That sweet gulf breeze can only do so much when it’s the dog days of the Texas summer and 150 degrees in the shade. No, you need some real help when it comes to cooling off this time of year and it’s work best left to the professionals, and by professionals I mean some of the island’s premier purveyors of frozen treats.
Orange Leaf (6606 Seawall Blvd.)
Frozen yogurt has come a long way from the days when it was basically a wimpy, low-fat alternative to ice cream, and nowhere is that more apparent than at this shop that promises to delight whether you decide to go with something relatively pedestrian like chocolate or vanilla or something a bit more on the adventurous side like mango or the Spa Day Sorbet. They have such a variety of toppings that it’s entirely possible that you might suffer a brain freeze before you indulge from trying to make a selection.
Frios Gourmet Pops (6302 Seawall Blvd.)
These folks are serious—bordering on fanatical—about yogurt and ice cream-based pops, and it shows. These are not the ice cream pops of your childhood; they’re way better. Combining chemistry class geekery (I think I just created a word) with a mad passion for sweet, frozen treats, this shop contracts with real farmers to buy the freshest ingredients possible. The list of flavors is practically infinite and includes delicious offerings such as candy bar crunch, frozen hot chocolate and kudzu chocolate stout, which actually contains beer. After one visit, you’ll have a brand new respect for pops.
Ben & Jerry’s (4408 Seawall Blvd.)
There’s a reason why Ben & Jerry’s has carved out a legendary niche in the dessert world and you’ll soon understand once you sample some of these frozen masterpieces. When two guys from Vermont started serving up ice cream in their scoop shop back in the late ‘70s, they accidentally began a revolution that continues at this island oasis. The local shop maintains the hippie vibe of the original shops but, more importantly, stays true to the wonderful taste that makes the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream you buy in the store so incredible, but taste even better here. Plus, the employees are so knowledgeable they must have all earned master’s degrees in frozen confection.
Bahama Bucks (500 Seawall Blvd.)
With a menu featuring island-inspired shaved ice treats and smoothies, this place seems tailor made for Galveston. Their treats feature “sno-shaved ribbons of soft, fluffy sno,” while their deep roster of smoothie varieties are made with ingredients so fresh you’d swear they’re growing the fruit right out back. But as great as the smoothies are, it’s the finely shaved ice that graces their seemingly endless lineup of Sno-inspired offerings that keeps people coming back for more. The key lime pie and white coconut flavors are simply irresistible, while the strawberry cheesecake just might change your life!