And if we can't get the icy, sweet treat from one of the many carts seen roaming the city's sidewalks, we like to pop into these five spots across greater Phoenix.
Paletas Betty96 West Boston Street, #100, Chandler
Offering some of the best Mexican ice pops in the Valley, Betty Alatorre de Hong, a native of Michoacán, uses her grandmother's recipes to bring her handmade creations to downtown Chandler. Using local ingredients, the seasonal menu at Paletas Betty may include bursting-with-flavor melon, tangerine, mango con chile, and durazno (peach, ginger, and honey).
Realeza Michoacana2520 North 16th Street
Eye candy meets coolness at this old-school paleteria in central Phoenix. At Realeza Michoacana, look for familiar fruit flavors as well as exotic ones like guava, tamarind, and horchata. There's also a "cocktail" paleta (think margarita) and a mango chili paleta with chunks of the fruit mixed into a salty, lime-infused treat.
Tortas PaquimeMultiple Locations
This local chain has locations in east Phoenix, west Phoenix, and Avondale — four in total. Though Tortas Paquime specializes in tortas, these spots sport a refrigerator full of paletas, creamsicles, even esquimales — creamsicles with chocolate — along with several other cool treats. They even offer mini ice chests that you may fill up with your favorite paleta flavors for those on the go.
Pop Stand400 West Camelback Road
When checking in at the new boutique hotel ARRIVE in central Phoenix, you may be in for a literal treat. The front desk is a handcrafted frozen-pop shop called Pop Stand that offers regular and even booze-infused paletas, including strawberries con crema, chile mango, pink lemonade, and frozen margarita.
La Nueva Flor de Michoacan582 North Arizona Avenue, #2, Chandler
Set in the established Flor de Michoacan spot (a dessert shop that had been around for more than a decade), La Nueva Flor de Michoacan is owned and operated by Carmen Valenzuela — who has been in the Mexican treat game since 2010. The east Valley shop offers natural ice cream, aguas frescas, hielitos, and, of course, paletas.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on June 18, 2012. It was updated on September 29, 2020. Laura Hahnefeld contributed to this article.