We made it! School’s out for the summer! (or will be soon) One of our last-day-of-school traditions is to bike down to our local ice cream shop for an afternoon treat. Celebrate another great year, and get summer off to a sweet start at one of these great ice cream locations.
Growing up in Des Plaines, I have a soft spot for old fashioned ice cream parlors. I still have found memories of the Sugar Bowl. These spots offer that same nostalgic feel and awesome hand-scooped ice cream.
Oberweis (5572 Grand Ave., Gurnee)
With locations all over Chicagoland, there is sure to be one close by. The red, white and black decor will take you back to the days of the old soda shops. Shakes come in huge iced glasses with cookie straws, and they even have malts.
If you go: Get my favorite—the chocolate peanut butter ice cream. It’s the best in the state!
BullDogs (122 S. Min St., Wauconda)
This ’50s-style diner in the heart of Wauconda is known for its outrageous burgers, but you don’t want to miss its ice cream. The shop hand scoops their shakes, and they might be the best around.
If you go: Save room for a chocolate shake!
Although hand-scooped, hard-packed ice cream is my favorite, soft-serve is making a big comeback. These four places do it well and are worth a visit:
The Twisted Cow (2112 E. Grand Ave., Lindenhurst)
I have not been to this one, but everyone tells me I have to go, so it’s on our summer list! Known for its soft-serve and its gourmet grilled cheese, Twisted Cow has you covered for a perfect lunch. I’ve got my eyes on the turtle sundaes.
Suzy’s Swirl (Gurnee & Lake Bluff)
Suzy’s is a self-serve yogurt, gelato and sorbetto cafe. You can choose your swirls and toppings, and you pay by weight. Suzy’s adds and changes flavors frequently, so you have an infinite number of combinations you can make. I’m currently craving the frozen espresso from the Lake Bluff location.
Tastee Freez (131 Hawley St., Grayslake)
This is our go-to summer ice cream stop. Located right across the street from the fire station, my little ones love watching the trucks, and a platform allows them to watch the dippers swirl and dip ice cream too. Nothing beats their signature soft-serve dipped in your choice of flavors. I’m classic and always go for vanilla dipped in chocolate. My husband prefers the slushie float, which is just like a rootbeer float but made with a slushie instead of rootbeer.