When the sun finally emerges and temps get steamy in Chicago, you can bet ice cream is in order! Here are our favorite spots for treats that will cool you off, satisfy your taste buds and earn you some major points with your kiddos.
What would be a hot summer day in Chicago’s Lakeview without a trip to Scooter’s? An assortment of daily flavors are made from scratch with locally grown ingredients. For those grownups watching their waistlines (bathing suit season, anyone?), Scooter’s custard is 40 percent lower in butterfat than many rival ice creams. Concretes with mix-ins (Scooter’s version of a Blizzard) are always popular, as are the shakes and specialty sundaes. But beware! Customers call this the most addicting dessert around.
1658 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Whether you’re craving a simple scoop of gelato or sorbet, or something more fancy like a Root Beer Float, Black Dog Gelato is where it’s at! Don’t be intimidated by gourmet flavors like the signature Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel or Raspberry Apple Cider. Adults and kids can’t get enough—we promise.
Multiple locations, including 859 N. Damen Ave., Chicago
Yes, Edzo’s is a burger shop, but it’s also home to the popular hand-dipped Nutella milkshake, a rich cup of chocolate-y goodness that’s sure to be the best $5 you’ve ever spent! If you’re not into Nutella, other Edzo’s milkshake flavors include Spicy Mexican Chocolate and Fluffernutter. They go great with the griddled burgers.
1571 Sherman Ave., Evanston
Honey Dessert of Chicago
Summer is the perfect time to shake it up, dessert-wise. If you’re in the mood to try something different, Honey Dessert offers refreshing shaved ice, creamy smoothies, mochi, cold fruit soup and milk teas in flavors you won’t find elsewhere. The shop is located in Chinatown, and customers have noted their “extremely reasonable prices” and “friendly service.”
2229 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago; (312) 808-0899
Milk and Wood, a new fave in Logan Square, may be the only shop where you can pick your own gelato on a stick. Choose a pop, get it dipped or drizzled with chocolate, pick from an array of toppings and chow down! You can also buy ready-made pops in fun flavors like Green Tea with Kit Kat or Cookies and Cream.
2529 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Mario’s Italian Lemonade
Fans of Mario’s anticipate the summer opening of this famed stand in Little Italy. Choose from an assortment of flavors, each laced with big chunks of fresh fruit. Customers rave about the “not too tart or too sweet taste” and call it the “most refreshing treat.” One visit and you’ll see why there’s typically a line. Even the Brain Freeze is totally worth it.
1066 W. Taylor St., Chicago
In addition to loving the renowned ice cream, kids will get a kick out of the old-school warmth and decor at this Chicago institution. After all, it’s been serving everything sweet since 1926! Try a featured flavor or sundae, or go for the “original rainbow cone”: layered flavors of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House, pistachio and orange sherbet piled high in a sugary cone. And if you’re hitting up Navy Pier this summer, check out their new location on the South Dock.
9233 S. Western Ave., Chicago
Brown Cow is designed like an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with an assortment of flavors, as well as homemade root beer and fresh baked pies. If you go for the ice cream, make sure to get yours in a cone. The waffle cones are what every ice cream cone should be. And since it’s open a bit later, it makes for a fun stop after dinner (if the kids have some leeway with their bedtime).
7347 Madison St., Forest Park
If you’re up for a trip to the northern ‘burbs, you can’t miss award-winning Homer’s Ice Cream. The ice cream is so creamy and fantastic that actor Bill Murray has it delivered to his home. Homer’s has been churning out ice cream for more than 60 years. Flavors such as Apple Cinnamon (cinnamon ice cream with chunks of graham cracker and apple), Peach (a Homer’s specialty), or Prairie Berry (vanilla ice cream packed with an assortment of berries) are just a few of our favorites. And don’t get us started on the dreamy milkshakes.
1237 Green Bay Road, Wilmette