What is Philadelphia Water Ice

What is Philadelphia Water Ice

Photo: Rita's Water Ice

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Philadelphia, PAPhillyBite Water Ice - Water Ice, also known as Italian ice, smoother-than-a-snow cone, better-than-a-shaved ice, and has its flavors already mixed in, not added on the top like a snow cone. The top sellers are Lemon and Cherry. However, Philadelphia Water Ice comes in a wide variety of flavorings. Let's find out more.

Philadelphia Water Ice

While its name is somewhat confusing, water ice is a perfectly logical solution for those in need of relief on a hot Philadelphia summer day. Otherwise known as Italian ice, the combination of fruit or syrup with finely shaved ice is a refreshing treat. John’s Water Ice, Mancuso & Son, and Rose’s Real Italian Water Ice are just a few age-old favorites. Simultaneously, charming suburban options such as the Yardley Ice House amaze with an astounding variety of flavors. Sit-down restaurants even get in on the chilly fun: At Little Nonna’s, there might be blood orange basil, concord grape, or tomato on the dessert menu, depending on the time of year. 

The Difference Between Italian Ice and Water Ice

Italian ice is a sweet frozen treat created with fruit juices, natural or artificial food flavoring comparable to a sorbet. It’s most likely taken from the Sicilian Granita, a similar dessert introduced by Italian immigrants to the United States. Typical flavors commonly include blue raspberry, cherry, lemon, mango, orange, strawberry, watermelon, and blackberry, along with many other tastes.

In Philly, Italian ice was also recognized as Water Ice in the Philadelphia metropolitan region. Just like Italian ice, water ice is additionally taken from granita brought to Philadelphia by Italian immigrants. Even though there is a synonymity among the two terms, water ice refers to a specific type of Italian ice coming from Philadelphia.

Where To Get Water Ice in Philly

South Philadelphia’s circa 1945 John’s Water Ice, multiple Rita’s Italian Ice locations, and West Philly’s Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice keep people refreshed the warmer months. John’s, 701 Christian Street, (215) 925-6955, johnswaterice.com; Rita’s, ritasice.com; Siddiq’s, 264 S. 60th Street, (215) 410-6513, siddiqswaterice.com.

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