In Texas, it’s arguable to say that we only have a few seasons: hot, not-so-hot, and hot as hell. This is the time of year where it’s creeping towards hot as hell… AKA summer.
Luckily for us Austinites, we don’t get the super humid heat like they do in Houston. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that it still gets hot as hell in Austin! Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to cool down during the summer in Austin. We’re lucky enough to have an abundance of natural swimming areas – from Lake Austin, Lake Travis, Barton Springs, and the Green Belt. There’s literally something for everyone.
After a long day out in the sun, we all need something sweet and cool to help us chill out. Here are 15 of the best summer treats in Austin to keep you cool during the hot summer months!
I have been a pure Lick Honest Ice Creams fan ever since day one. Ask me how many times I’ve gotten all 16 holes punched in my punch card. What I love about Lick is that they rotate their flavors with the season! Some of my favorite flavors in the past include Lady Bird Lavender Crisp and Carrot cake.
See also: 25 Favorite Places to Eat In Austin
This amazing little food truck makes some of the best churros in Austin. You’re probably thinking, “Jin, why would I want something fried during the summer?” Well my friend, it’s because you can add scoops of vanilla ice cream to any churro order. You’re welcome.
Sno Beach has been keeping Austinites cool since 1993. I love visiting this food truck after a day out on Lake Austin or Barton Springs. They have so many flavors to choose from and you can always mix and match. My go-to flavor is Tiger’s Blood!
I can always go for a scoop or two of the Earl Grey gelato from Gemelli’s. They have other amazing flavors as well, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I love getting Gemelli’s after having dinner at Fresa’s or Bouldin Creek Cafe. It’s walking distance, and after a few minutes walking even at night in the Texas heat can make you sweat. It’s the best cool treat if you’re in the area in my opinion!
The Baked Bear hasn’t been in Austin for too long, but if you’re craving a really delicious ice cream sandwich, this place is for you. Their cookies have the best chewy texture, yet are strong enough to stay intact between a fat scoop of ice cream.
What I love about Dolce Neve is their attention to detail and passion for natural ingredients when it comes to crafting their gelato flavors. Fun fact: “dolce neve” means “sweet snow” in English. We could use some snow in Austin to keep us cool during the summer, but we all know that Austinites and Texans alike know nothing about snow…
I first had Steel City Pops in Dallas and oh my goodness, I was hooked! They have four different types of pops for whatever floats your boat: fruity, creamy, paleo-friendly, and cookie. Depending on my mood, I’m either a fruity or creamy pop type of gal. Either way, you can’t go wrong with any pop you choose to help you cool down!
What is water ice exactly? Think a really soft snow cone. Jim-Jim’s water ice is essentially Italian ice and has been keeping Austin “KooL” since 1994. You’ve probably stopped by this place walking down the historic 6th street on a hot summer afternoon. They also served homemade ice cream if you’re in the mood for that!
It wouldn’t be a list of the best ways to cool down during an Austin summer if I didn’t include Amy’s Ice Creams. This classic pit stop on a hot summer day has so many locations in and around the city. Whether you’re in the mood for a cup or a cone, mixings or no mixings, Amy’s is perfect when you’re in the need of something cool. And they always have different flavors on rotation!
New to Austin, but not an unfamiliar way to eat ice cream, I CE NY serves up some Thai-styled rolled ice cream inside Lakeline Mall. I love the flavors that they have and it’s always fun to add a few toppings to mix it up! Stay cool while shopping, my friends.
I am a boba fiend and I was SO happy when I found out that Kung Fu Tea was coming to Austin. I’ll admit that their menu is a bit extensive, but that means that the options are endless when it comes to staying cool with boba tea during the summer. My go-to flavors are the classic milk tea, taro milk tea, and passion fruit green tea. I always go 30% sweet and less ice too!
Adult kids rejoice! Who says you can’t have your alcohol and eat it too? Prohibition Creamery takes ice cream to a new level by adding just the tiniest bit of alcohol to each of their flavors. If you want a margarita sorbet in the summer? This is the place!
This is the spot in Austin to get a magonada. A mangonada is a Mexican fruit drink that is bright, refreshing, mixed with chamoy and loaded with mango chunks – it’s absolutely perfect on a hot summer day in Austin. Cool down with one of these and you’re set for the rest of the day.
A frozen custard from Sandy’s Hamburgers is the perfect way to end a hot afternoon swimming in Barton Springs pool. It’s a classic dessert and you honestly can’t go wrong.
Okay, so technically Kawaii’s isn’t in Austin, BUT this place is worth the drive or at least the visit if you find yourself going north on 35 towards Round Rock. Their shaved ice is so fluffy and perfect for a hot summer day. BTW, it’s cash only!
How do you stay cool in these hot Texas summers? Drop me a comment!