Let’s be honest: we may be adults, but there’s something about the ice cream truck jingle that still inspires us to break out into a full-on sprint down the street. It’s not even our fault: the reaction to the instrumental version of “Pop Goes the Weasel” is practically Pavlovian, and if there’s one thing that’s going to inspire most of us to engage in any sort of cardio, honestly, it’s probably ice cream. Oh, and the kids love it too.
That said, there are better options out there than Drumsticks and those clown-shaped popsicles with the gum-ball noses, and they can be found at a number of pretty sweet shops around town—which, conveniently, we’ve compiled here.
(NOTE: A few gelato spots were included because we were feeling international, while fro-yo was omitted because, come on, it’s not the same thing and you know it.)
THE SCOOP: “Extra, extra, read all about it…”
Okay, yeah, we know this isn’t news. But a list of ice cream spots in Austin wouldn’t be complete without this household name. Whether you want to indulge in a classic or try out a more outside-the-cone option, Amy has got you covered with over 350 flavors in rotation. We suggest their self-proclaimed “world-famous” Mexican Vanilla.
You really can’t argue with a label like world-famous.
THE SCOOP: While the term “cow tipping” may simply carry connotations of a hillbilly hobby, once you taste the treats coming out of this creamery, the words will inspire nothing but killer cravings. The family-run food truck offers sundaes, shakes and floats and a menu consisting of flavors, toppings and sauces that present the opportunity for roughly a million (it’s math) combinations.
So, really, yeah, this could technically be considered an ice cream truck. But the predominately stationary kind, which we can probably all agree is a big improvement.
THE SCOOP: OKAY, FINE, THIS ISN’T TOTALLY ICE CREAM. But Italy’s a pretty great place, and they make a pretty decent frozen dessert, so if you consider yourself an ice cream purist, prepare to broaden your cultural (and gastrointestinal) horizons via this dreamy gelato. In terms of flavors, you’ll find 18—all of which are handcrafted daily and all of which, we assure you, are as good or better than your Blue Bell…
Yeah, yeah, we know: blasphemy.
THE SCOOP: Well fancy that, another gelato spot—and this one’s in Hyde Park, which we’ve found to be reasonably closer to your current geographical location than, say, Rome. Try their gelato and sorbet in the form of affogato (for which it’s drenched in espresso) or legato (which involves it bathing in booze).
In case you were wondering, that’s what you call a win-win situation.
THE SCOOP: This authentic Mexican spot on East Seventh may be somewhat off the radar, but rest assured, it’s worth the trip—and the consistently five-star ratings. While their Facebook page may be in Spanish, the dessert breaks language barriers and, to put it simply, Yelp reviews don’t lie.
You’ve heard of a party in your mouth? Consider this a fiesta.
THE SCOOP: Lick bills themselves as providing “honest ice creams,” so you better believe it’s no lie when we tell you their product is straight-up delicious. The South Lamar spot offers everyday, seasonal and vegan options, guaranteeing there’s something for everyone, while flavors run the good-tasting gamut, ranging from fancy takes on dark chocolate (accentuated with olive oil and sea salt) to roasted beets and fresh mint.
In case you were wondering: beets in ice-cream form > beets in borscht form.
THE SCOOP: Wanna score some good mojo? Go to Moojo. (That was probably us stealing their personal pun, but what can ya do?) The name is actually referring to “moments of joy,” which is exactly what you’ll experience when you bite into one of their ice cream sandwiches…and when you bite into the second one. Their creamy creations (which include vegan varieties) involve “gourmet, all-natural ice cream smashed between two warm, freshly baked homemade cookies.”
We kinda stole that description, too.
THE SCOOP: Sometimes we need to acknowledge our friendly neighbors to the north—not Canada, but, uh, Round Rock—who boast ice cream that’s just as noteworthy as their IKEA (with a hell of a lot less assembly required). Paleteria La Selva doesn’t offer much info online, but according to rave reviews, it’s a pretty hot spot for a cold treat.
We have a feeling these people know what they’re talking about.
THE SCOOP: This name is kind of aggressive, but in the best way. Snow Monster sells melt-in-your-mouth (which, to be fair, is an adjective that could describe every type of ice cream) treats with a twist: in the form of customizable, made-to-order macaron ice cream sandwiches.
We’ll leave you to peruse this incredibly delicious concept here.
THE SCOOP: Close your eyes and imagine the best ice cream you’ve ever had (we’ll wait)…
Now open your eyes and head to Sweet Ritual, where the best you’ve ever is sure to be topped (that’s an ice-cream joke) by this vegan version. Located inside Juiceland—where other things like vinyl and…um, juice, are also sold—Sweet Ritual offers a variety of rotating, cruel-free flavors that everyone will enjoy.
Primarily because you can get them topped with vegan cookie dough. Which enhances everything.
THE SCOOP: Hope you’ve got your passport, because we’re taking this flavor train to Italy again! (Here’s a second to forgive that admittedly corny intro.) The point is that when it comes to tasty gelato, Teo has got you covered with fresh, they-at-least-sound-nutritious choices like Hill Country Peach and hell-this-is-definitely-not-healthy-but-who-cares options like Texas Pecan & Whiskey.
Yeah, that just happened.
THE SCOOP: Want some ice cream to cool you down after your curry? This Thai spot can make your ice-cream dreams come true with their vegan variation, which is made with coconut. Rotating flavors range from classic flavors like dark chocolate to unconventional options like sweet potato pie—
Which, we hear, pairs perfectly with pad thai.
PLUS! AN ENTIRE FESTIVAL DEDICATED TO FROZEN TREATS!
Try and contain your ice cream cone-induced excitement, because August 9th is an entire day dedicated to the dessert. Find more info about the Austin Ice Cream Festival here!
Did we miss a sweet spot? Not…cool. (Apologies if we already used that line in our post about sno cones. Our pun potential is limited.) Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Contributed by Sam Sumpter