New Orleans native Slangston Hughes might be best known as a hip-hop MC, but he also happens to be a sno-ball expert. These are his musings. Follow him on Instragam: @pookeymalibu and follow along at #sneauxflow.
Lou-Lou’s Snoballs & Ice Cream
734 Papworth Ave.
“I can’t even remember how I stumbled upon this place—I was probably paying my T-Mobile bill. They have a very good pistachio and a very good pomegranate. A solid stand!”
6689 Jefferson Hwy.
“They are famously known for their chocolate flavor and I’m not big on chocolate, but I highly recommend the chocolate flavor at Ro-Bear’s. It is the most sugary, Hershey’s cocoa-inundated flavor in the Greater New Orleans region, hands down. Get a medium with condensed milk.”
8108 Hampson St.
“Known for a variety of speciality sno-balls, there’s a key lime flavor, an Oreo cheesecake flavor and a Pelican, which is half red velvet and half bananas foster. They’re known for their cheesecake-stuffed sno-balls, meticulously crafted. I usually recommend the berry chantilly flavor.”
4801 Tchoupitoulas St.
“I mean, 79 years of existance in providing quality, non-shortcut sno-balls! They’re the godfather or godmother of the sno-ball game. They also take cards, which is très important in this technological age. The lines are very long. But you have Thai tea and honey-lavender! This is the stand to rule them all.”
The Cold Spot
2837 Barataria Blvd.
“When you’re rolling with the Westbank sno-balls, the MVP is probably going to be The Cold Spot. I mainly say that because I haven’t seen a frangelico and cream flavor at any other stand in the city that I’ve visited or heard about. I don’t know if it’s something they make in-house or buy from an illegal Mexican drug cartel.”
The Original New Orleans Sno-balls & Smoothee
4339 Elysian Fields Ave.
“In chilly Gentilly, they have good sno-balls and are open all year round, which is a very good thing. They’re heavy-handed when it comes to their pour. The red velvet with condensed milk is very good.”
901 N. Carrollton Ave.
“I can’t front y’all. I am not a fan of Pandora’s. It’s very assembly line. I have given Pandora’s a lot of my money, but for me the flavors are lacking. Maybe I picked the wrong flavors. I assumed cherry-vanilla would be good, assumed black cherry would be good. Black hand, thumbs-down emoji.”
Rodney’s Snowball Stand
9231 Lake Forest Blvd.
“The pride of New Orleans East, Rodney’s is a favorite among New Orleanians across the board. I wound up getting the pralines and cream. Next to Hansen’s, they have the softest ice in the city. Their signature is that their sno-balls always have a gummy bear in the center.”
Plum Street Snoballs
1300 Burdette St.
“They’re hustlers, man. Always a sight to see. With me growing up in the Hollygrove area, I’ve been going here since I was a kid. My favorite is the bananas foster cream sno-ball. They make it in-house. It’s mad sugary, and you’ll be bouncing off the wall like a pinball, but it’s worth it.”
2801 Washington Ave.
“What is there not to say? In the heart of Central City, this is a very New Orleans sno-ball stand in regards to their hours. Although it says 10:30 until dark, there’s a lot of wiggle room in there. You need to stay woke as far as Red Rooster. Can’t go wrong with the hot sausage po-boy or the yakamein either.”
Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls
3511 Magazine St.
“Good flavors! There’s a strawberry basil that’s really good and a cereal milk which I’m still trying to figure out how to pair that up to get to something similar to a cinnamon toast crunch. Crazy name, but who am I to talk…”
Rodney’s Photo by Slangston Hughes
4001 Magazine St.
“Historically known for the creation of the Sno Wizard machine that so many hole-in-the-wall sno-ball stands actively use, I always enjoy the yellow cake batter and blueberry—that’s one of my go-to sno-balls other than wedding cake cream and condensed milk.”