Nothing beats a feathery and fluffy shaved ice (or even a snow cone) to make the summer heat more bearable. But let’s not waste any time waxing poetic about these cold treats. It’s 100-something degrees outside, and all of us are sweating our fannies off.
Two intrepid D Magazine interns, Marley Dablo and Hayden Harrison, ran off into the wild jungle of Dallas to pounce on the best places to get your icy fix. They scooped and slurped shaved ice and snow cones until their tongues turned all sorts of rainbow colors. Check out their favorites:
Before Sno opened, you could only find the hidden gem of shaved ice in the way back of Doc’s Food Store, a quaint convenience shop that’s right next door. Now that it has its own space, Sno has become a popular spot to cool off.
Sno, located inside a random strip mall, is a shaved ice haven with all the regular syrups (blue raspberry, pink lemonade, and orchid cream vanilla) you’d find anywhere else, plus natural fruit flavors (mango, coconut, and pickle juice) made in-house. There are also some crème flavors and a couple sugar free ones. Extras include chopped fresh fruit. Ask for the “Mag Dawg” from the secret menu, and owner George Rubio will make you a pink lemonade confection mixed with margarita and a “sour blast” on top, which is a squeeze of fresh key lime.
The syrups here are added when the snowball is halfway made and once more after the ice is piled high. This guarantees an even distribution of flavor throughout and longer-lasting snow cone enjoyment. The most popular flavors in the shop are the natural coconut and pineapple. –Marley Dablo and Hayden Harrison
Pricing: The small is $1.50, medium is $2.50, large is $3.00, and Texas is $4.50 for original flavors. For the natural flavors, add $.50 to each size. Getting two flavors, cream, sour blast, creme flavors, and sugar free flavors cost $.25 extra each. A rainbow is $.50 and adding fresh fruit is $1.00 extra.
Location: 7813 Meadow Rd.; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
TC Shaved Ice
No summer is complete without a trip (or 10 trips) to TC Shaved Ice. When Robert Hernandez’s wife was pregnant, she wanted shave ice and he had to venture all the way to Oak Cliff to get them. Soon after, a son and TC Shaved Ice were born.
Inside this charming blue-and-pink building, you can top melt-in-your-mouth ice with creamy vanilla ice cream for a sweet treat. TC also has a new creation, the Piccadilly, which is any snow cone flavor topped with chopped up pickles. We paired ours with pineapple. Judge us if you will, but we enjoyed the sweet-tangy-slushy-crunchy concoction. -Marley Dablo and Hayden Harrison
Pricing: A small is $1.75, medium is $2.00, and a large is $2.25. Cream and extra juice are an additional $.25.
Location: 10999 Garland Rd.; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; cash only (The family run chain has locations in Dallas, Garland, McKinney, Frisco, Plano and Richardson.)
Polar Chill Shaved Ice
Tony Atchison decided to leave the restaurant and bar scene behind to open Polar Chill. He says it’s similar, but now his main clientele is made up of children. Tiger’s blood, mango, and wedding cake are crowd favorites. Atchison’s mix of orange and watermelon, which he claims tastes like a Jolly Rancher and Life Saver candy, really hits the spot. (He was right, too. That’s exactly what it tasted like.) Polar Chill has a drive-thru, so there’s no reason to get out in the blistering heat. -Hayden Harrison
Pricing: Extra small is $1.50, small is $2.00, medium is $2.50, and large is $3.00. A third flavor, extra juice, and adding cream is $.50 extra.
Location: 6971 Arapaho Rd.; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; cash only
This part-ice cream shop, part-candy store is every kid’s dream. Flavors like Kookie Monster stain tiny customers’ lips blue, but kids (and parents) don’t care. The SnoBall – a delicious dessert of feathery shaved ice layered with housemade ice cream, more shaved ice, and loaded with condensed sweetened milk – makes Texas heat more bearable. -Carol Shih
Pricing: $4.00 for a SnoBall
Location: 2701 Custer Pkwy., Richardson. (972) 635-5635. Open Tues-Sat from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Aunt Stelle’s Snow Cones
Aunt Stelle’s Snow Cones has served Dallas for 51 years and it’s always a hot spot the second it opens. Every time we come here, cars are lining up along the street.
Owner Lee Albert says strawberry and pink lady – a snow cone that tastes like homemade ice cream developed by her parents – are the go-to flavors. If the mound that towers above the cup is the best part for you, be sure to order a large. SweeTarts candy fans should get the “beatle” flavor. -Hayden Harrison
Pricing: Small is $2.50, medium is $3.00, and large is $2.50. Ordering a Pink Lady cost $.25 extra.
Location: 2002 W. Clarendon Dr.; (214) 946-1431; Friday-Saturday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.; cash only