By Rianna Turner
Schools are out of session, and the sun keeps burning hotter above South Texas. Luckily, with the summer season comes the re-opening of seasonal snow cone shops, and the increased patronage of the sweet spots that stay open year-round. If iced coffees aren’t quite your thing, or you’re toting kids along, a shaved ice is a saccharine and effective way to counteract the 90-degree temperatures.
Great Balls of Ice
I grew up on the Northwest side, and this little hut in the Calallen area was a recurring location in the memories of my childhood. When I think of snow cones, I think of the sour grape cones from this eight-by-eight drive-thru. (Although, I switched to the Tiger’s Blood flavor later on in childhood, because I was seeking a more hard-core image.) Great Balls of Ice qualifies as a “hidden gem” — It’s tucked away off of Leopard, across from a Navy Army Credit Union and neighbored by a small used-car sales operation. It’s a great spot for a grab-and-go treat, and within a short drive of West Guth Park, a great spot for enjoying the South Texas sun or setting up a hammock in between the trees.
4343 Callicoatte Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78410
This sweet spot has been frequented by Corpus natives since its opening in 1972. It’s popularity is proven by the shop’s well-known lines, which have become Facebook meme-worthy. It’s location on Baldwin makes it a convenient stop for anyone traveling through Central Corpus, or heading home from summer courses at Del Mar’s West Campus. Try the Piccadilly, a specialty cone with pickles, chile, and sweet syrup, or order your favorite flavor with ice cream in the middle!
3830 Baldwin Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78405
This multi-dessert and snack shop boasts its ability to “turn gelatinous brain grooves into frosty cerebellum mazes with its extensive menu of freshly made frozen desserts.” The menu truly is extensive; there are not only snow cones, but ice creams, fruit cups, milkshakes, and of course, paletas. The shop invites you to “excavate a mound of creamy yogurt” or “dive taste buds into the icy peaks of a snow cone with ice cream.” La Paletera offers savory snacks, as well, for those who might not be in the mood for frutas con crema.
2701 Morgan Ave #200, Corpus Christi, TX 78405
The Brain Freeze is a small, locally owned snow cone and snack shop on Staples, offering treats curated for summertime. This little dive is unique in that they serve snow cones topped with candy, like their “Candy Rush” snow cone, or “Zombie” chamoyada. They also serve daily lunch specials, for those seeking a quick and affordable meal before an icy dessert.
1604 S Staples St, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
Little I’s Snow Cones and Treats
For those in the Rockport/Ingleside area, Little I’s has three locations serving various snow cones, ice creams, and fruit cups, along with bulk candies. Little I’s makes for a great stop after a day on the water, or a trip to one of Rockport’s recently re-opened restaurants. The shops are family-owned and community driven, and specials between locations change frequently; check their Facebook page to stay updated on what specials are being offered!
3019 Main St, Ingleside, TX 78362
2710 Highway 35 N, Rockport, TX 78382
1408 South Saunders Street, Aransas Pass, TX 78336