Austin’s 13 annual months of summer mean that we’re a city well-equipped to handle the heat. And one of the best ways to do that is with a frozen dessert. While there’s no shortage of frozen treats around town, here are a few of our favorites. For more ice cream, see our guide to the best ice cream shops in Austin.
photo credit: Nicolai McCrary
You can get all kinds of snacks and desserts at Hay Elotes, from fruit cups and chamoy apples to, well, elotes. Our favorite dessert just might be the Mango Hill - a seemingly bottomless cup of mango sorbet studded with fresh strawberries and topped with strawberry syrup and chile limón powder. It’s refreshing enough to make you forget that you just sweat through your second shirt of the day.
Taiwanese snow ice might just be one of our favorite methods of ice-intake. Blurring the lines between shaved ice and ice cream, SnoMo takes giant blocks of creamy, flavored ice and shaves them into bowls, before covering them with your choice of fresh fruit and syrup toppings. We like to go with a fruit-flavored base - like mango or strawberry - and add a scoop of ice cream, some fresh fruit, and condensed milk. But there are so many possible combinations that you could try a different one every day for a couple of years (don’t check our math on that).
Ice cream tacos are the perfect answer to the question, “How can I fit more tacos into my life?” At the trailer Taco Sweets, you can build your own if you’re feeling up to it, and finally live out your childhood dream of building a waffle-cone taco with strawberry ice cream, Cap’n Crunch cereal, and Sour Patch Kids. We usually go with one of their pre-vetted combos, like the S’more Lovin’ taco with vanilla ice cream, chocolate chips, marshmallows, crumbled graham crackers, and chocolate syrup.
photo credit: Nicolai McCrary
Gelateria Gemelli is a small sidewalk-shop on the East Side that mostly sells amari, coffee, and, of course, gelato. We’re big fans of their Fernet Stracciatella gelato, but with the weather heating up we’ve found ourselves gravitating towards lighter flavors. Our favorite recent combo was a mixture of blackberry, nectarine, and lemon curd gelatos, because three flavors just felt necessary for triple-digit temps. And you can convince yourself that you’re getting a serving of fruit.
Casey's New Orleans Snowballs
Casey’s Snowballs is the closest thing you’ll see to an actual snowball in July (or in Austin in general), but they come as a welcome sight as you make your way up the steps at this old house near 51st and Airport. Snowballs are a New Orleans take on snow cones, with very-finely shaved ice, plus syrup and toppings. Casey’s has more flavor options than we can count, and you can add a scoop of their house-made frozen custard to any cup, which we highly recommend. You can also get fresh fruit juice in place of their standard syrups, which we really like to add on top with condensed milk.