Austin's Summer Refreshment Treasure Map
Cool off with ice, ice, baby
Let's face it, folks: It's hot outside. I mean, it's really bleeping hot! Fortunately there's plenty of frozen relief to be had in Austin. Whether it's Italian ice, sno-cones, or shaved ice, this town has it on street corners, in parking lots, and at the pools. When the temperatures go nuclear, sno-cone and shaved-ice trailers proliferate like cacti in the desert. But most are only seasonal, and by the time the weather cools, they'll be gone. We've scoured the town in a quest for a noncomprehensive map of this summer's crop, so that the next time you're craving a little snow to help beat the heat, you won't have to go far.
1) Brain Freeze Sno Cones. Sno-cones and shaved ice in fun flavor combinations such as the Frog Kiss (kiwi and strawberry) and the Mexican Flag (coconut, lime, and strawberry). Daily, 11am-9pm. Near South Lamar and Bluff Street, in the parking lot of 700 S. Lamar.
2) Casey's New Orleans Snowballs. Austin's granddaddy of iced confections, Casey's always does brisk business serving up syrupy, flavored shaved ice, New Orleans-style. Daily, noon-9pm. 808 E. 51st.
3) Chill Out. Shaved ice with specials that include Dreamsicle, pineapple upside-down cake, peach paradise, and banana cream pie. Daily, noon-8pm. Northwest corner of Guadalupe and MLK, in the Domino's parking lot.
4) Cruisers Premium Shaved Ice. Shaved ice in the standard flavors: black cherry, grape, lime, root beer, tangerine, etc. Monday-Friday, noon-7pm; Saturday, noon-6pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. Approximately 5497 Balcones at Parkcrest in the Exxon parking lot.
5) Hola Aloha. Hola Aloha's shaved-ice cups are topped with homemade syrups that come in garden-fresh flavors such as lemon-lime ginger, lavender, rose, and morello cherry. All natural sweeteners here. Open daily from 2pm to sunset. 2209 Manor Rd., in the El Chilito parking lot.
6) Jim-Jim's Water-Ice. Light, velvety, Italian ice flavored with real fruit. I can't get enough of the black raspberry, but the mango, lemon, and strawberry are also irresistible. In addition to its storefront, Jim-Jim's has concession carts at Deep Eddy Pool, Zilker Park, and at the Downtown and Triangle Austin Farmers' Markets. 615 E. Sixth. Sixth Street location open daily, noon-8pm.
7) Just Bliss. Shaved ice is served in typical flavors here. Open at 1pm daily. 6701 Burnet Rd., in the old farmers' market parking lot.
8) Leilani's Real Hawaiian Shave Ice. Made from organic cane sugar, flavors such as passion fruit and guava are less cloying than the typical sweetened syrup. Daily, noon-7pm. North Lamar and 51st on the east side of the street.
9) Molly's Original Sno-Cups. Shaved ice with flavors mixed on site. Chai latte, Sangria, and wedding cake are some of the more eccentric offerings. Daily, noon-8pm. South Lamar and Butler in P. Terry's Burger Stand parking lot (404 S. Lamar).
10) Papa Snow. Shaved ice in the usual flavors. Daily, 12:30-7:30pm. At Spicewood Springs and Mesa in Randall's shopping center in Mesa Plaza at 8000 Mesa.
11) Paradise Shaved Ice. Shaved ice in all the typical flavors. Daily, noon-7pm. 8600 Hwy. 290 W., in the parking lot of Señor Buddy's.
12) PlantEscape Gardens. This nursery recently added a juice bar serving all-natural juices, smoothies, and fruity sno-cones made from crushed ice and flavored with organic, natural syrups, which are sweetened with rice syrup. Flavors that stand out: black cherry, pomegranate, peach mango, cantaloupe, and raspberry. Monday-Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm. 3507 S. First.
13) Shaved Ice. A limited selection of flavors, but the attraction of this Eastside shaved-ice stand is enjoying a cup at river's edge, under shady pecan trees. Tuesday-Sunday, 1-6pm. 3407 E. Cesar Chavez.
14) Sno-Beach. This popular shaved-ice stand boasts three locations: Just east of 811 Barton Springs Rd., across from the Palmer Events Center parking lot on the south side of the street; daily, noon-9pm. Northwest corner of 34th and Guadalupe; daily, noon-8pm. In the Fiesta parking lot at I-35 and 38½ Street; daily, noon-8pm.
15) The Snow Cone. Shaved ice in a dizzying array of flavors, but ignore the standards and go for the spicy ones. I'm hooked on the spicy "mangonada" – a mix of mango ice, fresh-squeezed lime, chamoy, and chile salt. Daily, 1-7pm. At the corner of Wood Hollow and Far West.
16) South Austin Sno. Shaved ice in all the typical tastes but also with a few unusual flavors such as orchid cream and tamarind. Daily, 12:30-8pm. South Lamar at Hether in the La Feria parking lot (2010 S. Lamar).
17) Texas Shaved Ice. Shaved ice comes in all the usual flavors here, and any can be made sugar-free or sour. Strawberry and blue coconut are the most popular flavors. Daily, noon-9pm. In the BakeHouse Restaurant & Bar parking lot (5404 Manchaca Rd.).
18) Treat. In addition to the usual carnival flavors, Treat does it up swanky with all natural blends specifically designed to promote wellness and sooth the soul. The peaches-and-herb bowl is a cool perfume to the senses. It's just added a drive-up window, too. Monday-Wednesday, noon-9pm; Thursday, noon-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-10pm; Sunday, 10am-9pm. 1311 S. First, in the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery.
19) Veracruz All Natural. In addition to wispy, fruit-flavored shaved ice, this stand also sells homemade aguas frescas, fruit smoothies, Mexican-style fruit salads, and one of the most tempting pork tortas I've encountered. Monday-Saturday, 7am-7:30pm; Sunday, 2-7:30pm. Cesar Chavez at Anthony in the El Aguacate parking lot (2027 Cesar Chavez).