This summer just got sweeter. Chicago has some of the best ice cream shops in the world, in our humble opinion, and it’s about time you visited them all. Just think of this as your summer’s ultimate ice cream bucket list!
This walk-up window is ideal for summer. Although it may have a line down and around the block, locals know Annette’s serves the best ice cream in Chicago during the summer months. This ice cream shop closes up in the fall.
Oh, and come prepared, because this Lincoln Park spot is cash only.
If you haven’t yet tasted the creamy, satisfying flavors that La Michoacana has to offer, you’re seriously missing out on some of the best ice cream in Chicago. Bringing the Mexican “Paleteria” experience, with roots in Michoacán, Mexico, to Chicago, La Michoacana has reinvented the way you eat Chicago ice cream, and boy, is it delicious.
Find La Michoacana in Pilsen, Heart of Chicago, Brighten Park, Cragin, Hermosa, Logan Square, Berwyn, Cicero, and all over the Chicagoland area.
Okay, you caught me – so Capannari isn’t technically in the city. However, they service some of the best ice cream in the Chicago suburbs. This place is weeeeellllll worth a bit of a drive. Although this Chicago ice cream destination does ship products around the country, it’s hard to beat a scoop of raspberry chocolate chip on their front porch.
Cones? Nah… Cup? Nah… Bar? Yes!
At Gordo’s, you pick your ice cream flavor, chocolate or caramel coating, and a topping. This destination offers the best custom ice cream options in Chicago. Keep it simple with sprinkles and chocolate chips or really treat yourself with Fruity Pebbles or Cinnamon Toast Crunch at this Chicago ice cream shop. Try a bar in Edgewater or the South Loop.
Head juuuuust outside of the city limits try some of the best ice cream in the Chicagoland area.
Since 1935, Homer’s has been a Wilmette landmark. Starting out as a two table shop, you can now sit comfortably at this Chicago ice cream joint to enjoy a burger and milkshake, then grab a pint to take home. Must try for the summer: their seasonal peach ice cream.
Jeni’s services the best artisan ice cream in Chicago. You won’t find any synthetic flavorings here, just whole ingredients and dairy from grass-pastured cows. Stop by Jeni’s in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, and Old Town. You’ll know when you’re close because you can smell the waffle cones a block away!
And, since it’s rosé season, be sure to try their frosé sorbet.
This is one Chicago ice cream chain we simply can’t live without. Not only can you get great ice cream at Kilwin’s, but awesome fudge too!
Kilwin’s has locations on Michigan Avenue in the Loop and Hyde Park, plus in the suburbs in Elmhurst, Geneva, Naperville, St. Charles, Wheaton, and coming soon to Evanston.
Legend Tasty is the best ice cream spot in Chicago to get the trendy rolled ice cream you’ve seen all over social media. Located just a quick walk from red and green Cermak stop, from Smores Galore to Giant Green to Miss Nilla Wafers (topped with Teddy Grahams!) there’s a flavor for everyone here.
The Mason Jar trend is far from over thanks to all the Instagram posts sure to come from one of the best ice cream places in Chicago, Small Cakes.
Visit for the best of both dessert worlds: a mason jar filled with ice cream, then topped with a cupcake. With over 200 locations, you can visit Smallcakes in Lakeview or at a number of suburban locations in Algonquin, St. Charles, South Barrington, Elmhurst, Naperville, Orland Park, or Western Springs.
A true classic serving velvety smooth custard, no Chicago summer would be complete without at least ONE banana split or cone from one of the best ice cream destinations in Chicago, Scooters Frozen Custard.
In the world of wild ice cream treats, no one in Chicago comes close to BomboBar. Dishin’ out donut topped freakshakes, made from scratch gelato, and ice cream sandwiches you’re gonna have to see to believe, this is one summer shop you HAVE to check out in person.
Featured Image Credit: BomboBar Instagram