Every summer, when Texas temperatures climb ominously towards 105, I look for ways to keep cool. I mean, ways to keep cool other than just hiding away in an air conditioned apartment, which is my first choice, but obviously very boring and unsocial. One of my go-to (non-apartment) cool down methods is enjoying a refreshing snow cone at local Austin legend, Sno Beach. I’ve never been one to shy away from a good snow cone, but I’m not kidding when I say that Sno Beach is something else entirely (and I promise I’m not the only one who thinks so). When I first joined my sorority freshman year, Sno Beach was one of the first places that my older sorority sisters took me to try, and one bite in, I knew that it would get me through many a hot day in this city.
But what is it that makes Sno Beach so very, very delicious? For starters, it’s the fact that they shave their ice…finely. It’s the kind of shaved ice that literally melts in your mouth – seriously, I feel like I’m eating snow every time I take a bite. Add on to that, Sno Beach has more flavors than you could even imagine. From classics like strawberry and green apple to more eclectic flavors like Tiger’s Blood, Silver Fox, and Barney (?), your snow cone options are nearly endless (and we’re not even taking into consideration the fact that you can combine flavors). The icing on the cake? Their prices are off the charts cheap – I’m talking a small (which is actually gigantic) for a mere $2.50! Want cream or caramel? Just add it in! Sno Beach has such a unique flavor profile and Austin-y vibe that I find it hard to want to quench my snow cone thirst in any other way.
As if that weren’t enough, Sno Beach is one of the first food trailers in Austin, so there is certainly something to be said for longevity and city tradition. I’ll admit – the lines for Sno Beach are long, which can certainly be uncomfortable in the scorching summer sun, but the pay-off is so worth it (and oftentimes, the people standing next to you in line are decent conversationalists). There are two locations – one on Bee Caves Road, and one on Guadalupe.
I understand that not everyone is a Sno Beach fan, and not everyone considers Sno Beach a reason to drive X miles or wait X minutes for a snow cone, so here’s a list of some other snow cones trailers in the city limits:
I’ll admit, I’m a Sno Beach loyalist, so I rarely try any place other than Sno Beach, but I’ve heard good things about all of the above (NOTE: I have tried Jim-Jim’s and that’s another winner).
What place is your favorite? And what’s your go-to snow cone flavor? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.