There are times when shaved ice is a pleasant treat: at a drive-in movie, at a county fair, poolside. Then there are the 100-plus degree days that makes sno-cones damn near a necessity. The combination of melting ice and sugary syrup is just what the doctor ordered. To keep you from boiling over, we've rounded up some of our favorites spots to score an icy treat.
11220 N. Lamar Ste. B-275
11301 Lakeline Blvd.
11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park
900 RR 620 S. Ste. A-109, Lakeway
Founded by two Taiwanese friends craving a nostalgic summer treat from back home, Ming Chen and John Sun opened their first snow ice shop in 2014 and now have three locations, with a fourth on the way. The bowls are stacked high with thinly shaved ribbons of snow made from your choice of water, milk, or soy milk and your choice of flavor, like chocolate or mango. Frozen blocks are transformed into finely carved shavings extruded from a specially designed machine, and the result is creamy yet light. Pile on fresh fruit, boba, jellies, and mochi, and drizzle with sauce for the finishing touch to your delectable work of art. - J.R.
2701 W. William Cannon
This tropical-themed trailer is more dessert than desert island, with a mobile menu of more than 60 scratch-made gourmet flavors in innovative combinations like the mango lassi, with chunks of fresh mango and vanilla cream, and the Moscow Mule, with fresh ginger and lime juice. Their Creamy Cold Brew, ice cream topped with cream and Chameleon Cold Brew, is the delightful over-the-top take on an affogato you never knew your summer needed. - E.B.
11444 Manchaca Rd.
Cheaper than a flight to Hawaii, Tropical Palms Shave Ice specializes in shaved scoops that are a tasty ode to the beachside shacks of the North Shore, with toppings including cream, fresh fruit, candy, and, believe it or not, pickles! The only thing missing is the surfers, and if you ask us, an afternoon on a paddleboard is a perfectly acceptable alternative. - E.B.[image-2-right]
808 E. 51st
Open seasonally (now through the end of October), Casey’s has been a summer tradition since 1996. Brought here by a family member running a shop by the same name in Louisiana, its roots are true to its name. The New Orleans influence means chocolate and cream syrups are offered alongside the expected ones, like watermelon and tiger blood. All 70 flavors are made in-house with real cane sugar, and their ice is proudly harvested on-premise, then shaved to order for that perfectly rounded snowball. To further steer from the usual sno-cone menu, upgrades like vanilla custard stuffing and chile-lime topping can be arranged. - J.R.
1005 Hwy. 290 W., Dripping Springs
The folks at Voodoo Ice are serious about upgrading your shaved ice expectations, with over 50 varieties of house-made syrups, all crafted from pure cane sugar, topped with sweet cream, whipped cream, and candies. They’ll even stuff your snowball with a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream, a tasty treat that is truly the best of both frozen worlds! - E.B.
5700 W. Slaughter
13497 Hwy. 183 N.
Ideally you’d be able to hop in the car and drive to New Orleans every time the urge for authentic Louisiana snowballs strikes, but if your summer schedule isn’t quite THAT carefree, there’s always Caroline’s. With their extra-soft, super-fluffy ice, with syrup and condensed milk permeating the snow right down to the last scoop, it’s a Louisiana summer in a cup. - E.B.[image-3-right]
105 E. Stassney
3944 RR 620, Bee Cave
2906 S. Bagdad Rd., Leander
2051 Gattis School Rd., Round Rock
This Lubbock-based chain specializes in fluffy shaved island ice, topped with house-made syrups and whipped cream. And if you’re a serious aficionado, you can even buy the ice in snowball form to throw at someone, or munch on, depending on your preferences. - E.B.
1912 W. Pecan St., Pflugerville
With a menu of more than 155 different flavors, from mojito to coconut (in both creamy and non-creamy iterations) to wedding cake, there’s something for everyone at this cheerfully beach themed food truck. They even have 12 sugar-free varieties for the sucrose-averse. - E.B.
21103 Hwy. 71 W.
This bright orange ice cream trailer is the ultimate destination for a no-nonsense cooldown, on days when even ice cream seems too much of a commitment. Ranging from simple syrup and ice to ornate combinations of fresh fruit, syrup, and cream, there’s a flavor for every shaved-ice lover in the family. - E.B.
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