne Batlle's grandmother's ice cream...

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Miami's Best Ice Cream 2013

Cue the swaying palm trees, cafecitos, and intro beats to Joe Arroyo's "Rebelión," because Azucar Ice Cream Company embodies Calle Ocho in sugar, cream, and waffle cones. Staffers wear shirts stamped with Cuban sayings: "Que arroz con mango," "¡El golpe avisa!" and "¡Dale!"

Outside, a live band plays salsa and son directly below a huge sculpture of a loaded ice-cream cone. The shop proffers flavors such as mamey, passionfruit, plátano maduro (sweet plantain), and a trademarked Abuela María — delicious, sweet vanilla ice cream with ripe guava, chunks of cream cheese, and crushed Maria cookies ($3.50 small, $4.50 large). Azucar satisfies cravings for dancing, desserts, and ice cream varieties such as double turrón. So next time you're in Little Havana, ya tu sabes exactly where to go.

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2013 Miami Tastemakers: #14: Suzy Batlle of Azucar Ice Cream

You won't find tostones at Azucar on Calle Ocho. Nor will you turn up flan, at least not in its usual form. Suzy Batlle's ice cream shop, inspired by the memory of her Abuela -- hand-makes ice cream and sorbet every day. The flan ice cream comes in three different flavors: pumpkin, caramel & coconut.
 
Yet Batlle doesn't let the location or the shop's giant spray-painted portrait of Celia Cruz represent the Cuban tradition. Besides, sour orange and garlic ice cream topped with a crispy fried piece of lechon probably wouldn't taste good, or maybe it would?

Either way she carries holiday specials in addition to flavors like Elvis, with peanut butter and banana. There's also the Willy Chirino, with bourbon ice cream, and black and maraschino cherries, along with a sweet corn ice cream laced with cinnamon. 

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Everyone loves ice cream. And if there's something people love more than ice cream, it's a local ice cream shop with flavors unique to their surroundings. At Azucar Ice Cream Company, you sit on a bench lined with black-and-white guayaberas while savoring heladitos de mulatica, mamey, or even plátano maduro (!!). That's sweet plantain -- sweet plantain ICE CREAM. On weekends, a salsa band plays on the sidewalk. Shake your hips. Eat some Willy Cherrino ice cream -- that's Cuban speak for double cherry. Revel in the wonders that are sugar, salsa, and Calle Ocho.

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Ice Cream Turns Into Cultural Experience in Miami’s Little Havana

"Azucar’s bold fusions are a mélange of evocative flavors that prick your imagination and tantalize your palette."

Southern Flavors to Savor: Ice Cream Makers Give Us the Varieties that Represent Their Cities

...from Miami: Abuela Maria | Suzy Batlle of Azucar Ice Cream Company trademarked this flavor, a combination of Cuban Maria crackers, guava, and cream cheese. “Cubans love guava and cream cheese on a cracker, and I put it all inside an ice cream,” she says proudly.

Maduros and More: Ice Cream Gets Latin Flavor

Oh, vanilla and chocolate ice cream — you are so about to be replaced. A new and decidedly more fun approach to the cold and creamy summertime favorite is taking hold, with classic (and sometimes admittedly crazy) Latino ingredients taking center stage. Case in point: Miami’s hottest ice cream parlor, the 10-month-old Azúcar, where owner Suzy Batlle, uses her late Cuban grandmother’s ice cream recipe as the foundation for more than 50 unique flavors. 

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Get the Scoop: Where to Try Miami's Best Ice Cream

Best Local Flavor | Every once in a while, an eatery opens up that makes us think, “They get us. They really get us!” This Calle Ocho gem serves up some serious Miami flare with catchy names like Willy Cherrino (double cherry) and El Mani Loco (crazy peanut). They’ve also mastered the art of producing authentic Cuban flavors like Abuela Maria (Abuela Maria cookies with cream cheese and guava paste) and café con leche (Cuban coffee & Oreos). This is one Miami joint that has us all saying Ay Sans Goodness.

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"...some of the most FLORIDIAN & CUBAN FLAVORS imaginable. Avocado, Cuban coffee, MAMEY, MANGO, COCONUT, platanos maduros, and dulce de leche are some of the more locally significant flavors."

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Cooking Light

"Suzy left the competitive banking world to craft ice cream just like her Cuban grandma used to make. She offers a lineup of 40 FLAVORS including coconut, sweet plantain, almond, and even avocado..."

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"I Can’t Imagine Ice Cream Can Get Any Better than This."

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Best of Miami: Top Ten Miami Ice Cream Spots

"...this store offers up with their DELIGHTFUL PAINTBOX of sugary flavors. The consistency of these is gelato SMOOTH and DELECTABLY creamy. It's hard to pick a favorite but we think a must try is the Cafe Cubano flavor." 

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The Miami Herald

"...flavors expressed the natural characteristics of the dominant ingredients. The avocado was BUTTER-CREAM ECSTASY, expressing the inherent DECADENCE OF FRUIT at summer’s peak. The compota de banana captured the rich, baby banana flavor that distinguishes it from Chiquita. The Mexican vanilla tasted like Christmas eggnog."

"With flavors such us flan, passion fruit, and mamey, this is a REAL CUBAN EXPERIENCE that you cannot miss when you are in the neighborhood."

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Indulge

What: Calle Ocho’s new sweet spot serves cool treats and baked goods made from scratch. Why: Churros, ice cream sandwiches, and flavors like almond, lemon basil, mojito, and rum raisin.

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"Batlle’s ice cream has a VELVETY, HOMEMADE consistency that truly stands out. She ROCKS THE CLASSICS, but is also not afraid to take risks with new flavors, such as Pinot Noir, Platanos Maduros (sweet plantains), Champagne, and Basil Lime." 

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