The Scoop on Pop Fizz
New paleteria offers inventive frozen treats
By Nora Hickey
The hum of the freezer beckoned. Beneath the cool glass lay brightly colored paletas—frozen juice- or cream-based pops originating from Mexico—as well as prepackaged cups of homemade small batch ice cream.
When I visited, no staff was immediately visible, but someone always emerged from the back a few seconds later. After speaking to the employees/owners, this makes perfect sense; paletas are made in-house daily at Pop Fizz, and it’s easy to imagine the owners concocting new, inventive flavors in every spare moment.
Brothers Lorenzo and Carlos Alvarez, along with father Rafael, opened the shop five weeks ago in hopes of capturing the flavors they remembered fondly from childhood, but with a dedication to using natural ingredients like real fruit and organic cane sugar. You won’t find high fructose corn syrup here, but you will discover Grandma Alvarez’s horchata and limeade recipes in use, as well as new creations like guanabana, avocado and mimosa ice cream and paletas. The family also works with South Valley farms to use locally sourced food when it’s in season.
The Alvarez family continues to introduce new, seasonal flavors (a chicharrones one is in the works), so be sure to stop at their Bridge Street store, which also serves nachos, elotes and shakes. If you can’t make it there, look for their cart at the Downtown Growers’ Market each Saturday. Either way, pick your paleta, and slurp into the sunset.
Hours: 12 p.m. to 9p.m. Monday through Thursday
12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday
11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday
Price range: $1.00 to $5.00
Vibe: Friendly and fun
Happy hour paletas: Cabernet sauvignon and mimosa
Extras: Coffee, chips and candy
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