Austin has its fair share of delicious ice cream, but there are so many other tasty treats that will help you beat the summer heat. We've rounded up 10 unique icy concoctions — and where to find them around town. So go ahead, give these treats a try this summer too.
You've gotta admit, the name catches your attention. Fruit Poop is quite simple — it’s just fruit and juices, frozen and then run through an industrial juicer, thereby creating a smooth, frozen dairy-free treat that’s just as satisfying as any frozen yogurt or ice cream. It’s hard to believe the whole thing was actually a happy accident created by the Health Box owners. Choose from Crazy Poop (strawberry, pineapple, lemon, blueberry, jalapeno), Spicy Poop (mango, habanero), Refreshing Poop (honeydew, cantaloupe, carrot, cucumber, spinach), Popeye Poop (mango, honeydew, spinach) and more. Plus, toppings like coconut, granola, caramel, almonds, honey and pistachio are free.
This mochi, served out of a little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trailer right next to the Burlap Bag, is something special. The owner makes her own ice creams and sorbets and hand wraps each piece of mochi in thin rice cake, like a tasty little gift. Flavors range from the more traditional taro and green tea to brownie a la mode, black sesame and Nutella. Sorbet options include strawberry passionfruit, honeydew, lychee rose and Thai basil blueberry.
Cold Ones, Paleteria La Selva
It’s funny to think how satisfied we were, as children, with any old popsicle. Long gone are those days! Now there are companies like Cold Ones around, pedaling artisanal paletas in flavors like peach-rosemary, Thai tea, coconut-cilantro, watermelon-basil and lemon-lavender. Follow the trailer on Facebook to track down its whereabouts, from shows and parties to Cinema East. The paletas at Paleteria La Selva are well worth the trip into Round Rock. The shop features more than 30 flavors, from fresh and fruity options like tamarindo and mango chile to creamy concoctions like cajeta, cookies and cream and strawberry cheesecake.
Cow Tipping Creamery, Qui, Filipino Asian Mart, Mang Dedoy’s
Halo-halo is a Filipino dessert which appropriately translates to “mix-mix.” Depending on where you get it, you might find any of the following layered over shaved ice: Jell-O, tapioca, sweet potato, coconut, fruits, flans, ice cream. Cow Tipping Creamery’s version arrives in a massive Chinese takeout container, featuring snowy shaved ice topped with macapuno (silky coconut pieces), langka (jackfruit), mung beans, white beans, fresh caramelized bananas, ube paste (purple yam), cornflake crunch, almond jelly, milk flan, vanilla bean ice cream and sweet evaporated milk. Qui also makes a signature halo-halo which changes with the seasons. A recent version featured carbonated grapefruit, coconut tapioca, orange blossom and five spice pâte de fruits, toasted sesame seeds and tepache ice cream. Make the trek far south to Filipino Asian Mart or far north to Mang Dedoy’s for the mom-and-pop version. Each halo-halo is a deliciously different flavor and texture explosion.
Tous les Jours, Cow Tipping Creamery
Think of Patbingsu as the Korean version of halo-halo. Finely shaved ice is traditionally topped with red bean paste, chopped fruit and condensed milk, as well as a variety of other toppings, depending on where you go. At the Austin location of LA-based bakery Tous les Jours, choose from green tea, coffee or red bean flavored ice. Then comes a creamy matcha ice cream, slightly sweet red bean topping, corn flakes, oats, mochi cubes, raisins and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Cow Tipping Creamy rotates between halo-halo and patbingsu on Saturdays, and its version contains shaved ice, adzuki beans, green tea syrup, strawberries, mango chunks, mochi cubes, vanilla bean ice cream and other special seasonal ingredients.
Taiwanese shaved ice
Snow Monster, CoCo’s Cafe, Teapioca
Only open for about six months, Snow Monster has already been blowing up Instagram feeds thanks to its colorful snow creations which almost resemble coral. Choose from the plain shaved ice or opt for the snow ice, shaved from a block which comes in flavors like milk, taro, matcha, Thai tea and lychee. Toppings include fruit, tapioca and a wide variety of accouterments you can select from the bar. Bring a few friends because each creation is quite large! CoCo’s Cafe and Teapioca also carry the addictive Tawainese-style shaved ice, but with less options than Snow Monster.
Swad, Madras Pavilion, Zero Degrees Ice Cream Creations
This treat consists of a cold, milky base (usually rose or pistachio flavored), topped with basil seeds, Jell-O, tapioca pearls, fruits, nuts and — wait for it — vermicelli noodles. It comes with a spoon and a thick straw for sucking up the slippery noodles. Often, it's topped with kulfi, Indian ice cream in flavors like saffron, malai, rose, and pistachio. Falooda is a perfectly creamy accompaniment to spicy Indian snacks like chaat. Look for it on menus at Swad and Madras Pavilion, or try the version at Zero Degrees Ice Cream Creations.
El Maná, Hay Elotes
If you haven’t explored the Mexican fruit cup shops around Austin, you’re missing out. Besides the fresh-cut fruit tossed with lime and chile (and served over shaved ice if you like), there are multiple kinds of licuados (milkshakes) and icy treats which are perfect in the summer heat. Chamoyadas are a favorite. Usually made with mango, the fruit is blended with ice, salt, lime, Tajin chile powder, and sometimes a bit of orange juice. It is then topped with fresh mango and chamoy, a pickled mango. At El Maná, choose from the chamoyada made with tamarind, the mangonada made with mango or the sandiada made with watermelon.
This summer, enjoy an ice cold “jelly beer” at Sway, which is created using a Thai device called a Bia Wun. The barrel is filled with salt, ice and beer bottles, and maintains a temperature of 27 degrees while keeping the bottles slowly rotating. This results in a Singha with a smooth, jelly-like texture, served with a straw. Qui also serves a slushie beer, often at the low price of $2, which you can enjoy along with the extended Pulutan patio menu.
Cow Tipping Creamery
Try the rotating Stanquitos at Cow Tipping Creamery, a creation that’s similar in concept to a chaco taco, but worlds better. One of the latest crunchy waffle cone creation contained a peach bourbon jaggery (Indian brown sugar) ice cream, with each end dipped in a homemade chocolate shell, then dipped in their graham cracker crunch.