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Looking for best milkshake in Austin

I have been very disappointed over the past couple of years as it seems all my ex-favorite shakes (Dirty Martins, Players, P. Terry's) have gone from a dense, perfect shake to this new, frothy, airy almost marshmellow-y texture. Is it just me, or is there some new technology in milkshake machines that is changing the texture and density of shakes everywhere? Where is the best milkshake in Austin today? I am looking for milky-density, almost grainy with rich flavor... NOT too smooth, whipped or airy. Vanilla or chocolate only. I am on a quest, please help!

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  1. Hillbert's on Lamar near 35th St.

    1. Nau's Pharmacy!! They use to have the all time best in the world! :-)
      Hmmmm...........but I wonder if they still make them. They had a lunch counter at the back of the store.
      I'm talking about the one on San Gabriel (2406 San Gabriel St) Not sure about the one on 12th.

      5 Replies
      1. re: scoutaustin

        I hate to be the bearer of very bad news (really I do!) but the lunch counter at the back of Nau's on San Gabriel is closed. I went in a while back and they had quite literally shut it down just 2 days earlier. I worked there one summer when I was going to UT- and I had those milkshakes (and limeades!) every day.

        I am not sure if the West Lynn location still has a lunch counter or not.

        As to the original poster- I have not had a shake at Player's for a while, but that was always my second favorite. Not sure why theirs has changed as you report, but generally speaking most of the lousy fluffy shakes I have been served at various places turned out to have been made with soft-serve or some other similar cheap ice cream substitute.

        You gotta have real ice cream to get the real deal.

        1. re: elpaninaro

          oh elpaninaro.........my day is ruined now. Nau's-on-San Gabriel milkshakes no more. How sad. What is this world coming to. :-(

          I'll go to 12th to see if they have them.

          1. re: scoutaustin

            I'm pretty sure the Alamo Drafthouse uses chocolate ice cream to make theirs. Amy's Ice Cream no less - hence the $5 price tag (that and the Pulp Fiction reference).

            1. re: carl spackler

              The $5 milkshakes at the Alamo are my favorite menu items (actually, I add malt, so they're $5.50 for me). In fact, I just had one last night ... delicious! I especially love the candied sunflower seeds on top. I've often wondered if you could jus.t walk in to the Alamo and get one for the road, sans movie.

              I do not love the Midnight Espresso shake, though. Not sweet enough.

              And I know that EZ's makes their shakes with ice cream,

              1. re: bookgrrl72

                I totally agree that the Alamo milkshakes are excellent -- I get mine with chocolate and malt and the sunflower seeds are to die for.

      2. i'm on the lookout for chocolate milkshakes that are made with chocolate ice cream... not vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup added. so far, only denny's. :(

        1 Reply
        1. re: yimay

          You can get a milkshake made with whatever ice cream you want at Amys -- I get mine with double chocolate ice cream and malt

        2. If you're looking to make a short road trip - or if you happen to be in San Marcos anyway - stop at Centerpoint Station at exit 200. Real milkshakes made with your choice of Blue Bell ice cream... and if I remember correctly, they had a good selection of flavors to choose from.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jwynne2000

            It may not be the Best, but it is damn good......
            Chocolate Milkshake at Top Notch. It is very thick and rich.

            Yimay not sure if they make theirs from chocolate ice cream or not.

            1. re: Chefdavis

              i live right by top notch and frequent it often. it's been a while since i've had their milkshakes but i thought they did vanilla and syrup too... not chocolate ice cream. i'll have to try it again tomorrow!

          2. chocolate malt at sandy's is very good. They and Hilbert's are very close.

            1. Top Notch off of Burnet without a doubt has the best chocolate real deal shakes in Austin.

              6 Replies
              1. re: sgarland

                Curse me if you will for bringing a chain into the conversation, but as I recall from my infrequent visits to the Texas Stop Sign, Wendy's make their shakes fresh from milk and ice cream, right there in front of you. Guess the commercial machines don't handle those oreo cookies too well ...

                  1. re: sanmiguel

                    i'll agree with nau's. as far as i know, the 12th and west lynn location is still going strong.

                    have yout tried EZ's? i love their shakes, but i'm partial to the strawberry.

                    1. re: sanmiguel

                      Sorry to disagree, but Culver's is terrible. I know that people seem to love their "concrete" shakes that are so thick you can't suck them through a straw, but they are not thick because of the amount of ice cream, but rather because they put so much guar gum or carrageenan or some other thickener in their mix. I tried to drink one, couldn't finish it, and noticed later that it was almost as thick after it melted, like thick pudding in a cup. NOT a good milkshake by any stretch of my imagination.

                      1. re: angusb

                        I know 15 months later, but I have to chime in. Culver's sells Frozen Custard. It isn't ice cream with thickeners, it is an entirely different product! The whole point of it is to be thick as hell.

                        read here:
                        "Using a process called overrun, air is blended into the mixture of ingredients until its volume increases by approximately 20%. By comparison, ice cream may have an overrun as large as 100%, meaning half of the final product is composed of air. The high percentage of butterfat and egg yolk gives frozen custard a thick, creamy texture"

                        BTW, Culver's is pretty mild chocolate. I wouldn't recommend it for the shake.

                        1. re: RoundSparrow

                          Yes, I realized that Culver's sells "frozen custard," but their type of frozen custard does not bear a close resemblance to the frozen custard in that linked wikipedia article. That type of frozen custard is close to French style ice cream (vs. Philadelphia style), with a cream base thickened with egg yolks. The texture of the product before it is frozen varies, but it is usually something like a slightly thin, glossy gravy. The frozen custard at Culver's is much thicker, closer to a pudding in texture when thawed.

                1. Ok, it's been a few years since I've had this one, so I don't even know if the place still exists...but there was a coffeeshop on the drag, I think it was called Metro? They used to make these earthquake shakes that were amazing...ice cream, espresso, and a banana. Yum.

                  I believe Flipnotics on Barton Springs used to make good ones.

                  Mozart's (don't shout please) actually makes very tasty milkshakes. The price tag is so high it borders on silly, but it is a huge shake...Ice cream, espresso, and you can have chocolate or caramel added if you want. Caramel was always my favorite. It hasn't been too long since I've had this one, so I think I can still safely recommend it...the other two are on the "?" list. Hope this helps!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Aloo0628

                    I loved those Metro shakes! They're not there anymore, are there?

                    1. re: addlepated

                      Metro is still there and they still make/sell milkshakes. Too bad so much attitude comes with them.

                  2. Okay, this question brought me back about 20 years. There was a this place across 24th (I think) from the Castilian near UT. It was a divy burger joint, but they had incredible milkshakes -- especially the cookies and cream flavor. I'm sorry I can't remember the name -- and it may not even be there anymore. But if it is, it may be worth the trip.

                    Now, if you were in the Pacific NW like me, you'd be heading to Burgerville. Alas, they are not in Texas. Sorry....

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: bards4

                      Likely you are remembering Mad Dog and Beans....and no it doesn't exist anymore. There's a Starbucks there now :(

                      1. re: ashes

                        THAT"S IT! I can go to sleep now....

                        And there is NOTHING at Starbuck's that even comes close to those cookies and cream milkshakes.

                        Thank you so much!! :o)

                        1. re: ashes

                          Mad Dog and Beans?!?! That place used to be a cafe called Les Amis! Or am I just getting so old I have missed one incarnation of that nice little location? It's sad it's a 'Bucks now. Used to be a great place.

                          1. re: femmenikita

                            Ok...my bad. Les Amis was the coffee place where Starbucks is now....BUT there was a burger joint right next door (it's the parking lot for SBucks and Quiznos) called Mad Dog and Beans that the OP was referring to. Sorry...I was very young at the time and don't always remember things as clearly. Needless to say, the Drag is not what it once was (need to watch Slacker again :) )

                      2. Absolute best Vanilla shake - Fry's Electronics cafe in the middle of the store.

                        No kidding.

                        1. I love the shakes at Hut's. Sometimes nothing beats a burger and a shake (although I prefer a malt). I believe on the chocolate shakes you get your choice of having it made with chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup. For a burger, I love the Theta - pickles, mayo, hickory sauce and cheddar cheese.

                          1. ez's makes great shakes. great food too. i like the oreo shake.

                            1. i like ez's shaKES and culvers makes a great one and nau's on 12th still has a lunc h counter

                              1. Hilberts, definitely. Great burgers too. They use THICK deli style bacon. I love malts so I get those.

                                1. Another vote for Alamo. You can't go wrong with the midnight shake! Also, if you ever just order the ice cream there, they give you close to pint of Amy's for 3.50!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Trhosion

                                    Wally's on Mesa (it may be a converted Dairy Queen). Thick, very rich shakes, but it is possible that they add malt or something similar to it. I do not believe that they sell malts tho

                                      1. Although it seems odd, some of the sandwhich chains have excellent milkshakes. Potbelly's and WhichWich on the drag both make great ones.

                                        Recently, I've found them better than EZ's which used to be my favorite!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: elb73

                                          What is good about the WhichWich shake? After several trials, I think they're only so-so. I think Chick-fil-A is the better of the chain shakes (even better than Culver's), and that ain't sayin much. Your thoughts?

                                          1. re: tom in austin

                                            So, Tom, that shake at Chic fil A is really good or it will do if there are not other options?

                                          2. re: elb73

                                            To revive a long dormant thread, I just wanted to say that I had my first Potbelly's chocolate malt tonight, and it was not very good. It was made with real scooped ice cream and milk, so they got off on the right foot. But the malt they added was the ubiquitous Carnation malted milk, which doesn't offer enough malt flavor for me. The texture was quite gummy, so I'm guessing that the ice cream they used had a high proportion of gums and other antifreeze/texturizers/emulsifiers (the kind of thing that made my great-grandfather say that modern ice cream was "made of glue").

                                            On another note, I had one of the worst malts I've ever had at the Alamo on So. Lamar. Many people recommended their $5 milkshake, and I ordered it one time when nothing else on the menu appealed to me, even knowing that it was made of Amy's Ice Cream, which I don't like. The shake was sludgy and peanut-buttery in texture, much too fatty for me to finish (and I'm not afraid of fat--I've been known to steal the fat scraps off my dining partner's plate when we're having prime rib or BBQ brisket). I just couldn't choke that thing down.

                                            The best malt I've had lately was at Shuggie's. They used scooped ice cream (Blue Bell) and milk, and it had a very good flavor, even if the malted milk powder they used added a little bit of grittiness.

                                          3. I have to agree that the $5 Shake at Alamo Drafthouse is pretty d'lish. Monument Cafe in Georgetown also makes a pretty killer shake.

                                            1. I love Hilbert's shakes....mmmmm....butterfat. They do malts, too. I am craving a chocolate malt right now.

                                              I've also always enjoyed (GASP!) the vanilla shake at Fuddrucker's. But not the burgers :::shudder:::

                                              The shakes at EZ's always rock.