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Locals Know: Philly’s Coolest Treats For The Summer


Locals Know: Philly’s Coolest Treats For The Summer

*Our blogs are written by our actual, real tour guides. This month, we’ll arm you with what you need to stay cool in the hot Philly streets with some incredible frozen treats, brought to you by our guide and local foodie Ariel.*

The simple delights of summer just got an upgrade. And these three places are doing it right here in Philly.

These selections are more than just refreshingly chilled sweet treats. Give these tastes a try and you will you be meeting cool people and venturing into cool neighborhoods. Whether it’s the sycamore-shaded Rittenhouse Square, the glittering mosaicked South Philly alleyways, or even the charming Victorian house-lined streets across from Lil’ Pop Shop’s West Philly location — you’ll be experiencing first-hand how Philly is a place of innovation on the old ways.

Lil’ Pop Shop

Simple pleasures. That’s what Lil’ Pop Shop is all about. There’s nothing better than grabbing a Raspberry-Lime ice pop (my personal pick) on a warm day and heading to Rittenhouse Square to enjoy the beautiful park.

And while your taste buds rejoice, you can even feel good about your choice: the business is all about small-batch production, which means they’re hand-crafted with love. They even use fresh local ingredients; even their popular Garden Mint Chocolate Chunk is made with fresh mint, so there’s none of that artificial aftertaste.

Pops come in two varieties: creamy and non-dairy, for our vegan and lactose-free friends, or anyone who just loves the sound of a Coconut Hibiscus frozen treat.

Even visiting the shop itself is an experience: a bright airy space with funky wallpaper, a colorful chalkboard with a shout-out to their local coffee producer Rival Bros (used for their Vietnamese Coffee pops), and the array of multi-colored ice pops pristinely arranged beneath stacks of decadent-looking cookies.

The whole thing is simply a pop of joy – and we all could use a little more joy in our lives.

265 South 44th Street (West Philly location) & 229 South 20th Street (Rittenhouse location)  |  Hours: Tues – Thurs 12pm – 9pm; Fri 12pm – 10pm; Sat 11am-10pm



Just off of Rittenhouse Square, you’ll find Goldie perched above a most delicious stretch of Sansom Street. Goldie is the offspring of the famed Philly restaurant Zahav (which is the Hebrew word for gold), and this falafel stand happens to have the best shakes in town!

The menu board offers four Tehina Shake options. That’s right, this twist on a classic milkshake swaps out the dairy for the plant-based sesame paste known as tehina. Yours truly goes all in for the Original, a liquid-halva-like shake with creamy richness, surprising given that it’s vegan and checks off so many allergen-free boxes as well. There’s Turkish Coffee and Banana. Then, there’s Mint Chocolate Chip, the O.M.G. flavor: If halva isn’t your thing, this one’s totally for you. No nutiness, just pure, mouth-watering mint chocolate chip.

And don’t be thrown by the “vegan” label here: Goldie was never truly intended to be vegan. It just worked. Each sip supports Soom, a Philly-based woman-owned company that takes its namesake (sesame seeds) and basically dips them in magic, churning out the tehina that swirls through the legendary hummus at Zahav and your cold banana shake alike!

Lines, which can be as long as those for the Liberty Bell over the July 4th holiday, move quick but seating can be scant, so take your shake to Dilworth Park at City Hall to enjoy people-watching and the jets of cool water geysering from the plaza. Alternatively, seek out John F. Collins Park, nuzzled nearby between the busy shops along Chestnut Street — a tiny green oasis that only the locals know.

1526 Sansom Street  |  Hours: Open daily from 11am to 7pm


La Guerrerense Mexican Ice Cream

But sometimes you just. want. an ice cream cone.

At La Guerrerense, the classics are at hand — chocolate, vanilla, and so on. But what are these other 59 flavors up on the board?

These are the true standout flavors of the shop. Thanks to owner Gabriel Rojas’s drive to infuse the creamy, rich flavors of his hometown of Guerrero into his recipes, everyone can now enjoy authentic Mexican-inspired flavors such as dried fruit, pine nut, tequila, and even Mexican twinkies called Gansito.

La Guerrerense is spacious, colorful, and inviting. Enjoy your ice cream with friendly neighbors at the shop or you can otherwise walk over to Hawthorne Park, a park which often hosts free, live outdoor concerts.

1143 South 9th Street   |   Hours: Open daily from 12pm to 10pm


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