Chocolate tacos at the Four Seasons Hotel
With the current long and hot summer days, cravings for cold and refreshing treats invite themselves. Austin’s dessert landscape has evolved, especially when it comes to frozen candy. Our ice cream trucks are now filled with inventive, made-to-order flavors of global influence, many of which are even dairy-free. These trucks won’t drive around your neighborhood, although they aim to bring you just as much joy and sweet relief as you visit their parked trucks and stores.
Multiple locations, www.bananarchy.net
Austin’s only frozen banana stand (with two locations) transports customers directly to a Development stopped episode, in particular by commanding “the GOB”, pronounced “the Jobe”. Just as the beloved character would order, the house specialty comes with two frozen bananas, a double chocolate dip, and extra nuts. In addition to their creations, you can build your own. Ethically sourced bananas are first dipped in your choice of chocolate (regular or vegan), peanut butter, or vanilla, then covered with toppings like sprinkles or caramel. Weekly specials are advertised regularly, such as German Chocolate, Banana Pudding, and Strawberry Nutella Dream.
1315 W. Sixth, www.barpeached.com
Inspired by the owner’s affection for bingsu, the Bar Peached team imported a special ice shaving machine to authentically make Korean bingsu, also known as “milk ice cream”. The dessert menu offers four distinct flavors, all of which include a bowl of lightly crushed ice, a scoop of ice cream and homemade toppings. The Choco-Monster uses Amy’s popcorn ice cream, crushed chocolate-filled Oreos, drizzle of caramel and chocolate syrup, and a pinch of “dragon salt” – Maldon’s salt mixed with dragon fruit powder. An order of bingsu is portioned for two to four people, so plan ahead.
Fishing bar (Courtesy of Inked Fingers)
Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs *
808 E. 51st, www.caseys-snowballs.com
Open seasonally (now through late October), Casey’s has been a summer tradition since 1996. Brought here by a family member running a store of the same name in Louisiana, its roots are true to its name. The influence of New Orleans means that chocolate and cream syrups are offered alongside the expected ones, like watermelon and tiger blood. The 70 flavors are made in-house with real cane sugar, and their ice cream is proudly harvested on site, then shaved to order for that perfectly round snowball. To move further away from the usual sno-cone menu, upgrades like vanilla cream stuffing and chili-lime topping can be arranged.
Cow creamery tip
4715 S. Lamar, www.cowtippingcreamery.com
Featured in national lists of what to eat in America, Cow Tipping Creamery’s layered soft is considered destination-worthy by dessert lovers across the country. Born as a food truck, they have become a showcase for southern Austin. From three flavors of soft dough made from scratch (chocolate, vanilla and the special of the week) and toppings (grouped into chunks, crumbs, nuts, fruits and sauces) you can make your own or choose a stacker preconceived. Lemon Drop is made with layers of fresh lemon curd, honey powder, graham molasses crumbs and whipped cream. They rightly claim that the alternation of layers of soft dough and fillings is “so that the last bites are as good as the first”.
Dolce Bacio *
2207 E. Cesar Chavez, www.dolcebaciogelato.com
Dolce Bacio was opened a year ago by an Italian couple newly established in Texas. Before leaving Italy, Francesca and Dante trained in several large ice cream schools, where they learned how to make high quality products from scratch. “Our aim here is to offer the same quality and the same tradition as found in Italy, crossed with local flavors,” Francesca explained enthusiastically. On the menu, you will find rotating flavors of sorbet made from fresh fruit and ice cream in dairy and vegan form. While the pink truck remains parked in the Eastside, they also sell balls from a bike stand that runs alongside Congress, between Fareground and the Capitol. Also on the menu, affogato, tiramisu, cannoli and personalized frozen cakes.
Four Seasons Hotel
98 San Jacinto, www.fourseasons.com/austin
Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Pallagi-Naim expertly cooks chocolate tacos at the Four Seasons Hotel. Using the best ingredients to build the tacos from scratch, the chocolate waffle shells are stuffed with Amy’s most popular ice cream, Mexican vanilla, then topped with a drizzle of ancho-infused ganache and chilli pepper and a pinch of spiced pecans with sea salt. “I am often told that my desserts are not too sweet. My team knows that I’ll probably ask where the salt is in order to create this well-balanced recipe. And it’s perfectly balanced. Chocolate tacos are always available at Live Oak (the upstairs bar) and during happy hour at Ciclo (the downstairs restaurant) when they’re half price and come with patio seating.
Holla Mode *
1800 Barton Springs Road, www.hollamode.com
The owners of Holla Mode opened their Austin-based food truck after being inspired on a trip to Thailand, and now they’re making rolled ice cream for us using local dairy and organic ingredients. Handcrafted in front of each customer, cream or coconut milk is poured onto a steel plate cooled to -30 ° F, stirred until it begins to freeze, then finely painted like a pancake on the surface with a rigid metal spatula. The newly formed ice cream is scraped into rolls as wide as a spatula which are then stacked vertically in a cup and loaded with the toppings of your choice. House recipes include Honey Bear, made with Vanilla, Teddy Grahams, Honey and Cinnamon.
1701 S. Lamar, www.nadamoo.com
Vegan ice cream at its best, NadaMoo makes theirs creamy and flavorful despite being dairy free. Made from the highest quality coconut milk and ingredients, they create savory flavors like chocolate fudge brownie, Lotta mint chips and strawberry cheesecake. NadaMoo can be found in Austin grocery stores. Visit their storefront on South Lamar to order your stuffed balls in a taco-shaped cone or waffle cone flavored like chocolate or red velvet, then top it with sprinkles or gravy. You’ll even find gluten-free cones and waffle toppings. There is also a cafe menu waiting for you, as is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
Several locations, www.sno-mo.com
Founded by two Taiwanese friends looking for a nostalgic summer treat from home, Ming Chen and John Sun opened their first snow ice store in 2014 and now have three locations, with a fourth underway. The bowls are stacked high with finely shaved snow ribbons made from your choice of water, milk or soy milk and your choice of flavor, such as chocolate or mango. The frozen blocks are made into finely sculpted chips extruded from a specially designed machine, and the result is creamy yet light. Stack fresh fruit, boba, jellies and mochi, and drizzle with sauce for the finishing touch to your delicious piece of art.
City of Steel Pops *
3001 Guadalupe, www.steelcitypops.com
Fruity pops, creamy pops, even paleo pops, Steel City has all your pops ready to go, but choosing your flavor – think mango or coconut – is just the start. What happens next is what turns regular popsicles into a decadent dessert. You dip, dredge, sprinkle and dust: Dip the soft drink of your choice in milk, dark or white chocolate; dredge in nuts, nuggets or crumbs; drizzle with sauce; and sprinkle with seasoning like cinnamon, cayenne pepper or sea salt. Steel City sources fresh, local and organic ingredients when possible, and allows for dietary restrictions, producing high quality desserts for all types of eaters in their localities in Texas, their home state of Alabama, and the Southeast.
* = vegan options
Can’t see your favorites? There are many other frozen dessert options at austinchronicle.com/food.