Tampa is a proverbial paradise for foodies. Spots like On Swann, Bern’s, Ox and Field, Rooster and the Till, and Edison Food + Drink Lab have elevated the standards most diners have when venturing out in the city. Area restaurants have managed to craft a fine balance between high concept dishes and pure comfort food. Somewhere in the middle of those two preferences exists the wonderful plain of savory indulgence.
If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t have to travel far to satisfy it in Tampa. Here is a list looking at the very best desserts that are hard to find just about anywhere else:
Doughnut Ice Cream Cone – Datz Dough
Datz Dough is where you go when you’re ravenous. From Fruit Loop doughnuts to s’more brownies, the sweets shop is an icon in the local dessert scene. Their doughnut ice cream cone reigns supreme on the menu. The delicacies are made daily, but you better get there early if you want to try one since they tend to sell out fast. Soft serve flavors alternate. Past incarnations of the dessert include: Pink Peppermint, Black Vanilla Bean, Pumpkin Spice, and Dr. Pepper soft serve.
Datz Dough, 2602 South MacDill Avenue.
Cap’n Crunch French Toast – Daily Eats
The Ciccio Restaurant Group has achieved a kind of ubiquity in the Tampa Bay food scene. Fresh Kitchen, Ciccio Cali, Water, Green Lemon and The Lodge, along with Daily Eats have cemented their reputation as a group committed to high quality ingredients and flavors. Daily Eats is one of the top brunch spots in the city and their Cap’n Crunch French Toast may have something to do with it. This sweet, crunch mid-morning delight is only available Saturday and Sunday from open until 8:45pm.
Daily Eats, 901 South Howard Avenue.
Pop Rocks Minis – Mini Doughnut Factory
Mini Doughnut Factory is a dream come true. If you’re in the mood for bacon, Lucky Charms, cinnamon sugar, strawberry icing, M&Ms and/or Fruity Pebbles, you’re in the right place. The one topping that caught our eye as soon as they opened was the cotton-candy colored Pop Rocks. They’re gorgeous to look at and equally delicious. The doughnut hotspot also offers gluten-free doughnuts for those interested.
Mini Doughnut Factory, 2109 South Dale Mabry Highway.
Drunken Brownie/Pancake Ice Cream – Revolution Ice Cream Co.
The year-round warm weather in Tampa makes ice cream a culinary necessity. Revolution Ice Cream Co. takes the classic ice cream shop aesthetic up a notch with a list of flavors you need to sample. Their chocolate habanero offers fantastically sweet sting, their cinnamon roll ice cream is the stuff late afternoon daydreams, the seward — salted caramel, coffee, cinnamon and cardamom — is exquisite. However, we find ourselves returning for the Drunken Brownies. This flavor feature chardonnay caramel ice cream with thick brownie bits mixed in.
Revolution Ice Cream Co., 6701 North Florida Avenue.
Apple Cider Rosemary Pop – Whatever Pops
Whatever Pops is a consistent market favorite in Seminole Heights (where they’ll soon open their permanent location) and Hyde Park Village. Their locally sourced, natural ice pop flavors are the perfect remedy for the humid summer days in Tampa. While we almost always return to our favorite flavor, strawberry, the apple cider rosemary pop is a flawless fall treat. You can view a full menu of their flavors here.
Whatever Pops will soon open at 5127 North Florida Avenue.
Garlic Siracha – Chef Inspired Popcorn Company
Chef Inspired Popcorn Company is a local and national hit. Their small shop, located next to the historic restaurant Hugo’s churns out innovative flavors and ships them all over the country. their mixes include Buffalo Blue Cheese, Cajun, Cherry Cheesecake, Churro, Caramel Apple, Birthday Cake, Fruit Cup, Vanilla and more. The caramel frappé is an absolute must try for new customers. Made with Cafe Bustello, this popping mix is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. One flavor that took us by surprise was the Garlic Siracha. If you’re looking for a snack that resonates as a full meal to pair with your next movie night.
Chef Inspired Popcorn Company, 927 South Howard Avenue.