Tag Archives: Pandora’s sno-balls

New Orleans Dining New Orleans Traditions

Three Best Snoball Stands in New Orleans

In New Orleans, we take snoballs very seriously. The season extends even longer than actual summer (though it admittedly gets hotter long before official summer too), and it’s a joyous return when it does, despite the heat that may come with it. Snoballs are the perfect sweet treat on a hot day, whether you like them fruity, creamy, with ice cream in the middle or drenched in condensed milk.

While you can find plenty of snoball stands in New Orleans, a few of them really get it right. Here are three of the best snoball stands in the city.

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz (Uptown – 4801 Tchoupitoulas St)

Guaranteed, you will wait in some sort of line for a Hansen’s snoball, but it will always be worth it. This Uptown gem makes all of its own flavors using Mary Hansen’s original and secret recipes from back when she opened the joint with her husband Ernest in 1939. They even use the original machine they had back in the day. They make the snoballs in layers so that the snoball is packed with flavor all the way down to the very bottom.

little girl with blonde hair in a blue dress eating a snoball


Pandora’s (Mid-City – 901 N Carrolton Ave)

You can bet that especially on a hot day, this snoball corner store always has a line as well. It’s tucked into the middle of Mid-City just blocks away from City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art and sits right on the Canal St streetcar line for easy access. This stand is also known for getting heavy-handed on the syrup, so if you like your snoball particularly sweet, Pandora’s will hit it right out of the park—City Park, that is.

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New Orleans Traditions

Shaved Ice


Summertime refreshment

Summertime refreshment



Shave Ice.  It all seems so simple, but it wasn’t always so.   Where elsewhere they’re all screaming for ice cream in the summer, in New Orleans we scream for snowballs-which are, of course, only possible because of shaved ice.   Very, very finely shaved ice, almost to a liquid state, melting on your tongue with a refreshing sensation.   In Baltimore, we hear, they claim they invented snowballs because they also use shaved rather than crushed ice—but it’s not as fine as ours, and here we pour not just syrup but toppings on top of that shaved ice, like condensed milk.   But it all began with the shaved ice.  Legend has it that Ernest Hansen, of the original Hansen’s Sno-Bliz now on Tchoupitoulas, invented the first block ice shaving machine in 1939; before that, the “snowballs” were made of hand-shaved ice, none too sanitary.   Ernest’s wife Mary started making her own syrups, and there we have it—something else New Orleans does better.   Apart from the Hansens’ contribution, it’s not a far stretch to connect the Sicilian immigrants to New Orleans, who knew about such treats from the old country, to the love of snowballs here.   They’re almost like gelato, really, with the delightful array of snowball flavors available—like Satsuma, or nectar cream, or frozen mint   Everyone has their favorite stand, like the venerable Hansen’s, or Plum Street Snoball uptown, or Pandora’s by City Park. read more »