Posted by: noadventure | September 27, 2009

SnoBall Tour of NOLA

Editor’s note: Right at the end of the season, another guest post comes from Australian Francine. She was here for 6 weeks and tried as many snoballs as she could.

A Snowball Tour of New Orleans

Eating snowballs is a long-time, much-treasured New Orleans tradition, and like all things food related in this city, everyone has their favorite place and flavor. During Jazz Fest ’08 I had my very first snowball. A novice to the delights of this icy yumminess, I ordered an orange flavored one. My New Orleanian friends teased me on my pedestrian choice of flavor and suggested I try nectar with condensed milk. Who on earth had ever thought that putting condensed milk over shaved ice would be a good idea? Sheer genius! I was instantly hooked. In the summer of 2009 I spent six weeks in New Orleans exploring these sweet ice treats across the city.

While there is much debate over who makes the best snowball, one thing is for sure – you can have a blast finding out for yourself.  If you’re planning your own tour of New Orleans snowball stands, I suggest you do it with a few friends in tow, and order the smallest size available in a bunch of different flavors so you can sample the many taste sensations awaiting you. Some snowball stands are seasonal so call first to avoid disappointment. The aforementioned nectar with condensed milk soon became my “control” in the quest for the great NOLA snowball. Enjoy!

PANDORA’S SNOWBALLS

901 N. Carrollton Ave. New Orleans, LA 70119

(504) 289.0765

Hours: Daily 12.30-7pm

Founded: 1971

Most popular flavor: Strawberry

The verdict: Pandora’s is one of the few stands that make their own ice(Editor’s note: Sal’s also makes their own ice). They also make their own sugar-free syrups with the rest coming courtesy of SnoWizard (no less than 113 flavors). We tried five flavors here including wedding cake (almond essence), tiger’s blood (a strawberry/coconut mixture), tangerine and nectar. Cantaloupe was my personal fave – refreshing and fruity, it was delicious!

PANDORA'S pastedGraphic

HANSEN’S SNO-BLIZ

4801 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70115

(504) 891.9788

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 1-7 p.m.

Founded: 1939

Most popular flavor: Cream of nectar(Editor’s note: I don’t believe you – although I like nectar, I think every snoball place’s most popular flavor is strawberry)

The verdict: I made two trips to Hansen’s just to be sure 😉  They’re known for their ice which in my humble opinion is definitely far superior to the rest – it’s fine, soft, and super fluffy.  Many of their syrups are made fresh daily too. We sampled a bunch of flavors including their most popular, cream of nectar, which I found a little bland – maybe there wasn’t enough syrup on mine… but the Satsuma was outstanding! Be prepared for a brutal wait on this reward. The line is often long and it moves at a glacial pace. Once you hit the doorway you’re still about 25 minutes away from nirvana. The staff like to have a chat with each and every customer that passes through. Like the sign reads: “There are no shortcuts to quality”.

HANSEN'S-2

Satsuma! YUM!!!

HANSEN'S_1

Fluffy and light – the ice by which all others are measured.

HANSEN'S_3

Miss Cricket is a regular at Hansen’s.

HANSEN'S_5

The “Sno-Bliz” – Ernest Hansen designed this baby – the secret to their snowy success.

HANSEN'S_6

The original Hansen’s sign, now retired, hangs inside the shop window.

Sal’s Sno-Balls

1823 Metairie Road, Metairie, LA 70005

(504) 666.1823

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.- 10:30 p.m.; Sunday 2-10:30 p.m.

Founded: 1960

Most popular flavor: Chocolate

The verdict: At this busy stand you can eat your snowball while sitting in the shade on a fake wood log(Editor’s note: the logs are real – they are wooden tree trunks, not telephone poles, and definitely not fake). I tried a chocolate & a nectar with condensed milk at this neighborhood fave. Both were good, though the ice was a little crunchy. They have fun flavors like the Batman (pineapple/orange), the Robin (nectar & Ice cream) and the Joker (blackberry, raspberry, grape mix). Tons of parking makes it a convenient stop if you’re cruising through Old Metairie.

SAL'S_1 SAL'S_2

SAL'S_3

William’s Plum Street Snowballs

1300 Burdette St., New Orleans, LA 70118

(504) 866.7996

Hours: Daily 2-8 p.m.

Founded: 1931

Most popular flavor: Chocolate

The verdict: Plum Street is a charming snowball shack that briskly serves their faithful flock. We arrived early one Sunday afternoon and watched them unload their ice shaving machine off the back of a truck – do they stash it somewhere each night to keep it safe??? Everyone hangs around and eats their snowballs on the benches out front or across the street on the curb. And as for chocolate being their most popular flavor…  indeed!  Absolutely delicious!!

PLUM STREET SNOWBALLS

At Plum Street we sampled chocolate, passionfruit, strawberry, hawaiian punch and spearmint. I had tried their nectar on a previous visit – it’s good too.

Ro-Bear’s Sno-Balls & Soft Serve Ice Cream

6869 Jefferson Highway, Harahan, LA 70123

(504) 737-5013

Hours: Daily 1-9.30pm (during the season)

Founded: 1966

Most popular flavor: Chocolate

The verdict: I got my Nectar fix on here – surprisingly good for a dodgy looking highway stand. Check out the Blue Hawaii (coconut, bubble gum & cream) if you’re feeling adventurous!

pastedGraphicrobear

SnoWizard Snoball Shoppe

4001 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115

(504) 899.8758

Hours: Sunday-Friday, noon-8 p.m., Saturday noon-7 p.m.

Founded: 1937

Most popular flavor: Strawberry

The verdict: SnoWizard is responsible for manufacturing and providing many of the local snowball vendors with their syrups and ice shaving machines. You would think this place would be a shrine to all things ice and syrup considering they’re the epicenter for much of the snowball industry but there’s nothing quaint or charming about this place. It feels like a fast-food drive thru with service to match. The ice and the flavors were okay (we tried nectar and coffee) though at the time I didn’t know that strawberry was their most popular flavor so maybe I missed out…

SNO WIZARD

Bot and Nola’s

71360 Louisiana 59, Abita Springs, LA 70420

(985) 875.1247

Hours: Daily, 1-7 p.m.

Founded: May 2004

Most popular flavor: Chocolate cream

The verdict: I tried my usual nectar here – It was the perfect end to a 24 mile bike ride along the nearby Tammany Trace in 95% humidity!

Tee-Eva’s

4430 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115-1541

(504) 899-8350

Hours: Mon-Sat 11-6pm Sun: 12 – 5pm

Founded: 1987

The verdict: Eva Louis Perry is best known for her delicious pies and pralines; I would pass on getting a snowball here again. Not my fave.

The Original New Orleans Sno-Balls and Smoothee

4339 Elysian Fields Ave., New Orleans LA 70122

(504) 283.8370

Hours: Mon-Sat  10-7pm

Founded: 1993

Most popular flavor: Strawberry

The verdict: The ice was a bit chunky instead of the much sought after soft & fluffy variety, but the flavors were definitely good. They have shaded outdoor seating for immediate consumption!

OG NEW ORLEANS_1 OG NEW ORLEANS_2

SNOLA

Audobon Park

Magazine St. New Orleans LA 70118

(504) 415.6003

Hours: Summertime: Daily 11-4 (Sundays only after Labor Day)

Founded: 2009

Most popular flavors: Strawberry & Nectar

The verdict: Snola is a cute little snowball truck disguised as a mini street car. They set up each weekend in Audobon Park but you can also sometimes find them at special events around the city, plus they’re available for private parties. Snowballs here are served in chinese take-out style containers.  \I had their Nectar snowball TWICE!  I think that says it all. This new-comer to the snowball wars is hoping to have a permanent location up and running by Summer 2010.


Koolrunning Sno-Balls

Audobon Park

Magazine St. New Orleans LA 70118

Hours: ?

Founded: ?

Most popular flavor: ?

The verdict: Like SNO-LA, Koolrunning’s is a snowball truck set up in the middle of Audobon Park. We tried tiger’s blood (a strawberry & coconut mix), nectar with condensed milk, pink lemonade and orange-pineapple. All are recommended.

KOOLRUNNING_2KOOLRUNNING_3

The evidence: a tell-tale red tongue – yeah, I had Nectar again!

CASEY’S SNOWBALLS

4608 W. Esplanade Ave. Metairie LA 70006

(504) 888-3920

Hours: ?

Founded: ?

Most popular flavor: ?

The verdict: The Nectar was good, though the ice was a bit crunchy. Casey’s has a bunch of convenient parking but keep a keen eye out for this stand as there is currently no sign out front and you could easily blow by it and not even know.(Editor’s Note: when I was a kid – this place was the joint!)

CASEEY'S CASEY'S_2

It was impossible for me to hit all the stands in and around New Orleans during the short time I was there and already I’m hearing about places that I missed but will definitely go to on my next visit. Here’s a list in case you want to check them out too:

Beaucoup Nola Juice

4719 Feret St., New Orleans 70115

(504) 430.5508

Highlight: Real fruit is used to make their syrups.They also have a bunch of exotic flavors made from fruit imported by way of Central & South America.

Queen of the Ball

8116 Oak St., New Orleans 70118

(504) 430.5718

Highlight: Over 100 flavors, many of which are made from fresh juice.

Elaine’s

Just off LA 1 north in Larose

Bubby’s Snoballs & Ice Cream

247 W. Harrison Ave., New Orleans 70124

(504) 905.2366

Papa Sam’s Snowballs

2201 9th St., Mandeville 70471

Van’s Snowballs

303 Morgan St., New Orleans 70114

(504) 394.6223

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Responses

  1. Casey’s still is the joint in Metairie. Yum.

  2. […] Galveston Adventure Editor’s note: This week’s post come from Toni, a girl who goes on about as many adventures as I do(almost).  It’s also NOadventure’s second female guest poster; the first being Francine of  Snoball Tour of NOLA. […]

  3. I always get almond flavor with condensed milk. I know how to sin properly 😉

  4. Its not listed here, but down the street from Sal’s there is a smaller, lesser known treasure called Batman’s SnoCave…down by CVS….there’s no line, usually, nothing fancy….just a great snoball!

  5. You missed the best snoball stand of all!
    Nola Snow Snoballs
    7040 Vicksburg Street
    New Orleans, LA 70124
    504-373-6555


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