Cool, creamy, and delicious, there is no dessert quite like gelato. Dating back to the Middle Ages of 16th-century Italy, gelato has stood the test of time. With summer fast approaching, you may be getting ready to let cold desserts back in your weeknight rotation (or maybe they never left), so why not stop by these awesome gelato places in Chicago right down your neighborhood? With fun flavors, unique serving styles, and a classic background, gelato is the perfect treat to kick off the best season in Chicago in the best way possible: with dessert.
832 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
It shouldn’t come as a shock to find BomboBar is at the top of our list. This West Loop staple came to popularity through their gelato, shakes, bombolinis, injectable Bombos, and more. With gelato flavors like cookie monster dough (my personal favorite), cinnamon toast crunch brownie, and campfire s’mores, you’re sure to find a flavor of this luscious treat that pleases the whole crowd. Bonus? If you’re bringing your furry friend for a walk down Green Street, BomboBar offers a pet-friendly menu with treats curated just for them.
1843 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
If you never thought you could mix art, cute animals, and gelato, you obviously haven’t been to Eli’s Ark. In the heart of Wicker Park, this spot brings a bit of fun to each scoop by creating animal art on each serving of their mouthwatering gelato. Opened in 2018, Eli’s Ark owner Elisa Nguyen said she took inspiration from animal-based shows she was watching with her son (source), and this inspired her to create the perfect family-friendly spot to indulge in a delicious menu of flavors that changes daily. Adults and kids alike can indulge their inner animal-lover by getting multiple scoops of gelato styled like a dog, bunny, and even a unicorn.
Black Dog Gelato
859 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
2662 N Sawyer Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
1012 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607
With three locations across Chicago, Black Dog Gelato is simply a must-try. Here, you’ll find classic flavors like pistachio and strawberry, but also eccentric flavors we’re sure you haven’t had like olive oil and lemon passionfruit. Owner Jessie Oloroso started Black Dog Chicago originally in Ukrainian Village, and has since opened two more locations in the West Loop and Logan Square, making her delicious confections even more easily accessible across the city. Want to get the best flavors delivered right to you? Join Black Dog’s pint club to get monthly access to their best featured, dairy-free, and featured flavors!
615 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654
It may seem impossible to transport your taste buds to Italy in the middle of River North, but with a stop at Café Crèmerie, that is completely possible. Recently reopened from the chaos that was 2020, Café Crèmerie focuses on serving specialty coffees, wine, Italian treats, and of course a handful of flavors of artisanal gelato. Remove yourself from the bustle of River North at Café Crèmerie, relax in the atmosphere, and indulge in one of their many different gelato flavors.
FRÍO Gelato – Navy Pier
600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Among the lively crowds and festivities of Navy Pier, you’ll find FRÍO Gelato. This gelato spot was started by two cousins and best friends, Sebastián Koziura and Enrique Schcolnik, and focuses on the Argentine style of gelato, so you can be sure the sweet treats will be smooth, creamy, and made with only the freshest natural ingredients. With an emphasis on being allergen-friendly, all the flavors served at FRÍO are gluten and nut-free. Looking to take your gelato to the next level? Turn it into an alfajor (Argentine cookie) sandwich!
1925 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
We tried to think of just one word to describe Sugar Junkie, but were caught up on “bright, colorful, delicious, high-energy” and so many more. Located in Lincoln Park, Sugar Junkie brings a pop of entertainment to every scoop of their delectable gelato. From vanilla to rainbow cake batter to key lime, Sugar Junkie can curb your sweet cravings. Not only do they serve a classic scoop or two, but you can also find fun toppings like sprinkles and cotton candy, as well as treats specifically for your pup!
Featured Image Credit: Café Crèmerie