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28 Sep 2017
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Sanibel Fare

Choosing a place to eat on Sanibel is difficult enough.

There are good restaurants, cafes and pizzerias from end to end on the Island.

But choosing the place to get ice cream may be even more of a challenge, a very delicious challenge.

It's not that we have so many options in places to get that sweet , creamy treat; but those that we have are all so tempting.

In fact, looking at the flavors and alternatives, one might be tempted to skip dinner altogether and head out for dessert.

But we suggest you eat a bit lighter and save some room for the final touch.

One of your options for ice cream will have your head swirling with delight. The Love Boat is a lovely addition to Sanibel's choices. Unique to Southwest Florida, Love Boat has over 50 flavors of delicious homemade ice cream, many of them very creative, such as cayenne. Love Boat is a charming little shop in Jerry’s Plaza with some in-door and out-door seating. When deciding whether to stop for a cone or shake, consider Erma Bombeck’s wisdom: “Seize the moment, remember all those women on the Titanic who waived off the dessert cart!”

And while Love Boat is a new addition, our tried and true traditions are equally appealing. Pinocchio's Original Italian Ice Cream is a Sanibel tradition since 1980. You cannot miss the shop with its kitchy appeal from the bright green walls and colorful benches to the crowds enjoying their generously sized Pinocchio’s ice cream treats with family and friends. All Pinocchio’s ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbet and Italian custards are handcrafted daily in small batches in their onsite Pinocchio’s Laboratory from the finest and freshest ingredients. The flavors are unique. The ice cream is fresh (If they make it on Monday, they typically serve their ice cream on Tuesday or Wednesday.) The portions are generous and the staff works hard to make sure their Customers experience at Pinocchio’s is enjoyable.

Each Pinocchio's product deserves a special treat and for more than 20 years, it has been an animal cracker prominently displayed on top of every product they serve and which is part of the Pinocchio's Brand recognition. Do they ever run out of crackers? "NEVER." said Stephanie. "everyone expects it. If it does not have an animal on top, then it's not from Pinocchio's."

The Sanibel Bean is the place "to see" and "be seen" in casual island surroundings. Bring the whole family or come alone. The Bean even welcomes polite dogs. Have cozy conversations.Read the paper or browse the web with their free wifi service. Enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee or get a to-go food order. Treat yourself to the special taste of their unique specialties. From fresh fruits to hand-dipped ice cream, grilled Italian sandwiches, bagels, muffins, soup and salads, they have something special for everyone! Hot coffees, iced and frozen coffees, coffee alternatives, smoothies, cold drinks, juices and more.

Similarly, the Island's Dairy Queen, a brazier, offers hamburgers and hotdogs so you can fill up on one stop.

Now Dairy Queen can not be fairly compared to smaller , boutique ice cream parlors.

But as DQ fans from way back, we would have to rate this option high. DQ is consistent. The same creamy Vanilla you love in Wisconsin can be found on our small tropical island. The same is true for the deep chocolatey taste that may top your cone or fill your cup, will taste just like the ones you loved growing up in Brooklyn. There is something to be said for familiarity and consistency, and we have said it. In addition, the cost of getting your sweet tooth satisfied in DQ is most affordable. This , too, has a value, especially for the larger family who may be paying more attention to their wallet than their bellies.

No matter what, you can't go wrong, and that can be said for the entire island~