Beat the Heat: Chicago’s Best Ice Cream
Summertime is arguably Chicago’s best season, complete with neighborhood festivals, sunny skies and an extreme desire for cool, tasty treats. To help you beat the heat, we’ve put together a list of some of Chicago’s essential ice cream shops. In no particular order, here are 10 of the city’s most revered favorites:
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams – Various Locations
One of Chicago’s most popular and fragrant ice cream shops hails from Columbus, Ohio. Head to Southport Corridor and order the Brambleberry Crisp for a one-of-a-kind flavor that exudes all things summer. Although there is usually a line out the door of eager ice cream aficionados, it is worth the wait. There are also several Jeni’s locations throughout the city to get your ice cream fix.
Margie’s Candies – Bucktown
Known for its old-fashioned décor, generous portions and nostalgic vibes, Margie’s Candies is truly a Chicago staple. Thrillist once named the beloved store “one of the best ice cream shops in America,” honoring its rich history and iconic presence in Chicago. Order one of their ever-popular and consistently delicious sundaes.
La Michoacana Premium – Pilsen
Take a trip to Pilsen and visit one of Chicago’s most esteemed popsicle and ice cream shops. Boasting unique and fresh flavor combinations, La Michoacana Premium’s popsicles are hard to beat. With various cream and water-based options, there’s a treat to satisfy everyone’s cravings. We recommend the Oreo cream bar or strawberry/kiwi popsicle.
Scooter’s Frozen Custard – Lakeview
For a freshly made frozen custard fix, head to Lakeview and visit one of Chicago’s best frozen custard shops. Order the CFNBC concrete or the Elvis concrete to get a rich and creamy taste that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.
Annette’s Italian Ice – Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park residents and visitors know Annette’s as one of the best Italian ice shops in the city. Patrons love the fresh, homemade treats and rave about the sweet and refreshing Blood Orange and Grapefruit flavors. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, take on The Famous Brownie Sundae.
Note: They also have pooch-friendly options for your furry friend!
Johnson’s Real Ice Cream – Lakeview
Johnson’s Real Ice Cream brings a longtime Ohio staple to Chicago. Established in 1950, the family owned and operated shop boasts signature and seasonal flavors as well as the Johnson family’s personal favorites. Order the Cubby Crunch or Blueberry Pie for a taste of Chicago summer.
Black Dog Gelato – Wicker Park
Black Dog Gelato offers artisanal gelato with a modern flair. The shop is known for their creamy, rich and creative creations, including their unbelievable goat cheese cashew caramel (when available). Everything is made fresh daily, so be sure to arrive early before your favorite flavor runs out.
Lickity Split Frozen Custard – Edgewater
You haven’t experienced truly wonderful frozen custard if you’ve never been to Lickity Split. In addition to candy, cupcakes and coffee, the shop offers a bit of nostalgia with their cold treats and old-time vibes. Order the Crazy Cake concrete to taste what Lickity Split Frozen Custard is all about.
26th Street Sugar Shack – Bridgeport
The friendly neighborhood ice cream shop boasts hand scooped and soft-serve ice cream with plenty of toppings and mix-ins. They are especially known for their Italian ice, mini funnel cake and large funnel cake sundae. Keep an eye out for their flavor of the month.
The Freeze – Logan Square
Founded in 1950, The Freeze is one of Chicago’s premier ice cream experts. Nostalgic vibes and incredible soft-serve ice cream characterize this popular shop in Logan Square. Try one of their soft-service ice cream cones or frozen bananas for a traditional summer treat.