snow cones | favorite austin eats

My most favorite summer treat in Austin will always be snow cones. Even before the food trailer outbreak of 2008, snow cone stands have been a staple for a perfect Austin summer. As soon as the temps begin to rise at the end of March (or, you know, whenever), I start making drive-bys past my favorite snow cone spots to see if they've opened their window for business. Last summer, I had several weeks in July and August where I ate snow cones more than six times a week.

Because I know you're all wondering, my standard flavor is wedding cake. Here are my favorite places to get it:

caseys new orleans sno balls

Casey's New Orleans Snowballs | When you're from somewhere, there are places in your hometown that are just special to you. Casey's is that place for me. When I was little itty bitty, my dad used to take my brother and I to Casey's as soon as school let out for summer. My brother isn't really into snow cones, so Casey's really became a father-daughter thing. Some of my favorite memories with my dad are sneaking to Casey's after Hebrew School on Wednesday evenings without telling my mom or brother.

I was astounded as a kid at how many flavors they had--back when the only snow cones in Austin existed at carnivals and sporting events and the only flavors were cherry, orange, and lime. I felt so grown up walking right up the yellow steps and confidently ordering a guava and passion fruit snowball. Then dad and I would sit on the adjacent steps, sticky with colored syrup from past snowball-enjoyers, and gossip about our day.

My dad always ordered something with cream or chocolate in it, so I got as close to that as I could by trying wedding cake syrup. This is where my true love began, dear readers. Wedding cake + black cherry snowballs for life. Bonus: New Orleans style snowballs are unlike any shaved ice or generic snow cone you've ever had. They are made with a special machine that makes them incredibly soft. The soft ice soaks up the syrup in the most magical way. Plus, all of Casey's syrups are made from pure cane sugar. So delicious!

south austin sno

South Austin Sno | I love supporting a local business, and even more so when that business is right in my neighborhood! South Austin Sno actually has two locations that are just a stone's throw away from me, but I swear that's not the only appeal! The creative flavor pairings, short lines, and friendly staff also make them one of my favorite sno-stops in town. Bonus: If you're looking for a perfectly 'grammable cone, you've got to go South Austin Sno! The positively bulbous ice reaches high above the rim of your styrofoam cup, and the layered syrup is extra-vibrant!

Sweet Caroline's Snow Shack | Like Casey's, Sweet Caroline's also serves up New Orleans style snow balls. Soft, syrupy, and so many flavors to choose from. One of my favorite things about Sweet Caroline's is that it's very family-oriented, which is a major factor in being a great Austin establishment. Owner David grew up in New Orleans, moved to Texas to go to A&M.  After a lot of success creating businesses in Paris and College Station, he decided to start one at his home in Austin that his two kiddos could enjoy. The snow shack is named after his daughter Caroline.

I love how they engage the community. Even though I'm not having kids any time soon and don't have any children in my life, it's so much fun to experience a childhood memory alongside other children who are eating their very first snow cone or trying a new flavor for the first time. Bonus: You can order nerds (and other candies) in your snow cone. So fun!

What places in your hometown remind you of your childhood? Do you have a favorite snow cone spot in Austin?

Check out my favorite places to get breakfast tacos and margaritas!


  1. Oh man, these all look so good! I wish there was a good place to get a snow cone in Seattle!

    Ladyface Blog

  2. This is so funny! Up here it's all about the italian ice (or the water ice if you're from the philly area and say weird things)I've never heard of a place dedicated to snow cones!

  3. It's crazy that I've never heard these snow cone places and I've lived in Austin all my life! I definitely have to try them, but my favorite place is South Austin Sno :) and I'm pretty certain they're the only place with the Barbie flavor.

    1. eek, i feel a little guilty saying this, but i definitely had south austin sno on sunday! if this list had a fourth snow cone spot, it definitely would have been that one. going to have to make a special trip for the barbie flavor!

  4. Good recs! :) Though personally I prefer a smoothie or frozen yogurt over a snow cone - something with a little more substance.


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