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Where to Find the Most Refreshing Wooder Ice in Philly

For days when you really need to cool off, these 16 shops specialize in Philly’s favorite warm-weather treat

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Not quite water, not quite ice, water ice is an intrinsically Philly treat — like the Mummers, the word jawn, and Gritty, water ice defies conventions and is universally beloved. Any Philadelphian worth her salt has eaten a cup of water ice and a soft pretzel instead of a balanced meal at least once.

Legend has it that ancient Roman emperors sent fast runners into the mountains to bring back snow they would mix with fruit and honey. The best water ice today sticks closely to that original recipe: just fruit, sugar, and water. The texture — looser than Italian ice and smoother than shaved ice — is unique to producers in the Philadelphia area. Chunks of fruit often signal a good product. And the pronunciation is always “wooder ice.”

When you order a water ice and it comes served in either a retro teal-and-purple paper cup or a flimsy frosted plastic one, that’s how you know you’re in the right place. Don’t forget to dip your soft pretzel!

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Yardley Ice House

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77 S Main St
Yardley, PA 19067
(215) 321-9788
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Farther afield from Philly, Yardley Ice House is nonetheless a popular destination for city residents. The 45-minute drive from Philly for an ice cold treat in a variety of rotating flavors — like banana cream pie, cherry Bordeaux, and peach mango — is worth the road trip to cool off. It’s so good, in fact, that Yardley Ice House has won Philly Mag’s Best of Philly award several times, even though it’s not even in the city.

2. Tranzilli Real Italian Water

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5901 Belfield Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19144
(215) 849-7965
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Open since 1969, Germantown’s Tranzilli’s is the local destination for fresh water ice with flavors like black cherry, tangerine, and kiwi-strawberry. Tranzilli’s has an extensive wholesale operation, too, so if you’re looking to take a lot of water ice home, this is the place.

3. Rose's Water Ice

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4240 Pechin St
Philadelphia, PA 19128
(267) 972-1902
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With its bright yellow signage decked out with green lemons, Rose’s water ice is easy to find. The shop serves up traditional fruity water ice, including lemon, strawberry, and pineapple that are all perfect for a hot day. Are you an early bird? Rose’s is also known for its breakfast sandwiches, which you can order for delivery on Grubhub.

4. Philly’s Famous Italian Ices

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1950 E Lehigh Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 634-8563
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Since 1965, Famous Italian Ices has been serving its classic and creative flavors — like Swedish Fish, salted caramel, and Sour Patch mango — to the Kensington neighborhood. The shop also sells ice cream and funnel cake.

5. Mama Maria's Homemade Italian Ice

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2900 Aramingo Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19134

One of the fresher shops in town (at least compared to the decades-old stalwarts), Mama Maria’s makes fruit-studded water ice in Port Richmond. Custard and soft pretzels are also available.

6. King’s Water Ice

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1641-45 N 33rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19124
(800) 627-3999

There is often a line at this water ice spot right off of Fairmount Park, but for its pizza-topped soft pretzels and vibrant water ice flavors, its worth the wait. There’s another location in Overbrook if you happen to be on that side of town, too. Note: It’s cash only.

7. Morrone's Water Ice

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200 N 63rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19139
(267) 292-5949
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Open daily, Morrone’s Water Ice on N. 63rd in West Philly is the spot for a number of different water ice and ice creams, and the divine combination thereof in the form of multi-layered gelatis. Expect standard boardwalk-style fare, too, like funnel cake, hot dogs, and pretzels topped in cheese.

8. Dre's Water Ice and Ice Cream (Mobile Truck)

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5700 Vine St
Philadelphia, PA 19139
(484) 381-0689
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You’ll likely be drawn to Dre’s for the excellent sweet potato pie and banana pudding ice creams, but Andre Andrew’s rotating water ice flavors sold from roving carts and trucks offer something for every taste. CBD-infused mango and strawberry-lemonade water ice can be ordered online for delivery to a range of neighborhoods in the city. Follow Dre’s social media to see where his carts pop up next.

9. Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice

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264 S 60th St
Philadelphia, PA 19139

Siddiq Moore started selling water ice on Temple University’s campus in 1995. He gained a loyal following for his creative flavors like white grape, strawberry coconut, and kiwi, and then launched a small fleet of mobile carts before opening a permanent shop in West Philly to sell fruity water ice and gelati. There’s a second location outside the city, at 720 W. Ninth Street in Chester, with a drive-through and lunch options.

10. Rita's

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239 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 629-3910
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The company that introduced the rest of the country to water ice has been going strong since 1984. The chain, which started in Bensalem, now has more than 500 locations across the country. While the menu has grown significantly, traditional water ice or a gelati (a water ice plus custard) is still the best choice. The Swedish Fish flavor is a customer favorite.

11. Fred's Water Ice

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5343 Chester Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(215) 726-1918
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In Southwest Philly, Fred’s scores points for its water ice flavor variety, with options like pistachio and watermelon. Enjoy it in the shade of the stand’s canopy and order a pizza pretzel (a soft pretzel topped with cheese, sauce, and pepperoni) too.

12. John's Water Ice

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701 Christian St
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 925-6955
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Not far from the Italian Market, John’s has been using the simplest of water ice recipes — fruit, water, and sugar — since 1945. Lemon, cherry, chocolate, and pineapple are always on the menu, plus one or two rotating flavors, like peach and mango. John’s also has a roving water ice truck now, so keep an eye out.

13. D'Emilio's Old World Ice Treats

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1234 S Philip St
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 514-3930
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Despite its name, D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats is a relative newcomer to the scene. Open since 2013 as a cart that popped up around town, the sweet treat maker now has a shop on East Passyunk Avenue to sell water ice made with organic fruit juice and soft serve ice cream. Pints can be taken to go.

14. Lucio Mancuso & Son

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1902 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 389-1817
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From inside this small East Passyunk Avenue store, an Italian food paradise beckons. The old-school shop is full of imported cheese, baked goods, and other specialties — plus house-made water ice. Those who like chunks of fruit in their frozen treat will especially enjoy this version, which comes in just three flavors: lemon, cherry, and chocolate. Might as well pick up some fresh mozz to go too.

15. Chucks Homemade Water Ice

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1835 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(267) 456-4243

At Chuck’s on Snyder Avenue, all the requisite water ice offerings are available and they’re all excellent at that. From soft pretzels to fresh-baked cookies to gelatis, and of course about a dozen flavors of water ice, any option you choose will satisfy those summer water ice cravings.

16. Jimmy's Water Ice

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2251 S Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 465-4669
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In deep South Philly, Jimmy’s makes a variety of water ice flavors each day, with chocolate, cherry, and mango always on the menu. The stand also sells soft serve, pretzels, and frozen bananas.

17. Pop's Homemade Water Ice

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1337 W Oregon Ave
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 551-7677
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Ever since Filippo "Pop" Italiano started selling water ice from a pushcart in the summer of 1932, Pop’s ice has been a favorite local treat. The Oregon Avenue shop sells several fruit flavors, including blueberry, orange dream, and watermelon, plus some more indulgent options like amaretto and dark chocolate chip.

1. Yardley Ice House

77 S Main St, Yardley, PA 19067

Farther afield from Philly, Yardley Ice House is nonetheless a popular destination for city residents. The 45-minute drive from Philly for an ice cold treat in a variety of rotating flavors — like banana cream pie, cherry Bordeaux, and peach mango — is worth the road trip to cool off. It’s so good, in fact, that Yardley Ice House has won Philly Mag’s Best of Philly award several times, even though it’s not even in the city.

77 S Main St
Yardley, PA 19067

2. Tranzilli Real Italian Water

5901 Belfield Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Open since 1969, Germantown’s Tranzilli’s is the local destination for fresh water ice with flavors like black cherry, tangerine, and kiwi-strawberry. Tranzilli’s has an extensive wholesale operation, too, so if you’re looking to take a lot of water ice home, this is the place.

5901 Belfield Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19144

3. Rose's Water Ice

4240 Pechin St, Philadelphia, PA 19128

With its bright yellow signage decked out with green lemons, Rose’s water ice is easy to find. The shop serves up traditional fruity water ice, including lemon, strawberry, and pineapple that are all perfect for a hot day. Are you an early bird? Rose’s is also known for its breakfast sandwiches, which you can order for delivery on Grubhub.

4240 Pechin St
Philadelphia, PA 19128

4. Philly’s Famous Italian Ices

1950 E Lehigh Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Since 1965, Famous Italian Ices has been serving its classic and creative flavors — like Swedish Fish, salted caramel, and Sour Patch mango — to the Kensington neighborhood. The shop also sells ice cream and funnel cake.

1950 E Lehigh Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

5. Mama Maria's Homemade Italian Ice

2900 Aramingo Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19134

One of the fresher shops in town (at least compared to the decades-old stalwarts), Mama Maria’s makes fruit-studded water ice in Port Richmond. Custard and soft pretzels are also available.

2900 Aramingo Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19134

6. King’s Water Ice

1641-45 N 33rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19124

There is often a line at this water ice spot right off of Fairmount Park, but for its pizza-topped soft pretzels and vibrant water ice flavors, its worth the wait. There’s another location in Overbrook if you happen to be on that side of town, too. Note: It’s cash only.

1641-45 N 33rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19124

7. Morrone's Water Ice

200 N 63rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19139

Open daily, Morrone’s Water Ice on N. 63rd in West Philly is the spot for a number of different water ice and ice creams, and the divine combination thereof in the form of multi-layered gelatis. Expect standard boardwalk-style fare, too, like funnel cake, hot dogs, and pretzels topped in cheese.

200 N 63rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19139

8. Dre's Water Ice and Ice Cream (Mobile Truck)

5700 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19139

You’ll likely be drawn to Dre’s for the excellent sweet potato pie and banana pudding ice creams, but Andre Andrew’s rotating water ice flavors sold from roving carts and trucks offer something for every taste. CBD-infused mango and strawberry-lemonade water ice can be ordered online for delivery to a range of neighborhoods in the city. Follow Dre’s social media to see where his carts pop up next.

5700 Vine St
Philadelphia, PA 19139

9. Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice

264 S 60th St, Philadelphia, PA 19139

Siddiq Moore started selling water ice on Temple University’s campus in 1995. He gained a loyal following for his creative flavors like white grape, strawberry coconut, and kiwi, and then launched a small fleet of mobile carts before opening a permanent shop in West Philly to sell fruity water ice and gelati. There’s a second location outside the city, at 720 W. Ninth Street in Chester, with a drive-through and lunch options.

264 S 60th St
Philadelphia, PA 19139

10. Rita's

239 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

The company that introduced the rest of the country to water ice has been going strong since 1984. The chain, which started in Bensalem, now has more than 500 locations across the country. While the menu has grown significantly, traditional water ice or a gelati (a water ice plus custard) is still the best choice. The Swedish Fish flavor is a customer favorite.

239 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

11. Fred's Water Ice

5343 Chester Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143

In Southwest Philly, Fred’s scores points for its water ice flavor variety, with options like pistachio and watermelon. Enjoy it in the shade of the stand’s canopy and order a pizza pretzel (a soft pretzel topped with cheese, sauce, and pepperoni) too.

5343 Chester Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143

12. John's Water Ice

701 Christian St, Philadelphia, PA

Not far from the Italian Market, John’s has been using the simplest of water ice recipes — fruit, water, and sugar — since 1945. Lemon, cherry, chocolate, and pineapple are always on the menu, plus one or two rotating flavors, like peach and mango. John’s also has a roving water ice truck now, so keep an eye out.

701 Christian St
Philadelphia, PA

13. D'Emilio's Old World Ice Treats

1234 S Philip St, Philadelphia, PA

Despite its name, D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats is a relative newcomer to the scene. Open since 2013 as a cart that popped up around town, the sweet treat maker now has a shop on East Passyunk Avenue to sell water ice made with organic fruit juice and soft serve ice cream. Pints can be taken to go.

1234 S Philip St
Philadelphia, PA

14. Lucio Mancuso & Son

1902 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

From inside this small East Passyunk Avenue store, an Italian food paradise beckons. The old-school shop is full of imported cheese, baked goods, and other specialties — plus house-made water ice. Those who like chunks of fruit in their frozen treat will especially enjoy this version, which comes in just three flavors: lemon, cherry, and chocolate. Might as well pick up some fresh mozz to go too.

1902 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

15. Chucks Homemade Water Ice

1835 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19145

At Chuck’s on Snyder Avenue, all the requisite water ice offerings are available and they’re all excellent at that. From soft pretzels to fresh-baked cookies to gelatis, and of course about a dozen flavors of water ice, any option you choose will satisfy those summer water ice cravings.

1835 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Related Maps

16. Jimmy's Water Ice

2251 S Front St, Philadelphia, PA 19148

In deep South Philly, Jimmy’s makes a variety of water ice flavors each day, with chocolate, cherry, and mango always on the menu. The stand also sells soft serve, pretzels, and frozen bananas.

2251 S Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

17. Pop's Homemade Water Ice

1337 W Oregon Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Ever since Filippo "Pop" Italiano started selling water ice from a pushcart in the summer of 1932, Pop’s ice has been a favorite local treat. The Oregon Avenue shop sells several fruit flavors, including blueberry, orange dream, and watermelon, plus some more indulgent options like amaretto and dark chocolate chip.

1337 W Oregon Ave
Philadelphia, PA

Related Maps