Knaus Berry cinnamon rolls draw lines every winter
From late October to mid-April, the line forms for the best fresh cinnamon buns and pecan rolls in Florida – some say the world.
The Knaus family has operated a farm and bakery in the rural Redland area south of Miami for 50 years. The roadside store is only open in winter. (I love the message on their web site: “Lord willing, Knaus Berry Farm is open every November to mid-April.”)
Knaus Berry is the sort of place you don’t expect to find in Florida: Thoroughly Old World and traditional.
The folks who run the farm look Amish, with bonnets, long beards and plain cotton clothes. (They’re not Amish, they’re members of the German-origin Church of the Brethren, often called Dunkers because they believe in full-immersion baptism.)
The religion practiced by those visiting Knaus Berry, however, could better be described as the Cult of the Cinnamon Roll. (Evidence: A YouTube vido called Mission Cinnamon Roll.) From the day it opens, Knaus Berry draws long lines. Don’t be discouraged: They move fast. (If the line goes out to the road and starts to parallel the road, that’s about an hour wait.)
While the cinnamon rolls (80 cents each) are famous, other products have avid fans. The pecan rolls ($10.50 for 10) are heavenly. Many swear by herb or cheese breadsticks (six for $3.95.) There’s guava pie ($9.95) for a tropical treat. Another whole fan base goes for ice creams and milkshakes ($3.75 for the small; $4.85 for the large.) You can special order authentic shoo-fly pie ($8.95) or try a variety of cakes and cheesecakes.
U-pick strawberries and vegetables
In the right season, Knaus Berry Farm is one of the few u-pick strawberry farms left in South Florida. It also offers u-pick tomatoes, and variety of other locally grown vegetables. (In 2013, strawberry-picking season started in late December and were picked through early April. Check the Knaus Facebook page for updates.)
Visiting Knaus Berry Farm:
- There are nearly 100 reviews on Yelp and the only thing folks disagree about is whether Knaus Berry is a four or five stars.
- Warning: Knaus Berry is closed on Sundays, so Saturdays are always very busy.
- Knaus Berry Farm is closed for six months of the year. Last day for the 2014 season is Saturday, April 19. First day for fall 2014 will be around Nov. 1
- Knaus Berry Farm site with menu and price list.
- Address and directions: 15980 Southwest 248th St., Homestead. 305-247-0668. Visiting Knaus Berry Farm from Florida’s Turnpike: Take exit 12 for Caribbean Boulevard toward Southwest 200 Street. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for US-1. Turn right onto Caribbean Boulevard. Almost immediately turn left onto US-1 South/South Dixie Highway. Travel 4 miles. Turn right onto Southwest 248th Street/Coconut Palm Drive. Go west 6.3 miles to 80 Southwest 248th Street, Homestead.
Make a day of it exploring the Redland
The Redland is an agriculture enclave between Miami and Everglades National Park. It is a whole other world than the urban South Florida only minutes away.
The best guide to the Redland is an excellent car tour called Rob’s Redland Riot. I’ve used Rob’s guide and thoroughly enjoyed the discoveries I made along the way.
The hard part: Deciding where to have your milk shake, because there are three great places that specialize in high quality fresh fruit milkshakes. Knaus Barry Farm, of course, is famous for its strawberry shakes. A local competitor is Burr’s Berry Farm. I am a huge personal fan of the key lime milkshakes (and all the variations) at the fun and funky Robert Is Here fruit stand and petting zoo. (One way to decide: If it’s a Sunday, there’s no stopping at Knaus Berry Farm but the others are open.)
Other great stops in the Redland area:
- Fruit and Spice Park, a Miami Dade park that showcases exotic fruit trees. There are always some to sample in the visitor’s center.
- Schnebly Redland’s Winery, the southernmost winery in the U.S., which makes exotic tropical fruit wines.
- Of course, you’re moments from the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park. Here’s a Florida Rambler guide to visiting the Everglades National park.