Shaved ice is a Taiwanese delicacy traditionally topped with sweet beans, boba, jellies, taro root, ice cream, condensed milk, and syrup. Although those are the most common and popular toppings, other choices are often available and can be combined to make a tasty treat. Some restaurants are also offering snow ice, which is created by shaving a block of milk ice into a fine texture, and is a sweeter and creamier alternative to regular shaved ice. Check out these popular shaved ice hotspots for an unconventional dessert stop.
1015 Nogales Street #125
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
This hidden gem is all about quality. It is modeled after the traditional Taiwanese classroom including wooden desks and lunch box containers. However, the restaurant is extremely small and a long wait is usually inevitable. Class 302 offers both regular shaved ice and snow ice. The snow ice goes out fast so be sure to get there early, especially on weekends. Sometimes you might have to wait an hour or so before they are able to churn out another batch. Class 302 has amazing combinations: Mango and Strawberry Shaved Snow, Green Tea Shaved Ice, Mango Shaved Snow, Chocolate Shaved Snow, etc. You can even customize your own with up to five toppings for $6.50. Though the regular shaved ice is great, the snow ice is what propelled Class 302 into Taiwanese dessert fame. It has the consistency of ice cream, melts sweetly in your mouth, and is undoubtedly worth the wait.
17188 Colima Road
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
Guppy Teahouse, known for its gargantuan portions, is a mecca for shaved ice fans. The trendy teahouse, decorated like an underwater café with fishbowls and neon lights, is often filled with youths from all over Los Angeles. The shaved ice comes in two sizes: small and large, but don’t be deceived. A small ($12.25) is enough to feed four people with leftovers. A large? ($18.99) The bowl itself is large enough to hold a basketball with room to spare. Though the toppings at Guppy’s lack the diversity and quality of other shaved ice locations, this restaurant is known for its generous portions that will keep you coming back for more.
Tasty To Go
142 E Duarte Road
Arcadia, CA 91006
Tasty To Go manages to thrive in an otherwise deserted plaza because of its extensive menu and popular pairings. The menu comes with suggested topping combinations for those who are not as flavor savvy or familiar with snow ice desserts. Try their pudding and boba snow ice – one of their bestsellers. It is topped with a thick caramel syrup and is great for those who aren’t fans of the fresh beans and fruits they offer. The prices range from $6 to $7 and each portion can serve two people.
Half & Half Tea House
120 North San Gabriel Boulevard
San Gabriel, CA 91778
Half & Half Tea House is known for their outstanding boba drinks, but their shaved ice is a great choice as well because of its popular toppings including brown sugar, condensed milk, and chocolate syrup. The portions are large so make sure you grab a couple of friends to help you eat your treat. Each shaved ice bowl comes topped with your choice of ice cream while the toppings are buried underneath. Though the combinations offered are not spectacular, the toppings – especially the boba – are too good to miss.
Pa Pa Walk
227 West Valley Boulevard
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel is a haven for Taiwanese and Chinese foodies and Pa Pa Walk is conveniently located at its epicenter. Often compared to Class 302 in Rowland Heights, Pa Pa Walk is known for its Brown Sugar Shaved Ice, which costs $6.00. The mango shaved snow has also won the hearts of locals as it is drenched with sweet cream syrup and topped with fresh mango. This is a go-to treat on hot summer days as the fresh ingredients will definitely cool you down.