Tucked away in a sad strip mall in Stevenson Ranch is Rita’s Ice, Custard, Happiness, serving up cold treats that have been summertime staples in the Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey areas for the past 30 years. It takes over a long-time vacant spot left by a Cold Stone Creamery’s short stint.
Rita’s has two basic products—Italian ice and frozen custard—which customers can mix and match in various combinations (though we tend to keep ours separate).
For the uninitiated, Rita’s water ice is much smoother in texture than a Sno-Cone; and it’s not carbonated like an ICEE or Slurpee. But best of all, flavors are made fresh daily and served within 36 hours of mixing—so not all varieties are available at once, which is a good thing. They offer traditional flavors like Alex’s Lemonade, Blue Raspberry, Cherry and more exotic flavors like Sour Patch Kids Red, Guava, Passionfruit and Peanut Butter & Jelly.
Now, Rita’s Frozen Custard is similar to soft-serve ice cream, but thicker, smoother and tastier. Frozen custard includes egg yolks added to the cream and sugar (the basic ingredients of ice cream). It’s higher in caloric and fat content, but worth a splurge. The both times we’ve gone to Rita’s, they’ve had the basic flavors of Chocolate, Vanilla and Coffee, and we indulged in the chocolate-vanilla twist both times. Ahhh-mazing.
The most popular treat at Rita’s is the Gelati, which is an Italian ice flavor topped with a custard (and probably the next thing we order off the menu). You can add toppings to various menu items at Rita’s, but the water ice and custard flavors are that good that they need no embellishment.
Rita’s Ice, Custard, Happiness
25802 Hemingway Ave., Stevenson Ranch
Open seven days noon-10 pm