Philadelphia, PA - The second winter weather ends, Philadelphians seek out the very best in chilled treats: water ice, definitely one of the region’s most treasured traditions. Basically, a yummy fusion of ice, fruit, and sweeteners blended thoroughly to a smooth consistency, then scooped into cups all summer long.
Where to Get Water Ice in Philadelphia
Below are a few of Philadelphia’s very best destinations for the refreshing treat, starting with cherished Italian-American stalwarts (John’s, Dati’s, Pop’s) as well as West Philly faves (Fred’s, Siddiq’s) to contemporary mobile vendors (D’Emilio’s) as well as many more in between:
Pop’s Italian Ice – a fantastic South Philly mom-and-pop shop, Pop’s opens up its sidewalk windows every March all the way through October. Limited in-season special offers include iced tea, grove stand-style peach, mango, and pumpkin spice. 1337 Oregon Avenue, (215) 551-7677.
Rita’s Italian Ice – With locations throughout the country. Rita’s considerable menu starts with standard water ice and sugar-free variations and expands to imaginary, often colorful takes on the favorite gelati, frozen custard, and various other refreshments.
Rose’s Real Italian Water Ice – Rose continues to be true to its name, scooping out handmade water ice in an ever-changing variety of tastes produced by a tiny, vibrantly painted corner store. 4240 Pechin Street, (267) 972-1902.
Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice – This all-natural water ice by way of a street cart on Temple University's campus is worth traveling for. Since 2017, Siddiq has been working out of a bright-colored and friendly shop on the 60th and Irving Streets corner. 264 S. 60th Street, (215) 410-6513.
Tranzilli’s Real Italian Water Ice – Italian natives Nobile and Olimpia Tranzilli launched their sweets shop in Germantown way back in 1969, expanding from a simple scoop-and-serve a wholesale purveyor of water ice. From time-honored cherry, lemon or chocolate, to fun varieties such as cotton candy, kiwi-strawberry, and mint chocolate chip. 5901 Belfield Avenue, (215) 849-7965.
D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats – Bucks County local Chris D’Emilio, a former casino dealer, launch his mobile business, which he runs out of a customized freezer-case sidecar connected to the side of his classic Royal Enfield motorcycle. Peddling water ice on street corners, festivals, outdoor events, and farmers markets in his trademark bowtie and a straw hat, D’Emilio is well known for making exciting water ice flavors nectar cream, guava, and also lychee rosewater. (215) 514-3930, @oldworldicetreats
Dati’s Water Ice & Ice Cream – Dati has devoted several decades to turning out ice cream novelties such as “The Titanic,” a gigantic banana split that can easily feed an entire family. The water ice is actually the star here, with traditional flavors such as tangerine, coconut cream, blackberry, and watermelon. 2235 W. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-0186.
Fred’s Water Ice – situated in Kingsessing, Southwest Philly, Fred’s offers a vast selection of both savory and sweet eats — truth be told, there are not many places these days where it's possible to grab chicken tenders, a corn dog, funnel cake as well as an ice cream sundae in one order. Water ice, though, will forever be a mainstay here, in tastes which include rum, sour apple, bubble gum, along with the favorite Swedish Fish. 5343 Chester Avenue, (215) 726-1918.
Italiano’s Water Ice - in Lower Moyamensing, Italiano’s is the best gelati mastermind, a yummy mixture of handmade water ice together with ice cream. Hibernating in the winter months, the walk-up window comes back from dormancy to serve up the sweet treat every single summer. 2551 S. 12th Street, (215) 465-1780
Jimmy’s – Jimmy and Michelle Cialella carry on the traditions his dad launched over a quarter-century ago, offering their unique water ice (chocolate and vanilla fudge are just two of many longtime favorites), together with gelato, pizza pretzels, and much more at this Pennsport spot. The store opens up for the season every single year around April. 2551 S. Front Street, (215) 465-4669.
John’s Water Ice – satisfying the Italian Market district ever since 1945, this third-generation family-owned or operated store really does water ice the old-fashioned way, without artificial additives. The traditional flavor is all present here from lemon, cherry, chocolate, and pineapple are accompanied by revolving specials. 701 Christian Street, (215) 925-6955.
Lucio Mancuso & Son – in existence since 1940, the Mancuso family’s modest East Passyunk shop is a desired destination for specialty Italian cheeses along with pantry products. Then again, insiders recognize that once the temperature warms up, it’s additionally one of the very best places in South Philly for pure water ice, available in the regular lemon, cherry, and chocolate varieties. 1902 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 389-1817.
Also, See..What is Philadelphia Water Ice