Instead of hiding in the air conditioning, explore the city and use the heat as an excuse to indulge in ice cream. Chicago has a wide variety of ice cream options, from gelato to custard to gourmet soft serve. Here's where to head for your ice cream fix.
Bobtail Ice Cream (2951 N. Broadway St.)
The Lakeview ice cream shop has classic cones and sundaes, plus ice cream coffee drinks for when you need an afternoon jolt. There are traditional flavors, like vanilla bean and cookies and cream, plus Chicago-inspired flavors, like Cubby Crunch, with vanilla ice cream, sprinkles, Oreos, chocolate chips, and toffee. Be sure to note the monthly flavor, which reflects the season - it's currently summer peach.
Margie's Candies (1960 N. Western Ave.)
When a traditional sundae is what you're after, Margie's is the place to go. The ice cream parlor has been around since 1921, and the ice cream is made from a family recipe. The classic sundaes feature three or four scoops of ice cream, but the 15-scoop terrapin sundae is perfect for sharing among hungry friends.
Original Rainbow Cone (9233 S. Western Ave.)
A Chicago classic, the giant rainbow cone layers chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with cherries and walnuts), and pistachio ice creams, plus orange sherbet. Not only is the cone pretty, it's just what you need when you can't make a decision on which flavor to get.
Black Dog Gelato (859 N. Damen Ave.)
For really cool flavors (think Mexican hot chocolate or sesame fig chocolate chip) a visit to Black Dog Gelato is in order. Former pastry chef Jessica Oloroso started the adorable shop and features gelato in seasonal flavors that utilize Midwest produce.
Scooter's Frozen Custard (1658 W. Belmont Ave.)
Scooter's also got a nod on our best milkshakes list, but it's so good, I'm going to mention it again. Frozen custard is really popular in the Midwest and has more egg yolks than ice cream, so it's smoother (and I'd argue, more delicious). Scooter's mixes custard with fruit, candy, and hot fudge to create concretes, tops with it with caramel and peanut butter for sundaes, and mixes it up in milkshakes. You can also get it as is, and be sure to watch out for the special rotating daily flavor, which has included Milky Way and maple bacon.
Belly Shack (1912 N. Western Ave.)
Bill Kim's great BYOB in Logan Square offers Asian and Latin inspired dishes, and some of the best ice cream around. There are four flavors on offer, and they range from huckleberry lime to bacon chocolate chip to, best of all, Vietnamese cinnamon caramel.
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