Chicago may be known for its pizza and Italian beef but it also has a host of ice cream shops that rival anywhere. Many of the spots listed below also serve food and coffee but this month is all about the ice cream.
TYPES OF ICE CREAM.
Is gelato the same as ice cream? Not exactly--it's all about the air, or lack of it. Is sorbet the same as sorbetto? Yes one is French, the other is Italian. Is sherbet the same as sorbet? No sherbet has the added ingredient milk. Does CHICAGO have great ice cream? Yes, here are ten to try.
1. Anthony's Italian Ice.
Although Anthony's in the Lakeview neighborhood serves frozen yogurt and ice cream, their speciality is homemade Italian ices. Cherry, blood orange, watermelon, peach to name a few-- awfully refreshing on a hot summer day or night. 3442 N. Southport Ave.
every day. Specialities include a flavor of the day and "build your own concrete."
1658 W. Belmont Ave. 773 244 6415 www.scootersfrozencustard.com
You'll feel like you landed in Italy when you walk through the doors of Bellezza. Voted the "Best Gelato 2010," this cafe/coffee shop, located on the western border of the city along Harlem Ave., is worth a visit. They serve premium, authentic Italian gelato and sorbetto in the classic style of Rome and Tuscany. The gelato is made with real fruit, whole nuts and whole milk. 20 unusual flavors and 4 sorbettos are on the menu daily.
3637 N. Harlem, 773 545 1239 bellezzagelato.com
4. Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream.
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream in the Edgebrook neighborhood offers more than 110 choices of premium Wisconsin ice cream. Translated that means it has gobs of rich Wisconsin cream, high fat, but oh so good. 5337 W. Devon, 773 763 9778 chocolateshoppeicecream
5. Cloud 9.
There's a reason they call this Lakeview find Cloud 9. You'll think you've landed on Cloud 9 when you taste their refreshing "snow ice," a cross between ice cream and shaved ice. It has a cotton candy texture but melts like ice cream. Choose from original snow, mango snow, strawberry snow or chocolate show. 604 W. Belmont Ave. 773 857 1255 cloud9chicago.com
You'll think you've gone back in time when you walk through the doors of this traditional East Lakeview ice cream parlor complete with soda jerks and classic soda fountain favorites. Choose from 19 flavors made on-site. 2951 N. Broadway, 773 880 7372 bobtailicecream.com
iCream in Bucktown scoops up what could be called "designer" ice cream. You design it, they build it. Select your base, choose your flavor identity, add a burst of color and you've created your very own unique icream masterpiece. 1537 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773 342 2834 icreamcafe.com
8. Margie's Candies.
In business since 1921, Margie's Candies is a Chicago institution. The welcoming space has the feel of something that's been around for a long time. You'll find old knick-knacks, photographs, antique jukeboxes along with freshly made candies and ice cream made on-site. Nothing fancy just good honest ice cream the way it should be. 1960 N. Western Ave. 773 3841035 margiescandies
9. Original Rainbow Cone.
Continue south along Western for another 110 blocks to the the Southside of Chicago to the Original Rainbow Cone. Stop when you see the historic pink building where Chicago ice cream lovers have been getting their sweet fix for the past 84 years. Order the original rainbow cone with layers of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (Venetian vanilla with cherires and walnuts(, pistachio and topped with orange sherbet or select other flavors from the menu.
9233 S. Western, 773 238 7075
10. Black Dog Gelato.
BDG is the new kid on the block, having just recently opened in Ukrainian Village.
Step inside and be cheered by the pink-white-floral striped walls, menus scrawled on antique mirrors touting the rotating 20-strong selection of flavors. On a nice day you can sit outside at a handful of sidewalk tables. Ready to order? Try this one on for size--a whiskey gelato dipped in chocolate and rolled in candied bacon. 859 N. Damen, 773 235 3116.
ICE CREAM TRIVIA.
1. When was the ice cream cone invented?
2. What is the most popular flavor?
3. What country consumes the most ice cream?
4. What is the favorite topping?
5. What state produces the most ice cream?
1. It's hard to believe that the ice cream cone has only been around a little over a century. As the story goes the cone was invented at the St. Louis Fair in 1904. However there is some debate. A New Yorker name Italo Marchiony who ran a pushcart sold his lemon ice in small edible pastry cups with sloping sides since 1896.
2. According to the International Ice Cream Association: Vanilla is the #1 choice at 29% followed by Chocolate (8.9%), Butter Pecan, Strawberry, and Neapolitan.
3. The United States, followed by New Zealand, Australia and Belgium.
4. Chocolate Syrup.