Eat + Drink

Sweet Spots: Hunting the Best Desserts in Orlando

Cupcakes at Blue Bird Bake Shop (Photo: Rafael Tongol)

There probably isn’t a better place on Earth to have dessert than Orlando, where its amusement parks shill cotton candy, funnel cakes and all sorts of sweet treats. Here’s our list of the best, in or outside amusement park boundaries.

Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop, Downtown Disney

best-desserts-orlando-ghirardelli--ice-cream-chocolate-disney.jpgGhiradelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop (Photo: Rafael Tongol)

A San Francisco staple is right here in Orlando, bringing some of the most recognizable and quality chocolate in the country. Its iconic lit-by-light-bulbs logo on the roof of the ice cream shop certainly acts as a beacon for ice cream, chocolate and dessert lovers in Orlando, tourists and locals alike.

Desserts range from old-fashioned banana splits and ice cream sundaes to the legendary “Sea Cliff” complete with half of a colossal chocolate chip cookie below two scoops of vanilla ice cream and velvety-smooth hot fudge. Splitting is highly recommended — these babies aren’t tiny!

Blue Bird Bake Shop, Audubon Park

best-desserts-orlando-blue-bird-bake-shop-audobon-park-1.jpgBlue Bird Bake Shop (Photo: Rafael Tongol)

This adorable shop is situated in one of Orlando’s top neighborhoods, serving a variety of cupcakes with original flavors such as PB&J, Vanilla Grapefruit and Strawberry Lemonade. Cupcakes not your thing? Don’t worry. This bakery serves classic whoopie pies, cookies, muffins and Top Hat coffee.

Since its debut, Blue Bird has been named “Best Dessert” and “Best Sweet Shop” year after year by countless Orlando publications. And, it certainly lives up to its hype with a quality, unique, boutique feel with a rotating selection of cupcakes, pastries and coffee.

Lulu’s Ice Cream, Winter Park

best-desserts-orlando-lulus-ice-cream-winter-park.jpgLulu’s Ice Cream (Photo: Rafael Tongol)

Don’t let the exterior of this small yellow walk-up fool you. This little place is packed with rotating ice cream flavors and plenty of toppings, if you like to load it up. But you may not even need toppings — these flavors are rich and incredibly tasty.

Made in Orlando from locally-sourced ingredients, Lulu’s Ice Cream has that small-town quality you just can’t get anywhere else. Reasonably priced (just over two bucks for a “junior” scoop) with some of the friendliest owners in Orlando, this place may just outgrow its tiny shack.