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The colorful lineup at Carmen’s Italian Ice.
Carmen’s Italian Ice/Facebook

9 Places to Cool Off With Slushy Snow Cones

The flavored dessert fad is in full swing

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The colorful lineup at Carmen’s Italian Ice.
| Carmen’s Italian Ice/Facebook

Move over, ice cream aficionados. The hot dessert of the moment in D.C. is a snow cone, an icy order that keeps blood sugar up and body temperatures down throughout the steamy summer season.

The ice-based conconctions are topped with various syrups, and many area restaurants, food trucks, and vendors have come up with their own creative combinations that integrate funky flavors, techniques, and a flurry of toppings.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Kona Ice of Central Baltimore County

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The relative ease of snowcone prep makes it ideal for food trucks, and Kona Ice lets the customer pile on the flavors themselves. Track the Kona Ice truck online.

A fan of the roving Kona Ice food truck.
Kona Ice/Facebook

Carmen's Italian Ice

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This summertime stop may have a frozen dessert to satisfy any palate, but their off-beat Italian ice flavor list also makes Carmen’s worth the trek to Rockville. Creative options include Birch Beer, Horchata, Chocolate Everything, and Sour Snozberry. The ices can also be paired with Jersey-style frozen custard, which Carmen’s also makes on site.

Assorted flavors at Carmen’s Italian Ice.
Carmen’s Italian Ice/Facebook

Rita's Italian Ice

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The national chain helped put the snow cone-custard combination on the map. D.C. locations include Chinatown, Capitol Hill, Verizon Center, and College Park.

A patriotic-themed order at Rita’s Italian Ice.
Rita’s Italian Ice/Facebook

SnowBots

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SnoBots may be more snowcream than snowcone, but it’s such a close cousin that it’s worth the mention. The Taiwanese-inspired dessert is a hybrid between shaved ice and ice cream, in unusual flavors like honeydew and taro, with a flurry of toppings like Fruity Pebbles, lychee, and aloe jelly.

SnoBot’s Taiwanese-inspired dessert.
SnoBot/Facebook

Tiki Treats DC

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Tiki Treats specializes in Hawaiian shave ice, which resembles the state’s iconic “shaved ice” (crushed ice) snow cones but technically uses ice that’s been shaved from a block. Each shave ice comes with three flavors, or customers can request a rainbow option.

A customer in front of Tiki Treats DC’s food truck.
Tiki Treats DC/Facebook

Clayboys

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It’s not summer in Bethesda without spotting the Clayboys Shaved Ice food cart, often parked on the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenue (near the retail corner formerly housing Barnes and Noble). Shaved ice flavors include a daily special (like egg custard), root beer, and a strawberry-and-coconut combo dubbed Tiger’s Blood. Buried inside each snow cone is a red Swedish Fish — often frozen solid by the time it’s found.

Icy offerings at Clayboys.
Clayboys/Facebook

The Deck

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Chef Alex Levin is serving snow cones at Casolare’s new summery outdoor installation, using real fruit to create flavors like Green Apple Crisp with green apple ginger or a spiked Strawberry Sunset with prosecco. Guests can also curate their own concoctions.

Themed slushy offerings at The Deck.
The Deck/Facebook

Shilla Bakery & Cafe

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The Korean-inspired bakery integrates Asian and European flavors to produce fanciful desserts called bingsoo — a hybrid of ice cream and shaved ice. Try the fruit bingsoo with vanilla ice cream, mixed fruit, milk, condensed milk, rice cake, and shaved ice or the coffee bingsoo with coffee ice cream, coffee syrup, corn flakes, rice cake, and shaved ice.

Bingsoo bowls at Shilla Bakery & Cafe.
Shilla/Facebook

Bub and Pop's

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Chef Jonathan Taub has his own take on “Wudder Ice” (a spinoff of Philadelphia’s famed “Water Ice”) and offers ices made from scratch with no syrups or corn syrups, in flavors like Bottom of the Fruit Salad, Blood Orange and Saffron, and Lychee. A spiked option exists too, paired with rum or gin.

“Wudder Ice” at Bub and Pop’s.
Bub and Pop’s/Facebook

Kona Ice of Central Baltimore County

A fan of the roving Kona Ice food truck.
Kona Ice/Facebook

The relative ease of snowcone prep makes it ideal for food trucks, and Kona Ice lets the customer pile on the flavors themselves. Track the Kona Ice truck online.

A fan of the roving Kona Ice food truck.
Kona Ice/Facebook

Carmen's Italian Ice

Assorted flavors at Carmen’s Italian Ice.
Carmen’s Italian Ice/Facebook

This summertime stop may have a frozen dessert to satisfy any palate, but their off-beat Italian ice flavor list also makes Carmen’s worth the trek to Rockville. Creative options include Birch Beer, Horchata, Chocolate Everything, and Sour Snozberry. The ices can also be paired with Jersey-style frozen custard, which Carmen’s also makes on site.

Assorted flavors at Carmen’s Italian Ice.
Carmen’s Italian Ice/Facebook

Rita's Italian Ice

A patriotic-themed order at Rita’s Italian Ice.
Rita’s Italian Ice/Facebook

The national chain helped put the snow cone-custard combination on the map. D.C. locations include Chinatown, Capitol Hill, Verizon Center, and College Park.

A patriotic-themed order at Rita’s Italian Ice.
Rita’s Italian Ice/Facebook

SnowBots

SnoBot’s Taiwanese-inspired dessert.
SnoBot/Facebook

SnoBots may be more snowcream than snowcone, but it’s such a close cousin that it’s worth the mention. The Taiwanese-inspired dessert is a hybrid between shaved ice and ice cream, in unusual flavors like honeydew and taro, with a flurry of toppings like Fruity Pebbles, lychee, and aloe jelly.

SnoBot’s Taiwanese-inspired dessert.
SnoBot/Facebook

Tiki Treats DC

A customer in front of Tiki Treats DC’s food truck.
Tiki Treats DC/Facebook

Tiki Treats specializes in Hawaiian shave ice, which resembles the state’s iconic “shaved ice” (crushed ice) snow cones but technically uses ice that’s been shaved from a block. Each shave ice comes with three flavors, or customers can request a rainbow option.

A customer in front of Tiki Treats DC’s food truck.
Tiki Treats DC/Facebook

Clayboys

Icy offerings at Clayboys.
Clayboys/Facebook

It’s not summer in Bethesda without spotting the Clayboys Shaved Ice food cart, often parked on the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenue (near the retail corner formerly housing Barnes and Noble). Shaved ice flavors include a daily special (like egg custard), root beer, and a strawberry-and-coconut combo dubbed Tiger’s Blood. Buried inside each snow cone is a red Swedish Fish — often frozen solid by the time it’s found.

Icy offerings at Clayboys.
Clayboys/Facebook

The Deck

Themed slushy offerings at The Deck.
The Deck/Facebook

Chef Alex Levin is serving snow cones at Casolare’s new summery outdoor installation, using real fruit to create flavors like Green Apple Crisp with green apple ginger or a spiked Strawberry Sunset with prosecco. Guests can also curate their own concoctions.

Themed slushy offerings at The Deck.
The Deck/Facebook

Shilla Bakery & Cafe

Bingsoo bowls at Shilla Bakery & Cafe.
Shilla/Facebook

The Korean-inspired bakery integrates Asian and European flavors to produce fanciful desserts called bingsoo — a hybrid of ice cream and shaved ice. Try the fruit bingsoo with vanilla ice cream, mixed fruit, milk, condensed milk, rice cake, and shaved ice or the coffee bingsoo with coffee ice cream, coffee syrup, corn flakes, rice cake, and shaved ice.

Bingsoo bowls at Shilla Bakery & Cafe.
Shilla/Facebook

Bub and Pop's

“Wudder Ice” at Bub and Pop’s.
Bub and Pop’s/Facebook

Chef Jonathan Taub has his own take on “Wudder Ice” (a spinoff of Philadelphia’s famed “Water Ice”) and offers ices made from scratch with no syrups or corn syrups, in flavors like Bottom of the Fruit Salad, Blood Orange and Saffron, and Lychee. A spiked option exists too, paired with rum or gin.

“Wudder Ice” at Bub and Pop’s.
Bub and Pop’s/Facebook

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