San Antonio Summer Treats Bucket List—2021

I’m a practical girl. Sometimes too practical. I tell my children to always eat their dessert last. When we go out for a treat I usually say, “A simple ice cream cone is just fine.” My husband is the one who buys them a double scoop of something with extra toppings. I try to let go of my practical side a little during the summer.

During the summer we generally have more time to drive and try new places. So this year we are once again going on our over-the-top, extreme summer treat exploration. Summers are hot and fleeting, so I hope to fill them with many sweet memories—literally and figuratively. Here are just a few that we plan to visit (or revisit from last summer). 

  1. Arctic Ape: This business has been at it for six years! I believe they have the most toppings of any ice cream parlor in the San Antonio area at a whopping 150! Even those with dietary concerns can go ape-wild here. Interesting fact: The owners are animal lovers, and that is how the name was born. 
  2. Honchos, The House of Churros: I’m a sucker for a good churro. Those fried, sugar and cinnamon dough sticks are so simple and so delicious. No one has to twist my arm to visit a “house of churros.” Add ice cream and I’m almost sprinting to get there. The giant churros (They also have minis.) are made fresh to order and can be filled with a variety of sauces. While the physical store is in Alamo Heights, they also have a food truck located on Babcock Road.
  3. El Paraiso Ice Cream: A native San Antonian took me to El Paraiso when I first moved to San Antonio. She told me this was just part of the S.A. experience. Open since 1984, El Paraiso claims to be San Antonio’s original paleta company. I love that they have fruit bars and ice cream bars in wonderful flavors like horchata, tamarindo, coconut, and so many more. Even if you haven’t visited their Fredericksburg Road location, you may have enjoyed their paletas from a pushcart at a local festival or Fiesta event!
  4. Fahrenheit 32 SA: This Thai-style rolled ice cream comes with a show in its preparation. There are plenty of flavors to choose from, and once you decide on one you get to watch as your treat is created! The server chops and dices the liquid base, rolls it, and then adds your choice of toppings. There is also a limited sandwich and smoothie menu if you want a meal and dessert.
  5. Kuma: Looking for something different? This ice cream location serves up Hong Kong bubble waffles filled with a variety of unusual ice cream flavors and a variety of sauces to top it all off. Flavors range from lychee to green tea and so many more! There might be a cookie, toasted marshmallow, or a Pocky stick added to make your treat even more interesting. The original location is closed but there are two locations still in business.
  6. Boozy’s Creamery + Craft: This one is for adults looking for an unusual twist to an ice cream dessert. While kid-friendly treats are available, the alcohol-infused ice cream treats bring the customers in. You can get an ice cream flight or maybe a bourbon vanilla to start this new dessert experience. Tip: You can even ask for a little “extra” topping of alcohol on whatever boozy creation you order.
  7. Street Treats: This small, drive-thru treat shop has a little of everything. Try the mangonada, unicorn float, or shaved ice with pickle juice. The menu is extensive, so don’t be afraid to ask for more details about specific items. Picnic tables are available to enjoy your snack right there. Don’t get discouraged by the long line in the drive thru on a Saturday evening. It goes by fast, and it’s worth it!

New must-visit treat shops are constantly popping up in the San Antonio area. I’m not sure that my practical self (or my waistline) can handle any more, but I’d love to hear about your favorites. Please comment below with your finds!

Texas born, small town girl who always felt like I had lived other lives in other places. I went off to college and somehow ended up in beautiful San Antonio. I met my future husband who had lived other lives in other places. After getting married, we moved out of state. Once we had our little souvenir, we moved back to Texas with a baby boy. Later, we added a daughter to complete the family. I work full-time as a school librarian and, on occasion, find time to do a little traveling and a little sleeping.