Treat Your Kids to Chicagoland’s Best Ice Cream Shops

We all scream for ice cream! And these local shops will hit the spot.

We all scream for ice cream! There are many ways we can enjoy the creamy, frozen treat, but nothing beats visiting an ice cream parlor where you can get an old-fashioned scoop of the slow-churned goodness with all the toppings your hear desires.

In Chicagoland, we have so many great ice cream shops to choose from. We highlighted some of our favorites, including many local mom-and-pop shops that just know how to do ice cream right. Note: Please check ahead on seasonal hours for each ice cream shop before visiting!

Here are the top ice cream shops in Chicago and the suburbs serving up the best double scoop around.

This article was recently updated on May 9, 2024 by Chicago Parent’s Audience Development Manager, Katina Beniaris. The update included her creating an interactive map to make it easier to find the best ice cream shops you. Questions? Please reach out to

Ice cream near me

Looking for more kid-friendly activities? Check out our summer fun family guide!

Ice cream shops in Chicago

Photo credit: Pretty Cool Ice Cream

Lickity Split Frozen Custard

You’ll feel like you’re in a different time as soon as you step in Lickity Split. They offer great custard ice cream with rotating flavors. Kids will love the My Way Sundae where they can choose their own flavor frozen custard and additional toppings.

Margies Candies

For more than 90 years, Margie’s has served up hand-dipped candies, homemade sundaes and delicious shakes. Margie’s Candies has seated The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Al Capone and countless others who couldn’t resist Margie’s homemade treats. Don’t leave without a jar of fudge.

Pretty Cool Ice Cream

Consider Pretty Cool to be the open-year-round ice cream truck of Logan Square (only with much tastier options). From Peanut Butter Potato Chip ice cream custard bars to the Banana Cream Icicle, there’s a nostalgia-inducing pop for everyone in the family. For dairy-free folks, the shop’s coconut-cream “plant bars” are vegan and delicious.

Shawn Michelle’s

Shawn Michelle's
Photo credit: Shawn Michelle’s

This Bronzeville shop has shined in the ice cream game with old-fashioned, handmade ice cream. Try their combo flavors including Barack Supreme (Pralines and Cream and Chocolate), or specialty flavors like Jamaican Rum Raisin and Strawberry Cookies and Cream.

The Original Rainbow Cone

Rainbow Cone
Photo credit: Rainbow Cone

The Original Rainbow Cone knew how to make a beautiful ice cream combination long before Instagram rolled around. The signature dessert comes with five colorful flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, Palmer House, Pistachio and Orange Sherbet. They also have locations at Navy Pier (open seasonally) and around the Chicago suburbs. Plus, you can enjoy a Rainbow Cone at Sox Park the next time your family catches a Chicago White Sox game.

Vaca’s Creamery

Photo credit: Vaca’s Creamery

This all-vegan creamery has won over many ice cream loving Chicagoans; so many, in fact, that the creamery was able to expand from a walk-up only window in Wicker Park to a full ice cream parlor in Lincoln Square. Try a dairy-free swirl cone, a PB&J twist or one of the yummy rotating soft serve flavors like pistachio, peanut butter, pumpkin or olive oil, just to name a few. Our favorite? The candy bar sundae: chocolate and vanilla soft serve topped with peanut butter, caramel, a chocolate shell and peanuts. It’s like a dairy-free Snickers and Reese’s cup had an ice cream baby!

Ice cream shops in North/Northwest Suburbs

Photo credit: Capannari Ice Cream

Capannari Ice Cream

While Capannari offers unique and modern flavors like Mediterranean Sea Salt Caramel and Bordeaux Cherry Vanilla, you can still expect a classic ice cream experience at this family-owned business. Their homemade ice cream is so good that you can try four different flavors at once with their ice cream flight.

Graeter’s Ice Cream

If you’re planning to go to Ravinia Festival this summer with your family, you have to make a stop at Graeter’s. The family-owned business originated in Ohio generations ago and we’re lucky enough to have two locations in Chicagoland. They’re known for their many chocolate chip ice cream flavors, so make sure you grab a scoop!

Daisy’s Malt Shoppe

You won’t be disappointed on the unique flavors at Daisy’s Malt Shoppe including a variety of classic ice cream brands like Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream and Calliope Ice Cream. For families who love root beer, you can’t go wrong with a classic root beer

Dairy Star

Photo credit: Dairy Star

For soft serve ice cream, this Lincolnwood shop should be at the top of your list. You’ll find all the best sundaes including Turtle, Rocky Road and Pina Colada. Plus, depending on the weather, you can enjoy a round of mini golf at Novelty Golf and Games just down the street.

Ice cream shops in South Suburbs 

The Plush Horse

Here’s another ice cream spot that has been serving ice cream for more than 75 years. Other than offering more than 60 flavors of ice cream, sorbets and other frozen treats, your kids will get a kick out of the life-size plush horse in the shop. How cute is that?

Premo’s Ice Cream

Photo credit: Premo’s

Fans of soft serve ice cream need to visit Premo’s! The shop gets creative with their ice cream specials (for Fourth of July, they offered a Firecracker Sundae). Customers of all ages will especially love their sundaes and brownies topped with edible eyes.

Hazel Marie’s

Hazel Marie’s ice cream flight gives you the option to try their unique flavors like Cotton Candy Twist and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, which is a cheesecake ice cream.

Cool Creations

Cool Creations offers plenty of options to enjoy their homemade ice cream with cake cones, sundaes, shakes, flurries or sometimes even ice cream tacos!

Ice cream shops in Western Suburbs

Banana Split

Photo credit: Banana Split

For 40 years, Banana Split has served soft serve, over-the-top sundaes and, of course, banana splits to the ice cream lovers of Aurora. The seasonal walk-up window is beloved by the community. Stop by and find out why for yourself!

 The Brown Cow

This charming ice cream parlor serves up root beer floats from an old-fashioned soda fountain. Their homemade ice creams, pies and cakes are fresh, delicious and definitely worth the trip to Forest Park. Double up on the chocolate-chip ice cream sandwiches — they are divine! 

Cookie Dough Creations

Cookie dough ice cream fans, you have to go here! This sweet shop features ice cream and milk shakes made with your choice of eight different kinds of cookie dough. Yum! Or, you can just get a scoop of cookie dough, no ice cream.

Kimmer’s Ice Cream

While you won’t be disappointed by the gourmet flavors and homemade ice cream at Kimmer’s, the main reason to go is to try their Sparkle Cone. These ice cream cones are lined with sprinkles to give your ice cream experience a little more pop.

Tates Old Fashioned Ice Cream Shop

What’s even sweeter when visiting Tates in La Grange is that you’ll find your favorite old-fashioned candies. But of course, the delicious ice cream and waffle cones will make you want to visit again soon.

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Katina Beniaris
Katina Beniaris
As audience development manager, Katina Beniaris digs into data to help the Chicago Parent team learn about our audiences and tailor better content for them. She has more than five years of experience in content creation.
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