Summer Sweets: If August lives up to its "Dog Days of Summer" moniker, we're all gonna need some serious A.C. and ice cream in the coming weeks. Fortunately, Chicago is chock full of the latter. Along with numerous other ice cream-adjacent coolers ideal for quenching those sweaty mid-day hankerings. From housemade ice pops to gourmet ice cream sandwiches, here's your definitive guide to cooling down and sweetening up this August:
(The sundae to end all sundaes at Cicchetti)
Cicchetti: If there's anyone you want to order sorbetti and gelati from, it's Sarah Jordan at Cicchetti. The dexterous chef is serving up a tempting slew of cool new dessert flavors, such as white wine-apricot and bourbon-blueberry sorbetti and milk chocolate and tiramisu gelati. Or you can just dive right in with her tiramisu sundae made with tiramisu gelato, Fernet Branca Menta fudge, pistachio brittle, and Amarena cherries.
West Town Bakery & Diner: This adorable, nostalgia-packed bakery and diner has a veritable ice cream parlor on-site for the summer months. Aka a chilled case filled with housemade Americana, like housemade icy push-pops, ice cream cones, ice cream sandwiches, and more.
Black Dog Gelato: Remember when Black Dog Gelato teamed up with Glazed & Infused to create a dessert hybrid on par with cronut mania? Well, the doughnut gelato sandwiches have become a regular fixture at Black Dog Gelato, at least on a weekly basis every Monday. Swing by to try doughnut-gelato combos such as maple-bacon long Johns filled with gelato of your choosing. Check Black Dog's Facebook page for weekly flavors and announcements.
Bake: POPSICLES. This darling Bucktown bakery is bringing back its seasonal popsicles and fudgesicles for the summer. Flavors rotate regularly based on market availability for the popsicles, but fudgesicles are a regular staple.
Punch House: Drinking cocktails is a lot more fun when crunchy shaved ice is involved. Punch House knows this. The subterranean haunt is cranking up its new Sno Kone machine for the summer, offering any cocktail poured over a Sno Kone. The drinks come in custom-labeled paper cones on adorable cup-holders.
25 Degrees: One summer staple is milkshakes. Especially when they're infused with booze. No one does it better than 25 Degrees, the burger-centric bastion with a penchant for alcoholic whimsy. Their boozy milkshake menu features enticing flavors such as the Turkish Latte with Bailey's, Trader Vic's liqueur, iced espresso, coffee ice cream, and cardamom; Bananas Foster with Sailor Jerry rum, banana butterscotch, vanilla ice cream, and Myer's rum floater; and Irish Car Bombs with Guinness, Bailey's, Jameson, vanilla ice cream, and housemade chocolate sauce.
Belly Shack: Bill Kim's casual Asian-Latin fusion spot has developed a deserved renown for its impeccable soft-serve. And with the addition of new summer flavors, you've got all the more reason to let loose on some sumptuous soft-serve ice cream. Dig into huckleberry-lime, Vietnamese cinnamon caramel, or banana, almond, and chocolate granola.
Chuck's: A Kerry Simon Kitchen: Hey guess what? Root beer floats are better with booze. Chuck's: A Kerry Simon Kitchen knows this and they're serving up a new summer dessert made with Not Your Father's Root Beer from Small Town Brewery, French vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and sprinkles.
- Matt Kirouac