If you head down S. Delaware Drive -- along the Delaware Canal -- you’ll find the Canalside Cup, a retro little eatery with a big menu that’s open every year from March to October.
Music from the 1950s plays over speakers outside while seven shaded picnic tables invite patrons to relax and enjoy the scenic view while they eat.
With the scorching heat we’ve been experiencing, perhaps the best reason to visit the Canalside Cup is for the selection of ice cream --more than 50 flavors of soft-serve is mixed right inside the walk-up restaurant.
According to owner Debra Kozic, the Cup’s black raspberry ice cream is a perennial favorite, with peanut butter close behind. Also on the list are some esoteric flavors like Almond Joy, crème de menthe, maplenut and tutti-frutti.
In addition to soft-serve, the Canalside Cup offers other frozen treats, like hard ice cream, milkshakes, Italian ice and gelati. All of the stand's desserts are brought in from local distributors.
The hot menu is just as extensive, ranging from grilled fare like hot dogs, the always-popular cheeseburger, BLTs, sweet potato fries, and a more recent addition -- deep-fried, beer-battered, spicy pub pickles.
“People are always surprised at how big our menu is,” Kozic said. “Every year I try to add something new.”
This is Kozic’s seventh season as the owner of the Canalside Cup, which she runs with the help of her three daughters. Each season begins on the last Friday of March and ends sometime in October, depending on when the weather turns.
“If it’s a warm October, we stay open,” she explained.
The windows patrons walk up to make it easy to grab food if you're on the go, but there are the seven outside picnic tables, all of them shaded by surrounding trees that edge the property.
The nearby Delaware River makes the Canalside Cup a popular place for people participating in fishing, tubing and hiking. Area sports teams also visit frequently for ice cream and food.
With all of the local support, Kozic tries hard to keep costs down.
“I want it so that people can come out for ice cream once a week with their family, not once a month,” she explained.
And Kozic's menu reflects that thought; you’d be hard-pressed to spend more than $10 per person for food and a frozen treat.
The Canalside Cup is at 1610 S. Delaware Drive, a little more than four miles from the 3rd Street entrance to Route 611. It is open daily from 11am to 9pm and is a cash-only establishment.