Best Gelato In Chicago

July 23, 2014 6:00 AM

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We may live in Chicago, but a slice — or a cup or cone, as it may be — of Italy is right outside our door. Gelato may be Italian for ‘ice cream,’ but ice cream and gelato are far more different than just their name. Gelato is traditionally slow-churned, unlike ice cream,  and made with less cream, resulting in a lower fat content. So when you want to cool down this summer with a cold treat, consider a delicious gelato at these top places around Chicago.
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Black Dog Gelato
859 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-3116

Created by owner Jessica Oloroso, Black Dog Gelato is the gold standard for all other gelaterias in Chicago. That’s in large part due to Oloroso’s creative and amazing flavor combinations, especially her famed goat cheese cashew caramel. Other flavor combinations are inspired by what fruit is in season. All gelatos are made in house, so when they run out, they run out. Black Dog has two locations, Ukrainian Village and Roscoe Village.

30 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-9881

Go for the panini and stay for the gelato. Both L’Appetito locations in the Gold Coast (the other conveniently situated in the John Hancock building) are owned and operated by the Spatara family, who pride themselves on featuring true Italian foods, including grocery items. While the Italian cookies are just as tempting, and delicious, the creamy gelatos here are hard to beat. The flavors change daily.

Caffe Gelato
2034 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 227-7333

Every morning, before Caffe Gelato opens at 9 a.m. daily in Wicker Park, it is busy making fresh gelato using spices and ingredients straight from Italy. Therefore it’s no surprise that while this family-run gelateria is often serving traditional flavors, like vanilla and chocolate, it is also constantly switching up what’s in its gelato case. You can also savor flavors like zuppa and hazelnut, to name just a few options, on the outdoor patio.

Related: Best Cold Treats In Chicago

Gelato Greco
1058 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 733-8120

This West Town neighborhood bakery is known for its crepes, but as its name implies, it’s even better known for its gelato. While the Italian ice cream selection is small here, there’s good reason: each small batch is handcrafted in the store right in front of you! Flavors are typically limited to no more than eight, and depending on the day, you might be able to get a decent size serving of traditional Italian flavors, like Stracciatella, or the more American flavors, like bacon and maple. Pint and half-gallon options are also available to go.

3241 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 248-8433

For a fully stocked case of gelato, look no further than Paciugo, which means ‘messy concoction.’ While the gelato shop has locations throughout the U.S., it’s a huge favorite of locals, in part due to the three locations in Lincoln Square, Lakeview and Roscoe Village. Choose from a wide range of milk-based gelatos — from biscotti to strawberry lavender chocolate chip — as well as water-based sorbets. While flavor options change frequently, Paciugo easily has one of the biggest gelato selections in town.

Related: Best Places To Get Ice Cream

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at

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