With the scorching days of summer upon us, we’re all looking for some sweet relief.
So who better to ask where to find the coolest frozen treats than our readers? We did and you jumped on social media to spill about some of your favorite spots for ice cream and other frozen concoctions.
Scoops Ice Cream Parlor › 8602 SW State Rd. 200, Ocala › (352) 861-7372
This unassuming little shop is big on heart and flavor.
“The best ice cream and hometown feeling ever!” explains Kelsey Leighton of Ocala. “My kids beg to go there daily!”
Readers praise the family behind Scoops.
“It’s a family owned shop run by the sweetest, most caring, delightful family,” offers Gabrielle LaPerle.
It even ranks as TripAdvisor’s No. 1 Dessert Spot in Ocala.
“It’s a neighborhood place,” says owner Paul Murphy. “Anyone can say that, but in order to be a neighborhood place, you’ve got to actually be good neighbors, right?”
“We’re on a first name basis with over 50 percent of our customers,” explains Paul’s wife. “We feel like our customers are part of the family.”
The Murphys have cultivated an old-fashioned, 1950s ice cream parlor feeling, offering big scoops and hard-to-find flavors like Black Raspberry, Spumoni, Black Walnut, Creamsicle and Peppermint Stick. Paul’s favorite, and their best-seller, is good old Vanilla.
“Our ice cream has a 14-15 percent butterfat content, which makes it creamy and richer than the others out there,” Paul says. “We now have 40 to 45 flavors, four or five no-added sugar [options] and one or two non-dairy sorbets.”
New To The Scene
Simply Ice Cream › 4414 SW College Rd., Ocala › (352) 355-1085 › simplyicecreamocala.com
“Simply Ice Cream is simply the best,” writes reader Claire Casseus. “Try it for yourself and you’ll agree.”
In the 10 months since they opened their shop, Paige and Dennis McFatten have developed a devoted following. It’s not surprising considering the deep ties they have with the community.
“I was born and raised here in Ocala, and Dennis was raised here as well,” Paige explains. “Our community is our home, and its residents are our family.”
They have some sensational, hand-dipped, premium ice cream that they source locally from DeConna with popular flavors, including Raspberry Cheesecake, Superman, Butter Pecan, Salted Caramel and Mint Chocolate Chip.
“We offer scoops in cones, cups and milkshakes. And we have $1 Wednesdays for kids’ cones right now,” says Paige. “We offer veteran discounts, and we have limited-time specials like our “Every Darn Thing” milkshake, which is various flavors of ice cream all mixed together.”
Fantastic Frozen Custard
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers › 3558 SW College Rd., Ocala › (352) 512-0577 › freddysusa.com
“Freddy’s has the best frozen custard,” exclaims Roxanne Burton of Ocala. “The Turtle Sundaes are so creamy!”
Readers also gave Freddy’s high marks for Best Frozen Custard and its Reese’s Pieces Sundae.
“Frozen custard is different from ice cream in the way that it is made. It’s richer, creamier and denser than ice cream,” explains General Manager Kailee Remmele. “It has that smooth texture that everyone comes back for!”
Freddy’s offers Vanilla and Chocolate frozen custard, 28 toppings and five specialty sundaes.
The employees describe their team as “a Freddy’s family”—and that includes their many regulars.
“We are family oriented,” explains Shift Manager Miguel Rivera. “But we have a diverse mix of customers.”
Best Banana Split
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream › 2707 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala › (352) 622-2110 › brusters.com/ocala
Bruster’s ice cream is made the old-fashioned way, with slow kettle process. Its vast menu includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and sorbet. The chain also offer shakes, sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, cakes and pies.
According to our readers, though, it’s the banana split that drives them nuts. Every Thursday is Banana Thursday. If you bring your own banana, you’ll receive 1/2 off a banana split. Bruster’s also offers free baby cones for children under 40 inches and free Doggie Sundaes for your furry friend.
Best Celebrity Sighting Spot
Twistee Treat › 2394 SW College Rd., Ocala › (321) 445-9103 › twisteetreat.com
Not only does it top Yelp’s list of the “The Best 10 Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt in Ocala,” but it has some “Hollywood cred” as well. Chrissy Metz, star of NBC’s This Is Us, who has family members who live in Ocala, raves about this iconic hotspot in the shape of a giant ice cream cone.
Readers love Twistee Treat’s dipped or topped cones, sundaes, brownie boats, shakes and malts. It also offers free Pup Cups for your pooch.