George's Ice Cream and Sweets
Sean Cooley
Original Rainbow Cone
Sugar Shack
Margie's Candies
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Black Dog Gelato
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1. George's Ice Cream & Sweets 5306 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

From old-school malts and floats to new-school scoops like Horchata and Fat Elvis (banana ice cream with peanut butter ripple and liquid chocolate chips) served in pretzel-encrusted cones, George’s is Andersonville’s go-to ice creamery and home to maybe the most intense milkshake in Chicago. If you're feeling adventurous, order the the Hocus Pocus shake, made with rainbow sherbet, Sprite, and POP-ROCKS.

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2. iCream Cafe 1537 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Hatched as a class project by two UofC b-schoolers, iCream's futuristically fatty idea was to let customers direct a customized process involving ice cream made from scratch, on-the-spot, using blasts of liquid nitrogen; after a 2-day August opening, their equipment blew a gasket, forcing them to re-up with $80K in shiny, 2nd Gen gear.

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3. Margie's Candies 1960 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

To put it in blunt terms, you simply haven't lived the true Chicago life until you've been to the legendary Margie's Candies. Serving Bucktown since 1921, this generations-old candy shop offers every confection imaginable, all made by hand every day. The ice cream, scooped into homemade waffle cones and delicately dipped in a rich chocolate sauce, is so decadent that both The Rolling Stones and The Beatles have ventured here after shows to satisfy their (brown) sugar cravings.

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4. Black Dog Gelato 859 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

From the ice cream queen whose small-batch, handmade frosty treats long graced local restaurants and specialty stores, Black Dog is an adorable corner parlor with pink, white, and floral-striped walls, a handful of wooden tables, and -- most important -- velvety gelato in unique flavors. Trust on this one: the goat cheese cashew caramel is a bowl of tangy, nutty goodness that will make you question why more frozen desserts don't involve goat cheese. Some other bizarre yet genius flavors? Sesame fig chocolate chip, blueberry French toast, and maple cayenne bacon.

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5. Butcher & The Burger Custard Cart 1021 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Coinciding with the unveiling of its cedar-fenced sidewalk patio, B&TB is amping up the experience with a new custard cart slinging cones of homemade creaminess in rotating flavors like peanut butter 'n banana, pear mascarpone brulee, and pina colada, which is unlikely to help you start makin' love at midnight.

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6. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams 3404 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, an Ohio-based chain, brings its crazy-good and exotic flavors, like fresh-shucked sweet corn and raspberry, to Chi-town. Take your treat in frozen yogurt, ice cream sandwich, or pint form, and pair it with a warm cup of french press Intelligentsia coffee.

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7. Sugar Shack 630 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60616

This Bridgeport sweets spot will make your childhood county fair dreams come true with Funnel Cake Sundaes (!) and a host of other dishes with super-sweet flavor combinations.

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8. bellyQ 1400 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607

While dining at a resto with the word "belly" in the name may make you feel weird, you should get over it and chow down on Korean short ribs and banana leaf-wrapped salmon, or opt for the likes of Thai fried chicken, wood-fired bacon 'n kimchi pancakes, or some tea-smoked duck breast served with steamed Chinese buns. Also: cocktails, wine, and beer.

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9. Shawn Michelle's Old Fashioned Ice Cream 1229 East 87th St, Chicago, IL 60619

If you qualify yourself as an "experimental ice cream-eater" then you'll love the variety of small-batch, house-made flavors at this Calumet Heights spot, including "Banana Bread Pudding" and "Caribbean Sunbeam Supreme".

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10. Azucar 3617 W 27th St, Chicago, IL 60623

This Little Village shop doles out some of the tastiest treats in the city and is extremely popular because of their famous out-of-the-ordinary ice cream flavors like sangria and guava.

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11. Delicias Natural 2867 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Delicias Natural is a Mexican ice-creamery scooping up some crazy South-of-the-border-inspired frozen treats, such as avocado and tequila ice creams.

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12. Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop 830 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

This SF-based chocolatier hub in Near North Side is doling out all of the usual, delectable suspects. Try the salted hot chocolate, any number of unique ice cream flavors, or just get a bar of the original stuff.

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13. Atwood 1 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

This new-American spot on Washington has some of the best local fare in Chicago. If you're in the mood for something sweet, be sure to dive mouth-first into some of the renowned ice cream/gelato. It surely cannot be missed.

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14. Lindy's Gertie's Chili & Ice Cream 2353 S Laramie Ave, Cicero, IL 60804

They've got chili AND ice cream. Seriously, what could be better than warming up with some chili, then cooling your palate down with some homemade ice cream. Answer: nothing.

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15. Duff’s Dogs 4835 N Austin Ave , Chicago, IL 60630

This Jefferson Park hot dog joint also serves up some of the best soft-serve in the city. Go there late-night for some cheese fries, or sidle up with a double dog and some pop.

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16. Lickity Split Frozen Custard 6056 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60660

Pastries, cupcakes, and candy fill this '50s-style sweet shop in Edgewater -- treat yourself to custard shakes, concretes, and sundaes as well.

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17. Scooter's Frozen Custard 1658 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

This mom and pop shop serves their frozen custard anyway you like. Their top selling "concrete" is known as the Elvis, and features vanilla custard with peanut butter cups and bananas. But if that's not your style, you can grab a sundae, plain custards, shakes & malts, or create your own concrete. You can also grab a hot dog and chips, if, for some reason you want one.

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18. Rainbow Cone 9233 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60643

An unexpected ice cream combination has kept Beverly’s Rainbow Cone in the hearts of Chicagoans since 1926: a retro sugar cone piled with layers of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with cherries and walnuts), pistachio, and orange sherbet. Lick layer by layer or go for a cross-section bite. You can’t do it wrong. Carry-out cakes of the same invention are on offer in the bright pink stucco store, in addition to sundaes, splits and shakes. A kiosk location at Navy Pier brings the sugar rush waterside.