Cool Treats

Houston's best ice cream, popsicles and more: 10 cool treats to help you love summer

Houston's best ice cream & more: 10 cool treats for a hot summer

Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Urban Leaf bubble tea
Bubble tea's a brewin' now that Urban Leaf is on the scene in Houston. We like the five-spice blend.  Photo by Ruthie Miller
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 The Goodie Box food truck
The mobile Goodie Box serves gourmet popsicles...with a sweet summer smile on the side. Photo by Ruthie Miller
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Ooh La La Key Lime Cutie Pie
Try the Key Lime "Cutie" Pie from Ooh La La Bakery in Katy. Photo by © Debra Smail/
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Killen's banana pudding
The hot barbecue at Killen's is good, sure, but we can't stop thinking about the cool banana pudding. Photo by Kimberly Park
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Hugo's paletas
The fruit paletas at Hugo's are a sure-fire way to help you beat the heat. Photo by by Penny De Los Santos
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Fat Cat Creamery carrot cake ice cream
Fat Cat Creamery has some fun summer flavors, like this carrot cake ice cream with chunky bits of cake from Fluff Bake Bar. Photo courtesy of Fat Cat Creamery
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Urban Leaf bubble tea
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 The Goodie Box food truck
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Ooh La La Key Lime Cutie Pie
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Killen's banana pudding
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Hugo's paletas
Ruthie cool treats June 2013 Fat Cat Creamery carrot cake ice cream

You’ve probably noticed the heat index rising, but there’s no use complaining — it’s just our summer spectacular in Houston. So embrace the heat and try these cool sweet treats to keep your inner air conditioned.

Got some favorites we missed? Please leave a comment to let us know.

Snow Cones from Yeti Sunshine
It’s undeniably hot out there. But rather than waste your entire summer indoors, try cooling from the inside out in the form of a snow cone. The mobile Yeti Sunshine offers our favorites, all kicked up in gourmet flavors like lime-basil, raspberry-lemonade, cucumber-mint, watermelon, blueberry-pomegranate and Texas grapefruit.

Follow Yeti Sunshine on Twitter for a location.

Banana Pudding from Killen’s BBQ Pop-Up
Banana pudding wins my vote for most underrated cool treat, and it especially rawks in the summer. See for yourself with chef Ronnie Killen’s new version at his barbecue pop-up restaurant at Killen's Steakhouse in Pearland.

It’s beautifully rich, undeniably creamy, and — as it should be — topped with Nilla Wafers. Killen’s deep cup ‘o pudding will set you back a reasonable $4.50.

Ice Cream from Fat Cat Creamery
The Fat Cats have a few tricks up their sleeves this summer, promising some fun surprise flavors. If you missed out on the otherworldly carrot cake ice cream (made with scraps from Fluff Bake Bar), you might want to stock up on their staple Strawberry Buttermilk flavor.

Grab it at one of their local retailers — or look for the Cats’ new brick-n-mortar shop to open in July.

Green Tea Smoothies from Cricket’s Creamery & Caffe
The recently revamped Cricket’s Caffe in the Heights offers plenty of cool treats in the form of ice cream, milkshakes and Trentino gelato . . .  but you might opt to bypass those in favor of the green tea smoothies. Fruit is blended with a green tea base, giving your drink a nice sweetness with just a slight hint of that distinctively woodsy green tea flavor.

Gourmet Popsicles from the Goodie Box
Popsicles offer an easy way to cool off during our hot-hot-hot season, and the mobile Goodie Box is here to serve. The owner is a former mixologist, who now uses her mad flava’ skills on these all-natural frozen treats (sans booze). They’ve got classic popsicles (like lemon and lime) or modern twists (like pineapple-basil and pomegranate-prickly-pear).

Follow the Goodie Box on Facebook or Twitter for a location.

Bubble Tea from Urban Leaf
Urban Leaf is just getting off the ground as a mobile bubble tea vendor and you can often find them these days at events at Discovery Green. Try their Spice Up Your Life blend with tapioca: refreshing herbal tea brewed from five spices (ginger, lemon grass, cloves, black peppercorn and cardamom). Yowzah! Follow Urban Leaf on Twitter for events and locations.

Freezer Pops from Fluff Bake Bar
The Sugar Fairy’s frozen treats were so popular at Free Press Summer Fest that she’s continuing the love. Find Fluff Bake Bar's fantastical freezer pops in fun flavors like cucumber mint and red berry at Revival Market and the Eatsie Boys Cafe.

In the mood for other classic treats? Revival also carries Fluff Bake Bar’s Orange Julius ice cream and strawberry sorbet.

Mexican Paletas at Hugo’s
Summer fruit is undeniably great straight — but for a real treat, try it frozen in the Mexican Paletas de Aguas Dulce at Hugo’s on Westheimer in Montrose. The frozen fruit pops are a sweet way to capitalize on the freshness that is summer: peach, strawberry, coconut and more.

Oreo-Mint Shake at Smashburger
Summertime is milkshaketime, and Smashburger just introduced a new one for the season. I’m not generally a fan of minty desserts, but they do seem to double the cool in hot weather.

The Oreo-Mint shake blends rich Haagen-Dazs ice cream with mint and Oreo cookies, giving you a breezy form of that classic mint-chocolate flavor.

Key Lime “Cutie” Pies from Ooh La La Bakery
Summer citrus always seems to hit the spot, especially in the form of the Key Lime mini pies from Ooh La La Bakery. Its line of “cutie” cream pies are a perfect sweet treat for one — or split between two if you’ve got the willpower. Ooh La La also does cutie pies in chocolate cream, coconut cream and banana cream.