With the intense Houston summer heat, ice cream and other delicious frozen treats are the perfect afternoon snack to enjoy in a shady park or as an after-dinner treat. Instead of heading to the same old ice cream spot, try one of Houston’s newer dessert shops with unique flavors, homemade waffles or churros, and hopefully an Instagram opportunity. We traversed Houston in search of an experience that's more than your typical neighborhood ice cream parlor.
Dolce Neve (Heights, gelato)
4721 N Main St., 77009
As its name suggests, Dolce Neve (Italian for “sweet snow”), is an all-natural gelato shop that pays homage to the first gelato inspired by Italian traditions and local ingredients. Always available are their staples such as Stracciatella, Vanilla from Madagascar, or Salted Caramel. For an Instagrammable cone of brightly colored gelato this summer, head here every couple of weeks to try one of their rotating flavors like chocolate with candied orange peels, or ricotta, honey, and pistachio.
Treats of Mexico (East End, ice cream and frozen treats)
724 Telephone Rd., 77023
Treats of Mexico offers a variety of authentic Mexican sweets such as traditional Mexican candies, concha ice cream sandwiches, and mangonadas (a drink made with mango, lime juice, chamoy sauce, and chili powder). The Rum Raisin ice cream is the perfect cool treat on a hot summer day — with hints of cinnamon and bursts of rum. For an authentic Mexican experience, look for this gem in the East End.
Pondicheri (Upper Kirby, interesting flavors, specialty desserts)
2800 Kirby Dr., Ste b132, 77098
The popular Indian restaurant's in-house bake lab just debuted a new line of ice cream treats and homemade flavored cones that are a fun twist on Indian deserts. They've crafted a new take on ladoos (round and crispy treats), and new ice creams that are rolled in toasted nuts. For a special summer treat, try the mango ice cream ladoo made with saffron, kevra, and cardamom, and then coated with toasted almonds.
8 Fahrenheit Ice Cream (near River Oaks District, rolled ice cream)
2400 Mid Ln., 77027
This trendy spot is home to that rolled ice cream that seems to have recently become very popular. The unique serving style consists of pouring a flavored milk-based liquid onto an extremely cold surface that freezes the liquid and creates ice cream before being scraped off into rolls and the covered in toppings. Try one of their memorably names pre-made combinations such as Black Humor (a combination of Oreo cookies, brownies, and chocolate sauce), or create your own combination of flavors and toppings.
Snowballs x Bebidas (River Oaks)
2606 Edloe St., 77027
This stand can boast cred as the first shaved ice spot inside the Inner Loop and features a wide array of all-organic syrups with flavors such as wild cherry, watermelon, and mint. Check their house favorites for a list of popular combinations with memorable names such as Smells of Summer (a combination of lavender, lemonade, and mint), or Water Under the Bridge (a mix of watermelon, mint, and chamoy sprinkles). Walk up to Snowballs’ former bank teller window and order a cool treat to enjoy under the oak tree canopy.
Aqua S (Chinatown, soft serve with creative toppings)
9889 Bellaire Blvd., Ste D232, 77036
Founded in Australia, Aqua S brings a sugary punch of exotic flavors and cotton candy-wrapped cones that can't be found anywhere else in Houston. The shop offers three flavors a week, with their staple flavor, Sea Salt, being the most popular. Add toasted marshmallows, caramel popcorn, and pop rocks to your sugary treat, coupled with the cotton candy cloud cone, to create an Instagram-worthy shot.
Red Circle (Chinatown, churros with ice cream)
6838 Ranchester Dr., 77036
Located in Chinatown, Red Circle boasts an entirely handcrafted menu from their ice creams, such as Elmo Crunch (so named because of its deep red color), soft serve, and their variety of warm treats. Although their ice creams are delicious, what really makes Red Circle unique are the homemade egg waffles, macarons, and churros that are made to order. Each churro has that crunchy outer shell, warm, soft center, and is covered in sugar and spice which makes for the perfect ice cream treat.
Bubble Egg (Chinatown, waffle cones with ice cream)
9188 Bellaire Blvd., Ste b, 77036
Bubble Egg is a completely customizable dessert experience —from its homemade, egg waffle cones with baked-in toppings, multitude of ice cream flavors, and large array of toppings to choose from. Popular options are the pistachio or chocolate chip filled waffles with a scoop of strawberry, vanilla, or Oreo ice cream, with your choice of toppings. The wait for the freshly made waffle cone is well worth it.