If there’s one thing universally loved by kids, adults and chefs, it’s ice cream. During this time of year, people crave the sweet icy treat even more than usual, and it’s easy to understand why. Creamy, delicious, cold and satisfying, ice cream has been a favorite among many people enrolled in Texas culinary schools, especially given the hot weather many locals experience during Austin summers.
What’s more, Austin has plenty of artisanal ice cream shops in the area that are doing some pretty innovative things with this dessert, so if you need some inspiration for your baking and pastry arts ideas or simply want to know where to head to when you get an ice cream craving (we’ve all been there), be sure to dine at one of these spots:
1. Sweet Ritual: This Hyde Park establishment is a haven for vegans and lactose-intolerant diners, as the parlor features dairy-free ice cream, sundaes, toppings, shakes and banana splits. Many of these flavors are classic favorites like rocky road, mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream, but there are also some inventive rotating flavors to try as well.
2. Cow Tipping Creamery: This fun-loving food truck specializes in soft serve ice cream and can be found in the West Campus neighborhood. If you really want to go all out, try one of their stackers, which is like a sundae, but instead of piling the toppings on top, the ingredients are mixed throughout, so you get all of those peanut butter cups, toasted marshmallows and caramelized bananas in every bite. The key to their success is in the toppings: You can get anything from maple bacon crisps to Dr. Pepper cherry sauce to sweet lemon Vietnamese curried toasted coconut atop your ice cream treat.
3. Lick Ice Creams: This spot prides itself on local, homemade and simple ingredients. People love this place so much, it was named one of the best ice cream shops in America by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2014. There are everyday and seasonal flavors to choose from, including caramel salt lick (a mix of sea salt and caramel); goat cheese, thyme and honey; roasted beets and fresh mint and cilantro lime. Everything here is made by hand – from the sauces to the marshmallows to the ice cream itself – so head here if you want to enjoy a truly artisanal dessert!
4. Amy’s Ice Creams: Chances are as a student in Austin culinary arts school, you’ve heard of this famous spot. Amy’s has been an Austin favorite since 1984, has more than 350 flavors under its belt, and now has shops in Houston and San Antonio, making it a true Texan treat. Classic ice creams are the mainstay here, but there are are also fruit ices, baked treats and frozen yogurt to beat the heat this summer. According to Thrillest, their best-known flavor is Mexican vanilla, but other standouts including Belgian chocolate and amaretto cheesecake.