This scares people who don’t eat dairy products. In January, Austin vegan frozen dessert store Sweet Ritual announced it would be closing indefinitely.
Owner Amelia Raley at the time blamed the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic for the hiatus. But now Raley is back in the scoop game.
Last week via Instagram, Raley announced a soft reopening of the Sweet Ritual storefront at 4631 Airport Blvd., #125.
“It’s been about six weeks since we closed our scoop store and went on hiatus due to the pandemic and the resulting supply chain issues, price increases and poor sales” due to the delta and omicron variants, Raley wrote.
She continued, “As of this week, we are in a transitional period of soft opening,” and the store will be open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The hours will soon get longer, she wrote.
According to the Instagram post, shakes won’t be available yet, but customers can get dairy-free scoops, pints, cakes and ice cream sandwiches. Sweet Ritual only accepts payment cards at this time.
“I just want to close here and thank everyone who left a nice comment, texted or reached out to buy a pint from our kitchen while we were closed,” Raley wrote. “You all made me cry the biggest tears of joy with your support and your sweet stories about your adventures in our scoop shop. Ice cream really is the best job in the world.”
In honor of Sweet Ritual’s reopening and the official start of spring, here are some other favorite Austin frozen dessert spots to check out.
Amy’s ice cream
Currently selling cream at 13 Austin locations – from the Arboretum to Westgate, from the airport to Westlake – and a few spin-offs in Houston and San Antonio, Amy Simmons’ dairy empire has was founded in 1984. If you’ve never been there – how? – the basics are such that: the ever so slightly floral Mexican vanilla is the most popular flavor; you can choose from crushes like Reese’s Cups and Grape Nuts (rules of thumb include no crushes on a small size, and you’ll probably just want those gummy bears on top unless you like rock cold and colored); and expect a gravity-defying ride.
(Various locations; amysicecreams.com)
Now an Austin tradition, this frozen banana company is a festival season favorite. A better bet: dipped in peanut butter and rolled in Oreo crumbs.
(1311 South First St., 2420 Guadalupe St. at Space 24 Twenty behind Urban Outfitters; bananaarchy.net)
Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs
Since 1996, this spot has been bringing an authentic Louisiana flavor to the summer. According to the owners on their website, “A snowball can mean the difference between a person having a good day and a good day, or a person having a bad day and a good day.” Casey’s uses cane sugar and touts its cream. and chocolate syrups.
(808 E. 51st St.; caseys-snowballs.com)
Dip Dip Ice Cream
From the folks who brought you the hottest bowl of shoyu in the whole country, here comes the sweet adventure of the Ramen Tatsu-ya team. As you might expect, the flavors (although limited) are a journey, like the black pepper-yuzu mascarpone.
(7301 Burnet Road, Ste. 101; dipdipdip-icecream.com)
South First’s home for gelato for a hot minute, now with a Plaza Saltillo location. A family business of three of Italian descent – including Francesca Silvestrini, who trained in the art of gelateria in that country – Dolce Neve serves up staples like stracciatella, twisty flavors like goat cheese with pecans and treats like granitas, gelato sandwiches and affogatos.
(1713 South First St. and 1109 E. Fifth St.; dolcenevegelato.com)
Gati ice cream
Coconut-based chills from the chef-owner of Thai Fresh, with rotating flavors including Thai tea and black sticky rice horchata. They also have a gluten-free bakery.
(1512 Holly St.; gatiicecream.com)
Instagram-worthy Thai rolled ice cream, with dairy and coconut options. Chop-ins like Oreos and Teddy Grahams keep things fun.
(1800 Barton Springs Road; hollamode.com)
Licking honest ice cream
An Austin Original with natural ingredients and mouth-watering flavors like dark chocolate, olive oil and sea salt.
(1100 S. Lamar Blvd; 6555 Burnet Road; 1905 Aldrich St.; ilikelick.com/austin)
Recently featured on “Queer Eye”: An Asian-inspired confection that complements its bubble tea menu with a list of soft treats, like milk tea float, matcha affogato, and stuffed taiyaki. Soft flavors spin.
4607 Bolm Road; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; squeeclub.com.
One of this city’s favorite spots for cones, malts and shakes since 1946.
(603 Barton Springs Road; sandysaustin.com)
An Austin snowcone institution since 1993, and my favorite for about that long. My order: horchata with cream on top.
(412 Sterzing St.; snobeachatx.com)