Gus Kalaris and his wife, Stella (nicknamed Yia Yia, the Greek name for "grandmother"), have been serving up hand-shaved, gourmet ice balls from this bright orange cart with the rainbow-striped umbrella for as long as just about anyone can remember. The stand itself has been around since 1934, or "since your Dad was a lad" - first operated by Gus' father, George. Gus took over the family business when he was 18 years old and has run it with his father, mother and now his wife for 61 years. Both of Kalaris' two daughters and four grandchildren have also worked at the iceball cart at some point.
The prices haven't changed much either. Ice balls, depending on size, range in price from $1.00-$2.00, while hot popcorn is $1.50 and a bag of peanuts is just $1.25. The ice is hand-shaved and the syrups, from recipes perfected by George in the late 1930s, come in a rainbow of flavors - pineapple, cherry, lemon, lime, orange, banana, grape, blueberry, rootbeer and the popular Rainbow. The cart can be found each day from about 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., May through November, in its customary location next to the tennis courts in West Park on Pittsburgh's North Side.
While it's hard to beat the ice balls at Gus & Yia Yia's, you can also enjoy the sweet taste of summer at one of these other popular Pittsburgh area ice cream stands and shops. Do you have a favorite place that we've missed? Click on comments below and tell us about it!