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3 sweet San Antonio ice cream shops scooping wild treats

3 sweet San Antonio ice cream shops scooping wild treats

hot chocolate roll rolling rey's
Rolling Rey's outrageous Hot Chocolate roll. Courtesy photo

Ice cream’s good any way you to scoop it, but a new generation of shops have popped up in San Antonio offering new twists on the classic treat. These restaurants use innovative techniques to transform everyday ice cream into unexpected entertainment.

From a shop that takes a scientific approach to a frozen pop parlor that allows infinite customization, these sweet spots take ice cream to the next level.

Creamistry
Traditional ice cream techniques pump and churn the base with air, resulting in a less creamy product. Creamistry, however, uses liquid nitrogen to flash freeze each order on the spot, a process that results in smaller ice crystals and a velvety, smooth texture.

The technique also makes ordering ice cream more fun. The haze of the liquid nitrogen, resembling the fog of dry ice, lends a chemistry lab vibe to the proceedings.

The rich, premium base appeals to indulgent tastes, but there are plenty of more health-conscious options including vegan scoops and a dairy-free sorbet. More than 60 flavors and toppings, ranging from classic vanilla bean to coffee bar-inspired offerings such as espresso and Thai tea, allow customers to get creative with their customization. Plus, on March 15, the company introduced 10 new combos, including a trendy unicorn variety and a pure San Antonio mangonada accompanied with Takis chips and a splash of fresh lime juice.

Rolling Rey’s
Locally owned and operated, this shop features original, homemade recipes and borrows a process popular in Thailand for creating rolls of ice cream instead of scoops.

To achieve the unique shape, employees pour the base onto a frosty pan that chills the mixture into a thin layer until it freezes. The mixture is then scraped with a spatula into super thin rolls and topped with fixings like whipped cream. Customers can also bring in their own ingredients, like Girl Scout cookies, to be chopped up and mixed into the rolls.

Rolling Rey’s also has a few signature items in case guests aren’t feeling creative. Specialties on the menu include the Russian made with grapefruit soda, lime juice, orange juice, chamoy, chili powder, salt, and fruit or the Mudslide with brownie, pecans, cajeta, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup. 

Steel City Pops
Frozen pops are always fun, but the two San Antonio locations of this Birmingham, Alabama-based franchise take things to the next level with customizable treats, organic ingredients, and even paleo-friendly options.

Guests can order menu staples like dairy-free banana, the popular rotating pop of the month, or build their own. The pops can then be customized in four ways: dipped in a coating of three kinds of chocolates; dredged in nuts and candies and other toppings; drizzled with sauces; or dusted with cayenne, espresso, sea salt, and more. Countless combinations are possible.

All natural ingredients and no artificial flavors or colorings make these treats as healthy as possible. The shop sweetens the pops with organic cane sugar and all the creations are gluten-free — even the ones with a cookie in the center. Paleo pops, introduced in January 2019, sweetened with honey, are available in mixed berry and Bosc pear flavors.