Unlike the pebbly “snow cones” served in other parts of the country, New Orleans specializes in fluffy ice treats known as “snowballs.” Hansen’s serves up the best in town, thanks to Ernest Hansen inventing his own ice-shaving machine in the 1930s. This shop doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the line out the door tells you it’s worth the wait. Cool flavor: Nectar cream.
During the height of summer you’ll spot snowball shops and stands all around town (and with Louisiana’s infamous humidity, you can see why). Try Pandora’s (get the yams or gummy bears) or Plum Street (where they’re served in Chinese take-out boxes). There’s even a cart, often found in Audubon Park, that makes snowballs for dogs.