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Nothing beats the heat like a cool treat and Philly has a tempting array of choices to take care of the job. The city is where an American favorite Breyers Ice Cream started in Philadelphia in 1866 and stayed in the city until 1993. You can find variations of this treat all across town from Reading Terminal Market, Dilworth Park, Chinatown to South Philly and Old City – you are never more than a few blocks away from a fabulous frozen find. Read more about these Philadelphia’s neighborhoods at

Here is the scoop:

Bassett's Ice Cream

Bassetts Ice Cream

Tried & True
Traditional ice cream shops serve up sweet creamy treats and some have special hours and flavors to welcome #PHLDNC2016 delegates and visitors:

Bassetts Ice Cream
Family-owned since 1861, Bassetts is celebrating the 2016 Democratic National Convention with #DNCDeals Red, White & Blueberry: vanilla with swirls of raspberry and blueberry puree.
Location: Reading Terminal Market 1136 Arch St.

Shane's and Franklin Fountain

Shane’s and Franklin Fountain

Franklin Fountain
This cash only establishment offers storefront that takes you on a trip down memory lane. With sidewalk seating and a partnership with Shane’s Confectionary operating since 1863 in the same block, the interior takes you back in time to the 1900’s.
Location: 116 Market St.


More Than Just Ice Cream
In Philly’s Washington Square West neighborhood this ice cream shop and restaurant has an apple pie a la mode that is celebrated and worth a try but bring friends — this one takes a minimum of two spoons to complete.
Location: 1119 Locust St. 

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
This soft serve ice shop started in New York and expanded to Philly this year. The fun theme is inspired by “Golden Girls” the 80’s sitcom and Big Gay Ice Cream has a philanthropic arm supporting LBGTQ and local causes. Flavors include Bea Arthur: Vanilla, dulce de leche, and crushed ‘nilla wafers, and American Globs: vanilla, pretzels, sea salt and a chocolate dip.
Location: 1351 South St. 

Mix Mediterranean Eatery
With limited hours doing breakfast and lunch daily the draw here is that this café sells ice cream from the Penn State University Berkey Creamery sourced from State College, Pa.
Location: 2101 Chestnut St.

Sweet Charlie's

Sweet Charlie’s

New kids on the ice cream block offer new ways to prepare the sweet treat. Thai inspired ice cream rolls are showing up. One of the newest, Sweet Charlie’s is so popular that you will stand in lines of almost a block to get it. That may be due to the fact that this cool treat is handmade taking on average 4 minutes to craft. Philadelphia’s Chinatown also has several places offering this sweet treat. Watch as fresh cream and mixings of fresh berries or other toppings are combined and chopped atop a cooling station then spread and rolled into mouth watering swirls.

Sweet Charlie's and Ice Land

Sweet Charlie’s (left) and enjoying dessert and a game of Jenga at Ice Land (right)

Sweet Charlie’s
711 Walnut St.

Ice Land
224 N. 10th St.


Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After


Science Experiment
Watching nitrogen ice cream being made to order is like being in a ninth-grade chemistry class with the end result being an edible treat. The café’s movie-themed decor adds to the fun.

Happily Ever After
Location: 230 Market St. 



That’s Italian
With one of the largest and oldest Italian communities in the United States, Philadelphia offers terrific Italian flavor and Gelato and Italian ice, known as “Water Ice” in Philly is one example:

Capogiro Gelato
This shop has a wide variety of artisan gelato and sorbetto at several locations including Midtown Village, Rittenhouse Square, Passyunk Square, Old City, University City and Dilworth Park. Sumptuous flavors include regulars like a dark chocolate, classic pistachio and nocciola and innovative seasonal flavors like lime and cilantro, honey cumin, fig and chai tea. Remember gelato has half the calories and fat of ice cream, so order two.
Location: Midtown Village
119 South 13th St.

Rita's Water Ice (left) John's Water Ice (right)

Rita’s Water Ice (left) John’s Water Ice (right)

John’s Water Ice
You will feel like a local when you step up to order one of four classic flavors of water ice: cherry, chocolate, lemon and pineapple. It’s cash only.
Location: 701 Christian St.

Rita’s Water Ice
This chain’s signature red and white striped awning welcomes you at numerous locations and serves water ice, shakes and other cool treats.
Location: Center City, 1511 Spruce St.

Philly Flavors
Locations: 2004 Fairmount Ave. and 343 S. 13th St.


On the Road:
Philly’s also known for it’s food trucks. Here are a few that serve ice cream:

Curbside Philly

Lil’ Pop Shop

Little Baby’s Ice Cream

Originally from the U.K., Amanda Mott has called Philadelphia home for 25 years and loves it for the history, neighborhoods, and lively arts and culture scene. Having become an American citizen 20 months ago, she is looking forward to voting in her first presidential election this November. She works for the University of Pennsylvania.