The Best Ice Cream in Chicago

The Best Ice Cream in Chicago

Photo of Thrillist Chicago

Here's the scoop (!!) on the top ice cream shops in Chicago, for the next time you're wandering around sweating.

14 Places
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    Get in touch with your inner-mad scientist at this futuristic ice cream shop, where you choose from six liquid bases (ice cream, milkshake, low-fat yogurt, etc.), a variety of sweeteners, and more than 30 flavors.
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    Your soft-serve addiction started with the self-serve machine in your college dining hall. But your grown-up palate will appreciate the more sophisticated take at this Korean barbecue spot.
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    Whether you prefer your gelato in a cup, cone, or sandwiched between sides of a fresh, maple-bacon Glazed and Infused donut, Black Dog Gelato -- in all its manifestations -- is the answer to all of your problems.
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    Regarded as Chicago’s oldest frozen custard shop, this family-owned destination hits the mark with its Blizzard-like concretes featuring homemade custard and a variety of mix-ins.
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    The high-end American restaurant in the heart of the Loop, sharing space with the restored Hotel Burnham, has a knack for desserts.
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    This traditional ice cream parlor has served homemade sundaes and splits, hand-spun shakes, and hand-dipped candies to Chicago’s North Side for a long time (long enough that Al Capone, The Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen have all been there).
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    Okay, so it’s not exclusively an ice cream shop, but Armitage Ave’s premier burger vendor is home to some pretty killer milkshakes and custard, and for that reason, has earned our top Lincoln Park spot.
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    The shop offers a mix of mainstay flavors and seasonal specials, as well as a small selection of unique French macaron ice cream.
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    Cap off a fast-food run of hot dogs and jalapeño poppers with whatever avalanche sundae is on tap (past soft-serve specials have included peanut butter chip, s’mores, and chocolate brownie).
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    There’s custard shakes (toppings of your choice), concretes like the OMG (blended with peanut butter fudge brownies), and sundaes like the Scarlets Last Fall, a red velvet cake bowl with marshmallow sauce, raspberries, and whipped cream.
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    Experimental ice cream-eater? You'll love the wide range of small-batch, house-made flavors at Shawn Michelle's Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Roseland, including "Banana Bread Pudding" and "Caribbean Sunbeam Supreme".
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    Because sometimes, adding ice cream and hot fudge to deep-fried carnival fare is just the right thing to do, Sugar Shack'll make your childhood county fair dreams come true with Funnel Cake Sundaes.
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