a banana split with whipped cream and a cherry on top
Keys Chocolates’ star of the show in the banana split.

In the heart of Key Largo lies a sweet escape filled with so many treats even Willy Wonka would approve. 

Keys Chocolates and Ice Cream is at MM 100 and is hard to miss with its vibrant neon green and pink facade. A sweet tooth haven, it attracts a steady stream of customers day and night, rain or shine. 

I’m familiar with this place because my fiancé Mark is borderline obsessed with their peanut butter ice cream. He often opts to skip dessert when we dine out in hopes of swinging by Keys Chocolates for a scoop of his favorite. We decided to pay a visit recently to do a deep dive to explore their array of confections beyond our usual choice. 

With more than 36 flavors of in-house-made ice cream and sorbets, I wasn’t sure where to start when I glanced at the menu and saw something I haven’t had since I was a little tyke, the banana split. It was loaded with a scoop of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, peanuts, two toppings of your choice, whipped cream, cherries and, of course, the banana. It was a vision right out of a cartoon, almost too pretty to eat. It took every bit of two people to try to put a dent in this enormous boat of ice cream. I felt like a kid again as Mark and I did a “cheers” with our spoons before the first bite. 

a dog licking its tongue while holding a cup of ice cream
Ziti enjoying his reef pup cup.

They also have various old-school-style floats, but one with a twist caught my eye, the Key lime float. Key lime pie soda poured over Key lime ice cream was one of the most unique things I’ve ever tasted. My nephew’s favorite is their milk shakes which are blended to optimal thickness. I counted more than 30 made in-house, hand-crafted truffle varieties with one even more gorgeous than the next. They make the perfect gift for any occasion in one of their custom boxes, far surpassing those Russell Stover chocolates often found at the grocery store. 

The gift options don’t end there. As you look around, you’ll see a plethora of plush toys, trinkets, products from local businesses and packaged desserts made in-house at Keys Chocolates. I was told their three top sellers are gator tracks, chocolate-dipped potato chips and their Key lime pie on a stick. 

The gator tracks are ideal for someone who prefers less sweetness. Let me tell you, the winner in my book was the chocolate-dipped potato chips; these were every bit of life changing. Thick unbroken, slightly salty, wavy ruffle chips are dipped into your choice of dark or milk chocolate in a resealable bag — not that there will be any left after you open it. 

I couldn’t help but try the Key lime popcorn which was as neon green as their building exterior and surprisingly delightful. They made the perfect snack while watching the sunset and matching the Keys’ “everything Key lime” aesthetic. 

a group of ice cream cones sitting on top of a table

What makes the calories count even less at Keys Chocolates is knowing that every indulgence actively contributes to our community. Keys Chocolates, led by the Peterson family, proves that small businesses can leave a big, sugary footprint on those around them. For example, they generously provide their ice cream cart to Coral Shores High School for events like prom and homecoming, as well as supporting educational initiatives like the summer reading program, by donating the prizes. They also help the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club spread joy at a local nursing home with monthly ice cream socials. Gift baskets filled with their finest creations are donated to school fundraisers. 

Keys Chocolates not only loves dogs but welcomes you to bring them with you on your next ice cream date for a pup cup. Through their reef’s pup cup program, 100% of their proceeds from every purchased pup cup goes to the Upper Keys Humane Society. 

Whether you’re craving a gourmet truffle or a simple scoop of ice cream, head to this community cornerstone the week of July Fourth and celebrate the summer kickoff by cooling down the sweetest way possible.

a bag of popcorn sitting on top of a boat
Samantha Dellilo
Samantha Dellilo has been in the Keys since she was 1 day old, so definitely consider her a Conch. Holding a passion for food since she can remember, while most kids were watching Barney, she was watching Emeril. "Being half Cuban and half Italian, food in those cultures is considered a love language. It's a total experience whether eating out or cooking." She's been with her other half, Marky, going on 17 years. The two met when they were 9 years old at Key Largo School. Samantha owns Florida Keys Eats, which is a blog of "must eat, must see, and must dos" from Key Largo to Key West.