The Best Ice Cream Dishes in Chicago, Ranked
You can do better than whipped cream
Some things we never grow out of. Things like… vanilla ice cream, Sprinkles and a good drizzle (OK, heaps) of chocolate sauce. But smoking chicory custard doesn’t sound that bad, either. Now that ice cream season has officially arrived (doesn’t everyone call it that?) here are eight Chicago-style ways to celebrate.
8. Duck Duck Goat’s Baobing
Chicago’s hottest Chinese restaurant also has a delectable cold dessert dish. OK, it may not be ice cream, but this frozen concoction deserves a spot on this list--blueberry sorbet topped with rhubarb shaved ice, tapioca pearls and a condensed-milk-caramel sauce--yeah, this one makes the cut.
857 W. Fulton Market; 312-902-3825 or duckduckgoatchicago.com
7. Oriole’s Chicory Custard
Inspired by the flavors of New Orleans, this creamy treat has Tahitian vanilla, milk ice cream and whiskey-orange foam. And when it shows up at your tableside, it appears to be smoking. Theatrics plus whiskey foam? We’re sold.
661 W. Walnut St.; 312-877-5339 or oriolechicago.com
6. The Betty’s Drumstix
Here’s a throwback to childhood--but this one’s served at a place that serves booze. The house-made ice-cream dish has vanilla-bean semifreddo and dark chocolate wrapped up in cashews.
839 W. Fulton Market; 312-733-2222 or thebettychicago.com
5. MAD Social’s Gelato
Here’s a new twist on an ice-cream sandwich that’s one part Italian, three parts awesome. The West Loop restaurant serves sweet-corn-caramel gelato between two, deep-fried churro waffles.
1140 W. Madison St.; 312-243-2097 or madsocialchicago.com
4. Cocoa + Co’s Ice Cream Sandwiches
Here’s something a little more nostalgic. At the Old Town cafe, staffers are sandwiching Homer’s ice cream with Oreo cookies. The treats come in coffee-toffee, peppermint, vanilla-Oreo, and chocolate-chocolate chip, and they’re rolled in toppings like pecans and peppermint candies.
1651 N. Wells St.; 312-624-8540 or cocoaandco.com
3. Travelle Kitchen + Bar’s Spring Verrine
The restaurant at the Langham, Chicago serves seasonal ice cream treats--and you’re lucky it’s June. The Spring Verrine has blackberry sorbet and lemon-black-pepper ice cream; it’s topped with toasted meringue.
330 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-923-7705 or travellechicago.com
2. Cold Storage’s Banana Swiftalicious Split
Sometimes, you really just need a banana split. This version has vanilla-bean, chocolate and coffee ice cream, salted caramel sauce, hot fudge and brownies. And don’t worry: the banana’s in there, too. You may want to order a few spoons for this one…or not.
1000 W. Fulton St.; 312-733-9420 or coldstoragechicago.com
1. Seven Lions’ Instagram Sundae
Like your sundaes with Pin-worthy sprinkles? Each month, pastry chef Rebecca Zuckerman designs an ice cream dish that’s made for social media bragging. (We all do it.) This month’s creation comprises honeycomb ice cream, blueberry sauce, blackberry crostata, lemon curd and a flowery sugar cookie. Oh, snap.
130 S. Michigan Ave.; (312) 880-0130 or sevenlionschicago.com