If I had to choose a last meal, mine would surely include some sort of ice cream. Cold and creamy, it satisfies my sweet tooth with confections like toffee, marshmallow fluff or some other crazy concoction, like lavender or chilis, swirled in. I’ll take it all, yes please! So, as the temps in Chicago soar, my cravings do too. Check out these top ice cream spots in and around the city.
10 South Pine Street, Mt. Prospect
Founded in 2001 by two sisters from the area, Capannari is family owned and operated. With more awards than I can name, including the 2018 Daily Herald Readers Choice Awards for “Best Ice Cream,” Cap’s serves up to 20+ flavors of their signature and speciality seasonal treats on a daily basis. Think chocolate covered bananas, ice cream bars and sandwiches, and they also have Fido covered with Doggie Dips. Not only is their ice cream fantastic, but they also host free special events like Mooovies Under the Stars (July 11 – Peter Rabbit), a rotating schedule of concerts in the park, and their signature National “I Pledge” Event where kids can who recite the Pledge of Allegiance can earn a free kiddie cone (12 years old and under).
Favorite scoop: Hot Chocolate Habanero
Southport, Wicker Park, Armitage, Wrigleyville, and North Wells
Jeni, a James Beard award winner, handcrafts these sweet treats. Don’t let the line out the door deter you. I swear it’s worth the wait (in the heat) for these sweet treats! Jeni’s is a staple in Chicago, offering exciting flavors like goat cheese with red cherries, wildberry lavender and more. They even offer up some sorbets and dairy-free options. Line up at one of their five Chicago locations, or skip the line and go straight to your local grocer.
Favorite scoop: Frosé sorbet in a buttercrisp cone (Currently on back order because Frosé. Enough said.)
2951 N. Broadway
The idea for Bobtail was born in Chicago at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. The founder’s grandfather owned and operated a small ice cream truck and small factory since 1950 in Ohio. To say ice cream runs in their blood is an understatement. From scoops to sundaes and shakes, and even coffee-inspired drinks, there is a dessert for everyone. They have a standard running menu of their favorite flavors along with Chicago-influenced speciality flavors such as the Daley Addiction and Lakeview Barhopper. They even have a customer creation form, where you can create the newest flavor.
Favorite scoop: Cubbie Crunch
And these are technically not ice cream, but they also top my list:
Revival Food Hall and Damen Ave.
Black Dog Gelato churns out 400-700 gallons of artisanal and hand-crafted gelato a week. Black Dog opened their doors in 2007, and started bringing a taste of Italy to Chicago. With delectable flavors such as Blueberry French Toast, Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel, and a rotating chef-series flavor, Black Dog does not disappoint.
Favorite scoop: Strawberry Balsamic
16 E. Main Street, East Dundee
Van’s Custard became a reality in 2007 in Carpentersville, IL. Van’s may be out a bit of a drive outside the city, but it’s worth the ride! Grab a burger and their flavor of the day, and it’s a sweet, sweet day. From sundaes and shakes to malts, concretes and more, everyone in the family is covered. This family-oriented spot also provides board games for the whole family to play while enjoying the sweet treats.
Favorite scoop: Vanilla custard with hot fudge a secret honey caramel sauce, fresh raspberries, and crunchy candied pretzels