Chicago’s Best Ice Cream

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s hot in Chicago in summer. But here’s one delicious way to cool down – enjoy some refreshing ice cream. Chicago’s ice cream offerings go beyond just Ben and Jerry’s and Cold Stone (though we have those chains too), instead why not try something a little more interesting? Here are some of the best spots in Chicago to cool off with a tasty cone or cup.


Lakeview’s Paciugo offers what many consider to be the very best gelato in the city. They rotate through a selection of over 100 flavors, offering about two dozen at a time. They range from the more traditional (fruit, chocolate, panna cotta, caramel) to the more creative (brown sugar waffle cone, vanilla lavender chocolate chip, s’mores, coconut cream, maple bacon) to the downright strange (durian fruit, anyone?). Prices are on-par with higher end ice cream shops (about $4 for a cup with 2-3 flavors) and non-dairy and low-sugar varieties are available.

Cloud 9

This newcomer confuses some and inspires cult-like devotion in others, so why not visit and make up your own mind about “snow ice” a light, low-calorie frozen dessert that is a cross between ice cream and shaved ice. It comes in basic flavors like mango, strawberry, and chocolate plus toppings like fresh fruit or chocolate.

Frozen yogurt

Chicago has jumped on the frozen yogurt train. While many of these chains can be found in around the US, if your city doesn’t have one, it’s worth checking out this yogurt (which is real yogurt, and has more of a bitter taste than ice-cream style fro-yo) at Starfruit, Berry Chill, Red Mango.


For a more traditional ice cream style, check out Bobtail Ice Cream shop in Lakeview. The place has been family-owned for decades and offers an old-school ice cream parlor ambiance (with the modern convenience of wi-fi). Sundaes and shakes come in familiar flavors like pistachio, butter pecan, and cookies and cream, plus seasonally rotating specials.


The storefront known as the Soupbox in winter becomes the Icebox in summer and switches from selling rich and hearty soups to light and refreshing shaved Italian ice in a variety of flavors. There is a Lakeview location as well as a two Loop locations on Chicago and Madison.

Photo by yuan2003