Summer Fun: Alternatives to Sno-Cones

Chill treats

Yes, sno-cones are nice, but with the heat as relentless as ever, it’s time to vary your strategies when it comes to refreshing summertime treats. While these cooling dishes may not take you back to your childhood, they’re sure to create a whole new set of memories.

Fresa's hibiscus agua fresca (photo by John Anderson)

Agua Fresca at Fresa’s

While Fresa’s also has a decent selection of ice cream, we suggest you skip past those and get to the real heat buster this summer: the agua fresca. Spanish for fresh water, an agua fresca is somewhere between juice and super-quenching flavored water – but with more flavor packed into it than you could ever imagine. They’re light enough to make you feel as airy as the summertime breeze, but pack enough of a punch to keep away the reality of Texas heatstroke. Limón, Sandía (watermelon, for those not of the bilingual persuasion), and Hibiscus are the three main flavors on offer, but if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can request a mix and give their combined tastes a whirl. One thing’s for sure, it doesn’t matter if you’re sipping poolside or stuck in traffic, the agua fresca’s easy burst of sweetness will have you gagging on the idea of those artificial sugar cones of yesteryear.

The Afternoon Delight at Bananarchy

If you’re ditching the sno-cones to try and appear healthier, this is the perfect frozen dessert to hide behind. Like most sno-cone shops, Bananarchy is only open in the summer months, assuring you that this is truly a sunny snack. The Afternoon Delight is their signature banana, dipped in three different spreads (chocolate, vanilla, and peanut butter) and garnished with nuts and graham crackers. It’s delicious, but if you truly want to be wild and crazy, you can build your own banana to fit that sugar-high daydream in your mind. Remember, if anyone asks, you’re just getting your daily dose of fruit.

Watermelon Gazpacho at FoodHeads

Are you hungry while simultaneously dying of heat exhaustion? This watermelon gazpacho – the cooler cousin of your average tomato gazpacho – is the sweet summertime soup you never knew existed. Thoroughly disposing of all rumors that soup is a winter food group, FoodHeads makes this gazpacho with only the juiciest of melons and freshest of tomatoes. Because it’s such a treat, it’s not served daily, so be sure to call ahead and ask when you can catch this pink and perfect bowl.

Nitro Cold Brew at Radio Coffee & Beer

Some people say the summer days are lazy, but if you haven’t got time for that kind of nonsense and still need a way to keep cool, Radio has got the drink for you. Their Stumptown nitro coffee is a cold brew infused with nitrogen, so it’s sure to satisfy all kinds of thirsts. The carbonation from the nitrogen, plus the kick from the coffee, will cool you down and keep you up, so you can make the most of these long summer days.

Mochi at Michi Ramen

Earlier this year, everyone was going crazy for the new mochi bar at Whole Foods. If only they had known that the best mochi experience in town is easily found at Michi Ramen. Here you can either swap $3 or a canned good for two of these sweet ice cream balls wrapped in rice dough. Flavors here abound, and the canned food gets donated to Central Texas Food Bank. Do-gooder dessert that saves you from sweating? Yes please.

The Austin Chronicle’s Summer Fun issue is on stands now.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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sno-cones, Fresa's, agua fresca, Bananarchy, FoodHeads, Radio Coffee & Beer, nitro cold brew, mochi, Michi Ramen, Summer Fun 2017

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