Beating the heat
An oasis of relief on a sizzling day can be found by way of the classic snow cone stand. (Because when the weather is this steamy, sometimes even ice cream is just too heavy.)
With soft and fluffy shaved ice and so many refreshing flavor options, snow cones provide for a nostalgic taste of a hot summer night. Today’s snow cones are more tricked up than those from our youth — some are garnished with sour candy, whipped cream, and even diced pickles, while others are served in fancy, hollowed-out fruit bowls.
Serving classic varieties (hey, Tiger’s Blood) to new school flavors (we see you, Unicorn), here are six must-visit Fort Worth snow cone stands to cool off for the second half of summer.
Sweetzy’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice
This West Fort Worth shaved ice trailer sets a high bar: there are more than 100 flavor options; vessels include bowling ball-sized watermelon halves or tropical pineapples (with real fruit left inside for scooping); and snow cones can come loaded with sweet-and-salty sour gummy candy, Nerds, and lollipops — surprisingly great contrasts against the sweet ice chips. All that eye candy is an Instagrammer’s dream, and kids will love the fun additions as much as the snow cone itself. But parents will appreciate the light-handed pours on the syrup — no sickeningly sweet or overly sticky snow cones here. Umbrella-shaded table seating is plentiful and well-cleaned regularly. There’s also a drive-thru, so there’s never a need to leave the A/C. Open Monday through Friday 3-8 pm and Saturday and Sunday 1-8 pm.
Funky Munky Shaved Ice Cowtown
Consider this shaved ice trailer a speakeasy of sorts. Since Funky Munky’s move from Camp Bowie Boulevard, it's a little hard to find. The Weatherford-based chain now has a Fort Worth outlet at Will Rogers Memorial Center. Simply turn onto Trail Drive from University Drive, and enter through the big gate marked “42.” The airstream trailer snow cone stand is located on the right in front of the outdoor horse arena (watch where you step), still serving favorites like Banana Pudding, topped with homemade cream, banana chips, and graham cracker crumbs, and the Dirty Munky stuffed with ice cream and chocolate syrup. Open 12-7 pm daily.
Operating both a mobile snow cone trailer and a permanent stand in Richland Hills, Pudgy Penguin is big on themed specials. One day it might be piña colada with whipped cream and a pineapple slice. Another day it might be cherry cola with cherry garnish. Or create your own concoction with toppings like chocolate or caramel drizzle, spicy Tajín, or even “sour spray.” Shaved ice is served in colorful, flower-shaped cups with wide rims, which helps with overflowing melted ice spillage. Umbrella-covered tables provide some respite from the heat. Open Tuesday through Sunday 2-8 pm.
Touted as the best “New Orleans snow in town,” this Watauga shaved ice stand has been serving customers since 2004. There’s a drive-thru window (which gets busy each night) and several patio tables for those who choose to sit and stay a while. At Shiver Shack, every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday, when all snow cones are buy one get one half-off. Choose from more than 100 flavors, including Mardi Gras King Cake, or pick several to fill the massive Mardi Gras tub. Each order is topped with a single jellybean, otherwise known as a “penguin egg.” Open 1-10 pm daily.
Pelican’s SnoBalls of Fort Worth
This West Fort Worth favorite in the blue brick building is a go-to for generous servings of soft shaved ice and more than 100 flavors. Pelican’s SnoBalls is actually a franchise that originated in North Carolina and is named for the state bird of Louisiana. There are only two locations in Texas, with the second in Roanoke. Signature SnoBalls include the popular Shark Attack topped with a shark gummy candy, and the Unicorn made with pink cotton candy flavor, blue “Skylite” flavor, garnished with whipped cream and “fairy dust.” Bring the dog because Pelican’s also serves pet-friendly “pup cups” topped with a dog treat. Open 12-9 pm daily.
Diamond Hill Sno
There’s something to be said about a snow cone stand that’s been owned and operated by the same folks for more than 30 years — if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Diamond Hill Sno opened in 1989, and is still located in a small, red-roofed shack with walk-up window service next to a self-service carwash and the Diamond Hill/Jarvis Public Library. The North Side neighborhood favorite offers more than 50 flavors for its consistently soft and fluffy ice, and affordable prices start at only $2. Fan favorite toppings include spicy chamoy sauce and even diced pickles. (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.) Various Popsicles and push-pops are also sold here. Note the stand is cash only. Open daily from 3-9 pm.