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Mario's Italian Lemonade

Mario's Italian Lemonade - Chicago

This Taylor Street walk-up stand, open from May 1 to mid-September, has exemplified summer in Chicago since 1953. Hot days will find long lines stretching out into the street waiting for slushy Italian lemonande and freshly roasted nuts.

Mario DiPaolo, whose father opened the stand, still uses fresh fruit, imported flavorings and cane sugar to make the refreshing cross between a frozen dessert and a beverage the old-fashioned way. All the flavors start with lemon, and bits of peel and seeds in your cup testify to its origins as the real thing. Most of the flavors, including about half a dozen made with additional fresh fruit, are available all season, but fans wait eagerly for the fleeting period in August when fresh peach is served.

In season, the stand is open from 10 a.m. to midnight.