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A banana split sundae.
Lickity Split’s custard is a refreshing summer delight.
Lickity Split

The 20 Essential Ice Cream Shops in Chicago

Cool down with a frozen sweet treat

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Lickity Split’s custard is a refreshing summer delight.
| Lickity Split

Almost everyone likes ice cream. If that weren't the case, why does vegan ice cream exist? Whether it’s summer or not, these 20 spots provide the best scoops and cones. From old fashioned ice cream and soft serve to custard and gelato, there’s a variety of rich and indulgent options to try. The latest additions to the list include vegan shop Vaca’s Creamery, Japanese-inspired Taiyaki Chicago, and Richard’s Super Premium Ice Cream in Pullman.

As of June 11, Chicago restaurants have fully reopened and the city has lifted restrictions on capacity, masking, and social distancing. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following safety guidelines. The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is available here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Lickity Split

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6056 N Broadway St, Chicago
IL, 60660
(773) 274-0830
Visit Website

Decadent, rich custard powers Lickity Split’s sundaes and concretes. The signature banana splits are sure to brighten anyone’s day. The shop has an additional outpost in West Rogers Park.

A banana split sundae.
Custards and bananas are a terrific combo.
Lickity Split [Official Photo]

2. George's Ice Cream & Sweets

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

Any time there are dairy-free options, it deserves to be recognized. The crazy sundaes at George’s are made with ice cream from Chocolate Shoppe in Madison, Wisconsin.

A small ice cream sundae in a plastic cup.
George’s is Andersonville’s go-to for ice cream.
George’s Ice Cream & Sweets [Official Photo]

3. Scooter's Frozen Custard

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1658 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 244-6415
Visit Website

Considered by many to be Chicago's finest custard, Scooter's brings the favorite dessert of America's Dairyland, a.k.a. Wisconsin, down south. Flavors rotate and are made daily and folks can customize their concretes and sundaes with an assortment of mix-ins.

4. Taiyaki Chicago

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2468 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 360-1785
Visit Website

This Lincoln Park establishment is one of the few places specializing in a unique Japanese-style dessert. Customers start by choosing a filling (red bean, Nutella, or peanut butter) for their cones, which are traditional Japanese fish-shaped cakes known as taiyaki. Soft serve ice cream and toppings are then added in to complete the hot-and-cold, Instagram-friendly delights.

5. Pretty Cool Ice Cream

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2353 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 697-4140
Visit Website

Dana Salls Cree, the former pastry chef of the Publican, joined forces with Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits owner Michael Ciapciak to open this charming Logan Square shop in 2018.

Instead of cones, Pretty Cool’s lineup consists mainly of ice cream bars on sticks. Items range from custard bars and vegan ice pops to icicle pie pops dipped in graham cracker shells. Online orders can be placed here for pickup from the walk-up window.

6. Margie's Candies

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1960 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 384-1035
Visit Website

Bust out the letterman jackets because Margie's is straight out of the 1950s. Have a malt or turtle sundae and pretend to be Richie Cunningham waiting for the Fonz. Oh, Happy Days. For the daring, there’s a massive sundae featuring 15 scoops of ice cream, sauces, and toppings. A second Margie’s outpost is located near the CTA Montrose Brown Line station in Ravenswood.

7. 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 desserts since the ‘50s. Order dipped soft serve cones, sundaes, or milkshakes from the walk-up window.

View this post on Instagram

Summer cometh #jimmies

A post shared by Jesi | London Blogger (@jesipepperminting) on

8. Vaca’s Creamery

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1436 W Blackhawk St
Chicago, IL 60642

Chicago’s first all-vegan ice cream parlor has arrived in West Town. Vaca’s Creamery features soft serve, sundaes, and milkshakes made without dairy. Guests can top their orders with extras like confetti cookie dough, Mexican cinnamon cookie crumble, and toasted marshmallows. Egg-free waffle cones are also available.

9. Black Dog Gelato

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

Black Dog puts gourmet touches on a childhood treat. How else would one explain a Turkish coffee float or a strawberry lemonade gelato pie? There are locations in Ukrainian Village, West Loop, and Logan Square. Online ordering is available here.

Two cups of gelato surrounded by cones, spoons, and cups.
Black Dog’s flavors are unique and change monthly.
Black Dog Gelato [Official Photo]

10. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

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908 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(708) 540-6124
Visit Website

Artisanal ice cream chain Jeni’s is now up to eight locations in Chicagoland. Loyal fans form long lines outside the shops and don’t mind waiting for creative flavors such as brambleberry crisp, goat cheese with red cherries, salty caramel, wildberry lavender, and other seasonal offerings. For added convenience, Jeni’s products are also available at local grocers. Online orders can be placed here.

11. Cone Gourmet Ice Cream

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1051 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 666-5111
Visit Website

There's an obsession in preserving childhood for adults, and Cone does this with Irish-inspired creations. The “Banshee” sundae features ice cream covered in Lucky Charms. It’s magically delicious.

Ice cream in a waffle cone.
Irish influences are prevalent on Cone’s menu.
Cone [Official Photo]

12. Kurimu

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1159 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 877-5227
Visit Website

Get ready for cones in surprising colors, edible gold or silver leaves, boba ice cream bars, melon pan buns stuffed with ice cream, and soft serve flavors like taro at Japanese-style spot Kurimu in Little Italy. Customers can place orders for pickup online.

13. La Michoacana Premium

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

For a seemingly endless array of options, Pilsen’s Mexican creamery can’t be beat. Ice creams run the gamut from cucumber to Mexican Twinkie while the vibrant paleta 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 more things.

14. Legend Tasty House

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

Thai rolled ice cream made its way to Chicago a few years ago and 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 fruits, Oreos, and chocolate chip cookies.

Small cups packed with rolls of colorful ice cream
Legend Tasty House brought a popular Thai dessert to town.
Legend Tasty House [Official Photo]

15. Sugar Shack

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630 W 26th St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 225-6568
Visit Website

Sugar Shack’s funnel cake sundae is the stuff of dentists’ nightmares but the huge indulgence is worth it. Bring bills as it’s cash only.

16. Scoops Ice Cream

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608 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 842-3300
Visit Website

Waffles are 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 toppings are top-notch as well.

View this post on Instagram

Sprinkled waffle cone with swirled soft serve!

A post shared by Scoops Ice Cream (@scoopschicago) on

17. Shawn Michelle's

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46 E 47th St
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 615-3238
Visit Website

Taste a variety of homemade flavors at this shop in Bronzeville’s historic Rosenwald Courts Apartments. Inspired by his memories as a kid, owner Yahya Muhammad has been perfecting recipes since college and moved his business back to the South Side after previously scooping cones in Lakeview. The inventive selection includes Muhammad’s signature honey cinnamon graham cracker, Jamaican rum raisin, and butter cookie. There’s also a vegan menu. The ice creams can be enjoyed with freshly baked cobblers too. A new Shawn Michelle’s outpost is located inside Time Out Market Chicago.

18. 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! This Michigan-based chain has just about everything needed to satisfy the sweet tooth. Guests can watch employees make everything in house before trying dozens of flavors, which include choices like Mackinac Island fudge, New Orleans praline pecan, Traverse City cherry, and Georgia peach. There are a handful of other outposts in the Loop, Lakeview, Navy Pier, and the suburbs.

19. Original Rainbow Cone

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

Rainbow Cone fans will come find anyone who says anything negative about their favorite iconic treat. For more than nine decades, the South Side institution has been stacking up colorful slices of orange sherbet, chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with walnuts plus cherries), and pistachio ice creams. It’s a must-try for locals and visitors alike. Additional outposts can be found at Navy Pier and Lombard. Online ordering is available here.

20. Richard's Super Premium Ice Cream

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11033 S Langley Ave
Chicago, IL 60628
(773) 614-8999
Visit Website

Located in Pullman, Richard’s produces quality flavors by the pint. Enjoy intriguing options like banana pudding, peach cobbler, pineapple vodka, sweet potato pie, Key lime pie, and more. The ice creams are also available in sundaes.

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1. Lickity Split

6056 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL, 60660
A banana split sundae.
Custards and bananas are a terrific combo.
Lickity Split [Official Photo]

Decadent, rich custard powers Lickity Split’s sundaes and concretes. The signature banana splits are sure to brighten anyone’s day. The shop has an additional outpost in West Rogers Park.

6056 N Broadway St, Chicago
IL, 60660

2. George's Ice Cream & Sweets

5306 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
A small ice cream sundae in a plastic cup.
George’s is Andersonville’s go-to for ice cream.
George’s Ice Cream & Sweets [Official Photo]

Any time there are dairy-free options, it deserves to be recognized. The crazy sundaes at George’s are made with ice cream from Chocolate Shoppe in Madison, Wisconsin.

5306 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

3. Scooter's Frozen Custard

1658 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Considered by many to be Chicago's finest custard, Scooter's brings the favorite dessert of America's Dairyland, a.k.a. Wisconsin, down south. Flavors rotate and are made daily and folks can customize their concretes and sundaes with an assortment of mix-ins.

1658 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

4. Taiyaki Chicago

2468 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

This Lincoln Park establishment is one of the few places specializing in a unique Japanese-style dessert. Customers start by choosing a filling (red bean, Nutella, or peanut butter) for their cones, which are traditional Japanese fish-shaped cakes known as taiyaki. Soft serve ice cream and toppings are then added in to complete the hot-and-cold, Instagram-friendly delights.

2468 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614

5. Pretty Cool Ice Cream

2353 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Dana Salls Cree, the former pastry chef of the Publican, joined forces with Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits owner Michael Ciapciak to open this charming Logan Square shop in 2018.

Instead of cones, Pretty Cool’s lineup consists mainly of ice cream bars on sticks. Items range from custard bars and vegan ice pops to icicle pie pops dipped in graham cracker shells. Online orders can be placed here for pickup from the walk-up window.

2353 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

6. Margie's Candies

1960 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Bust out the letterman jackets because Margie's is straight out of the 1950s. Have a malt or turtle sundae and pretend to be Richie Cunningham waiting for the Fonz. Oh, Happy Days. For the daring, there’s a massive sundae featuring 15 scoops of ice cream, sauces, and toppings. A second Margie’s outpost is located near the CTA Montrose Brown Line station in Ravenswood.

1960 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

7. 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 desserts since the ‘50s. Order dipped soft serve cones, sundaes, or milkshakes from the walk-up window.

3967, 2815 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

8. Vaca’s Creamery

1436 W Blackhawk St, Chicago, IL 60642

Chicago’s first all-vegan ice cream parlor has arrived in West Town. Vaca’s Creamery features soft serve, sundaes, and milkshakes made without dairy. Guests can top their orders with extras like confetti cookie dough, Mexican cinnamon cookie crumble, and toasted marshmallows. Egg-free waffle cones are also available.

1436 W Blackhawk St
Chicago, IL 60642

9. Black Dog Gelato

859 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL, 60622
Two cups of gelato surrounded by cones, spoons, and cups.
Black Dog’s flavors are unique and change monthly.
Black Dog Gelato [Official Photo]

Black Dog puts gourmet touches on a childhood treat. How else would one explain a Turkish coffee float or a strawberry lemonade gelato pie? There are locations in Ukrainian Village, West Loop, and Logan Square. Online ordering is available here.

859 N Damen Ave, Chicago
IL, 60622

10. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

908 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Artisanal ice cream chain Jeni’s is now up to eight locations in Chicagoland. Loyal fans form long lines outside the shops and don’t mind waiting for creative flavors such as brambleberry crisp, goat cheese with red cherries, salty caramel, wildberry lavender, and other seasonal offerings. For added convenience, Jeni’s products are also available at local grocers. Online orders can be placed here.

908 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

11. Cone Gourmet Ice Cream

1051 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607
Ice cream in a waffle cone.
Irish influences are prevalent on Cone’s menu.
Cone [Official Photo]

There's an obsession in preserving childhood for adults, and Cone does this with Irish-inspired creations. The “Banshee” sundae features ice cream covered in Lucky Charms. It’s magically delicious.

1051 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Kurimu

1159 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

Get ready for cones in surprising colors, edible gold or silver leaves, boba ice cream bars, melon pan buns stuffed with ice cream, and soft serve flavors like taro at Japanese-style spot Kurimu in Little Italy. Customers can place orders for pickup online.

1159 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607

13. La Michoacana Premium

1855 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

For a seemingly endless array of options, Pilsen’s Mexican creamery can’t be beat. Ice creams run the gamut from cucumber to Mexican Twinkie while the vibrant paleta 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 more things.

1855 S Blue Island Ave
Chicago, IL 60608

14. Legend Tasty House

2016, 2242 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
Small cups packed with rolls of colorful ice cream
Legend Tasty House brought a popular Thai dessert to town.
Legend Tasty House [Official Photo]

Thai rolled ice cream made its way to Chicago a few years ago and 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 fruits, Oreos, and chocolate chip cookies.

2016, 2242 S Wentworth Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

15. Sugar Shack

630 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60616

Sugar Shack’s funnel cake sundae is the stuff of dentists’ nightmares but the huge indulgence is worth it. Bring bills as it’s cash only.

630 W 26th St
Chicago, IL 60616

Related Maps

16. Scoops Ice Cream

608 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60616

Waffles are 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 toppings are top-notch as well.

608 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60616

17. Shawn Michelle's

46 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60653

Taste a variety of homemade flavors at this shop in Bronzeville’s historic Rosenwald Courts Apartments. Inspired by his memories as a kid, owner Yahya Muhammad has been perfecting recipes since college and moved his business back to the South Side after previously scooping cones in Lakeview. The inventive selection includes Muhammad’s signature honey cinnamon graham cracker, Jamaican rum raisin, and butter cookie. There’s also a vegan menu. The ice creams can be enjoyed with freshly baked cobblers too. A new Shawn Michelle’s outpost is located inside Time Out Market Chicago.

46 E 47th St
Chicago, IL 60653

18. Kilwins

5226 S Harper Ave, Chicago, IL 60615

Chocolates and fudges and ice creams, oh my! This Michigan-based chain has just about everything needed to satisfy the sweet tooth. Guests can watch employees make everything in house before trying dozens of flavors, which include choices like Mackinac Island fudge, New Orleans praline pecan, Traverse City cherry, and Georgia peach. There are a handful of other outposts in the Loop, Lakeview, Navy Pier, and the suburbs.

5226 S Harper Ave
Chicago, IL 60615

19. Original Rainbow Cone

9233 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60643

Rainbow Cone fans will come find anyone who says anything negative about their favorite iconic treat. For more than nine decades, the South Side institution has been stacking up colorful slices of orange sherbet, chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with walnuts plus cherries), and pistachio ice creams. It’s a must-try for locals and visitors alike. Additional outposts can be found at Navy Pier and Lombard. Online ordering is available here.

9233 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60643

20. Richard's Super Premium Ice Cream

11033 S Langley Ave, Chicago, IL 60628

Located in Pullman, Richard’s produces quality flavors by the pint. Enjoy intriguing options like banana pudding, peach cobbler, pineapple vodka, sweet potato pie, Key lime pie, and more. The ice creams are also available in sundaes.

11033 S Langley Ave
Chicago, IL 60628

Related Maps