Cold comfort

7 coolest Austin ice cream treats to beat the summer heat

7 coolest Austin ice cream treats to beat the summer heat

Sway Thai banana split
The banana split from Sway is an innovative take on a classic. Sway/ Facebook

Like that one guest who knocks on your door an hour before the party, some things come way too early. Take this 100-plus degree heat (please!), which arrived like one of Khaleesi’s dragons ready to scorch all the spring green into a dreary summer brown.

But there is a silver lining. Now we all have an excuse to eat ice cream every day. Instead of endlessly complaining about the weather, we are making pit stops at our favorite eateries for a little sweet relief courtesy of the best frozen desserts in Austin.

Halo-Halo at Be More Pacific
The traditional Filipino dessert gets a local twist courtesy of an Austin institution. The fusion eatery drafted Amy’s Ice Creams to make an ube (purple yam) flavor to use as the base of its delightful dessert featuring layers of shaved ice, tropical fruit, jellies, and flan, plus a splash of evaporated milk. A little less sweet than some ice cream desserts, this summertime refresher is perfect for when you want to indulge your sweet tooth without a sugar crash.

Ice Cream Cone at The Brewer’s Table 
With tasty small plates like swordfish belly lardo, embered cabbage rolls, and smoked rabbit carnitas, it’s easy to go overboard at this new East Austin eatery before you make it anywhere near dessert. But there is always room for a couple more bites of the restaurant's adorable miniature ice cream cones. The tiny parcel packs a big punch, celebrating the Brewer's Table beer-focused philosophy by using toasted barley in the ice cream, yeast in the caramel, and hop honey, then wrapping it all in a beer grain waffle.

It’s Your Birthday at Cow Tipping Creamery
Life is full of small victories — like paying your bills on time, making it to work early, or not canceling your exercise class. All that adulting deserves a reward like Cow Tipping Creamery’s party in a cone. Choose your favorite soft serve flavor, then let them doctor it with chunks of funfetti cake, birthday cake crumbs, white chocolate sauce, and rainbow sprinkles. It’s okay if you do a happy dance right there in the store.

S’mores at Ice Scrapers 
Scoops are cool and all, but in the immortal words of Shania Twain, “that don’t impress me much.” All of the cool kids are eating their ice cream rolled, especially when its topped with a dizzying array of drizzles and customizable crunchers. If you’re an indecisive type, go for one of the outrageous specials. You can’t go wrong with the s’mores, a cup brimming with chocolate ice cream tubes mixed with chocolate chips and marshmallows, then topped with graham crackers, Teddy Grahams cookies, and a toasted marshmallow.

Mega Shakes at The Peached Tortilla
Each month this Burnet Road restaurant gets a little extra during its Shakes, Burgers, and Bubbles series, where they debut a new towering themed sugar bomb. On June 3, the Peached team is partnering with nearby Tiny Pies for an over-the-top drink that tops a cinnamon and ginger snap-infused vanilla milkshake with whipped cream, a mini peach crumb pie, sprinkles, and a Maraschino cherry. We can’t wait to see what they think of next.

Ice Cream Sandwich at Sprinkles Cupcakes
Yes, we know. Everyone has long since given up cupcakes in favor of cronuts and brookies or whatever Frankenstein pastry bakers think of next. But sometimes you have to take it back to the OG dessert craze — especially when you get it in a dessert that uses the best part of the cupcake (the tops) as the foundation for a more delicate take on the ice cream sandwich. The snacks are endlessly customizable with seasonal flavors, but red velvet cupcakes stuffed with vanilla bean ice cream hits our sweet spot every time.

Banana Split at Sway
The banana split may be one of America’s most lasting contributions to global gastronomy, but its basic building blocks of fruit, ice cream, and nuts lend themselves to endless interpretations. Sway’s Thai version keeps the bananas, cherries, and whipped cream, but subs in milk chocolate five spice, condensed milk, and cashew caramel swirl ice cream for the usual tricolored scoops. Black sesame brownie bites add a little texture and a generous shake of rainbow sprinkles makes it ready for its close up. The sweet treat is meant to be sharable between two to three friends, but ask yourself, do you really like them that much?