We've spent the past few weeks testing them out, and here's what we found.
SNO at Dallas Farmers Market
920 S. Harwood, Ste. 121
SNO uses natural mango juices and adds chamoy, spicy chili and sour blast to the top. (“Flechazo” was also on our receipt and we don’t know what it is, but we got charged 65 cents for it.) The icy dome is dotted with diced mangos, then half a lime is squeezed and drizzled directly into a divot at the top, seeping its way to every snowflake. Finally, a hot tamarind straw is stabbed through like a dagger.
Keep the lid on no matter how much your snow cone begs you to take it off for a better photo-op (see picture at top). Pull your hair back then roll up your sleeves. The sweetness of the mango and the spice brawl for attention. The instant one gets an edge the other acts out. But, as you work towards the bottom of the cup, the heat starts to take over. But should it? Is it hot or is it sweet? Which is better? You know how you can't tell if Clair du Lune is the saddest or happiest thing you’ve ever heard? Yeah. That. (Debussey would love this moment.)
Tropical Fruteria y Neveria
1207 S. MacArthur Blvd. (Irving)
5422 Bernal Drive (West Dallas)
Rainbow Snow is a busy neighborhood spot tucked away in West Dallas. The staff is super friendly and work fast to fill the constant inflow of customers and kids anxious to get snow cones topped with colorful gummy bears. Most of the mangonadas I saw pass over the counter were topped with diced pickles instead of mangos. I’m still in mangonada 101, however. That’s AP level. Rainbow Snow has a few seats inside to wait for your order, although a lot of customers use the walk-up window and wait in their car. There are a couple of picnic tables outside too. Be careful backing out onto Bernal.
Josie Ice Cream and Grill
500 S. Fitzhugh Ave. (East Dallas)
Josie is the beautiful display of freshly packaged fruit kept in a cooler. Big chunks of bright red watermelon, mangos, strawberries and guavas make eating fruit seem cool again (or for the first time ever). For sure grab a big box to eat after your finish your mangonada. Josie has a full kitchen and an entire menu of sweet and savory treats. This spot has been around for decades and parking is easy along the street outside. They have a small dining area near the back. The mangonadas here are packed through with cubes of mango and chamoy.
Snow On the Rox
324 E. Beltline Road (DeSoto)
Snow on the Rox, which is parked at the Grow DeSoto Market Place, in a snow cone article earlier this summer. Owner Roxanne Saldana makes all her syrups from scratch and everything she serves is vegan (she also has a full menu of baked goods). She tops her mounds of ice with bits of mangos, pickles and strawberries. Recently Saldana created a sugar-free mango and margarita snowcone syrup, which she tops with pickles, her own homemade chamoy and Tajin. Before heading out, be sure to check her Facebook page; she’s pretty good about updating hours weekly.