Chicago’s North Shore doesn’t hold the title of Chicagoland’s Dessert Capitol (at least, not that we know of) but maybe it should!
With so many mom-and-pop bakeries, creative dessert shops and quintessential Chicago spots, it’s easy to find a sweet place that serves up a delicious dessert in the north suburbs. But, if you’re like us and a simple ice cream cone or pastry isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, it’s time to go big or go home — or go to Skokie.
The next time you’re near Skokie and that sugar craving hits, head to one of these five local spots to find something really special to treat your family.
- Address: 8042 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
The quality of this artisan bakery’s cookies, brownies and doughnuts alone should rank it as an over-the-top dessert spot. But, you came here looking for outrageous desserts, so rest assured Kneads & Wants won’t disappoint. Indulge in a giant chocolate or blueberry swirl ricotta cake, or enjoy a rainbow cupcake.
For the ultimate sweet treat, stop by on Thursdays to order off the cafe’s ice cream menu, which turns its mouth-watering pastries into frozen desserts. The bakery carries plenty of seasonal holiday desserts as well as made-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
- Address: 5716 W. Touhy Ave., Niles
Located next door in Niles, Melt n Dip is the place to go for loaded crepes and decadent Belgian waffles. Each dessert is topped with goodies like brownies, fresh fruit or gelato, then drizzled with three kinds of Belgian chocolate. The growing dessert chain also offers fruit bowls (which you can top with whipped cream, nuts, honey or gelato), as well as Turkish coffee and espresso drinks.
- Address: 4811 Dempster St., Skokie
This Chicagoland staple is known for its long list of ice cream flavors and rich shakes, malts and signature Frostbites made from homemade soft serve, but does this beloved chain qualify as over the top? It does if you order the Banana Royale! This classic sundae — three scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, Hawaiian pineapple, strawberries, two bananas, whipped cream, roasted pecans and a cherry — can be considered the OG of over-the-top desserts.
Not into fruit on your ice cream? The peanut butter sundae is a close runner-up and perfect for chocolate lovers: chocolate peanut butter ice cream topped with Reese peanut butter cups and peanut butter sauce, served in a chocolate-dipped waffle bowl.
- Address: 3754 W. Touhy Ave., Skokie
Don’t let the name fool you — the honor of the true original Rainbow Cone belongs to the Beverly ice cream shop on the South Side of Chicago, but the treat tastes just as good on the North Side!
Almost everything on the menu here is a sugar lover’s dream come true. The Original Rainbow Cone is five flavors of ice cream sliced — not scooped — onto a sugar cone. You can also taste the rainbow flavors layered on top of a cake, or on an ice cream sandwich made with homemade sugar cookies.
- Address: 9400 Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Portillo’s is a quintessential Chicago restaurant, and many of us have strong opinions about the restaurant. Whether you think Portillo’s serves up the best dogs in town or you dismiss it as a tourist trap, there’s one thing we can all agree on: the chocolate cake is to die for, and mixing cake pieces into a chocolate shake to create their signature Cake Shake is totally over the top.
Yeah, you heard us right: Get an entire slice of the best chocolate cake in town blended into your creamy milkshake, only at Portillo’s.
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