Photo of Ritas lemonade

Rita’s Brings Italian Ice to Surfside

By: Surfside Nov 13, 2019

Cup or Cone? While this question may automatically make you think of ice cream, what about Italian ice, frozen custard, or gelati?  Why not try all three?  At Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard in Surfside, you can!  

After a long day of enjoying the Surfside sun, there’s not many things better than an ice-cold sweet treat.  Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard is the perfect place for all things frozen.  This Philadelphia-based sweet shop has made its debut in Surfside and we could not be more thrilled.

Brought to America by Italian immigrants, Italian ice can be flavored with fruits and other food flavorings. 

As a sweeter and smoother version of sorbet, Italian ice is sure to become your new favorite treat.  


Rita’s Story

Originating from a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rita’s has a story that dates back to 1984 when the first shop opened.  Former Philly firefighter, Bob Tumolo got a neighbor’s recipe for ‘water ice’ and refined it, adding real fruit, and then started serving it from his porch. Neighbors loved the treat so much that he soon opened the store and named it for his wife.  Rita’s Water Ice was an instant success and hasn’t stopped growing since. Bringing Rita’s to Surfside is Matias Cammarota, originally from Argentina and a long-time foodie and fan. 

In addition to Italian Ice, the shop also serves cream ice, frozen custard, gelati, and Mista – a frozen blend of Italian Ice and custard. With so many things on the menu, there are plenty of delights to choose from as you cool off on a hot day or simply enjoy an afternoon treat. Whatever your choice, it’s sure to make your taste buds happy.


Top 5 Rita’s Flavors 

With dozens of flavors it’s hard to choose a favorite, but there are definitely a few standouts. 

1. Mango: Not only a Florida favorite, it’s Rita’s most delicious and refreshing flavor. Every bite is filled with a burst of real mango goodness that makes you come back for more.  

2. Strawberry: A classic not to be overlooked, Rita’s all-natural strawberry ice tastes like you’re eating real strawberries. Savor every bite.

3. Swedish Fish: Think cherry water ice, but sweeter, filled with more flavor, and bursting with memories of nights eating candy at the movie theater.   

4. Lemon: Like a cold glass of lemonade on a hot day with a blast of lemony flavor and a perfectly smooth texture.

5. Wild Black Cherry: Delicious dark cherry with little chunks of real cherry bites for an extra bonus of flavor. 


Taste all of these flavors and more on your next trip to Surfside!  


Rita's Italian Ice
9461 Harding Ave, 
Surfside, FL

Open Noon to 10 p.m. daily 


Rita’s of Surfside Grand Opening Celebration

Don’t miss out on the grand opening weekend to officially welcome Rita’s to the Surfside community.  Discounted Italian ice and gelati will be offered throughout the weekend of November 21-24.  On Sunday, November 24, from 3-6pm, Rita’s will be hosting a special event with a live DJ from Y100 radio station, pet adoption drive with adoptable dogs on site, balloon artists, and face painting.  What’s the best part?  The first 50 families in line will receive free Italian ice for a year –– yum!


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