Tampa, FL

Ybor City: A destination for ice cream enthusiasts

Jillicious Tampa Bay

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Ice Cream of Ybor CityJill Gerding

Looking for some of the best ice cream in Tampa? Then look no further than Ybor City. Established in 1885, Ybor is considered one of Tampa's most historic regions and is registered as a National Historic Landmark District. This quaint and storied neighborhood attracts a lot of tourism, and with that comes great entertainment, shops, restaurants, and… ice cream!!

Ybor is home to three fantastic ice cream shops all off 7th Ave: Chill Bros Scoop Shop, Mayday Handcrafted Ice Cream, and Snobachi Handcrafted Ice Cream.

CHILL BROS SCOOP SHOP

Chill Bros has become a Tampa staple with three (soon to be four) locations in the Tampa area, but the first one started in Ybor. With the owners being 4th generation Tampanians, Chill Bros makes a point to serve uniquely Tampa flavors such as Café Con Leche Chunk, Tampa Banana, and Guava Pastelito (Tampa Banana is my personal favorite). They make all their ice cream, waffle cones, mix-ins, candies, and sauces in-house, so when you're walking down 7th Ave, that warm, sweet, freshly-baked smell makes it too inviting to not stop and pop in.

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Tampa Banana ice cream at Chill Bros Scoop ShopJill Gerding

Something that keeps me visiting is their seasonal flavor(s) that rotates every month or so. For Mardi Gras, they had king cake ice cream; for St Patrick's day, they had Lucky Charms ice cream; for Easter, they had carrot cake ice cream; now they have rocky road. I'm always excitedly anticipating Chill Bros newest flavors because they're always knock-outs!

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Lucky Charms ice cream at Chill Bros Scoop ShopJill Gerding

Other favorites of mine are Bees Knees and Belgian Brownie. If you order the Bees Knees (a honey ice cream mixed with honeycomb bits), you have to try it with caramel sauce on top; it's heavenly. But as I recommend flavors, I have to say, I really haven't had one I didn't like. Chill Bros is simply one of the best!!

MAYDAY HANDCRAFTED ICE CREAM

When you didn't think it could get any better, up comes Mayday Ice Cream, another Florida-originated ice cream shop. Their first location was in St Augustine, but they've recently expanded to Jacksonville, Lakeland, and now Tampa; Mayday opened their Centro Ybor location at the beginning of the year! They've taken over what once was The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pop shop, but to my relief, both shops have the same owner! Alongside all their incredible ice cream is still a little space dedicated to Hyppo Pops.

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Ice cream flight at Mayday Handcrafted Ice Cream. Front and center scoop: Parent TrapJill Gerding

But back to ice cream; I've said it once, and I'll say it again, Mayday has the best peanut butter ice cream I've ever had. It's called the Parent Trap and consists of a creamy & salty peanut butter ice cream base swirled with Oreo cookie crumbles. I truly can't get enough of it; I order it every time! Also wildly delicious is their Cookie Crunch, which is Oreo icing blended in a vanilla ice cream base and mixed with crushed Oreos. In recent memory, Mayday's cookies and cream ice cream is my favorite around!

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Cookie Crunch ice cream at Mayday Handcrafted Ice CreamJill Gerding

Coffee + Donuts ice cream is a must-try too! Its coffee-flavored ice cream with chunks of glazed donuts mixed in. If you can't decide which flavor you want because it all sounds so stinking good, then order the flight, which gives you the ability to order six different flavors! Can't have too much of a good thing, right?

SNOBACHI HANDCRAFTED ICE CREAM

Last but certainly not least is Tampa's first and longest-running rolled ice cream shop, Snobachi. This spot is a hidden gem located just one block east of the Columbia Restaurant and rolls out some of the most unique and decadent ice cream creations.

To quickly explain the concept of rolled ice cream:

Rolled ice cream is a mix of cream, milk, and sugar flash-frozen on metal freezing pans. As the poured cream begins to freeze on the pan surface, any number of topping combinations are mixed & chopped in to create whatever flavor is being made. The ice cream is then flattened into a rectangle, divided into strips, and then rolled into spirals to create rolled ice cream, or what Snobachi calls "SnoRolls."

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Rolling process at Snobachi Handcrafted Ice CreamJill Gerding

You can create a Custom SnoRoll with your choice of 3 toppings/mix-ins, or you can choose one of their preset rolls. We decided to go with the second option and ordered a few Signature Snorolls: Hella Tella, Doh Butter, and Oreo. With its light texture and flavor-packed bite, we were absolutely blown away by how delicious the ice cream was!! Hella Tella was a vanilla base with Nutella mixed in and topped with Ferrero Rocher and Banana: delightful. My favorite was Doh Butter which had a vanilla base swirled with cookie butter, mixed with Biscoff cookies, and topped with cookie dough and an extra Biscoff cookie: literally addicting!

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Doh Butter Signature Roll at Snobachi Handcrafted Ice CreamJill Gerding

In addition to rolled ice cream, Snobachi serves the ever-entertaining liquid nitrogen-infused Dragon Ball Zs, Italian ice scoops, cookie dough, cheesecake slices, milkshakes, and more. So, if you haven't checked them out yet, add them to your list!

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Hella Tella Signature Roll at Snobachi Handcrafted Ice CreamJill Gerding

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Tampa Bay Foodie. Providing reviews for all restaurants Tampa Bay: the classic and the up-and-coming, the elegant and the hole-in-the-wall. I've lived in Tampa for 10+ years and I'm thoroughly enjoying the flourishing food scene. Follow along!

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