Summer. When tempers can go from zero to 60 in no time flat and when sometimes, a sweet cold treat is the only thing that can make it better. For adults and kids. You might choose ice cream, but don’t forget there is also froyo, bubble tea, smoothies and aguas frescas. For those days when you aren’t up for a trip to Costco to cool down in the walk-in cooler, here are 20 places around town to get a relief from the heat:
Amy’s Ice Creams – With a dozen locations around town (well, more if you count the Amy’s in the airport), you’re never too far away. Amy’s always has staples on hand (Mexican vanilla…yum!) plus rotating flavors, along with the ubiquitous crush’ns. Give your little climbers a challenge by visiting the location by the Arboretum with the famous cow sculptures or visit the locations next to Phil’s Ice House for a meal-treat twofer.
Bananarchy – This food truck, located at the intersection of South 1st and Live Oak, offers fair trade bananas, coated with chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla or vegan chocolate and topped with, among other choices, nuts, Oreos, M&Ms, graham crackers, sprinkles and cookies.
Berry Austin – Got a picky eater? Your kid can pick up a frozen yogurt just like he or she likes it at one of the two Berry Austin locations. Better yet, both have very “Austin” decor, complete with scavenger hunts at the collaged tables.
Casey’s New Orleans Snoballs – Casey’s is a walk-up snoball stand which only uses pure cane sugar. Regulars laud the praises of Casey’s chocolate and cream flavors.
Coco’s Cafe – Coco’s is located in a strip center close to the Ohlen Road Target and offers a mind-boggling array of bubble teas, slushies and smoothies, as well as food.
Coolhaus – Ice cream sandwiched in between two cookies? Where do I sign up?! You’ll have to follow Coolhaus’ Twitter feed to find out where this truck is on any particular day, although The Midway and The Domain have been two places it’s been recently.
El Chilito – El Chilito, located on Manor Road, has a wide selection of tacos, but did you know they also have some very tasty paletas (popsicles)? You can choose between fruit and cream versions. In addition to standard flavors, you can also sample lime, coconut and pecan varieties.
Jim Jim’s Water Ice – What is “water ice”? According to the Jim Jim’s website, it’s “a water-based product made with real fruit blended in fine ice to form a soft, velvety smooth texture”. Although there is sugar, there is something less guilt-inducing about that description, isn’t it? With locations at Deep Eddy and at Zilker Park, this makes the perfect swim-treat combo.
Lick – Adventuresome eaters appreciate Lick’s unique flavors and locally-sourced ingredients. Goat cheese, olive oil, thyme, beets and cilantro are used in the shop’s “everyday flavors”, and Lick also always offer dairy-free options and compostable paper products.
Mandola’s Italian Market – Families flock to the three Mandola’s locations for family-friendly Italian fare. While kids get gelato as part of the kids meal, you can also stop by when you have a hankering for this mouth-watering Mediterranean dessert.
Momoko – This gift shop near campus, which is full of Hello Kitty and similar merchandise, also serves bubble tea in the back. Momoko also offers rice balls which are popular.
Nau’s Enfield Drug – Set foot in Nau’s and you’ll feel like you might have landed out of a time machine. This drugstore has a lunch counter in the back which serves made-to-order Cherry Cokes, vanilla Dr. Peppers, shakes, malts and banana splits. Nau’s also has an impressive candy section up front.
Sandy’s – Sandy’s is technically a burger place, but visitors have been indulging in the frozen custard for generations. You can walk up, sit on the picnic tables on the shaded porch or even go with the drive thru option. Sandy’s also offers shakes, floats and other sweet treats, if custard isn’t your thing.
South Austin Sno – These two family-owned stands have a relaxed and casual vibe and lots of fun flavors to choose from. Keep in mind that the business is cash only, although it’s likely you can scrounge up enough to pay the bill from the bottom of your car (OK, maybe that’s just me).
Sweet Caroline’s – Sweet Caroline’s offers New Orleans-style snoballs at its three trailers. The Mesa location has lawn chairs in a shady corner of a parking lot so you can enjoy your snow cone in the shade. Sweet Caroline’s is cash only.
Sweet Ritual – This Hyde Park vegan ice cream shop shares a building with JuiceLand. Sweet Ritual also offers gluten-free waffle cones, shakes and banana splits.
Teo’s – Arguably the first place in Austin to offer gelato, Teo’s recently won a spot to compete in the Gelato World Tour in Italy in September. Teo’s also offers espresso drinks and fancy chocolate. On Tuesdays, you can snag a small gelato for $2.
Thai Fresh – Restaurant, coffee bar and bakery, Thai Fresh also offers homemade vegan ice creams. All of the ice creams are made with coconut milk, organic, fair trade evaporated cane juice and local seasonal fruits.
Zocalo Cafe – Located right across the street from Nau’s (mentioned above), Zocalo is a family-friendly Mexican eatery with two aguas frescas, which are made with water, fruit juices and sugar. Zocalo usually offers horchata, which is made with rice, and either watermelon or pineapple-banana with its kids meals.
What’s your favorite place to head when the temperature begins to climb?
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nicole-Basham-Sara-Marzani-Photography-livemom.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 8-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]