The best ice cream at Chicago restaurants

Ice cream shops aren't the only ones serving up frozen treats. These 8 restaurants in Chicago are making terrific housemade ice cream
Urban Belly's soft serve is one of our favorites in Chicago.
Urban Belly's soft serve is one of our favorites in Chicago.
By Amy Cavanaugh |
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These aren't ice cream shops, but rather, restaurants that know how important it is to end a meal with a frozen treat. These spots get creative with kid-friendly peanut butter and jelly soft serve, or go for the classics in the form of creamy frozen custard and gelato.

Restaurants, Fusion

Belly Shack

icon-location-pin Logan Square

Bill Kim’s restaurant has a rotating selection of soft-serve sundaes. The best is cult-favorite Vietnamese cinnamon caramel, a simple yet utterly delicious combination.

Restaurants, Contemporary American

Blackbird

icon-location-pin West Loop

Pastry chef Dana Cree, known for her upscale desserts at Blackbird, also makes Hello Ice Cream, a line of pints in flavors like raspberry buttermilk. At Blackbird, try her frozen treats in desserts like roasted apricot sorbet with fudge, sesame and cilantro.

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ButcherAndTheBurger3.venue.jpg
Photograph: Martha Williams
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Butcher & the Burger

icon-location-pin Lincoln Park

You can build a huge burger at Butcher & the Burger, but leave room for the frozen custard. It comes in vanilla, chocolate and a weekly flavor, and no matter what you choose, it's creamy and some of the best custard around.

Restaurants, Hamburgers

Grange Hall Burger Bar

icon-location-pin West Loop
The burger spot makes its own ice cream in a variety of seasonal flavors. Get it plain or turn it into a milkshake or hot fudge or caramel sundae. Or: Get it on top of a slice of pie.
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Chef Erling Wu-Bower of Nico Osteria Restaurant
Photograph: Derek Richmond
Restaurants, Seafood

Nico Osteria

icon-location-pin Gold Coast

Pastry chef Amanda Rockman is turning out a variety of gelato and sorbetto, like lemon poppyseed, hazelnut toasted oat and cardamom sweet cream. As a bonus, some are available in affogatos, with everything from espresso to prosecco poured over them.

Restaurants, Contemporary American

Sola

icon-location-pin North Center

The Hawaiian-inspired restaurant makes tons of ice cream in-house, including flavors like vanilla miso and peanut butter–black sesame. Take home a pint of ice cream for $7.

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1213.chi.rb.100best.UrbanBelly.jpg
Photograph: Martha Williams
Restaurants, Fusion

Urban Belly

icon-location-pin West Loop
The PB&J soft serve is on the kids' menu at the newly relocated Urban Belly. But don't let that stop you from demolishing the dish of vanilla soft serve topped with huckleberry jelly and crispy peanut butter bits—it definitely didn't stop us.
387.rb.eo.bb.boldfacedbrunch.yusho1.jpg
Photograph: Erica Gannett
Restaurants, Japanese

Yusho

icon-location-pin Avondale

Matthias Merges always offers a rotating soft serve on the menu at Yusho, like the past burnt marshmallow, amaro berry, banana daiquiri and crunchy chocolate ball. On Sundays, it's availble as part of the Sunday noodle brunch, with a bowl of ramen and drink for $25.

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