UHCL The Signal
The official student newspaper of the University of Houston-Clear Lake

REVIEW: I scream, you scream, we all scream for Popbar ice cream


Houston is known for its unbearable heat, so when a new icy treat emerges, it sparks curiosity among Houstonians.

On Oct. 26, Baybrook Mall opened a new “ice cream” bar, but before you compare it to Marble Slab or Baskin-Robbins, Popbar provides a sweet twist for its customers. Popbar isn’t like any other ice cream shop in town. It’s handcrafted gelato, sorbetto and yogurt on a stick.

In this image, there are three of the popologist from the Pop Bar location at Baybrook Mall. From left to right: Manager Amiri Boykin, Taylor Lindsay, Damian Hudson.
Pop Bar Popologist from left to right. Manager Amiri Boykin, Taylor Lindsay, Damian Hudson. Photo by of The Signal reporter Destini Smith.

Popbar originated in New York, but it has slowly made its way across the country as a franchise. The handcrafted pop bars are made with all natural ingredients and cater to those with food allergies or preferences with a sizable selection of gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan options.

Walking into Popbar, I was immediately greeted with a warmhearted welcome from the “popologist” and a glass display showcasing the vibrant selection. There were 16 diverse flavors lined up perfectly waiting to be picked, so for the sake of my review I picked one pop from each of the categories: gelato, sorbetto and yogurt.

In this image, there is the Pop Bar's Pina Colada sorbette bar.
Pop Bar: Pina Colada sorbetto pop bar. Photo by The Signal reporter Destini Smith.

My first flavor was the Pina Colada pop, which is a pineapple sorbetto half dipped in white chocolate with coconut shavings on top. I was particularly eager to try this pop because I am a massive fan of pina coladas, the drink of course. The pineapple flavor was refreshing, especially with the pieces of coconut and white chocolate, but I wasn’t awestruck with the bar as a whole. The flavor was more of a pineapple pop rather than a pina colada and, for me, it was kind of a letdown. Though this pop wasn’t everything I was hoping for, I was enthusiastic to try my next flavor.

In this image, there is the Pop Bar's Chocolate Fudge gelato bar.
Pop Bar: Chocolate Fudge gelato pop bar. Photo by The Signal reporter Destini Smith.

Next, I tried the Chocolate Fudge pop, which is a chocolate gelato bar fully submerged in dark chocolate with chocolate sprinkles and, to top it off, a milk chocolate drizzle. It’s every chocoholic’s dream come true, and I was drunk in love with this pop. Biting into the bar, my taste buds were overloaded with the flavorsome fudge gelato and crunch of the chocolate shell. I was in chocolate heaven and I didn’t want to leave.

In this image, there is the Pop Bar's Yogurt Berry Crunch yogurt bar.
Pop Bar: Yogurt Berry Crunch yogurt pop bar.  Photo by The Signal reporter Destini Smith.

For my final flavor, I had the Yogurt Berry Crunch pop, was a strawberry yogurt bar partially dipped in white chocolate topped with waffle cone crumble. Right away, the flavor reminded me of a similar icy sweet treat from my childhood. That’s right! The Strawberry Crunch ice cream bar you could get from the ice-cream man. The creamy strawberry yogurt harmonized perfectly with the crisp waffle crumble. It was delightfully delicious and my favorite out of the three.

After trying the different pop flavors and watching people in the lounge area, I think Popbar is the perfect location to take a date, hangout with friends or, if you’re like me, just indulge in a sweet treat. The “popologists” are hospitable, knowledgeable and helpful for choosing the right pop, and the atmosphere is clean, colorful and inviting.

I will definitely be heading back soon to try some of the other flavors, especially with finals right around the corner. You know what they say; stressed spelled backwards is desserts!