A rainbow snowball at Snoasis in Timonium. —Lauren Cohen

Cool off with a nostalgic egg custard, or a mixed medley that’s all your own, at these area snowball stands.


By Lauren Cohen

If you’re anything like us (read: snowball snobs) you know exactly what you’re ordering once your favorite roadside stand opens its windows this season.

As Baltimoreans, we all have our preferences. (Egg custard or Skylite? Domed top or pointy top? Marshmallow on top or in the middle?) But no matter what combo fills your cup, nothing beats the feeling of chopping away at the refreshing treat once the humidity sets in.

To get you ready for summer, we’ve rounded up a few of the best spots in town to get your fix. Among them is Ice Queens in Locust Point, whose mother-daughter duo sat down with us to discuss their signature New Orleans-style snowballs. (We see some of your eyes rolling, but, trust us, they’re incredible. Read the Q&A at the end of our list to find out why.)

The Bus Stop: Options are endless at this dessert haven off of Hanover Pike in Upperco, but the snowballs are likely the most refreshing item on the menu. Unique takes on the classic cup of ice include DIY half-and-half flavors, a blended snowball (two flavors blended together), or the “Lollipop,” which layers a snowball with vanilla or chocolate soft serve. 15513 Hanover Pike, Upperco

Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Firehouse: Take the scenic route along the winding roads of Greenspring Valley to mix and match your favorite flavors from the stand in front of the firehouse—which acts as an annual fundraiser for the organization. 12020 Greenspring Ave., Owings Mills

Chill Snowballs & Ice Cream: Living up to its name on Main Street in Reisterstown, this family-friendly stand from brothers Todd and John Hays—who have been slinging snowballs since the ’80s—is an ideal spot to wind down on a summer night. Enjoy a lengthy list of classics, diet flavors, and signature concoctions like Unicorn and Tollhouse Cookie. 249 Main St., Reisterstown.

—Lauren Cohen

Emmorton Snowballs: This Bel Air institution, which began as a tiny structure off of Emmorton Road in the summer of 1981, quells sweet tooth cravings with flavors ranging from green apple and strawberry to signature mixes like the Blood Orange (cherry and orange) and Down on the Ocean (banana, coconut, and pineapple.) 101 E. Wheel Rd., Bel Air.

Ice Queens: The fluffy snowballs at this Locust Point favorite are an homage to the finely shaved ice that’s popular in New Orleans (see our Q&A, below.) But the shop has passed the Charm City test—with options ranging from old-fashioned egg custard to Peaches N’ Cream and Chocolate-Covered Strawberry. 1648 E Fort Ave.

Icy Delights: Many locals have become acquainted with this local snowball chain, which has been around since the ’90s and boasts nine shops and stands scattered everywhere from Parkville to Brewers Hill. The business has become known for its signature style, which tops its Styrofoam cups with a plastic dome cover and provides a long spoon for stirring. The brand has also made a habit of placing marshmallow in the middle of the ice—so don’t get discouraged if you have to dig around for it. Multiple locations including 3930 Fleet St.

One Sweet Moment: The team at this famous wooden porch in Hamilton has been greeting guests for 30 years. The lengthy menu of both shaved and crushed ice snowballs showcases more than 150 choices, categorized by regular flavors, specialty mixes, sour selections, and cream concoctions (think: Creamy Colada and Root Beer Float.) Don’t forget to try the new-ish egg custard soft serve. 2914 Hamilton Ave.

One Sweet Moment's egg custard snowball topped with egg custard soft serve. —One Sweet Moment via Facebook

Opie’s Soft Serve and Snowballs: Grabbing an after-dinner treat at this sweets shop has become a community tradition in Catonsville. Flavors range from strawberry to cotton candy, and—if you’re having a hard time choosing between a snowball or ice cream—go for the signature “Snowcream,” which layers soft-serve in the middle and on top of the ice. 1603 Edmonson Ave., Catonsville.

Original Hawaiian Island Snowballs: This summer hangout off of Liberty Road in between Randallstown and Eldersburg has been enticing locals for decades with its tasty treats and daily specials. Though it offers funnel cakes, soft pretzels, gelatis, and ice cream sundaes, the shop is best known for an array of more than 100 snowball flavors ranging from pear and tangerine to Fireball and strawberry-banana. 10636 Liberty Rd., Holbrook

The Peggy: After purchasing Walther Gardens in Hamilton-Lauraville last year, Christopher Heller—of The Margaret Cleveland home and garden shop in Bolton Hill—renamed the property’s beloved snowball stand “The Peggy,” after his great-grandmother.

Expect fresh flavors made with pure cane sugar (Candied Orange, Cookie Butter, and French Raspberry, to name a few) and a fun new logo on your pink cup. Aside from that, Heller is committed to preserving the history of the community gathering spot—dubbed the oldest snowball stand in the country—as well as its age-old egg custard recipe. 3501 Southern Ave.

Quality Snowballs: Stationed just across the street from its sister-spot, The Food Market, on the Avenue in Hampden, this 10-foot shipping container churns out big flavors with toppings like fresh fruit, whipped cream, candy pieces, condensed milk, and torched marshmallow. If you’re feeling adventurous, try concoctions like banana with Oreos or rainbow cream with Nerds. 1014 W. 36th St.

Snoasis: Nothing screams summer like squishing your toes in the sand at this beachy Timonium mainstay—which first debuted in 1977. You can pretty much get any flavor under the sun (we’re partial to multi-colored Rainbow, pictured above) and finish it off with drippy marshmallow or the secret-recipe vanilla topping, for good measure. 30 E. Padonia Rd., Lutherville-Timonium

—Lauren Cohen

Stouten’s Marina and Snowball Stop: This neighborhood gem located at Stouten’s Marina on the water in Dundalk has something for everyone, whether you’re jonesin’ for a fruity flavor or in the mood for a peanut butter and jelly snowball (grape topped with peanut butter sauce.) The stand is even equipped with a drive-thru window for the scorchers when it’s too hot to step away from the  A.C.  817 Wise Ave., Dundalk 

Summer Shack Snowballs: It’s difficult to drive down Falls Road without making a pit stop to this family-owned stand, which offers outdoor seating and plenty of sidewalk chalk to occupy little ones. Head to the royal blue awning to order a colorful cup (think Georgia peach, pink bubble gum, and Tutti Frutti.) 2339 W. Joppa Rd., Lutherville-Timonium

The Snowball Stand: Tucked away in Woodstock, this community gem off Route 99 has been a Howard County favorite since its inaugural summer in 1974. Gather in the gazebo to slurp standouts like blue raspberry, mango, and cola. Be sure to also check out the rotating “flavors of the day” sprawled on a chalkboard sign out front. 1970 Woodstock Rd., Woodstock

The Snowball Effect

How Ice Queens became one of the most popular sweet shops in Locust Point.


By Marie Bosslett
From left: Ice Queens co-owner and momager Melanie Kabia and owner and creator, Dasia Kabia. —Photography by Justin Tsucalas

In 2020, mother-daughter duo Melanie and Dasia Kabia opened Ice Queens Snoball Shop on East Fort Avenue in Locust Point. Four years later, its popularity has, well, snowballed, with locals continuing to line up around the block to get a taste on warm days.

We caught up with the bubbly owners to discuss their start, favorite flavors, and what it’s been like to bring their signature New Orleans-style ice to Baltimore.

How did Ice Queens come to be?
Dasia Kabia: I worked at a snowball stand in Southwest Baltimore County for five years and got inspired. I shared the idea with my pediatrician, who is from Louisiana, and she became my “Angel Investor” who gave me my first loan.

Melanie Kabia: When she was young, Dasia’s grandmother used to take her to the same snowball shop that she ended up working at, so it’s a cool family tradition. Snowballs are nostalgic, so it was easy for us to fall in love with the idea.

What is a “New Orleans-style” snowball?
The machine we use was patented in New Orleans and gives super finely shaved ice. We’re still a traditional Baltimore snowball shop with classic egg custard and marshmallow recipes, but you’re also getting that New Orleans twist with sweet cream and fruit.

DK: In my opinion, New Orleans has found a way to make the best ice. Combining a Baltimore snowball with it was a match made in heaven. It’s exactly what I wanted.

Do you often get Baltimore purists who are critical of trying something new?
DK: Of course.

MK: Every day. But we always convince them to try something they may not have had before. That’s a fun challenge for us.

How does it feel to have such a large presence in the community?
It’s an amazing surprise. In two months, we went from two to 20 employees. It’s so humbling and encouraging to have that connection with our customers. It warms our hearts to know that we’re sharing a part of our family just through a snowball.

DK: It’s been an honor to watch my dream grow like this. Starting a business in the middle of the pandemic at 22 years old was very scary, but I always had the community supporting me.

What are your favorite flavors?
DK: Strawberry Shortcake. It’s delicious, looks pretty, and is very Instagrammable.

MK: Our Old Fashioned, which is an egg custard with sweet cream and marshmallow. But Mango Tango is also on my favorites list.