Summer is upon us, and with it comes a nearly unquenchable craving for frozen treats in all shapes and sizes. My icy delicacy of choice is a thick, creamy, delectable, frozen custard. Frozen custard differs from your traditional ice cream in several ways. The machines used to mix frozen custard trap less air than ice cream, which makes it denser dessert. In addition to the milk and creams typically found in ice cream, frozen custard incorporates egg yolks for a much richer product.
Head on over to Lickity Split in Edgewater (6056 N Broadway St.) to sample some of the finest frozen custard Chicago has to offer. Currently serving up the classic flavors of blueberry, vanilla and chocolate, they also feature their “concrete” version which blends raspberries and crushed Oreos into the custard, topping off the decadent dessert with a dollop of whipped cream. Lickity Split’s massive success prompted owners Ken Anderson and Luke Klein to open a second location in 2015 at 7000 N. Western Ave. in Roger’s Park.
For sheer variety nothing beats Andy’s Frozen Custard with over 25 cleverly named and carefully crafted frozen custard combos. The chain has been around since 1986, and boasts of being the largest dessert only franchise in the world. Yet Andy’s Frozen Custard somehow manages to remain true to their humble beginnings in Osage Beach Missouri, and to the simple and charming credo set forth by the original founders John and Carol Kuntz. Andy’s serves up a mean fudge sundae, and a refreshing take on the classic root beer float that is a must. Their shoppes can be found across Illinois in Evanston, Naperville, Oak Lawn and Burbank.
My personal favorite haunt is Scooter’s Frozen Custard in Roscoe Village. Their creations are made with the freshest ingredients all sourced from local Wisconsin farms. Located on the corner of Belmont and Paulina (1658 W. Belmont Avenue) Chicago natives Mardi and Denny Moore have been serving up this delightful treat in their cozy establishment since the summer of 2003. Their top seller the “Elvis” features vanilla custard blended with Reese’s peanut butter cups and bananas for a combo so thick it can be served upside down, or so they claim. And if that’s not enough to tempt you they also offer a plethora of “mix-ins” from marshmallows and hot fudge to M&Ms and gummy worms, there’s something for everyone.
Arguably one of the most charming sweet treat parlours I have ever wandered into, George’s Ice Cream and Sweets is reminiscent of a 1950’s drugstore. Located in Andersonville (5306 N Clark St.) and founded by the Stotis family in 2009, their unique decor and friendly environment sets them apart. And they’re ice cream ain’t bad either. Try the vanilla custard in a donut cream sandwich for a mind blowing experience.
Baker Boy at 733 St. Johns Avenue Highland Park is a self-described mom and pop shop that creates every dish from scratch daily. Run by long-time friends, Pastry Chef Jordan Rappaport and Peter Rauser create mouthwatering gourmet delights including a seasonal array of frozen custard flavors. Custard can be bought by the cone, cup or pint and flavors include Caramel Toffee, Lemon Meringue, Maple Candied Pecan and Red Velvet among others.
I can’t think of a better way to end a sunny Chicago summer day than at one of these locales guzzling the luscious treats they offer. Created with fine craftsmanship and prime ingredients these spots will earn an instant place on your list of faves, and will have you returning all summer for more.