Hot Chicago days call for refreshing frozen treats. From legendary family-owned institutions to trendy new spots, here are our fav bites that help keep us cool.
Best ice cream: Original Rainbow Cone in Beverly
What’s summer without the iconic five-flavored cone? Rainbow Cone is growing, including a Magnificent Mile location opening June 29.
Best soft serve: The Freeze in Logan Square
Since the 50s, the ice cream stand and fast food joint has kept Chicagoans fed in the summer. A soft serve dipped in peanut butter? Yes please.
Best custard: Lickity Split in Edgewater
City Cast Chicago lead producer Simone Alicea says the rich, eggy custard at the vintage-inspired shop is top-tier. Her order? A vanilla custard with hot fudge.
Best Italian ice: Mario’s Italian Lemonade in Little Italy
Cool off with all shaved ice flavors, from lemon to lime to lychee. Chicagoans have been eating at Mario’s for almost 70 years.
Best paleta: La Michoacana Premium in Pilsen
Sample all types of Mexican ice pops: cucumber, pistachio, Snickers, and more. Plus, try the popular mangonada, a spicy mango sorbet.
Best gelato: Black Dog Gelato in Ukrainian Village
The shop’s rotating menu constantly has innovative flavors — like goat cheese cashew caramel and dairy-free lemon passionfruit.
Best rolled ice cream: Legend Tasty House in Chinatown
Watch the mixing, chopping, and spreading that goes into making rolled ice cream. Takes me back to college!
Best decadent desserts: Sugar Shack in Bridgeport
Order a funnel cake sundae or an ice cream taco from the family-owned walk-up window. Cash only!
Best vegan ice cream: Vaca’s Creamery in Lincoln Square
Get your dairy-free soft serve or sundaes on at the popular spot.
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