Mangonadas and elotes may be a dime a dozen in San Antonio, but a new eatery hopes to set itself apart by combining frutería favorites with Asian treats like milk teas. Already a favorite in Castle Hills, Zero Degrees has opened a second Northeast location at 18010 Bulverde Rd.
An employee confirmed that January 9 was the first day of business for the franchise. The shop will keep soft opening hours of noon-8 pm until January 11 before celebrating its grand opening over the weekend with buy-one-get-one specials on coffee and tea all day on January 12 and 13.
The chain, founded by siblings Ken Le, Trinity Le, and San Huynh, first debuted in Westminster, California, in 2013 as an Italian ice shop. Inspired by the town’s diversity, the team created The Chamango, a sorbet with spicy flavors. The dessert was so popular shifted the restaurant's culinary direction towards Asian-Hispanic fusion.
The Chamango eventually morphed into Zero Degrees' signature drink, a mangonada with chamoy, tajin, and a very Instagrammable fan of fresh mango slices. But there are a variety of other drinks to choose from. On the Asian-inspired side, there’s an ube (Japanese purple yam) milkshake topped with a toasted marshmallow and sour belt candy and a pink lychee slush with fresh strawberry hearts.
Zero Degrees also has a variety of flavored limeades and strawberry milk, which can be augmented with boba, coconut lychee pearls, or tamarind straws. Horchata is blended with yet more strawberries, matcha, or coffee.
Savory menu items include popcorn chicken with honey barbecue and salt-and-pepper dipping sauces, crispy chicken wings, and elotes traditionally dressed with cheese, chili powder, Taparío, and mayo. Several dishes can be ordered with Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for extra kick.
From there, Zero Degrees’ entrees take an anything goes approach. A noodle stir-fry gets a sprinkle of cotija cheese, mac ’n’ Cheetos (it’s just what is sounds like) can be topped with an oozy egg, and carne asada adds heft to loaded fries. All are featured as lunch specials between 11 am-3 pm with a 24-ounce coffee and tea for only $10.
The second San Antonio location is part of a major push for the brand in the Texas market, which already boasts more stores than the brand’s West Coast home base. Seven new shops are in the works in Austin, Baytown, Irving, and the Houston area.