When you live in a place where the summer feels endless, there’s always an excuse to go and grab some cool and tasty treats. Lucky for us, here in the Valley we’ve got so many choices that are so much better than a boring old ice cream cone – we’re talking smoothies, bowls, juices, and shaved ice.
So next time you want to treat the kids for cleaning out the playroom, or treat yourself for surviving that school pick-up line, head to one of these spots for some big treat energy.
1 Kaleidoscope Juice
With three locations in the Valley, you’re probably not far from a Kaleidoscope Juice, where you can find a beautiful rainbow of juices to help you with any ailment, or just thirst. Their juices are cold-pressed, never pasteurized, and 100% organic. They even refer to them as a “living broth” because of all the healing benefits of consuming raw, cold-pressed juice. Their smoothies are both nutritious and delicious – I recommend you try the Blue Majik.
2 Wow Wow Lemonade Stand
When you walk into a Wow Wow, you feel like you’ve been transported to Hawaii. The only problem you’ll have here is trying to decide what to order, because it’s all so good. There are flavors of icy lemonade you’ve never even imagined, and they have some of the best acai and superfood smoothie bowls this side of paradise. My favorite is the gorgeous Pitaya Superfood Bowl with pitaya mix, gluten-free granola, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, coconut, and honey. There are five locations around the Valley.
3 The Yard Milkshake Bar
The crazy milkshake trend doesn’t get any crazier and more delicious than the frozen concoctions you’ll find at The Yard in Phoenix. Started by a husband-and-wife team who made their debut on Shark Tank in 2019, they now have over twenty locations across the U.S. These gigantic shakes are definitely a splurge and share item. Try one of their amazing monthly specials or the Phoenix exclusive shake called the “Camelback Mountain,” topped with a big gold star made of chocolate.
4 Mahalo Made
If there’s a line when you get to this place on Missouri Avenue in Central Phoenix, wait it out, because it’s definitely worth it. Mahalo Made serves ultra-fluffy Japanese style shave ice with syrups that are handmade using organic fresh fruit and organic cane sugar. There are no dyes, preservatives or artificial colors to be found. There’s also the option of adding a scoop of ice cream to the middle of your massive snowball. They are only open Wednesdays to Sundays from 12-5:30pm or until sold out. Follow them on Instagram for their featured flavors of the month.
5 Pressed Juicery
Not only does Pressed have an abundance of cold-pressed green juices, root juices, and citrus and fruit juices, they have smoothies, wellness shots, and some majorly yummy plant-based freezes and smoothie bowls. I highly recommend their Dragon Fruit Superfood Smoothie Bowl, topped with blueberries, banana, goji berries, and coconut flakes. There are two locations in Scottsdale.
6 Soda Jerk Co. Milkshake Bar
Well sure, you can visit the Soda Jerk and get a classic milkshake or float. Ho hum. Or you can go big and order an insane “Killer” shake, float, or sundae. These over-the-top creations are like getting three desserts in one, and they offer seasonal milkshakes that will make your eyes pop. Located on High Street in north Phoenix, their employees are the nicest jerks in town. (Psst … there are a couple hidden escape rooms attached, if you can find your way in.)
7 Berry Berry Best Acai Bowls
If you are an acai bowl enthusiast like I am, please get yourself to Berry Berry Best in Phoenix, just west of the 51 on Northern Ave. They offer excellent bowls with set ingredients, but even better, you can also customize your own bowl with as many toppings as you like – and they have plenty of them so everyone will find something they love! They also serve one of our favorite treats, classic Dole Whip.
8 Bubble Bee Boba Tea
Bubble Bee at the Scottsdale Quarter specializes in tea-based boba drinks. They use all natural ingredients, natural loose tea leaves, wildflower natural honey, and real fruit to make their 70+ different drinks. These fruity and creamy drinks are served with freshly brewed all-natural green tea, black tea, golden tea, white tea, and Thai tea. Popular items include blended and over-iced drinks with their signature Natural Honey Boba and fruit juice edibles at the bottom. Everything I’ve tasted here is so refreshing. I suggest trying the Goldilocks with mango jelly.
9 Rita’s Italian Ice
Rita’s has a frozen treat for every member of the family to enjoy. It’s hard to choose when there are so many delicious options and flavors. There are Italian ices made with fresh fruits, cream ices that add a touch of creaminess to an Italian ice, frozen custards, gelati, Misto shakes, milkshakes, and concrete custards that are blended up with tasty toppings. They also offer large-sized party packs for backyard pool parties and family gatherings. Choose from three locations in the Valley.
10 Sonic Drive-In
More fun than a drive-through window, park at Sonic and blast your A/C for a few minutes while you and the kids relax in your car and share some slushes brought to you with a smile. Offerings include real fruit slushes, Sour Patch Kids Slush Floats, and even a Red Bull slush for those days when you need a little extra push to make to dinner time. If you order your treats ahead either online or through the Sonic App, drinks and slushes are half price. And remember – they have the gooood ice!
Keep cool, mama – you deserve a treat.