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The Best Shaved Ice in Austin

July 13, 2014

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Hot weather like this calls for a diet of snow cones, popsicles, and shaved ice. Let’s talk about the differences. There’s the famous snow cone from Hawaii with finely shaved ice packed in a cone or bowl with a choice of flavored syrups poured on (try Sno Beach in Austin). Asian shaved ice varieties include: halo halo from the Philippines – the local Filipino mixed ice desert of sweet palm fruit, jack fruit, coconut pulp, sweet mung beans with shaved ice, patbingsoo from South Korea – typical shaved ice is a mixture of sweet azuki beans, rice cakes, daintily chopped fruits, condensed milk, sweet syrups, and sometimes ice cream, and baobing 刨冰 from Taipei – a bed of shaved ice piled with mounds of red mung beans, grene mung beans taro, peanuts, starch balls, boba and more. And then there’s snow shaved ice (or snow cream) – cold and creamy Taiwanese dessert, also known as xue hua bing.

What is snow shaved ice?

It’s a cross between ice cream and the traditional shaved ice desserts popular in Hawaii and Asia, snow ice features soft ribbons of flavored ice topped with fruit, nuts and other assorted goods. Snow cream is made by freezing a block of flavored, sweet milk (as opposed to just a block of ice) and shaving it down into flaky ribbons of layered snow. Most popular flavor of mango shaved snow ice with mango ice cream and freshly cut mango (usually around 100NT – 120NT in Taipei, around $3-4). I ate plenty of these when I was in Taipei this summer (see image above).


Best Shaved Ice in Austin

Luckily, Austin finally gets it’s first and very own snow shaved ice at Snow Monster on North Lamar. Snow Monster features several different snow ice flavors like green tea, strawberry, passion fruit, taro and mango with your choice of toppings (fresh fruit, jellies, boba, egg pudding, and ice cream). It costs around $7 a bowl.

Snow Monster

I personally enjoyed the mango snow ice over the green tea with boba. So far bloggers/IGers can’t get enough of this sweet and refreshing dessert, check out the picks on Instagram!

Have you tried Snow Monster in Austin? What are your thoughts?


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.