There are countless gelato shops in Rome, yet Bacio di Roma managed to snag the Best Gelato in the City title by the prominent Italian food magazine, Gambero Ross. Now relocated to Baton Rouge, Roma’s talent for handcrafting decadent treats has not ceased; the owners' also operate Bacio di Roma—or Kiss from Rome—where they have earned local praise from publications such as Dig and the Daily Reveille.
Inside the Baton Rouge gelateria, staff prepare a range of flavors from all-natural ingredients. As Kendra Chamberlain of Dig learned, gelato must be created in small batches. This means that staff work up to 10 hours a day to create each batch by hand —just like in Italy, where Keebler Elves are illegal. Icy treats are paired with Lavazza coffee drinks, from espresso served straight up to lattes and chocolaty mochas. Shop successor Mario Lozanov takes pride in preserving the quality of traditional gelato flavors but welcomes new flavors such as birthday cake as well as a variety of hand-crafted desserts such as cannoli, tiramisu, and panna cotta, alongside an expanded menu featuring Italian panini sandwiches, sweet and savory crepes, soups, and salads. The shop is open during current remodeling to enhance the store's cozy and warm ambiance.
Red Mango's frozen yogurt has been garnering national attention for more than five years, unlike that musician strumming away next to the foosball table in his basement. The shop earned a place atop Zagat's 2011 lists for Best Smoothie and Frozen Yogurt Chain and Best Healthy Options Among Quick Refreshment Chains. Red Mango showcases its award-winning reputation by dishing up all-natural and gluten-free yogurts—all of which are either low-fat or nonfat—that promote healthy digestive and immune systems with natural probiotics. Friendly staff members are always on hand to whip Ghirardelli dark chocolate, POM pomegranate juice, and seasonal pumpkin spice frozen yogurts into stevia-sweetened smoothies or parfaits layered with organic granola and fruit. The toppings bar brims with crunchy cereal, cheesecake bits, and nuts, allowing creative customization.
Sugarbelle's bakers draw from an impressive array of recipes; they know how to make over 100 varieties of cupcakes. They choose just six cupcakes every week, along with a smattering of other desserts, and bake the treats from scratch each morning.
The flavors aren't limited to typical options, either; there are almond amaretto cakes, popcorn ball cakes, chocolate cabernet cakes, and more. At the end of the day, the team also sends whatever they haven't sold to local shelters for the needy.
Though many fro-yo shops have sprung up in recent years, TCBY is no newcomer to the scene. Since 1981, its shops have been scooping, swirling, and topping their lower-fat treat in crunchy candy and fruity sprinkles—but that doesn't mean they've been coasting. They're still innovating, whether it's tweaking standby flavors or developing their signature honey-vanilla Greek frozen yogurt that dishes out protein and fiber without any fat. Fro-yo artisans blend up Beriyo smoothies in flavors such as mangolada and purely peach or infuse Shivers with a choice of sweet topping options. To celebrate a birthday or a jury-duty-selection-pool reunion, you can opt for frozen yogurt cakes and pies. The piece-accommodating treats are layered with frozen yogurt and rich toppings to forge flavors such as chocolate decadence and peanut-buttery fudge pie.
Sisters by marriage and self-proclaimed baking fanatics, Lauren and Lindsey Whittle inject a little flair of Beverly Hills into their southern cupcake enterprise. Each day brings new tastes, as the bakers create cupcakes from a rotating menu of flavors that change throughout the week. They create moist cake miniatures from Swiss chocolate and European butter, available in flavors such as red velvet, mint chocolate chip, and s’mores. The bakers conveniently present their cupcakes in full size or the eponymously named Whittle half size. When she's not hatching schemes for new flavors, sister Lauren Whittle competes as a local beauty queen and looks forward to celebratory baths of cake frosting when she wins.
Neatly aligned inside multi-tiered display cases, sugary showpieces at Cupcakes 'N Cream lure frosting fanatics with prismatic toppings and creamy swirls. Red velvet, chocolate mint, and wedding cake highlight an eclectic lineup of taste-pleasing cakes, which can be ordered in sizes including mini ($7/half dozen), regular ($2.50 each), jumbo ($3.50 each), or separate spherical cake balls ($1.50). Harvesting 24 flavors of Hershey's premium ice cream, seasoned scoopers stack cones, cups, and overheated construction helmets with either one scoop ($1.99) or two scoops ($2.99) of sweet reprieve. Crunchers can opt to sink canines into the craggy veneer of a cookie ($0.75–$1.50), and coffee and soda ($1.50) remind sippers why imaginary tea parties are so unsatisfying.