Chicago's Best Frozen Treats

From frozen custard to Italian lemonade, keep cool in Chicago this summer

The Original Rainbow Cone

Memorial Day has passed, and the temperature is finally starting to inch up; it’s safe to say that summer is on its way! To make sure you are fully prepared to handle the heat, we’ve got a rundown of the best places in Chicago for frozen treats. From classic cones to artisan treats, you’ll stay cool all season as long as you stop at one of these shops.

Rainbow Cone
This Chicago classic is a must have in the summer. The combination of orange sherbet, pistachio, Palmer House (vanilla with cherries and walnuts), strawberry, and chocolate came together over the ice cream shop’s long history. Now it is a must have at Taste of Chicago and a city favorite.

Black Dog Gelato
This artisan shop has become a darling of the Chicago foodie scene. Jessica Oloroso, the owner, worked as a pastry chef under Top Chef Stephanie Izard before deciding to dabble in unique gelato flavors. She now owns two shops in Chicago, both dishing up scoops of Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel, Sesame Fig Chocolate Chip, and many more.

Mario’s Italian Lemonade
This tiny kiosk in Little Italy has been in business since the 1950s, and it has never failed to deliver the perfect escape from the summer sun. The lines can extend well down Taylor Street as people get the craving for this soft and icy dessert. Watermelon is a favorite flavor, as well as the ever-popular lemon.

Frozen yogurt has regained its popularity, and Pinkberry does it well. With fun flavors that can be mixed and matched, you can truly create a unique dessert by adding as many toppings as you want from their selection of cookie crumbles, fruit, sauces, and more.

Scooter’s Frozen Custard
This neighborhood shop, started by two former office workers sick of the corporate world, sticks by its core ingredient: thick, luscious frozen custard made from scratch each and every day. This dedication to quality has earned them a dedicated following, and the delicious mixes called “concretes” are a welcome reward.


And be on the lookout for another ice cream shop to make its debut in the Windy City! There’s already a lot of buzz about Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The chain has shops in Ohio and Tennessee and serves fresh flavors like chamomile and bananas and honey topped with “gravels,” crumbly toppings like donut, salty graham, and everything bagel. The Chicago store won’t be open until August, however, giving you plenty of time to sample the stores above first!