Best Chicago Frozen Treats For Summer

Chill out with giant house-made ice cream sandwiches, gourmet paletas and more

When Chicago isn't being pounded by subzero temperatures, it's being pummeled with sweaty, oppressive heat. Does a happy medium exist? Of course, it does. But as long as we're mopping the sweat off our brow, we're here to make the dog days of summer feel a little more bearable with a roundup of our favorite frozen treats in Chicago.

Paletas at Ozzie's Pops & Pretzels

The latest concept from Lettuce Entertain You, Ozzie's Pops & Pretzels may, once and for all, give you the best excuse to visit Navy Pier. Chef/partner Ozzie Ocegueda uses his mother's recipes to offer more than 15 kinds of paletas (ice pops). Expect staples such as strawberry, chocolate and vanilla, but save room to try something more adventurous like lime chia or peanut butter and jelly. All the pops can be dipped into chocolate and coated in a variety of toppings.

Giant Ice Cream Sandwiches at Cocoa + Co.

For the kid at heart with a grown-up palate, there's the giant house-made ice cream sandwiches at Cocoa + Co. Each treat is made with two oversize Oreos and ice cream from local specialty shop Homer's Ice Cream, then rolled in an assortment of toppings. Our favorite is the toffee-coffee pairing, which features coffee ice cream rolled in pecans.

Mangonada at Los Mangos

For those who prefer a dairy-free option, head to one of Los Mangos's eight locations for a mangonada. They start by filling a 12-ounce cup with mango sorbet made fresh each day in-store. As they go, they add a spray of lime, salt and Tajín, a chile seasoning powder, then top everything off with mango chunks and a healthy dose of liquid chamoy, resulting in a sweet, savory and spicy combination all in one go. 

Gelato Churro Sandwich at Mad Social

It might be a little messy, but Mad Social offers a worthy alternative to the ice cream sandwich with its gelato churro. The fillings change with the seasons; on offer right now is The Superman, a mix of lemon, raspberry and vanilla gelato sitting on two, deep-fried churro waffles.

Plantain Ice Cream Sandwich at Ronero

Yes, another ice cream sandwich. But it'd be a mistake to think this recent menu addition is similar to anything else on this list. Executive chef Trevor Cole puts a South American twist on the classic American frozen treat. He uses hazelnut, cacao nib brittle and passion fruit ice cream in a chocolate-covered sweet plantain cookie to create something that is uniquely his. Get it when you're in the mood for something different. 

Adult Slushies at Arbella

If you prefer a bit of hooch during your summer cooldown, head to Arbella where all of its regular cocktails can be turned into a slushies right before your eyes. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the cocktails into a wintry mix, which makes cooling off a lot easier. Just added to the menu is the Frinót Grigio, a melon-tasting cocktail made with Fonseca Port Blanc, Pinot Grigio, honeydew purée and dragon fruit.

Ximena N. Larkin is a Chicago-based writer looking for adventures. Find her at @ximenalarkin on Instagram and Twitter.