The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Milkshakes
For the next 20 weeks, we'll be rounding up the runners-up to our 2011 Best of Houston® winners. In many categories, picking each year's winner is no easy task. We'll be spotlighting 20 of those categories, in which the winner had hefty competition from other Houston bars and restaurants.
Photo by Carla Soriano Milkshakes at Avalon Diner are served up with a slice of nostalgia.
Milkshakes -- otherwise known as ice-cold, creamy, dreamy goodness in a cup -- are grand. Whether you drink (eat?) them as a dessert, side dish, meal, beverage, treat or dip for french fries, it's really hard not to
like love them.
For this very reason, finding Houston's top milkshakes was an endeavor more challenging than it sounds. Lucky for you, we completed the agonizing task of sampling countless shakes to bring you a list of the best. So, without further ado, the cream of the crop of Houston's milkshakes:
10. Avalon Diner
If you're looking for a wonderful old-fashioned milkshake, you'd be foolish not to seek it out at Avalon Diner. This no-frills mom-and-pop restaurant, which has been in business since 1938, is the real deal: a diner that serves nostalgia-inducing food with a heavy dose of Southern hospitality, all reminiscent of the good ol' days.
Avalon's thick milkshakes come with the mixing can in tow, which only makes you feel more like you're in the 1930s. For tradition's sake, don't rush the lunch or dinner milkshake run to Avalon; sit back, relax and enjoy sipping on a shake along with some friendly conversation with the elderly, overall-clad customers or the grinning fifty-something waitresses, aprons and all.
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt Drinking a milkshake at The Counter's counter makes sense.
9. The Counter
The Counter is a modern-day burger joint that still has that laid-back, diner-like feel. The large namesake counter is an ideal spot for pulling up a bar stool and downing a shake. Try their peanut butter variety, as it's a flavor you won't find just anywhere. The Counter makes this shake with just the right amount of peanut butter. And just like The Counter's yummy burgers and fries, their milkshakes come in generous portions - consider sharing it. Or not, if you like generous portions of simple perfection.
P.S. - if you're one of those people who like to dunk their fries into their milkshakes, this a good spot to do it. The Counter's shoestring french fries are always served hot and with just the right amount of crisp; they're perfect vessels for transporting milkshake deliciousness from cup to mouth.
Photo by Carla Soriano Potbelly milkshakes come with two mini shortbread cookies inserted in the straw.
There are lots of reasons to love the milkshakes at this affordable sandwich shop with multiple Houston locations. First things first - the size. It's easily hand-held, perfect for taking to go, making it one of the most easily drink-able shakes in town. Yes, we know that everything is typically bigger in Texas, but who said that milkshakes have to be, too? Another plus to Potbelly milkshakes is that should you choose one of the fruit flavors - strawberry, mixed berry, or banana -- the fruit used is all natural. Finally, see those two rings around the straw? They're two mini shortbread cookies, baked in house -- the delicious little cookies are a little treat on top of your drinkable treat.
Photo by Carla Soriano Häagen-Dazs ice cream is the high-quality ingredient that makes all the difference in Smashburger's shakes.
Häagen-Dazs ice cream is one of the most premium brands of ice cream in the world, and it's the use of this top-notch stuff -- known for its dense, buttery texture -- that sets Smashburger's milkshakes apart from others. Even after being mixed into the milkshake, the ice cream holds extremely well, even under the Texas sun. And in a city as hot as Houston, bonus points are due to the milkshake that can hold its own in the heat. Just another reason to love the already likeable Smashburger.
6. Amy's Ice Cream
Considering that milkshakes are made up of few ingredients and that ice cream is one of their core components, it's almost a no-brainer that Amy's Ice Cream makes the list of the best milkshakes in Houston. You see, the delightful ice cream served up to customers in scoops and cones at Amy's -- which comes in mouth-watering flavors that range from classic to alcoholic to eccentric -- also goes into their milkshakes. You get to choose which flavor of ice cream will flavor your shake and add ingredients regularly used as "crushn's" and toppings (candy, cookies, nuts, and fresh fruits and syrups).