Our Favorite Kid-friendly Ice Cream Parlours in Chicago

My kids doing what they do best: eating ice cream

It’s summertime here in the city, so my kids, ages almost-two and ten, are making daily pit stops for ice cream. Luckily, we live in Chicago, where we can select from a number of ice cream parlours to match our moods. Here are top 3 favorite (kid-friendly!) spots for ice cream in Chicago.

Scooter’s Frozen Custard (1658 West Belmont) offers frozen custard, a smooth, creamy, delicious version of ice cream. You’ll know that this ice cream is fresh and made with the highest quality ingredients at first lick. Choose plain vanilla or chocolate, or a selection of special daily flavors, and the Scooter’s staff will mix it with your favorite add-ins, creating a customized ice cream treat dubbed the “Concrete”. Check Scooter’s website – http://www.scootersfrozencustard.com/ – for the special flavors of the day (recently featured: Strawberry Oreo and Whisky Caramel).

My almost-two-year-old appreciates Scooter’s toddler cone, a mini-cone filled with fresh frozen custard, just right for little hands.

We’re an Italian American family (we even speak Italian at home…) so we’re Picky with a capital P when it comes to our beloved gelato. Thankfully, we have an authentic Italian gelateria five minutes from home: Caffe Gelato (2034 West Division Street) in Wicker Park. I find true Italian gelato and especially the sorbetti more refreshing than American ice cream, and my kids love the fact that they can choose more than one flavor – my son always picks his top three: a just-right scoop of strawberry, straciatella (plain cream with dark chocolate swirls), and pistachio. I’m all about dark chocolate gelato – as much as I want to try other flavors here, I can’t seem to order anything but my favorite. Don’t forget to request a topping of fresh panna – it’s unsweetened, so you can enjoy the smooth creaminess of whipped cream without the cloying sweetness.

Margie’s (1960 North Western) is Chicago’s ice cream parlour par excellence. In business since 1921, you can just imagine how many couples and families have cozied up in the cushy booths, making memories over hot fudge topped sundaes. Kitchy decor, seasoned servers, and an extensive menu of giant ice cream concoctions served in enormous ceramic clam shells make it a Chicago experience worth reliving over and over again. I used to share the Turtle Sundae (vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge, pecans, whipped cream, wafer and a cherry on top) with my son, but ever since he turned 10, he manages to finish off the Swiss Sundae entirely on his own (vanilla and chocolate ice cream topped with marshmallow creme, hot fudge, whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top, too). The lines may be long, but summer just wouldn’t be summer without (many) a visit to Margie’s.

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