Italy has a long history of frozen treats, so it was only natural that the wave of Italian immigrants who arrived in America in the early 1900s longed for a taste of home.
Their attempts to recreate the granitas they remembered became what we know as Italian ice, made with water or cream. Lucky for us, there are plenty of places throughout the county to enjoy this sweet specialty.
Pro tip: check before you go as some places accept cash only, and some offer no-sugar-added flavors.
683 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers; 914.476.5008
A large sign in the window deservedly advertises these homemade Italian ices, made fresh each day since the pizzeria opened 40 years ago, and served in a traditional paper cup.
Try chocolate, watermelon, blueberry or spumoni, a cream flavor bursting with almonds toasted in Dunwoodie’s pizza ovens.
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850 N Broadway, White Plains; 914.437.9801
2353 Central Ave, Yonkers; 914.652.7256
407 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.341.1966
Ralph’s, a Long Island chain with three locations in Westchester, is known for its cream ice. Three-quarters of their 68 flavors are usually available, including birthday cake, the popular Almond Joy, and a solid peanut butter candy bar fudge.
Rainbow, lemon, and blue raspberry are some of the 31 water ice choices. Order with toppings, in a mix, or one of the various layered or blended options.
1881A Commerce St, Yorktown; 914.302.7711
You can get your Italian ice straight up, layered with custard and cream, blended with custard in a shake, or covered with toppings at Rita’s, a franchise which makes its ices in-house using fresh fruit.
Cotton candy, mango and chocolate are always available; the melon-flavored Island Fusion is a good choice. Kids also like the unicorn, a strawberry flavor that tastes like Starburst.
837 Midland Ave, Yonkers; 914.327.3442
Walk into this brightly colored storefront and true to Uncle Louie G’s tag line, you’ll “feel like a kid again” when you see the 33 flavors of ices offered.
Delivered every Wednesday from their Long Island factory, this franchise’s best sellers are fruit flavors: a yummy cherry, passion fruit, lemon, and tropical rainbow.
937 Palmer Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.500.5029
186 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains; 914.397.9406
Hot dogs are not the only reason to head over to Walter’s Chinese pagoda in Mamaroneck or its White Plains location. Their delicious homemade ices are made twice a week, always with fresh fruit.
Get two or three scoops in a paper cup or a freeze, Italian ice blended with Sprite, seltzer, or lemonade. The lemon flavor, sweet, tangy and light, is a standout; a fellow customer told us he comes for the watermelon, only available during the summer months.
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