We all have a sweet tooth from time to time, and we know some kids won’t hesitate if given the chance to eat ice cream or even a chocolate chip cookie. Why not make their day by giving them an over-the-top sweet treat experience?
Many local businesses in Chicagoland go above and beyond to serve one-of-the-kind desserts that will not disappoint your family. From animal-decorated gelato cones to bubble waffles, we share our favorite unique desserts for Chicago kids.
Note: Some of these locations might have seasonal hours. Please check ahead before heading out.
Chicago’s got a big old sweet tooth and you’ll feel welcomed at these local dessert spots offering something special.
- Address: 630 W. 26th St., Chicago
If you’re craving classic funnel cakes, make your way to Bridgeport ASAP. The 26th Street Sugar Shack doesn’t offer your ordinary carnival dessert. No, it comes in a sundae, and you can add whatever toppings you want. Sprinkles? Oreos? Fruity Pebbles? The options are endless.
- Address: 832 W. Randolph St., Chicago
Put together your dream sweet drink with the help of Bar Siena’s walk-up dessert joint, BomboBar. Depending on the season, try the Gelato Shakes or Hotter Chocolates with toppings like Oreo cookies and gummy worms.
- Address: 1843 W. North Ave., Chicago
This might be the cutest dessert place we’ve seen yet. Eli’s Ark serves traditional gelato with the incredible option to shape your scoop like an animal. Pick anything from a bear or pig to unicorn that will delight anyone in the family. Want more than one animal scoop? Try the “piggybacking” option.
- Address: 108 N. Green St., Chicago (West Loop); 1824 W. Division St., Chicago (Wicker Park); 405 N. Dearborn St., Chicago (River North)
While you must get the pizza at Parlor Pizza Bar, save room for the dessert counter, which serves tacolatos. Taco Choco fans will be in heaven when they see the endless options for dessert tacos here, with choices ranging from cookies galore to a banana split alternative.
Bubble waffles aren’t a new concept but at Eiffel Waffle, they dazzle up the treat with their own creations. Each bubble waffle specialty comes with ice cream and fun toppings like Oreos or Fruity Pebbles. You can even build your own bubble waffle! While the bubble waffles are what draws all the attention, Eiffel Waffle also has fantastic ice cream. Other great items on the menu are Waffle Towers, Eiffel Minis and milkshakes.
- Address: 23 W. Hubbard St., Chicago (River North); 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago (Water Tower Place)
Families spending the day in Downtown Chicago can easily make a stop at JoJo’s Shake Bar. These outrageous milkshakes come topped with cookie crumbles, cotton candy, marshmallows and so much more. Keep an eye out for their seasonal milkshakes, too. They also have a new location in Downtown Naperville.
- Address: 2159 S. China Place, Chicago
Waffles and ice cream sound like the perfect combo. Joy Yee Plus takes that concept to the next level by selling Hong Kong-style bubble waffles with never-ending topping options. At the Chinatown Square Mall location, you can top your ice cream with candy, marshmallows and so much more sweet goodness.
- Address: 845 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
In Water Tower Place, find a dessert shop that shapes sweet cotton shapes that are almost too adorable to eat! Customers can customize cotton candy dinosaurs, ducklings, froggies and many more cute characters to their individual flavor and color preferences.
- Address: 1658 E. 53rd St., Chicago
Head to Hyde Park to check out this new dessert shop that is becoming popular for their funnel cake sundaes. And if that didn’t intrigue you, they also have funnel cake ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes and ice cream.
- Address: 2730 N. Clark St., Chicago
XO Marshmallow has already impressed us with unique marshmallow flavors. But now you can find edible cookie dough on the menu. The Dat Cone Dough includes an ice cream cone filled with edible cookie dough and topped with vanilla marshmallow dipped in chocolate. Yum!
- Address: 3927 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago; 3755 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago; 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago; 2214 S. Wolcott Ave. Chicago; 5646 W. 63rd St., Chicago
Get your churro fill at any of Xurro’s locations in the city and suburbs. There are plenty of treats to choose from like churro ice cream sandwiches, sundaes and milkshakes. Our personal favorite? The churro s’mores sandwich, of course.
When you’re craving something sweet, these towns in the north and northwest suburbs got your back!
- Address: 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg
Forget about taking a trip to Italy, you can enjoy gelato right here in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. Located inside Woodfield Mall, this gelato shop offers a variety of flavors. The dessert fun doesn’t stop at gelato because they have more options like gelato macarons, waffles and crepes.
- Address: 1404 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg
These gourmet cinnamon rolls take this classic treat to the next level with some incredible toppings. Did we mention that these cinnamon rolls are 100% vegan, egg-free, dairy- and lactose-free, and cholesterol-free?
- Address: 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg
Kurimu isn’t your typical soft serve spot. The ice cream flavors alone include more than 22 options like Very Avocado, Mango Tango, Chocolate Supreme and more. What families will love is the cutest collab they have with Peanuts through Oct. 31! You’ll find the store decorated with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang. They also have two locations in Chicago (Wicker Park and Little Italy).
- 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: 801 Devon Avenue, Park Ridge
You might think this looks like a regular ice cream shop, but on their menu, they have desserts flights! Want to try more than one ice cream flavor? Try three or six tasting scoops. They even have flights for donuts and cookies, too!
The south suburbs go all out for their crazy desserts from rolled ice cream, bubble waffles and so much more.
You don’t have to eat waffles for breakfast anymore. Eiffel Waffle has transformed this breakfast classic to a delectable dessert. You’ll have to try the bubble waffle cones topped with ice cream, brownie bites, strawberry slices and more.
- Address: 7903 W. 171st St., Tinley Park
The ice cream at The Magical Plush Horse alone is so top-notch that we have it listed on our favorite ice cream shops for Chicagoland families. If you’re still in the crazy dessert mood, then you have to try one of the fun sundaes. The Monster Sundaes have to be our favorite since they add edible eyes and a mouth to your ice cream scoops — and plenty of sprinkles, too!
- Address: 9501 W. 171st St., Tinley Park
While you can find great bubble tea and Japanese food at Motea, make sure to save room for dessert of rolled ice cream. It has a whole list of rolled ice cream combos to choose from such as the Summer Party with strawberry, mango, rainbow candy and M&Ms or the Strawnana with strawberry, banana, Fruity Pebbles, and strawberry syrup. Yum!
- Address: 17929 S. Halsted St., Homewood
While we love any cupcake shop, what makes Small Cakes worth a stop is their SmallCakes Smash. It’s basically their delicious cupcake slices mixed in an ice cream sundae. That sounds so good!
These dessert shops in the western suburbs will make it worth for the sugar rush with your little ones.
This vegan bakery takes the beloved cinnamon roll up a few notches. Choose from signature treats like Cookie Monster, Very Berry, Campfire S’mores or Caramel Apple Pie cinnamon rolls. Or, create your own treat by customizing your pastry with frosting, fruit, candy and more decadent toppings. The bakery also offers Cinnacakes and other treats.
- Address: 22 W. Chicago Ave., Naperville
There’s no need to sneak a spoonful of cookie dough from the bowl when you can head to Cookie Dough Creations and enjoy a cup or cone piled high with homemade, egg-free cookie dough! Pick a classic like chocolate chip cookie dough, or try flavors like s’mores or snickerdoodle. Take your treat to the next level by pairing it with a scoop of ice cream, or enjoying it between two homemade cookies in an ice cream or cookie dough sandwich.
There are plenty of doughnut shops in Chicagoland, but have you ever had a donut ice cream sandwich? Luckily, Firecakes offers build-your-own donut ice cream sandwiches. You select the donut, ice cream and sauce (and toppings too, of course!). Keep an eye out for the featured sandwich of the month if you can’t decide your own combo.
Bubble waffles aren’t a new concept but at Eiffel Waffle, they dazzle up the treat with their own creations. Each bubble waffle specialty comes with ice cream and fun toppings like Oreos or Fruity Pebbles. You can even build your own bubble waffle!
- Address: Locations in Naperville and Plainfield
If your kids are obsessed with cotton candy, then they’ll go wild for the Sugar Mountain at Freedom Brothers Pizza. We can guarantee that you’ll enough cotton candy for the whole table. Plus, the restaurant has two dessert pizzas — one with a Nutella base and the other with a cheesecake base.
- Address: 5 Jackson Avenue, Naperville
These outrageous milkshakes come topped with cookie crumbles, cotton candy, marshmallows and so much more. Keep an eye out for their seasonal milkshakes, too.
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