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5 Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Shops to Help You Cool Down in the Summer Heat

The Mag Dawg at Sno (Photography by Hayden Harrison)
The Mag Dawg at Sno (Photography by Hayden Harrison)

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:

Sno

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 Dallas location (Photography by Hayden Harrison)
TC Shaved Ice Dallas location (Photography by Hayden Harrison)

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 Snow Shaved Ice (photography by Hayden Harrison)
Polar Chill Shaved Ice (photography by Hayden Harrison)

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

Sweet Firefly

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. 

Customers line-up for Aunt Stelle's Snow Cones (Photography by Hayden Harrison)
Customers line-up for Aunt Stelle’s Snow Cones (Photography by Hayden Harrison)

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

19 comments on “5 Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Shops to Help You Cool Down in the Summer Heat

  1. I realize it’s a moving target, but failure to put the “Enticed” food truck on this list is concerning… Mostly because Enticed is the only place that properly shaves their ice… (ie: like snow, not crushed ice)… oh, and the flavors are all homemade. getenticed.com

  2. The list would have come in handy a few weeks ago when the wife and I were hunting down some shaved ice. Thanks, Carol and interns!

  3. 4 out of 5 of the places listed also shave their ice like snow, but Enticed is a good one, too.

  4. 4 out of 5 places listed also have snowy shaved ice, but Enticed is a good one, too.

  5. Love that you did a list like this, and were particular about “sno” vs. shaved ice. So many times I hear people recommend Aunt Stelle’s, and while good, I caution them it is shaved ice, NOT sno. To truly claim you offer a sno-cone means that you’ve got the machine that shaves from one solid block of ice, producing the snow effect from the shoot which fills the cup. There is no substitute! :)

  6. The lack of little trailer snow cone shacks in Dallas is one of my greatest disappointments in this city, with obvious exception to Tim firing and rehiring half of the current staff o DMagazine.

  7. the discussion begins and ends with TC Shaved Ice. that is all you need to know.

  8. Sno. It was “meh.” After searching for three hours for a simple Tiger’s Blood-drenched-cup of summer joy, I was doing my best to just convince myself I wasn’t just settling. Not terrible, but the ice and syrup came out like a thick paste. The weeknight staff consisted of nothing but high schoolers who were slinging sno cones to their buddies. Totally my scene 10 years ago, not so much now. We tried to do Aunt Stelle’s first, but didn’t know they were closed during the week.

  9. Don’t rule out Bahama Buck’s! There are few that even come close. Not even TC’s. (Preston & Campbell)

  10. This list isn’t complete (to me…) without the addition of the newly opened Bahama Bucks at the NE corner of Preston & Campbell. My wife LOVES the place!

  11. bahama buck’s! their thin ice is a game changer. and a loyalty program.

  12. We originally had Bahama Buck’s on our list, but I’m not too smitten with their ice. Doesn’t come close to Sweet Firefly.

  13. This girl also loves her some MC Sno Cones in Irving. Always ask for extra juice though.

  14. Sno Biz in McLeansboro il have the thinnest shave ice best tasting flavors I have ever had located at 403 west market. Lime Green & orange color with real tiki roof best I’ve ever had!!

  15. Sno Biz located at 403 west Market in McLeansboro IL. Has the thinnest shaved ice and best flavors I have ever had!! Stopped there and never heard of Sno Biz I will stop at every on I ever see again!!

  16. Since I have just moved here from the east coast, I am only familiar with what we call a snowball( crushed ice with syrup flavoring and sometimes a marshmallow creme topping)I am curious to try this shaved ice thing…