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What is a paleta? Rush to Sparks to find out

By Nora Tarte
Published: Last Updated on

Paletas are a frozen Mexican dessert boasting an array of ingredients. Often made with fresh fruits and cream, yogurt and nuts, the flavor combinations feel endless—and at Paleteria Del Angel in Sparks, they almost are.

Paleteria Del Angel is a Mexican ice cream shop that specializes in paletas, or Mexican ice cream pops. In addition to their specialty, the shop also sells ice cream by the scoop, fruit juice beverages, flavored waters, churros, banana splits, street corn and more.

The goal is to turn out products reminiscent of what owners Angelica Ibarra and Efrin Valdez grew up enjoying.

Opened in July 2020, the dessert shop has been in business for nearly 18 months, perfecting their recipes. They’ve been drawing in crowds of those excited to hear about a local paleta shop and others curious to find out what exactly a paleta is.

Funnel cake at Paleteria Del Angel in Sparks, Nev. Image: Paleteria Del Angel

There is no shortage of options at Paleteria, which means picking a pop flavor can prove a difficult task. Similar to an icy popsicle, they boast fresh fruit and creamy textures. Bite into a blackberry yogurt bar with real fruit in the middle or satisfy your sweet tooth with an Oreo pop, boasting two full-sized Oreos frozen inside.

The end result is icy but doesn’t lose the quality of ice cream (even when ice cream isn’t used to make your flavor of choice).

For extra fun, dip it in chocolate and make it an Eskimo pop. The restaurant is able to quickly coat any ice pop in a chocolate shell, turning out a perfectly smooth final product that looks mass produced like a grocery store item but is made right in front of you. Then, coat it in sprinkles, nuts or shredded coconut.

Pops come with a series of different bases. Choose from milk-based pops in flavors like jamoncillo (caramel) and princesa (strawberry creamsicle). Or start with a fruit water base and ponder flavors like sandia (watermelon) and piña con chile (spicy pineapple). Specials include rompope (Mexican eggnog), Chips Ahoy, Bubu Lubu (strawberries, marshmallows and chocolate) and mojito.

One of the biggest perks of the ice pops, aside from their glorious flavor combinations, is the price point. These delectable desserts won’t break the bank. Instead, pops range in price from $2.25-$2.75 with an extra .50 cent charge for adding the chocolate shell and toppings. Ice cream scoops are about the same, but cap out at $6.50 (for several scoops).

The inside of Paleteria is simple: counter-serve like most ice cream shops. Step in and order from a display case where it’s easier to envision the pops’ flavors. Then, pay and grab a seat or take dessert to go—if you can down it before it melts. Before you leave, do what any good patron would and Instagram your choice in front of the bubble gum pink wall painted with colorful feathered wings reminiscent of a Nashville mural.


1353 Baring Blvd., Sparks, Nev. 89434
Tuesday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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