Summer in Houston can be brutal. From May through October each year, the H in H-town stands for heat and humidity instead of Houston, but locals know how to keep their cool. This summer, take some time to explore the best hot spots for cold treats in the city.

Photo Credit: The Chocolate Bar via Facebook

Best Frozen Hot Chocolate:

The Chocolate Bar
River Oaks
1835 W Alabama St
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 520-8599

Rice Village
2521 University Blvd
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 520-8888

For the ultimate in chocolaty indulgence, visit one of the two The Chocolate Bar locations. Featured on the Food Network for its decadent desserts, chocoholics will love these frozen treats. Creamy dreamy truffle is a must-try chocolate ice cream flavor with The Chocolate Bar’s house-made truffles stirred into rich chocolate ice cream. For a sippable treat, try the frozen hot chocolate called Chocolatta. This is far from being a packet of Swiss Miss poured over ice. Ice and thick European sipping chocolate are blended together and garnished with chocolate sprinkles over whipped cream. One sip and you will never want to go back to ordinary hot chocolate again. While at The Chocolate Bar, you may want to pick up a piece of cake or some of its famous Texas Frito Brittle to go.

Related: Best Cupcakes in Houston

Photo Credit: MAM’s House of Ice

Best Snoballs:

MAM’s House of Ice
301 W 20th St
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 868-4545

Ice cream is fine for some people, but there are other cool treats to beat the Houston heat. One of the most popular in the Heights are fluffy, New Orleans-style snoballs from MAM’s House of Ice. These have a lighter consistency than snowcones. A wide range of flavors and toppings and the ability to mix and match these treats keeps people coming back to this snoball trailer. While standard flavors like cherry or coconut are available, so are more interesting flavors like cajun red hot, dill pickle and king cake. Any flavor can be enhanced with a shot of Warheads sour spray on top of condensed milk to make a creamy flavored treat. This trailer tends to move frequently, so anyone wishing to visit should check its Facebook or Twitter feeds for the current location. A tip for any first-time visitors is to pack your patience when going, especially on hot summer days, because this popular spot can have long lines. But after one taste of one of these snoballs, it will have all been worth it.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Best Ice Cream:

Hank’s Ice Cream
9291 S Main St
Houston, TX 77025
(713) 665-5103

Hank’s Ice Cream consistently ranks at the top of most people’s choice for ice cream in the Houston area. This family-run business is still operating, though its namesake, Hank Wiggins, died on New Year’s Eve this past year. For more than 20 years, this ice cream shop has been cranking out standards like vanilla and chocolate, but with over 100 different flavors competing to be one of the 16 offered, you should not expect typical ice cream options. The best seller at Hank’s is surprisingly not vanilla or chocolate, it’s butter pecan made with real Texas pecans. Some of the more unusual options include sweet corn, orange chocolate chip and banana pudding. This ice cream parlor is worth several trips to sample the outstanding variety.

Photo Credit: Sweet Lola via Facebook

Best Frozen Yogurt:

Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar
304 Gray St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 521-1333

Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar in Midtown offers some of the most unusual flavors for a frozen yogurt shop that change on a regular basis. Some of the flavors served include Lola’s white apple, Lola’s cinnamon crème, sugar plum berry and dark & dreamy chocolate. What also sets Sweet Lola apart from the competition are the many house-made options on the toppings bar. Some of these are sweet and salty caramel debris, brownie crumbles and house-toasted coconut. There are also French pecans, cappuccino-flavored toffee bits called happa-cappa-chino-rocks, Guitard mint pearls and mini lollipop bits. At Sweet Lola, you add as many toppings as you want to your frozen yogurt and pay by the final weight of your dessert, giving you complete control over your frozen yogurt creation.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Best Gelato:

Nundini Chef’s Table
500 N Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 861-6331

Gelato is a dense, creamy frozen treat that is Italy’s answer to ice cream. At Nundini Chef’s Table, all of the gelato is made in house. Try any of its rotating flavors like sweet caramel corn or bourbon. Traditional Italian gelato flavors like cioccolato and vaniglia also make the list. In addition to the gelato, Nundini has housemade sorbetto for those who want a less-guilty option after some of the Italian treats enjoyed from the restaurant or deli.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

A Necessary Shout Out:

Blue Bell Creamery
1101 S Blue Bell Road
Brenham, TX 77833
(800) 327-8135

If you live in the Houston area, you have undoubtedly seen Blue Bell ice cream in all of the grocery stores where you shop, but did you know that the place where all of that creamy goodness comes from is just 90 minutes from Houston in Brenham? At the Blue Bell Creamery, you can take a factory tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at how ice cream is made on a large scale. The best part is the free scoop of Blue Bell ice cream when the 45-minute tour is over. This makes a good day trip with a refreshing end for any summer day in Houston. Call ahead, because during the summer, many of the tour times are booked.

Related: Best Bakeries in Houston

Crystal Hessong ia a freelance writer and a lifelong, fourth generation Houstonian. She is currently covering Home & Life. Her work can be found at