On the Search for Ice Cream in Austin

Balmy night? End the evening with ice cream, handmade at one of these destinations:

It’s hard to beat a cold cup of ice cream on a balmy night as a fitting end to an evening out. Several Austin small businesses offer “handmade” ice cream. Perhaps the most famous is Amy’s, which began as a single store but now has nine outlets and growing and also packs ice cream for sale in local shops and restaurants. There is also an Amy’s at Austin’s airport. Patrons pick their flavor and toppings and watch as they are hand-beaten to a yummy, creamy, but cold consistency on marble counters. For a complete list of all Amy’s ice cream shops, check out their website, www.amysicecream.com.

All locations are open late; the downtown Sixth Street store is open until 1 am on weekends. Look for the big moving cows on the outer wall of Amy’s at 1012 West Sixth Street, (512) 480-0673. Other favorite locations are the small, walkup store at 1301 South Congress Avenue and the new Amy’s in a remodeled gas station at 5624 Burnet Road, (512) 538-2697, next door to Amy’s production plant. On Sunday nights there are “Moooovies” shown on site.

The Hyde Park neighborhood in central Austin is home to the
Dolce Vita Gelato and Espresso Bar, 4222 Duval Street, (512) 323-2686, www.dolcevitagelato.com. This neighborhood coffee shop and Italian-style gelateria opens early for breakfast and stays open late for gelato.

Dolce Vita also is a great spot for an after-dinner drink, perhaps coffee and a liqueur, or one of the 35 grappas the cafe has on hand. In addition to gelato, the menu includes wonderful tarts with traditional Italian flavors like hazelnut and walnut. The cafe has a small indoor space plus an outdoor area with tables and chairs.

Another addition to the ice cream scene in Austin is
Teo in the 26 Doors Shopping Center in central Austin. Teo’s features authentic Italian ices and gelatos. The shop, which also houses a small coffee shop featuring Italian beans, opens early—around 6 am on weekdays, a little later on weekends—and stays open until late evening daily except Sunday, when the cafe shuts down around 9 pm. Teo’s is located at 1206 West 38th Street, Suite 1204-B, (512) 451-9555, www.caffeteo.com.

Ice cream stirs passions, as noted above, and Cristina and Vincenzo Ginatta, natives of Turin, Italy, have taken their gelato dreams from one store in Dallas to more than 20 in the U.S. and Mexico City. Their latest is
Paciugo, 241 West Second Street, (512) 474-7600, www.paciugo.com, a great way to finish a night on the town.