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The 20 Essential Chicago Ice Cream Shops

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Almost everyone likes ice cream. If that weren't the case, why does vegan ice cream exist? As summer ramps up in Chicago, check out one of these 20 spots for a top-notch sweet treat. From plain old ice cream to custard and gelato, there are a plethora of rich and decadent options available. New additions to the list include Thai rolled ice cream specialist Legend Tasty House, old school creamery The Freeze, and Snow Factory’s liquid nitrogen delights.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
6056 N Broadway St, Chicago
IL, 60660
(773) 274-0830
Visit Website

Decadent, rich custard powers Lickity Split's sundaes and concretes. The specialty is (surprise) banana splits that brighten everyone's day.

5306 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 271-7600
Visit Website

Anytime there are dairy-free flavors, there needs to be some recognition. The crazy sundaes are made with ice cream from Chocolate Shoppe in Madison, Wisconsin.

3404 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 348-7139
Visit Website

Jeni's now sports five locations in Chicago and has a horde of loyal followers who sprout long lines. They wait for creative flavors such as brambleberry crisp, goat cheese with red cherries, roasted strawberry buttermilk, wildberry lavender, and more. For an added convenience, Jeni's is also available at local grocers.

1658 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 244-6415
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Arguably Chicago's best custard, Scooter's uses America's Dairyland, a.k.a. Wisconsin, to make its rich treats.

2951 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 880-7372
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This is the type of old-school spot everyone wanted their parents to take them to when they were a child. A simple, classic, delicious shop in Lakeview.

2935 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 697-7530
Visit Website

Liquid nitrogen ice cream is back in Chicago thanks to this new shop. It’s an interactive experience as customers watch the product mixed in front of them. Unlike traditional ice cream, the offerings here are smoother and creamier due to the scientific process and are complemented with toppings like Oreos, marshmallows, and syringes of syrup. For those who want to do their best Game of Thrones impersonation, the dragon’s breath desserts — cereal or Cheetos balls flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen — release a cloud of smoke from the mouth after consumption.

1960 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 384-1035
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Bust out those letterman jackets because Margie's is straight out of the 1950s. Have a malt or Margie's turtle sundae and pretend to be Richie Cunningham waiting for the Fonz. Oh, Happy Days. There's also a Ravenswood location near the Montrose CTA train station.

8. The Freeze

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3967, 2815 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 384-5211

Take a trip back in time at this vintage ice cream stand. The Freeze, formerly known as Tastee Freez, has been dishing out nostalgic delights since the ‘50s. Order dipped soft serve cones, sundaes, or milkshakes from the walk-up window and enjoy them on one of the picnic tables. Logan Square is an ever-changing neighborhood but as fans have shown, there’s still room for classics.

2034 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 227-7333
Visit Website

They take gelato very seriously at this Wicker Park cafe, where the ingredients are imported straight from Italy. The ever-changing selection is made fresh daily but patrons can always get some hazelnut or pistachio to enjoy out on the sidewalk patio.

838 N. State St.
Chicago, IL
(312) 266-7466
Visit Website

This Parisian import slings exotic flavor combos on State Street, bringing a taste of Europe in Chicago. That includes decadent ice cream sandwiches and cones with gelato scooped in the shape of an elegant rose.

859 N Damen Ave, Chicago
IL, 60622
(773) 235-3116
Visit Website

Black Dog's two locations bring a sense of gourmet fun to a childhood treat. How else would one explain a whisky bacon gelato bar or vanilla sea salt caramel gelato?

832 W Randolph Street Chicago, IL, 60607
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 492-7775
Visit Website

Bar Siena’s walk-up dessert window offers many ways to satiate that sweet tooth. The housemade gelato won’t disappoint and is available in flavors like s’mores, double chocolate, pistachio, and birthday cake. Add a waffle cone for a dollar more (because why not?) or go big and get the bombolato sandwich — vanilla gelato, dipped in smoked caramel, and topped with Fruity Pebbles.

DineAmic Group[Official photo]

13. Cone Gourmet Ice Cream

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1051 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 666-5111
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There's an obsession in preserving childhood for adults, and Cone does this with Irish-influenced creations. Its “Shamrock” features soft serve covered in Lucky Charms. It’s magically delicious.

1855 S Blue Island Ave
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 226-9600
Visit Website

When it comes to a seemingly endless array of options, Pilsen’s Mexican shop can’t be beat. Ice creams run the gamut from cucumber to Mexican Twinkie while the colorful paletas selection is even more eclectic, boasting dozens and dozens of flavors. It can be an overwhelming experience but don’t fret; just jump right in and then come back (again and again) to try a bit of everything.

2016, 2242 S Wentworth Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 225-8869
Visit Website

One of the latest food trends to hit Chicago is Thai rolled ice cream. The frozen specialty has popped up all over town but this Chinatown parlor was among the first to offer it. Workers roll the ice cream by hand in front of guests and finish it off with mix-ins such as fresh fruit, animal crackers, and chocolate chips.

630 W 26th St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 225-6568
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Why do some folks frown upon soft serve? The funnel cake sundae is the stuff of a dentist nightmare but the huge portion is worth it.

17. Scoops Ice Cream

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608 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 842-3300
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Waffles can be ice cream's best friend, and Scoops knows this. Its waffle cones and bowls are made in house and come in a number of different flavors. And the candy selection for toppings are top-notch.

3685 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 927-7807
Visit Website

It might sound like a real odd coupling but Lindy’s and Gertie’s has been serving the South Side for decades. Diners can stop in to grab a burger and bowl of chili before ending with one of Gertie’s famous creations. From banana splits and super sundaes to triple rich shakes and malts, this is a classic experience that’s been around since 1901.

19. Kilwins

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5226 S Harper Ave
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 675-6731
Visit Website

Chocolates and fudges and ice creams, oh my! The Michigan-based chain has just about everything needed to indulge a sweets craving. Guests can watch employees make everything in house before trying more than 40 flavors, which include choices like Mackinac Island Fudge and Cinnamon Crumb Cake. A second Chicago outpost is located downtown on Michigan Avenue.

9233 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60643
(773) 238-7075
Visit Website

Rainbow Cone fans will come find anyone who says a negative thing about their favorite iconic treat. For more than eight decades, the South Side institution has been stacking up chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with walnuts plus cherries), pistachio, and orange sherbet together. A second outpost is located at Navy Pier.

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1. Lickity Split

6056 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL, 60660

Decadent, rich custard powers Lickity Split's sundaes and concretes. The specialty is (surprise) banana splits that brighten everyone's day.

6056 N Broadway St, Chicago
IL, 60660

2. George's Ice Cream & Sweets

5306 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Anytime there are dairy-free flavors, there needs to be some recognition. The crazy sundaes are made with ice cream from Chocolate Shoppe in Madison, Wisconsin.

5306 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

3.

3404 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Jeni's now sports five locations in Chicago and has a horde of loyal followers who sprout long lines. They wait for creative flavors such as brambleberry crisp, goat cheese with red cherries, roasted strawberry buttermilk, wildberry lavender, and more. For an added convenience, Jeni's is also available at local grocers.

3404 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

4. Scooter's Frozen Custard

1658 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Arguably Chicago's best custard, Scooter's uses America's Dairyland, a.k.a. Wisconsin, to make its rich treats.

1658 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

5. Bobtail Ice Cream

2951 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657

This is the type of old-school spot everyone wanted their parents to take them to when they were a child. A simple, classic, delicious shop in Lakeview.

2951 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60657

6. Snow Factory

2935 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657

Liquid nitrogen ice cream is back in Chicago thanks to this new shop. It’s an interactive experience as customers watch the product mixed in front of them. Unlike traditional ice cream, the offerings here are smoother and creamier due to the scientific process and are complemented with toppings like Oreos, marshmallows, and syringes of syrup. For those who want to do their best Game of Thrones impersonation, the dragon’s breath desserts — cereal or Cheetos balls flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen — release a cloud of smoke from the mouth after consumption.

2935 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60657

7. Margie's Candies

1960 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Bust out those letterman jackets because Margie's is straight out of the 1950s. Have a malt or Margie's turtle sundae and pretend to be Richie Cunningham waiting for the Fonz. Oh, Happy Days. There's also a Ravenswood location near the Montrose CTA train station.

1960 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

8. The Freeze

3967, 2815 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Take a trip back in time at this vintage ice cream stand. The Freeze, formerly known as Tastee Freez, has been dishing out nostalgic delights since the ‘50s. Order dipped soft serve cones, sundaes, or milkshakes from the walk-up window and enjoy them on one of the picnic tables. Logan Square is an ever-changing neighborhood but as fans have shown, there’s still room for classics.

3967, 2815 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

9. Caffe Gelato

2034 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

They take gelato very seriously at this Wicker Park cafe, where the ingredients are imported straight from Italy. The ever-changing selection is made fresh daily but patrons can always get some hazelnut or pistachio to enjoy out on the sidewalk patio.

2034 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

10. Amorino

838 N. State St., Chicago, IL

This Parisian import slings exotic flavor combos on State Street, bringing a taste of Europe in Chicago. That includes decadent ice cream sandwiches and cones with gelato scooped in the shape of an elegant rose.

838 N. State St.
Chicago, IL

11. Black Dog Gelato

859 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622

Black Dog's two locations bring a sense of gourmet fun to a childhood treat. How else would one explain a whisky bacon gelato bar or vanilla sea salt caramel gelato?

859 N Damen Ave, Chicago
IL, 60622

12. BomboBar

832 W Randolph Street Chicago, IL, 60607, Chicago, IL 60607
DineAmic Group[Official photo]

Bar Siena’s walk-up dessert window offers many ways to satiate that sweet tooth. The housemade gelato won’t disappoint and is available in flavors like s’mores, double chocolate, pistachio, and birthday cake. Add a waffle cone for a dollar more (because why not?) or go big and get the bombolato sandwich — vanilla gelato, dipped in smoked caramel, and topped with Fruity Pebbles.

832 W Randolph Street Chicago, IL, 60607
Chicago, IL 60607

13. Cone Gourmet Ice Cream

1051 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607

There's an obsession in preserving childhood for adults, and Cone does this with Irish-influenced creations. Its “Shamrock” features soft serve covered in Lucky Charms. It’s magically delicious.

1051 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607

14. La Michoacana Premium

1855 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

When it comes to a seemingly endless array of options, Pilsen’s Mexican shop can’t be beat. Ice creams run the gamut from cucumber to Mexican Twinkie while the colorful paletas selection is even more eclectic, boasting dozens and dozens of flavors. It can be an overwhelming experience but don’t fret; just jump right in and then come back (again and again) to try a bit of everything.

1855 S Blue Island Ave
Chicago, IL 60608

15. Legend Tasty House

2016, 2242 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

One of the latest food trends to hit Chicago is Thai rolled ice cream. The frozen specialty has popped up all over town but this Chinatown parlor was among the first to offer it. Workers roll the ice cream by hand in front of guests and finish it off with mix-ins such as fresh fruit, animal crackers, and chocolate chips.

2016, 2242 S Wentworth Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

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16. Sugar Shack

630 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60616

Why do some folks frown upon soft serve? The funnel cake sundae is the stuff of a dentist nightmare but the huge portion is worth it.

630 W 26th St
Chicago, IL 60616

17. Scoops Ice Cream

608 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616

Waffles can be ice cream's best friend, and Scoops knows this. Its waffle cones and bowls are made in house and come in a number of different flavors. And the candy selection for toppings are top-notch.

608 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60616

18. Lindy's Chili & Gertie's Ice Cream

3685 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60609

It might sound like a real odd coupling but Lindy’s and Gertie’s has been serving the South Side for decades. Diners can stop in to grab a burger and bowl of chili before ending with one of Gertie’s famous creations. From banana splits and super sundaes to triple rich shakes and malts, this is a classic experience that’s been around since 1901.

3685 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60609

19. Kilwins

5226 S Harper Ave, Chicago, IL 60615

Chocolates and fudges and ice creams, oh my! The Michigan-based chain has just about everything needed to indulge a sweets craving. Guests can watch employees make everything in house before trying more than 40 flavors, which include choices like Mackinac Island Fudge and Cinnamon Crumb Cake. A second Chicago outpost is located downtown on Michigan Avenue.

5226 S Harper Ave
Chicago, IL 60615

20. Original Rainbow Cone

9233 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60643

Rainbow Cone fans will come find anyone who says a negative thing about their favorite iconic treat. For more than eight decades, the South Side institution has been stacking up chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with walnuts plus cherries), pistachio, and orange sherbet together. A second outpost is located at Navy Pier.

9233 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60643

Related Maps