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Houston's Most Refreshing Frozen Treats, Mapped

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Summer is here, and the weather is only going to get hotter from here on out. Luckily, there are hundreds of delicious ways to cool off here in Houston. Whether it's a snowball, a bowl of shaved ice with fruit or a chile flavored popsicle, there is nothing like a frozen treat to beat the heat. From Chinatown to the Northside, from Spring to the Heights, every neighborhood one has its own version of snow cones and frozen desserts. This map offers 10 ice cream alternatives that are sure to provide refreshment throughout Houston's hot summer days.

--JD Woodward

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Gogo Ice

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This place is awesome. For less than five bucks, diners can get a bowl of shaved ice complete with a choice of four fruits or toppings, condensed milk, and two scoops of ice cream. It’s the Chinatown equivalent of the banana split. They also have a great selection of bubble tea flavors all made from fresh fruit, no syrups. Patrons can see the fruit being cut several times a day to ensure freshness. GOGO Ice is a great way to beat the heat.

Tapioca House  品茶軒

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Tapioca House specializes in bubble tea and coffee. They also serve traditional Taiwanese meals and snacks, along with a huge assortment of fruit drinks and smoothies. After only ten drinks, the eleventh one is free and guests can also enjoy free wireless internet.

Juice Box  元氣鮮果汁

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The juice box allows diners to choose from 10 different fruit juices including durian(?!?). Each fruit juice can be prepared several different ways including as a smoothie or blended with other fruits and ingredients, like Chinese yogurt, or Calpis (a Japanese un-carbonated soft drink). They also have coffee and ice cream, several shaved ice variants and sugar-coated fruit on a stick.

Nu Cafe

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Perhaps one of the most unique places out there as far as shaved Ice goes, Nu Café serves what they call Nu Ice or Ribbon ice and claim that they are the only place in Texas making it. The ice has a prep time of ten hours and comes out with a texture closer to ice cream than shaved ice. With several different flavors to choose from, Café Nu is definitely a don’t miss destination.

Star Snow Ice

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Shaved ice with fruit, lychee jelly, mango pudding, and almost anything else one can imagine (along with a few things no one ever would) make Star Snow Ice a great place to cool down after a hard day. Along with the ice treats, they also have bubble tea, coffee, and snacks available.

Buzzles Shaved Ice

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People in the burbs need frozen treats too, and Bruzzel’s Shaved Ice has been providing them with just that for the last five years. They are open year round and boast a whopping one hundred flavors. That does not include the wide variety of add-ons diners can choose from including: salt spray, dill pickle juice and chamoy. They have sugar-free flavors. Also, unlike almost all the other places on this list, Bruzzel’s accepts credit cards. Plus, with a customer loyalty card, everyone who manages to eat forty-five snow cones goes home with a free t-shirt.

MAM'S House of Ice

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There is always a line of people at Mam’s House of Ice. This is because the folks at Mam’s take special care with each and every snoball they create. It’s worth the wait, so go on over, order a snoball, and sit in the grass until it’s done. Pro tip: order the dreamsicle with a scoop of ice cream in it. Mmmmmmm…dreamsicle…

Tampico Refresqueria

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Tampico has been around forever and what they serve is old school, eat at the public pool, take your shirt off first, stain your tongue blue, raspas (snow cones). There is no fruit involved. This is straight syrup; sweet, cold, delicious syrup over crunchy crushed ice. They are cheap, cold, and sweet. Also they serve frito pies yeeaaaaaw!

El pibe paleteria

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This place has been open for about five years and is definitely one of Northside’s best kept secrets so get ready to live. All those guys with the bikes that go around selling the paletas (popsicles) out of the coolers buy them from El Pibe. There are twelve coolers full of different frozen treats from bomb sticks to drum sticks, and they’re all a dollar. The actual paletas are against the wall in the back: nuez (walnut), mango, fresa (strawberry), chile, tamarindo, horchata, rompope (Mexican egg nog). All of these are three for $1.25 or twelve for $4!! Now calm down, get in the car, and go there.
Just sayin, they have Slurpees in there. Or is it Icees? Seriously, they’re like two bucks! White Cherry, Blue Raspberry, COCA-COLA! Come on who doesn’t like a Slurpee!? They come with the shovel straw and everything!

Gogo Ice

This place is awesome. For less than five bucks, diners can get a bowl of shaved ice complete with a choice of four fruits or toppings, condensed milk, and two scoops of ice cream. It’s the Chinatown equivalent of the banana split. They also have a great selection of bubble tea flavors all made from fresh fruit, no syrups. Patrons can see the fruit being cut several times a day to ensure freshness. GOGO Ice is a great way to beat the heat.

Tapioca House  品茶軒

Tapioca House specializes in bubble tea and coffee. They also serve traditional Taiwanese meals and snacks, along with a huge assortment of fruit drinks and smoothies. After only ten drinks, the eleventh one is free and guests can also enjoy free wireless internet.

Juice Box  元氣鮮果汁

The juice box allows diners to choose from 10 different fruit juices including durian(?!?). Each fruit juice can be prepared several different ways including as a smoothie or blended with other fruits and ingredients, like Chinese yogurt, or Calpis (a Japanese un-carbonated soft drink). They also have coffee and ice cream, several shaved ice variants and sugar-coated fruit on a stick.

Nu Cafe

Perhaps one of the most unique places out there as far as shaved Ice goes, Nu Café serves what they call Nu Ice or Ribbon ice and claim that they are the only place in Texas making it. The ice has a prep time of ten hours and comes out with a texture closer to ice cream than shaved ice. With several different flavors to choose from, Café Nu is definitely a don’t miss destination.

Star Snow Ice

Shaved ice with fruit, lychee jelly, mango pudding, and almost anything else one can imagine (along with a few things no one ever would) make Star Snow Ice a great place to cool down after a hard day. Along with the ice treats, they also have bubble tea, coffee, and snacks available.

Buzzles Shaved Ice

People in the burbs need frozen treats too, and Bruzzel’s Shaved Ice has been providing them with just that for the last five years. They are open year round and boast a whopping one hundred flavors. That does not include the wide variety of add-ons diners can choose from including: salt spray, dill pickle juice and chamoy. They have sugar-free flavors. Also, unlike almost all the other places on this list, Bruzzel’s accepts credit cards. Plus, with a customer loyalty card, everyone who manages to eat forty-five snow cones goes home with a free t-shirt.

MAM'S House of Ice

There is always a line of people at Mam’s House of Ice. This is because the folks at Mam’s take special care with each and every snoball they create. It’s worth the wait, so go on over, order a snoball, and sit in the grass until it’s done. Pro tip: order the dreamsicle with a scoop of ice cream in it. Mmmmmmm…dreamsicle…

Tampico Refresqueria

Tampico has been around forever and what they serve is old school, eat at the public pool, take your shirt off first, stain your tongue blue, raspas (snow cones). There is no fruit involved. This is straight syrup; sweet, cold, delicious syrup over crunchy crushed ice. They are cheap, cold, and sweet. Also they serve frito pies yeeaaaaaw!

El pibe paleteria

This place has been open for about five years and is definitely one of Northside’s best kept secrets so get ready to live. All those guys with the bikes that go around selling the paletas (popsicles) out of the coolers buy them from El Pibe. There are twelve coolers full of different frozen treats from bomb sticks to drum sticks, and they’re all a dollar. The actual paletas are against the wall in the back: nuez (walnut), mango, fresa (strawberry), chile, tamarindo, horchata, rompope (Mexican egg nog). All of these are three for $1.25 or twelve for $4!! Now calm down, get in the car, and go there.

Target

Just sayin, they have Slurpees in there. Or is it Icees? Seriously, they’re like two bucks! White Cherry, Blue Raspberry, COCA-COLA! Come on who doesn’t like a Slurpee!? They come with the shovel straw and everything!

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