Sno Dawgs owner David James Nayfa believes shave ice is more than a summer treat. Nayfa and his business partner Mark Bradford opened their own “beach with a Texas twist” sno cone and hot dog shop mid-July, and they don’t plan on leaving. More than 100 shave ice flavors made with cane sugar are displayed on the walls of the shop in colorful chalk. All-beef hotdogs, chicken dogs, Italian sausage, nachos and pretzels are dished out for patrons to top off with fresh ingredients from the condiment bar. Shave ice flavors range from birthday cake to dulce de leche, but don’t worry, Nayfa also has plenty of “skinny ice” flavored cones made with stevia, a zero-calorie natural sweetener. For $8.75 you can get a hot dog or Italian sausage combo served with chips and Hawaiian shave ice. Yes, it’s called “shave ice,” not “shaved ice,” Nayfa says. He says that’s the way people do it in Hawaii, so that’s how he does it here. “You wouldn’t call a place a ‘Bar and Grilled,’ would you? The name is in the present tense,” he says. The sea salt, original and cinnamon pretzels come with your choice of marinara, ranch, cheese, vanilla icing or chocolate sauce for 50 cents extra. Sno cone flavors will change with the seasons to feature pumpkin, peppermint and other sweets that speak to the climate. Nayfa stresses what isn’t in his products as much as what’s in them. The shave ice is sans high-fructose corn syrup, and hotdogs and sausages come from Niman Ranch, whose products are free of nitrates, nitrites, antibiotics and gluten. Bradford dedicated many hours to the look of the place, which features all handmade stools, outdoor benches and huts complete with misting machines, lighting, seating and outdoor speakers. “Our original concept was, if we appeal to the teens, we appeal to their younger siblings and families,” Nayfa says. It appears he has started in the right direction. Stop by for a visit and you’ll find Jesuit, Hockaday, W.T. White, St. Mark’s and Ursuline students behind the counter making life a bit sweeter.
12300 Inwood, Suite 200
Price range: Food $3-$8.75, Shave Ice $3.45-$4.50 (50 cents extra for sweet cream)
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday–Saturday
Tip Try an orange shave ice topped with sweet cream. It tastes just like a Creamsicle, owner David James Nayfa says.
Three more spots to cool off
The somewhat hidden sno cone spot moved last summer into its own storefront next door to Doc’s Food Store. Try the natural strawberry-lime flavor — and don’t forget to top it off with salt and chili powder.
2 I Heart Yogurt
The cutesy froyo shop has two flavored espresso options, Italian and French. For its sweet taste, we have to give this one to Italy. Try it topped with almonds and cream.
10720 Preston, Suite 1006
3 Zaguan Latin Café & Bakery
All the smoothies at Zaguan are made with fresh fruit, but that’s not even the best part. Order a “#1 Egg Special” and they bring out your choice of an omelet or scrambled eggs, arepa (think Latin flatbread) with cheese, and a smoothie.
2604 Oak Lawn