Everyone is familiar with the classic summer treat, the snow cone. But nowadays a cup of crunchy ice and goopy syrup made of who-knows-what really just doesn’t cut it.
Entrepreneurs are recognizing the increased competition and upping their game. The fight to be Houston's best snow cone is more intense than it's ever been. Houston's a big food city — not everyone can make the cut (sorry Tampico).
Here are Houston's top snow cone shops:
5. Mango Beach
The best thing about this tucked-away hut is definitely the price range. If you don’t really care about smooth ice or all-natural syrups, you can get your classic ballpark snow cone here.
It is also conveniently located fewer than 20 steps away from a number of open playing fields, making it a good treat to cool down with after a pick up game of kickball.
The Details: 2304 White Oak Drive, Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, 75 cents to $2.50.
MAM’s House of Ice has become so popular that owners decided to open a storefront in the Heights. But with popularity comes the crowds. If you don’t mind an average wait of 30 minutes on a good day for a well-made snoball from a selection of 48 flavors, then MAM’s is the place for you.
Feeling particularly adventurous? Try one of the specialty combos or get crazy with toppings such as gummy bears, ice cream or fresh fruit.
The Details: 1040 W Cavalcade St., Open Tuesday through Sunday noon to 8 p.m., $2.50 to $6.50.
As one of the few stands on the list outside of the Heights bubble, Oasis is a much more convenient option for those in the Memorial neighborhood. As you drive up to this hidden hut you will see a long list of 165 flavors to choose from, which go far beyond your basic cherry or bubblegum.
There's a long list of 165 flavors to choose from, which go far beyond your basic cherry or bubblegum.
With finely shaved ice that melts in your mouth, reasonable prices and quick service, it's hard not be satisfied after a go-to Friday afternoon pick-me-up of half margarita and half wedding cake.
The Details: 2602 S Dairy Ashford (new location), Open noon to 7 p.m. daily, $1.75 to $4.50.
2. Yeti Sunshine
Yeti definitely has the cute factor going with a metallic shop and adorable mascot. Known for all-natural ingredients, this place takes on a different approach to flavors, fostering its own, like Hibiscus Mint, Vietnamese Coffee and the best seller, Lime-Thai Basil.
The ice is hand shaved and the serving sizes are very reasonable for the price. As long as you can find them, you won't be disappointed.
The Details: Yeti is constantly moving its trailer around to different Houston areas with unique hours so just check its website.
1. Texas Blizzard
Ding Ding Ding we have a winner! Cozied up to the side of Fitzgerald’s, this tiny trailer knows how to stack a fluffy snow cone.
What puts Texas Blizzard at the top is that it gathers the best qualities of every other snow cone spot and puts them under one roof.
I was pleasantly surprised when I tried its most popular flavor, mango, and saw the snow cone standing at least four to five inches above the edge of the cup. In the first bite, you can distinctly taste the bits of mango in the syrup. You suddenly realize how serious Texas Blizzard is about the word natural.
What puts Texas Blizzard at the top is that it gathers the best qualities of every other snow cone spot — great ice, a wide array of flavors, an easy to find location, a short wait time and kind staff — and puts them under one roof. The total two minutes that it took for me to pull up, order and enjoy made this stop an instant highlight.
The Details: 2706 White Oak Drive (Double check Texas Blizzard's calendar for private event bookings), Sunday through Thursday (closed Mondays) 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., $3 to $5.25.