You might be familiar with Italian ice if you are from outside Philly, but if you are a native of the city of brotherly love, you DEFINITELY know what Water Ice is because it’s a Philadelphia tradition, especially in the summertime. A cup of fruity, frosty, and and sweet melty ice water is all you need to cool off and make a hot summer day complete. Usually a combination of sweeteners, fruit, and ice blended to a smooth consistency, it’s a citywide tradition that lives on through all of our city’s amazing street vendors and water ice shops. Everyone has a unique recipe and technique for making Water Ice, and we’ve chronicled a few local takes here. Check out our picks for the best water ice in Philadelphia.
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Fred’s Water Ice
5343 Chester Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143, United States
(215) 726 1918
If you are in southwest Philly, Fred is your guy. He stands out because of the variety of flavors and the nice location. There are twenty different flavors to pick from, including pistachio, banana, kiwi strawberry, mango, and so much more. You can enjoy your treat at the nice shade during the day or stop by for a late night snack (the shop is open until midnight most of the days). You can also order for delivery if the heat is keeping you from leaving the house.
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John’s Water Ice
701 Christian Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147, United States
(215) 925 6955
There is no fake flavor or artificial syrups in the water ice at John’s Water Ice. They sell all-natural flavors only. Serving south Philly since 1945, John’s Water Ice has managed to maintain the authenticity with their delicious homemade water ice, with a secret family recipe that sets them apart. You can order water ice, ice cream, or combine both and have a special treat. The classic flavors are chocolate, lemon, cherry, and pineapple, and they have special flavors that rotate every week, as well.
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D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats
1928 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148, United States
(215) 514 3930
D’Emilio’s doesn’t have an official website, but you can keep track of them and their delicious treats on social media. They have fun creations based on a family recipe that uses local ingredients and fruit. With unique flavors like guava, birch beer, and blueberry, D’Emilio’s is known for crafting very unusual but still delicious treats. If you want to break away from the norm, find the stop and get adventurous.
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Dre’s Homemade Water Ice and Ice Cream
5700 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19139, United States
(484) 381 0689
Dre’s water ice is a premium Philly classic and is all made of real fruit. They are always there when you want something fruity and delicious to cool you off. Their treats are vegan-friendly, and you can enjoy them with the kids. It’s a mobile truck, so the best way to know their locations is to check the website. They serve classics like pineapple, strawberry, lemonade, and mango, but they also come up with new flavors occasionally. They are super popular in the locations they serve and also ship across the region!
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Siddiq’s Water Ice
264 S 60th St, Philadelphia, PA 19139
(215) 410 6513
Siddiq has served the greater Philadelphia area with water ice for more than 25 years. They use real fruit as most water ice makers do, but their variety of toppings makes one’s Siddiq’s Water Ice experience more unique. We suggest strawberry sauce, caramel sauce, fruity pebbles, chocolate syrup, or sprinkles. For the adventurous types, we suggest the coconut and grape flavors, as well.
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Pop’s Homemade Italian Ice
1337 Oregon Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148, United States
(215) 551 7677
This is the south Philly spot if you are feeling thirsty. They have two locations; the other one is in Havertown. They have upheld their tradition since 1932. They have a weekly featured spotlight where they highlight one ice cream or water ice with different toppings. The water ice is made in small batches and with quality ingredients to ensure you get a fresh and exceptional cup!
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5461 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19128, United States
(215) 487 1920
It’s hard to tell whether customers are in love more with C&C Creamery’s water ice or their ice cream. The family-owned business has always lived up to its name with every cup. You can mix soft ice cream flavors like the Raspberry Dole Whip with your cup of ice water. They also have a creamy water ice shake, which most people don’t offer, but it’s more like a smoothie. Some exciting flavors you will find are cotton candy, chocolate, black cherry, strawberry lemonade, and blue raspberry. Ensure you explore the menu when you get a chance. They are currently closed until February, but they are worth a try when they open again.
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5901 Belfield Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144, United States
(215) 849 7965
This is a family-run business that started as a simple scoop shot. The best sellers are cantaloupe, lemon, and cherry. There are also unique flavors like pink lemonade and creamsicle. If you’re planning a Water Ice party, you can also get the party bucket- a one gallon bucket that serves 17 small water ice! With 25 different options on the menu, you can go there multiple times and still have something new to try.