Whether you spend your time in an office or on the beach, the dog days of summer affect everybody. The dripping ice cream cone, which has long been recognized as the symbol of summer, has been joined by an onslaught of unique treats from area newcomers. So, if you’re looking for something to cool you down during the long, hot summer, check out these local hot spots to chill out.
1021 Scenic Highway, 433-4381,
Yes, the cheesecake and banana pudding sold at Apple Market are to die for, but now the locals’ favorite market is featuring a new treat just in time for summer: gelato. The sweet stuff is made in Fort Walton Beach and delivered fresh. Try mixing their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and Coconut flavors for a truly satisfying snack.
49 Via De Luna Drive,
Pensacola Beach, 677-9177, beachpops.com
A day spent sweating, swimming and playing at Pensacola Beach would not be complete without a frozen treat. Owner Lynne Foster opened the first retail/production location of BeachPops on Pensacola Beach “to provide visitors and residents a healthy option for hot weather treats.” Top flavors include Berrilicious, Pina Colada and Mint Patty. The Pops are gluten free and contain no high fructose corn syrup. Foster states that “Pensacola Beach is the perfect environment for our launch, given a large segment of the local and visitor population are concerned about nutrition and are seeking raw and organic alternatives for themselves and their children.” These Pops are so delicious, the kids will never know they are eating something healthy.
Dolce! Gelato, Coffee & Confections
221 E. Zaragoza St., 469-9600
Gelato, or Italian ice cream, contains fewer calories and less than half the fat of traditional ice cream because it is made from milk instead of cream. That friendly fact should become your mantra when you walk into Dolce! and are greeted by a smiling face with a handful of spoons to let you taste the delicious flavors. Dolce! is quickly becoming legendary due to its range in flavors from pink grapefruit sorbetto to salted caramel gelato. Owner Marie Mayeur makes each batch of gelato and sorbetto in house and changes up the flavors “as often as possible.” Situated next to the Pensacola Bay Brewery, it is only fitting that one of her frozen chocolate confections is made using the porter beer brewed next door. Her location provides an ideal escape from the heat of events in Seville Square during the summer months, as well as any other excuse you can find to stop in. Check out their Facebook page for new flavors.
5045 Bayou Blvd., 696-2810,
The tart frozen yogurt trend made famous by chains like Pinkberry has made its way to Pensacola by way of Roly Poly, a rolled sandwich chain that is known in college towns for convenient, healthy and inexpensive meal options. This is not your grandmother’s frozen yogurt. Tart frozen yogurt is made with less sugar and contains active cultures to promote healthy digestion. It is also less sweet and more tart than traditional frozen yogurt. Tart frozen yogurt is a lower-fat option to keep your bikini body beach ready, and Roly Poly offers healthy toppings like fresh fruit and granola to add extra nutrients to your frozen snack. Try a cup topped with locally-sourced, Spinner’s spun honey and blueberries for an antioxidant-rich treat that you can feel good about.
Try these other hot-weather staples for your cool treat cravings:
• 4350 Bayou Blvd. # 2
• 205 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze
Marble Slab Creamery
• 5405 N. Ninth Ave.
• Seashell Collections, 840 Gulf Breeze Parkway,
• 4771 Bayou Blvd.