As the days get inevitably longer and hotter, early each summer we are reminded that the worst is yet to come. Somehow, summers in Austin never seem to get any easier. And while swimming and air-conditioning manage to get us through, we all know how quickly the suffocating heat of a sun-baked car can stifle hunger.
Because one cannot live on frozen margaritas alone, we’ve compiled a list of cool foods to beat the heat this summer— or sweat trying.
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Let it snow cone: Austin spots for cool treats
Possibly the single most cooling thing you can ingest all season long, shaved ice has people lining up for a towering cup of cold comfort during brutal summer months. Here are some places to get your snow cone on:
Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs
808 East 51st St. www.caseys-snowballs.com.
Since 1996, Casey’s has been turning out New Orleans-style snowballs using homemade simple syrup. They are most well-known for their chocolate flavor (imagine a frozen Tootsie Roll), as well as their other cream-based flavors such as Boston Cream Pie and Grandma’s Nectar Cream.
Sweet Caroline’s Snow Shack
1502 S. First St., 8012 Mesa Drive, 5700 W Slaughter Lane and 13497 Hwy 183 North. Check their Facebook page for updates.
Sweet Caroline’s Snow Shack is also a New Orleans-style snowball trailer offering cream-based concoctions and boasting more than 50 flavors ranging from the traditional to the more exceptional, with toppings like sour spray, Nerds and gummy bears. Specials include the Cactus Juice (blueberry, margarita, orange, and pineapple) and the Hawaiian Wedding (blue coconut, pina colada, wedding cake, cream).
The Purple Tongue
1012 West Anderson Lane. Check the Facebook page for updates.
The Purple Tongue offers classic flavors as well as five cream flavors (such as dark chocolate cream and peach cream), six sugar-free flavors, and several rotating flavors made in-house using fresh fruit. They recently featured strawberry banana, pineapple and mojito.
3402 Guadalupe St. and 801 Barton Springs Road. snobeachatx.com.
There’s a reason their trailers usually have a line snaking through the lot. Now in their 20th season, Sno-Beach serves well-priced, ultra-soft snow in a rainbow of flavors and gives patrons the option to donate their change to local charities such as the Hill Country Conservancy and Helping Hand Home for Children.
Cow Tipping Creamery
2512 Rio Grande St. www.cowtippingcreamery.com.
Known mainly for their artisanal softserve and extraordinary housemade toppings, Cow Tipping Creamery is now creating “fro” (fruit snow) by making shavings from blocks of ice and adding all natural, house-crafted syrups in flavors such as lemon rosemary, balsamic strawberry and cucumber mint.
615-A. E. Sixth St., 401 Deep Eddy (Deep Eddy Pool), 2100 Robert E. Lee Road (Barton Springs Pool), Wednesdays at the Triangle Farmer’s Market and Saturdays at the Downtown and Sunset Valley Farmer’s Markets. www.jimjimswaterice.com.
Part snow cone, part slush, Jim-Jim’s makes Italian ice that is less fluffy than shaved ice snow cones, but buttery smooth. Stop at any of their locations around town, but visit the downtown store for all 24 flavor options.
Austin Frigid Frog
2424 S. Lamar Blvd. and 1707 Barton Springs Road. www.austinfrigidfrog.com.
In addition to a laundry list of high fructose corn syrup-free flavors, Austin Frigid Frog also suggests combinations like the Barbie (wedding cake and cotton candy) or the Spongebob (root beer and pineapple), and they make cones using local Texas Teas, too.
1309 W. 45th St. Check the Facebook page for updates.
In addition to a spectrum of flavor options (wedding cake and birthday cake, and flavors called Wild Thing and Rock ‘n’Roll), this recently opened trailer lends parasols and chalk to patrons to block the sun and occupy the kids.
South Austin Sno
2010 S. Lamar Blvd. and 5300 Manchaca Road. www.southaustinsno.com.
South Austin Sno comes in more than 50 flavors, with five sugar-free options (including wedding cake) and three sour options. New flavors include pickle, grapefruit and spearmint.
— Veronica Meewes
We love a roundup. Read our recently published guides to ice cream and cool summer drinks in our Summer Fun Guide at austin360.com.