After our long cold winter, it seemed like it would take forever for summer to arrive in Chicago. Now that it’s here locals and tourists alike are flocking to the lakefront, outdoor festivals, sidewalk cafes and beer gardens. We’re getting out and about and soaking up every bit of these long warm days. If you are staying with us this summer we hope you’ll join in on all the outdoor fun too. Remember your sunscreen, stay hydrated, and since you’re on vacation, don’t forget the ice cream.
Just like pizza, Chicago has a variety of lauded frozen delights. From good old fashioned ice cream, to the healthy indulgence of frozen yogurt, to the unique frozen custards popular here in the Midwest, you have many delicious options all within walking distance of the Old Chicago inn. And if you walk, you certainly deserve that ice cream. Here are my three favorite spots in Lakeview for a frozen treat.
Bobtail Ice Cream Company, at 2951 N. Broadway, tops my list. It’s like stepping into the past, with its blue and white striped awning, bentwood chairs and hand painted signs, all of which seems to make their homemade, hard packed ice cream even more delicious. They use high quality ingredients here and you can taste the difference. Right now they are serving peach ice cream, made with real peaches, which passes the test for this Georgia girl. It does get a bit crowded on summer nights so we usually order to go and plan to stroll down lively Broadway while we enjoy our Bobtail ice cream.
Next on my list is Forever Yogurt, at 931 W. Belmont, for two reasons. First, because it is so darn close to the Inn, it is my go to place to satisfy a craving for something frozen on a hot day. Second, Forever Yogurt has tons of choices, I can opt for something health conscious like tart euro style yogurt, or one of their fat free options, and top it with fresh fruit, while my nieces can choose from cake batter, to Dutch chocolate and load it up with gummy bears, Oreo crumbles and hot caramel. All the self serve flavors, usually over a dozen to choose from, are labeled with nutritional information. And did I mention how close it is to the Inn?
Last but not least is Scooter’s Frozen Custard, at 1658 W Belmont. The walk to Scooter’s is just under a mile, nine tenths to be exact, and walking there and back will ease the guilt of indulgence of this marvelous concoction. For those of you unfamiliar with frozen custards, as I was before moving to the Midwest, the difference from ice cream is that it contains egg yolks. Fans find the egg yolk creates a silkier texture, and some say it helps the custard stay colder longer than traditional ice cream. Interestingly, although frozen custards are wildly popular here in the Midwest, they originated in New York. Frozen Custard was introduced to the Midwest here in Chicago at the Century of Progress World’s Fair in 1933. Try it for yourself at Scooter’s where you can order a “concrete” – a serving of frozen custard for which you select one of many “mix ins” to create your own custard. Or you can select one of their house recipes. My personal favorite is the Coconut Cream Pie: vanilla custard mixed with coconut and graham cracker pie crust and topped with whipped cream. At Scooter’s you’ll feel like a local, savoring your frozen custard from the walk-up window along with the neighbors, their kids, and dogs.