While we strongly believe it's acceptable to eat frozen treats year-round in Tucson, icy snacks are even more tempting when summer hits.
From raspados and paletas to shaved ice delights, here are eight tasty frozen treats that aren't ice cream. (But don't worry, we have a list of places to get locally-made ice cream, too.)
Indulge in bingsoo, Korean shaved ice
Bingsoo is often described as Korean shaved ice, sometimes with toppings such as condensed milk, red beans, mochi and chunks of fruit.
Downtown eatery HeeMee Coffee + Bakery is one Tucson spot to find bingsoo, though only on Fridays and Saturdays. Their ice is soft and light — not comparable to the ice in a snow cone or a raspado. It melts on your tongue. They have five bingsoo flavors: matcha, strawberry, Oreo, mango and red bean.
Over at sushi and Korean barbecue spot Takamatsu, bingsoo comes with crunchy ice, and is covered in colorful mochi, frozen berries, red beans and cereal powder.
Hours: Bingsoo is served at HeeMee on Fridays and Saturdays only, but Heemee is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Takamatsu is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Price: $6.50 for small, $8.50 for large at HeeMee. $11.95 at Takamatsu.
Halo-halo, for the ube and shaved ice lovers
Ube is one star of the show in the halo-halo dessert. The bright purple yam-like food can be found in Filipino desserts like jellies, puddings and cookies. It's mild in flavor, but still sweet. It's a bit nutty and some say it tastes vanilla-like.
Halo-halo typically consists of shaved ice, plus ube-flavored ice cream, condensed milk or whipped cream. Toppings can include jellies, beans and fruit chunks. In Tucson, you can find halo-halo at Fiesta Filipina and Nick's Sari-Sari Store.
Hours: Fiesta Filipina, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Nick's Sari-Sari Store, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Price: $7.99 at Fiesta Filipina, $5.50 at Nick's Sari-Sari Store.
Go for a sweet or bold raspado
Raspados are among the best treats in Tucson.
Sweeter versions typically come with shaved ice, chunks of fruit, fruit juice, vanilla ice cream and lechera (sweetened condensed milk). But then there are also the bolder flavors, like the mangoyada, which can come with more tangy fruit options, plus chamoy and toppers like tamarindo candy sticks or Serpentinas candies.
Lucky for us, raspados can be found allover Tucson. See our list of raspado spots here.
So many popsicle flavors to choose from
When you walk into Paleteria y Neveria la Michoacana, you'll very quickly be enticed by the giant images of their treats allover their counters and along the pink-and-white-striped walls.
The space is home to paletas (popsicles), chocolate-covered bananas, smoothies, aguas frescas, ice cream, raspados and other antojitos. The flavor list for the paletas is the most extensive of all, with more than two dozen flavors ranging from fresh fruit popsicles to creamier versions.
The newest addition to the popsicle scene, though, is Peace, Love & Pops. The spot opened in Main Gate Square last week, with a menu of juice- and dairy-based popsicles (and pupsicles for your dog friends). Flavors range from cherry limeade and blue raspberry to banana pudding and butter pecan.
Eegee's, a Tucson favorite
What would this list be if it didn't mention the icon that is Eegee's? The homegrown chain's iced drink, of the same name, is a favorite of Tucsonans.
Standard flavors include strawberry, lemon, piña colada, berry and the Teagee. There's also a rotating flavor of the month. For June, that's mango. July is typically the very well-loved watermelon flavor.
Location: Multiple locations, see them here.
Hours: Drive-thru hours are typically 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., but check your location to be sure.
Price: $1.99-$4.49, depending on size.
Visit the Eegee's website for more information.
Icy treats at your favorite tea spot
Snows and slushes are a common sight at spots that specialize in boba tea.
At Bing's Boba Tea, you can find slushes and snows, aka flavored drinks blended with ice and milk. There are 20 different slush flavors, including lychee, cantaloupe, strawberry and taro. You might get overwhelmed with the snow flavors though: there are 35 of them, including almond, coffee, pistachio, honeydew and raspberry.
The fruity punch of shaved ice and Italian ice
Sometimes you just want a classic shaved ice, topped with a rainbow array of flavors.
Food truck Lahaina's Shave Ice does just that, with its shaved ices (large and not as large). There are more than 20 flavors, including classics like blue raspberry and cherry, in addition to even sweeter choices like cotton candy and bubble gum.
Slushes, both alcoholic and not
At Cuppa Gogo, they're not called slushes. Not slushies either. They're slooshies.
Cuppa Gogo, located at food truck park The Pit and known for its coffee, has nine flavors of slooshies, and even the option to add a Red Bull.