We are currently experiencing an Ice Cream Renaissance like the world has never tasted before. Salted Caramel, Spicy Chocolate and Fresh Peppermint are becoming standard while flavors like Brown Butter Bacon, Chocolate Cherry Rocky Road , Licorice and Lavender are new taste sensations. Below are my current favorites and some of my favorite flavors. Of note, I’m a Chocolate vs a Vanilla guy, love Mint, I’m nuts…I mean love nut based flavors like Pistachio, Hazelnut etc and love finding new twists on the classics
Coolhaus - While known primarily for their Ice Cream sandwiches sold out if their trucks and carts which are epic(they offer about 5 differ types of cookie everyday…) I usually by their stuff by the Mason jar. Dirty Mint, Mint Julep and Brown Butter Bacon are some of my faves
Cones – Has been around for a while selling delicious Gelato, try their Corn and the Dulce Con Leche
Grom – I’m partial to their Pistachio and Hazelnut
Hay Rosie – Limited batch production down out of Brooklyn. You can get 7oz mini-boxes at Cool Story in NYC. So far I’ve had the Bananas Ferrari (bananas, brown butter, brown sugar and malted milk crunchies) and the Chocolate Malt with honeyed peanut butter swirl. This a new major contender to watch…and eat…
Ill Laboratorio Gelato – while their basic flavors are great it’s their special flavors like Fig, Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Lavender Honey, and Licorice that I usually go for. Usually in one if their tubs where you can get up to 4 or 5 different flavors
Jacques Torres - They make some of my favorite chocolate, my fave hot chocolate, have amazing chocolate chunk cookies and a few years ago stated an ice cream line which is awesome. The Wicked Chocolate being my favorite. Their chocolate chunk ice cream cookies sandwiches are incredible.
Jeni’s Splendid – I’ve seen Jeni’s in pints and finally got around to trying some. Non standard flavors are they’re thing and even when basic they amp it up. I really enjoyed their Salted Caramel, they put so much cacao in the Dark Chocolate it’s almost fudge and Bombay Milk Chocolate has Coconut and Curry Powder in it! I liked it, your not going to want it every day …but if you like curry go get yourself some
L’ Arte del Gelato – Some of the best Gelato in the city, dense, creamy delish. Large assortment of flavors. I recently had the Spicy Chocolate(packed some heat) Cherry, and Banana and all were off the charts. The Chocolate with Orange is incredible as well.
Meat Ball Shop – Why am I listing a Meatball joint? Quite simply because while they have some of the best meatballs in the city or yo Momma’s kitchen( let the hate mail from my Italian friends begin:) their ice cream sandwiches are as good. Chose from 5-6 cookies(you can choose a different top from the bottom!:) and the same amount of flavors Chocolate, Vanilla, Coffee, Mint and some specials. You can also make a Root Beer float…yum:)
Morgenstern’s Finest – This place is so damn good it has me coming after mid-morning coffee and before lunch for a couple of scoops! The Chocolate Cherry Road is incredible, love their Caramel variations (ie Sesame)and they have some very tasty toppings that include Black Fudge…Hot fudge with licorice that is insane! Oh their Sorbets are pretty amazing too…especially Jungle Bird
Odd Fellows – Amazing ice cream in not your standard flavors like Miso Cherry, Caramel Chorizo, Buttermilk Bacon etc…
Shake Shack – Great burgers and Chicago Sports dogs, but don’t miss out on the Custard Concretes…flavors change regularly
Sundaes and Cones – My favorite Coconut Ice Cream in the city, love the Banana as well. Come here for the great Far East flavors like Sesame and Wasabi.
Van Leeuwen - Another one of my faves. I usually go to their brick n mortar in the E Village, but they have 11 trucks out and about. I love their Mint and really wish they would add the Coconut Chocolate Chip as a standard instead of a special. Palm Sugar is another great one.
Remember, the secret to enjoying these tasty treats is to enjoy them in moderation and find a fun way to burn them off when you finish licking them up