Fruity Pebbles. Rainbow sprinkles. Blueberries. Hot fudge. Eclectic sweets fill the toppings bar at ByBerries, where customers select an array of candy, cereal, nuts, and seasonal fruits to top self-serve frozen yogurt. The frosty flavors on tap rotate often, with options such as pumpkin, butter pecan, cappuccino, and banana coconut, but a selection of original, nonfat, and no-sugar-added varieties remains a constant. The self-serve forum inspires mixing and matching yogurts, ensuring that like snowflakes or the social security numbers of identical twins, no two dishes of fro-yo are alike.
For more than 75 years, Shipley's Do-Nuts has served up hot and fresh hand-cut donuts daily from Lawrence Shipley's time-tested recipe. Currently furnishing more than 60 varieties of fried ambrosia to donut disciples, Shipley's Do-Nuts creates three types of craveable crowns for the taking ($5.95/dozen glazed, $6.55/dozen mixed). The traditional yeast donut's everyday attire is a glaze coating, but it entertains a closetful of options, including curve-enhancing nuts, sequin-like sprinkles, and black-tie appropriate chocolate icing for attending formal french-bread balls. Filled yeast donuts protect their secret stash of cream or fruit with a sweet glaze force field, while denser—but not dumber—cake donuts aid rough morning wake-up calls by operating as portable pillows perfect for commuting or by sliding into stomachs in icing, glaze, sprinkles, or au naturel.
When patrons pop into Berri Swirl, they don't just come for the tasty frozen treats; they come for the chance to take control of their own dessert destinies. As they march confidently to the self-service dispensers stocked with 12 flavors of frozen yogurt, they're already calculating which bits of Butterfinger chunks, blackberries, and gummy bears they're going to pluck from the do-it-yourself toppings bar packed with more than 40 toppings. Swirls of delicious low-fat yogurt infused with tastes ranging from snickerdoodle-cookie-dough to triple chocolate descend into holders including cups, cones, wafer bowls, and 55-gallon drums made of marzipan. Along with this variety of toppings and flavors, the fro-yo gurus maintain their healthy standards by concocting their creamy creations from genuine dairy, milk, and fruit purées and handpicking their ingredients from a variety of sources. After patrons take one last look at their creamy creations, they can browse magazines or surf free WiFi while wolfing down their sweet achievements.
Not only is Sweet Lola Yogurt Bar an "antidote to the antiseptic Pinkberrys of the world," according to Lonely Planet, it's also "the most adorable place in Houston"—or so gushes a Houston Press blogger. Like a worn-in powdered wig, the cozy shop exudes a shabby-chic French aesthetic, with bright pastel colors complementing cream-colored wooden furniture and shelves full of jarred candy and homey gifts. Sweet Lola's seasonal fro-yo flavors are equally adorable, boasting names such as "dreamy chocolate," "merri mint," and "blush," a combination of cherry and almond. Each creamy spoonful tickles taste buds with probiotic flavor sweetened with cane sugar and free of corn syrup or additives. A small but dependable selection of artisanal toppings crowns frozen creations with peanut-butter croutons and cookie crumble.
Culled from natural ingredients, Berripop's nonfat frozen yogurt is whipped fresh daily and infused with vibrant flavors. Sate chromatic cravings with Berripop's rainbow of taste-hues, such as luscious chocolate, refreshing mango, piquant green apple, and delectably indecisive raspberry-pomegranate. With a twist of the faucet, yogurus whirl out a medium-sized mound ($4.50) to be adorned with edible textures from a topping bar rife with fresh kiwi, raspberries, almonds, Cap'n Crunch, Reese's peanut-butter cups, and more ($1 for unlimited toppings). Alternatively, guests can enjoy smoothies, parfaits, or shaved ice to make tongues feel as cool as Fonzie sledding the Alps on a gold record. Each location of the Texas-born dairy dispensary beams with a bright modern interior, free WIFI, and flat-screen TVs to entertain eyes as they fill bellies. Groupon buyers who return again within one month of their first purchase will receive 50% off their next set of treats.
Marble Slab Creamery sets high standards for the ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet dished out on premises. In addition to stocking the creamery's pantries with spices and mix-ins from around the world, they champion local ingredients. "We use fresh milk twice a week to make our ice cream onsite," says the local manager, "and make our waffle cones from scratch."
Before any ice cream lands in a handcrafted cone, it goes through the proprietary Marble Slab process: A chef scoops the ambrosial ice out of a bin, transfers it to a chilled marble slab, loads it up with mix-ins, and then kneads it with a flat-billed spoon. This process not only evenly distributes the mix-ins, but also makes the ice cream feel relaxed and loose.
On any given day, the creamery dishes out 50 flavors and merges them with nuts, fruits, candies, and sauces. Though specializing in cone-based ice-cream treats, Marble Slab Creamery also offers a menu full of other scream-worthy confections including cakes, shakes, and ice-cream cupcakes.