Top 20 Austin Favorites:

Thai Tea Ice Cream over Sticky Rice from Thai Fresh

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Thai tea ice cream over hot sticky rice from Thai Fresh.

What’s better than vegan Thai tea ice cream? Thai tea ice cream melting over hot coconut sticky rice! Its rich coconut flavors melding with the bold flavors of Thai tea – the creamy, cold ice cream contrasting with the hot, chewy rice. This ice cream is more than just a summer staple: it’s the perfect year-round indulgence.

This incredible combination can be found at Thai Fresh, the coffee bar/Thai restaurant tucked away on Mary Street. I love the whole coffee shop/restaurant, but the ice cream and desserts blow me away. The ice cream case is entirely vegan, and with distinctive rotating flavors such as ginger lemongrass, Thai basil, sweet potato pecan and salty tamarind, you’re likely to want to try them all. The dessert case always has something fun going on, from vegan cookies and cakes, to pies, parfaits and ice cream sandwiches – for a few lucky months this summer, their amazing baker was even cranking out vegan croissants and pain au chocolat.

Vegan grasshopper pie and a latte from Thai Fresh.Vegan Croissants from Thai Fresh

Thai Fresh on Mary StreetIf you’re confused by the Thai restaurant/coffee shop combo, you’re not alone. This pairing is uniquely set up, with two spaces, and two focuses, yet with one counter from which you order. It’s unusual, but once you get used to the idea of ordering Thai food from a coffee shop, it all falls into place. Head there in the morning for a latte and parfait, in the afternoon for a full vegan-friendly Thai meal, or in the evening for some wine, dessert and live music. Vegetarian Thai cooking classes (that are vegan-friendly) are also offered regularly, and there is even a small Thai market with those hard to find ingredients, for when you want to re-create the flavors at home.

Disclaimer: This Top 20 series, presented in no particular order, is formed from the personal opinions of Marie and Daniel, and does not necessarily reflect the views of all Red Hot Vegans bloggers. If you’re not a fan of oily, sugary, calorie-dense food, then this series is probably not for you. For everyone else, enjoy!

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