Chicago's Top Healthy Ice Cream Parlors

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What is Ice Cream?

Do you love going to ice cream parlors? Have you ever tried low-fat ices, geleto or healthy frozen yogurts? If you are like me, I get tired of the same old flavors. If you are adventurous and would love to try a flavor other than the usual chocolate or vanilla, then Chicago is the place to go. Even if you are on a diet, you will find a fabulous ice cream parlor that will delight your senses.

If you live in Chicago or plan on visiting soon then here are just a few of the delectable ice cream parlors that will tantalize the palate and savor the courageous soul.

The Perfect Ice Cream Parlor

Miko's Italian Ice

Neighborhood: Logan Square

2234 N. Sacramento Avenue, Chicago

773.645.9664

1846 N. Damen

773.645.9664

Hours: Closed in Winter, opens in Spring

Open May-October, based on weather 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; they may close early if it's cold outside.

Price: Very reasonable in price; from $2 for a baby size and $5.50 for a gigantic

The Creation

If you love ice cream, especially Gelato then Miko's is the place to go. Miko's Italian Ices is a hidden Italian Gelato walk up parlor located behind a Cuban grocery serving Italian ice cream or Gelato (jel-lah-toh). Gelato is similar to ice cream but has 55% less air. It is more concentrated than traditional ice cream, has lower fat (not to much fat and part of a healthy diet plan), and is denser in flavor. Some of Miko's flavors are watermelon, banana with chocolate chips, grapefruit, kiwi, green tea, coconut/strawberry, and coconut/banana/chocolate chip.

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Shop
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Shop | Source

iCream

Neighborhood: Wicker Park

1537 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

(between Damen Ave & North Ave)

Chicago, IL 60622

773.342.2834

Hours:

Monday-Thursday: Closed

Friday-Saturday: 2:00 pm - 12:00 pm

Sunday: 2:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Price: All items are between $3 and $5.50

The Creation

This is a tantelizing ice cream parlor with a twist of the unique. If you are a "green" advocate then iCream will make your head spin with the numerous selections. It is a liquid nitrogen ice cream parlor, a sweet treat filled with a bowl of fog. Everything is made right in front of you. Choose between the hormone free ice cream, low fat, non-fat, organic, yogurt, or soy. There are over 30 flavors to choose from, including your choice of sweetener, and up to 3 toppings. Some of the unique flavors are: burnt sugar, cinnamon, cream soda, grape, green tea, coffee bean, honey, Irish cream, mint, pear, pomegranate, and root beer.

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Paleteria Jalisco

Neighborhood:

Albany Park/ North Park

4219 N. Kedzie, Chicago

773.583.9257

Hours: 10 am-7 pm daily

Price: Reasonable; Under $10 per entrée

The Creation

What is ice cream? Well, Paleteria Jalisco knows the secret. This tantalizing ice cream parlor supplies many of the pushcart vendors in Albany Park. There are about 24 ices and Popsicle flavors. For the adventurous there is including chili-dusted cucumber, guayaba (Spanish for guava), and mamey, a fruit that looks similar to a light yellow coconut and tastes like the combination of a pumpkin, sweet potato, and a maraschino cherry.

Starfruit

Neighborhood: Wicker Park
1745 W. Division, Chicago
(between Hermitage Ave & Wood St)
773.395.9300

Open: Monday-Sunday: 11am – 9pm


2142 N. Halsted, Chicago

773.868.4900

Open: Monday-Sunday: 11am – 9pm

222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago

312.527.3674

Monday-Friday: 7am – 7pm
Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Block 37, Pedway Level, Chicago
108 N. State

312.658.1241

Monday-Friday: 7am – 7pm
Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Price: Reasonable; Under $10 per entrée

. Two Punch Tuesday: Get 2 punches on a Starfruit punch card for every parfait, smoothie, frozen kefir treat! Get 9 punches, and get $4.50 off your next purchase.

The Creation

Many say the answer to "What is ice cream?" should be a nutritious treat. Are you looking for a nourishing ice cream that is part of your "green" living lifestyle? If you love the tart taste of kefir this is the place for you. Starfruit is a tantalizing ice cream parlor with flavors that will delight the taste buds. This kefir parlor has cushions on the floor, flowers on the table, and bright lime green high chairs. To top it off, they are environmentally green and use biodegradable cups and utensils. Starfruit has base flavors to choose from: vanilla, pomegranate, strawberry, and peach. Some of the fruit toppings you will enjoy are tropical mango, kiwi, California green grapes, and Brazilian gogi berries. Other toppings to savor are: carob chips, craisins, Japanese mochi balls (a favorite), and milk and honey granola. Specialties ice creams include, white coffee bean, Crème Brûlée and star anise.


Village Creamery

Neighborhood: Oakton Park
4558 Oakton
Skokie, IL 60076-3144
(between Kenton Ave. and Kolmar Ave.)
847.982.1720
Hours: 11 am-10 pm daily

8000 Waukegan, Chicago
847.965.9805
Hours: 11 am-10 pm daily

Price: Single 4 oz. $2.29 Double scoop $3.99 (make it a double for $1.70 more) and Cones: waffle, cake, sugar or candy-coated cone. Shakes $4.00 Pints $4.50, and frozen bars on a stick $1.89. Bubble teas for $4. And the Village Volcano, which stuffs you with seven scoops, four toppings and cookies for $13.

The Creation

This is a thrilling Filipino parlor that has homemade ice cream made with quality ingredients. This parlor knows the answers of "What is ice cream". The delicious ice cream is coconut-based, using a technique that reduces air content making the ice cream smoother, creamier, and intense. There are more flavors than you can imagine. Among the many surprising flavors are corn, purple yam, jackfruit, coffee bean, ginger, lychee, and halo-halo- with red and white beans, sugar palm, Jell-O bits, coconut, and rice. Also on the menu there is avocado macapuno - sweetened with coconut, cranberry cocktail sorbet, chocolate berry merlot, green tea, and cashew raisin crème brulee - a custard ice cream with custard pieces. And for the thirsty, an inventive sherbet made with Gatorade. Village Creamery also offers bubble shakes in many flavors. This is quality ice cream blended in an array of tapioca bubbles.

Whiskey Gelato Bar
Whiskey Gelato Bar | Source

Black Dog Gelato

2 Locations

859 N. Damen Avenue

773.235.3116

Winter Hours: Wednesday –Sunday 2 p.m. -10 p.m.

1955 W Belmont Chicago
773.348.7935

Winter Hours: Saturday & Sunday 2 p.m. -9 p.m.

This is a hotspot in Chicago for foodies who love gelato and sorbet. Flavors rotate daily offering a mixture of both classic and inventive choices. You will find classic flavors such as double chocolate as well as unique creations such as goat cheese cashew caramel gelato, coconut thyme, carrot ginger sorbet, sesame fig chocolate chip, rosemary Irish cream, cucumber rosewater sorbet, maple cayenne bacon, butterscotch bourbon pecan and the list goes on. They also have some amazing ice cream sandwiches made with gelato.

If you dine out often in Chicago, you more than likely will see Black Dog Gelato on the dessert menu. This amazing café caters to numerous restaurants in the city and tailors unique flavors to their menu. However, there is nothing better than visiting the actual parlor for the ultimate experience.

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Lavazza Espression

27 W Washington St, Chicago
312.977.9971

Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Although this is a coffee shop with European overtones they have some amazing sorbets and gelatos. Even Yelp has 143 positive Reviews about this divine and eclectic café. Lavazza Espression has an astonishing blend of creativity based on espresso coffee, exclusive food and authentic gelato. The Italian name Lavazza is even synonymous to the making of fine coffee.

If you love coffee or ice cream then this youthful café is ideal to the perfect treat. You will find heavenly flavors like:

  • Affogato al caffé: Espresso poured over fresh vanilla gelato.
  • Cremespresso: A creamy espresso sorbet that soothes the palate
  • Affogato al Cioccolato: Italian drinking chocolate lavishly poured over smooth gelato
  • Gelato Croccantino: Vanilla Gelato with crunchy sesame brittle, creamy caramel topping and whipped cream

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Coconut Bliss | The Plant

1400 W 46th St, Chicago

773-847-5523

The Plant is an old meatpacking plant that is being transformed into an Eco farm. The large South Side building will produce food sustainably, while creating zero waste.

The Plant is a green building dedicated to small businesses and aquaponic farming. They already have quite a few aquaponic farms, organic bakeries and even a kombucha business.

Upon completion there will be 125 permanent, full-time jobs at The Plant. Other Eco friendly businesses include a sustainable brewery, indoor mushroom cultivation and tilapia fish breeders. Word is out that Coconut Bliss might be adding a shop. Talk about amazing.

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Comments 40 comments

CARTER32071 profile image

CARTER32071 5 years ago

Hi Mecheshier,great ice cream hub. I am on my way out to get some now, it won't look as good as the ice cream you are displaying, but it should help. Thanks for sharing.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago Author

Hi CARTER32071, let me know what you got and where you went. Glad that I could stir the palate for ice cream. Thank you for your post.


SaffronBlossom profile image

SaffronBlossom 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Even though it's so cold here, this makes me want ice cream right now! I was in Chicago about ten years ago and had a double scoop of amazing malted milk ball ice cream, but I can't remember where I bought it!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago Author

:-) Hi SaffronBlossom. I hear you there. But ice cream is wonderful all year round. When my daughter was about 7 years old she wanted ice cream. Now mind you, this was in Wyoming and it was in the middle of winter with temperatures around 5 degrees, and we were walking. Well, she pleaded, begged and got her ice cream. But, I had to carry it for her because it was to cold to carry. A wonderful memory.

When and if you remember where you went in Chicago, let me know. It mus have been fabulous for you to remember 10 years later.

Thank you for the feedback.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for this useful advice on the best ice cream in Chicago. The next time I get out that way I will try at least one of these.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago Author

You are welcome James. I am glad the article was useful. Thank you for the feedback.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Your hub is delicious. Ice cream is my favorite food even though I am lactose intolerant. Thanks for beautiful hub that is motivating me to visit Chicago. Rated up and useful, beautiful, and awesome.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago Author

Thank you toknowinfo, for such wonderful feedback. Yep, my daughter is also lactose intolerant and she as well loves ice cream.


ImChemist profile image

ImChemist 5 years ago

You know! this hub make me hungry.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 5 years ago Author

To funny ImChemist, and it is not even summer yet. lol


MsDora profile image

MsDora 4 years ago from The Caribbean

You certainly know how to wake up the cravings! Now I want to taste that coconut-based ice cream. Good job!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Hi MsDora... Thank you

Coconut-based ice cream is fabulous.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 4 years ago from Jamaica

I have stopped eating ice scream couple years, but I can see myself having it once every seven years. I love Chicago too.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Hi rasta1.. I love ice cream! You know, there are many brands of ice cream that do not have all the sugar, chemicals or even milk products. In fact, many are quite delicious.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Hi rasta1.. I love ice cream! You know, there are many brands of ice cream that do not have all the sugar, chemicals or even milk products. In fact, many are quite delicious.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I don't live anywhere near Chicago, but I love ice cream. I enjoyed reading about all the interesting flavors of ice cream that are available in Chicago. They sound delicious!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Yes I love ice cream as well. The ice cream parlors in Chicago have many types and flavors.


Redberry Sky profile image

Redberry Sky 4 years ago

Lovely Hub :) your talk of gelato brings back memories of Italian holidays... sadly Chicago is even further away from me, but I enjoyed reading about these icy treats.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Thank you Redberry Sky. Yes, the best gelato has to be in Chicago. Glad you enjoyed the Hub


Peter Geekie profile image

Peter Geekie 4 years ago from London

Dear mecheshier,

You temptress you !

It's been some years since my last visit to Chicago when I flew in from the UK to address a conference on renewable fuels. I only had time for quick walk over to the Shedd aquarium and must have missed all these ice cream places. Oh ! woe is me - but I suppose my waist line would approve.

Thank you

kind regards peter


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Hi Peter

Ah, but there are ice cream parlors in Chicago that are good for the waistline. :-) Glad that you enjoyed the Hub. Thank you for such wonderful feedback.

Regards

Mary


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

It has been many years since I spent time in Chicago. I remember that there were many ethnic neighborhoods with very interesting places to try unfamiliar foods. I imagine that is still true to some extent. I do remember an ice cream place in Evanston, if that counts. sharing with followers


nybride710 profile image

nybride710 4 years ago from Minnesota

This couldn't be more timely. My husband and I are leaving in two days to spend three days in Chicago celebrating our anniversary. We've both been dieting, but I think that's off for this weekend. I will print this out and take it along.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

I think Evanston would count. Yes, Chicago is filled with ethnic food and some amazing places to visit. Thank you for the feedback dahoglund, it is well appreciated.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Happy anniversary ybride710. You know, my article covers ice-cream parlors that would be just fine on a diet e.g. Miko's Gelato. It is s similar to ice cream but has 55% less air and very low-fat. Also Starfruit has yogurt and kefir ice cream that is very healthy for you and also low in fat.

Wow, it is a compliment that you are printing out my article. TY.


nybride710 profile image

nybride710 4 years ago from Minnesota

Thanks. We're kind of wanting a weekend off the diet anyway...


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Ah, I thought so. Hey, it is a vacation right! Have fun!


stessily 4 years ago

mecheshier, Ice cream is one of those awesome, beautiful foods, and the Windy City is a favorite haunt for me for ice cream. My favorite ice cream flavor is cinnamon, so I'm pleased that you mention it as one of the unique flavors available at Wicker Park's iCream. Well done. Up + UABI + sharing.

Appreciatively, Stessily


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Thank you stessily.Yes cinnamon is a great flavor for ice cream. I am glad you enjoyed the Hub. Thank you for the kudos.


kristyshen profile image

kristyshen 4 years ago

This is fantastic ice cream info, mecheshier! Now I really really want to go to Chicago. Thanks so much for sharing this hub with us :)


Derdriu 4 years ago

Mecheshier, I like how you have everything organized so that the different shops can be easily compared for location, offerings, and prices. Also, it's fun to see some of the Windy City's representations of ice cream-making from so many different cultures.

Since I love gelato, I particularly like seeing Miko's listed.

One could probably go to a different shop every day, and still have places on the list by the end of the summer. It's never too windy to amble through Chicago shopping, and it's never too cold to eat ice cream ... to my way of thinking!

Up + UFABI.

Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing, Derdriu


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

You are welcome kristshen. Hope you can go soon. Let me know about your trip!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Absolutely! Even ice cream on a snowy day is great. But the best time has to be on a hot summer day. Geleto is my daughters favorite. Me, I ,love the rich fatty kind with an array of dark chocolate, nut butters, toffee, etc.

I have to say, you leave some of the best feedback ever. Double TY.


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

iCream sounds great! I just had gelato for the first time in Rochester...sooooo good! I have never been to Chicago. I definitely would like to go there and have theirs! Fun hub!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Yes, gelato is really good. It is not the same as ice cream but it is certainly tasty. Thanks for the great feedback.


travel-O-grapher profile image

travel-O-grapher 4 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

wow... looks like Chicago is the place to be!!! I love icecream and looks like there's a whole lot of varieties and types out there!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Indeed, especially if you like ice cream.


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

I love ice cream and I love the city of Chicago, so I just had to check this hub out even if I don´t live there. Now how I wish I did..... :)


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Hi Claudia.

Thank you for your feedback. You are just going to have to make a quick trip to Chicago to tour the ice cream parlor (hopefully you live close). Let me know when you go and what parlor (s) you visit. :-)

I too love ice cream. I am soooo mad at myself, years ago I got rid of an old ice cream maker. I so wish I had it now. I do not know what I was thinking at the time. Now how I wish I did......


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 4 years ago Author

Hi Claudia.

Thank you for your feedback. You are just going to have to make a quick trip to Chicago to tour the ice cream parlor (hopefully you live close). Let me know when you go and what parlor (s) you visit. :-)

I too love ice cream. I am soooo mad at myself, years ago I got rid of an old ice cream maker. I so wish I had it now. I do not know what I was thinking at the time. Now how I wish I did......

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