When Philly gets so hot that you think there is a chance you will melt into a puddle or slide down a deep abyss of sweat and exhaustion, air-conditioning doesn’t always cut it. Sometimes the best way to cool down is by eating or drinking an icy treat.
In the cases where a frosty snack or dessert is the only cure for overheating, Philadelphia has countless places with treats to help you beat the heat.
So we made a list of the best of these cold treats to help you out.
9 W Girard Ave
Coming onto the Fishtown scene in 2016, Weckerly’s ice cream sandwiches have become a famous Philly staple. The ice cream is made from scratch using local ingredients and can be sandwiched between things like cinnamon cookies, cardamom grahams, shortbread, or special flavors offered on the menu at the time you go. They also have ice cream nachos because they knew that something like that needed to exist in the world.
119 S 13th St, 117 S 20th St., 1625 E Passyunk Ave, and 3925 Walnut St
Voted #1 in National Geographic’s Top 10 Places to Eat Ice Cream of 2011, Capogiro Gelato has gotten global attention. The shops have a ton of Gelato flavors, including Thai coconut, salted caramel, and Madagascar bourbon vanilla. There is the option of vegan sorbetti for those who are interested.
116 Market St
If you are looking for an old-timey ice cream shop that offers a taste of America’s past, then look no further. The root beer floats from Franklin Fountain mix together hand-brewed root beer and vanilla bean ice cream and serve it up in a tall, frozen glass mug. The ice cream is wonderful, too, and can be carried away in Chinese take-out boxes.
229 S 20th St and 265 S 44th St
Popsicles from Lil Pop Shop are made from entirely locally-sourced ingredients, such as fruit, sugar, herbs, spices, eggs, milk, yogurt, and cream. These fresh ingredients combine to make frozen bites of heaven, with refreshing flavors like raspberry lime, coconut hibiscus, watermelon lemonade, and many more.
Hot summer nights call for cool, refreshing treats! We are open late on weekends, so it's not too late to snag one of our delicious popsicles 🍉 Featured Flavor: Watermelon Lemonade 🍋 Saturday Hours: Cafe 9AM-11PM and West Philly 12-10PM | Sunday Hours: Cafe 9AM-10PM and West Philly 12-9PM | Delivery available via #ubereats | @dottiesdonuts delivered every weekend morning 💕
711 Walnut St and 1921 Walnut St
Specializing in the Thai technique of “rolled ice cream,” Sweet Charlie’s is able to blend cream and your choices from a list of ingredients on a slate that is below twenty degrees. Then, the ice cream artists roll the crystallized cream into several little rolls, with the option of adding unlimited toppings.
207 S Sydenham St
If you are looking for something cold that can also give you a little midday wake up, check out Elixr Coffee Roasters for one of their fresh cold brews. This cafe sets up a uniquely alternative environment, with wood paneled walls and plenty of electrical outlets if you want to enjoy your icy treat will finishing up some work. Of course, cold brew from anywhere makes a nice treat, but we went top shelf here.
1514 Frankford Ave and 2223 Grays Ferry Ave
If you are looking for a good place to cool down, an actual igloo is probably your best option. There are no real igloos in Philadelphia, but there is Igloo, a sweet spot for a variety of frozen yogurt and appealing toppings located in both Fishtown and South Philly.
1315 Walnut St and 118 S 18th St
Customize your own ice cream order by choosing a base flavor, mix-ins, and toppings from an extensive list of ingredients, then watch them be fuse together into a cone or cup of soft serve creaminess. Hot tip: Scoop DeVille offers a Center City Scoops (a partner to Center City Sips) special every Wednesday from 4 pm – 8 pm for half-priced shakes, floats, and smoothies.
263 N 3rd St and 1428 Frankford Ave
For those looking for a healthier option of cold treats, smoothie bowls from Stripp’d Juice are filled with fruits and veggies. The Acai bowl is made with strawberry, banana, acai, peanut butter, maple water, and raw honey to satisfy a sweet tooth without gaining any major lbs.
1351 South St
Originating in New York City, Big Gay Ice Cream has expanded to Philadelphia’s Gayborhood to spread speciality cones of ice cream. These distinctive flavors include the Salty Pimp Cone, the Bea Arthur Cone, the Rocky Roadhouse Cone, and many more.
1013 Cherry St
Located in Chinatown, Fruit Life serves up many eclectic and uncommon desserts, all based around fruit. The Matcha Snowdae merges Matcha flavors with shaved ice to create a frosty and tasty dish. This restaurant is definitely for someone that wants to try something a little different than just a classic cone of ice cream.
2311 Frankford Ave and 4903 Catharine St
Little Baby’s offers an extensive list of experimental flavors that range from smoked cinnamon to pizza. This place is for those who are on the bolder side and ready to try flavors that you never knew could be made into ice cream. Buzzfeed even made a video to describe the first time trying Little Baby’s pizza ice cream. Also, there are an array of dairy-free options available.
4507 Baltimore Ave
Enjoy a traditional Taiwanese Shaved Ice from this dessert shop in Chinatown. To make this frozen treat, a machine shaves the ice into extremely thin pieces and a variety of toppings are then added.
227 N. 10th St
Try a cold and refreshing bubble tea from the Teassert Bar to avoid passing out on a humid Philly day. Some of the bubble tea flavor options are jasmine milk tea, Thai tea, and honey green tea.