Snow Angels: Powder Shaved Snow

Strawberry shave ice (Peter Lawrence Kane)

A Taiwanese alternative to ice cream opens on Divis.

When you’re handed your first cup of whipped, frozen froth at Powder Shaved Snow, you’re likely to overestimate its weight — unless you’re familiar with that Taiwanese treat, that is. (Holding it is probably similar to what walking on the moon feels like.)

Established by a pair of former tech-sters, Mimi Hanley and David Chung, Powder began at Off the Grid’s Presidio Picnic, where the airy-yet-substantial dessert drew considerable crowds, spurring them to open a brick-and-mortar in the Lower Haight. It’s pretty simple: There are four choices of snow (Vietnamese coffee, strawberry, horchata, and black sesame) and a dozen or so toppings, from the expected (organic strawberries, sprinkles, Oreos) to the creative (mochi, a sweet milk glaze).

Vietnamese Coffee (Peter Lawrence Kane)
Vietnamese Coffee (Peter Lawrence Kane)


Uninhibited experimental types will likely build their own sundaes — $4.50 for a small, $5.50 for a large — but you can’t go wrong with “S’Nome Picks” like The Don (black sesame with mochi, coconut flakes, and sweet milk glaze). Even if your roots are firmly in the world chocolate-and-vanilla swirl soft-serve, don’t be afraid to stray far into Taiwanese territory, where the textures only enhance one another. But with an evanescent mouthfeel that falls somewhere between frozen yogurt and cotton candy, shaved snow on its own is a great alternative to ordinary ice cream.

Leave the salted caramel to the endless lines at Bi-Rite.

Powder Shaved Snow260 Divisadero St.,

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