Sure, the calendar might be rapidly swapping over to cooler weather pursuits, but there’s still plenty of time for frozen treats while the evenings are warm and the sun has yet to set. Here are six of our favorite Northwest side picks for cooler-than-cool desserts, perfect for celebrating the end of summer (and, fine, literally any other time of year).
Alaska Paleteria and Neveria
A foodie’s delight, this gem features small batch frozen treats as well as the kind of snacks to end all snacks, like their version of gazpacho (mango, pineapple, jicama, orange juice, chile, and queso) that will ruin you for most other places. That said, it’s choices like their startlingly pink pine nut ice cream that makes Alaska a truly worthwhile jaunt — and will have you dreaming of your return trip.
3446 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago
Molly and Myles Ice Cream
Winning the award for the Northwest side’s cutest ice cream shop is Jefferson Park’s ‘Molly and Myles.’ Whether you’re enticed by the superhero decor or the adult shake options (Jameson, anyone?), every last member of the family will leave this sweet spot just a little bit happier.
4802 N. Central Ave., Chicago
The wraparound queue might be daunting, but fear not; the line moves faster than you’d think at this popular cool-off spot. Besides, over 50 flavors of ice cream and a wild assortment of paletas (think: the gourmet popsicles of your dreams) make it all worthwhile. (Did someone say “Ferrero Rocher on a cone”?)
3108 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago
The highly anticipated third location of this cool spot has gotten a warm reception from the Irving Park neighborhood. With a walk-up window and a rotating list of delicious seasonal flavors (combos encouraged!), you won’t even notice the lack of dairy in these silky, frozen cups of wonderful. (Anticipating autumnal goodness? They’re known for their apple crisp and pumpkin spice ice — get excited!)
4125 N. Kimball Ave., Chicago
Easily the most inclusive treat spot on the Northwest side, Josi’s offers No Apologies Sundays for folks with special needs and their families. Between that, their Kid Spot and lending library, and — oh yeah — extensive (and rotating) menu of frozen yogurt, milkshakes and beyond, this Six Corners shop is a great choice for your belly as well as your heart.
4032 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Don’t be distracted by the Dorilocos or the extensive bakery case (although both are excellent), because the real star of Fruityland’s neon menu is the mangonada — ango ice cream covered in diced mango, Chamoy sauce and Tajin powder. It’s the best mouth — and eye — watering snack you’ll have all season, regardless of season.
4610 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago