7 authentic ice cream treats that trot the globe

By Nicole Schnitzler

If you can’t skip town this summer for a dreamy, passport-required getaway, do the next best thing: Hop in line for ice cream. Now more than ever Chicago is home to an abundance of frozen treats from around the globe, from bastani and halo-halo, to mochi and Italian ice. Here are seven of the best spots to try now for your ice cream staycation—and revelation.

More mochi options than ever at Arami
We’re not knocking the go-to green tea or red bean mochi, but every once in a while variation is vital. It’s also the best way to get the most out of this contemporary sushi spot, which is currently serving up four creative takes on the Japanese confection: blueberry, chocolate–peanut butter, white chocolate–raspberry, and li hing mango.

Say hello to halo-halo at Isla Pilipina
When it comes to dessert at this Filipino restaurant, all hail the halo-halo: a vibrant bowl of shaved ice, coconut gel, sweetened white beans, and sugar palm fruit. Incessant Instagrammers, ready your filters—colors abound in this post-dinner decadence, thanks in part to ice cream made of ube, a strikingly purple yam from the Philippines.

Irish-inspired ice cream at CONE Gourmet Ice Cream
The owner of this West Loop favorite was born and raised in Ireland, and the menu is peppered with Irish-inspired offerings, from Irish chocolate–dipped cones, to Flake Bar–topped soft serve. Perhaps the most obvious giveaway of any across-the-pond origins lies in the Shamrock, a soft serve dish or cone covered in Lucky Charms cereal.

Chill out at Miko's Italian Ice
The team at this neighborhood staple takes pride in their Italian ice—after all, they’ve spent nearly 20 years mastering their particular version, which is made daily with fresh fruit. Flavors rotate seasonally, but Chicagoans have spoken, and the favorites include lemon, coconut, mango, black raspberry, and blueberry.

Go big on Bastani at Noon-O-Kabab
Come for the kababs and borani at this Albany Park eatery, but be sure to stay for the bastani, or Persian-style ice cream. The team here whips up four house-made flavors: Persian saffron (with rosewater and saffron from Iran), fig with date reduction, chocolate hazelnut, and strawberry cream.

Classed up combinations at Black Dog Gelato
It’s all about high quality quirk at this Ukrainian Village corner go-to, which has been serving up handcrafted and artisanal gelato since June 2010. The roster lists more than 70 flavors, all made in small batches daily, ranging from crowd-pleasers like chocolate and pistachio to the inventive and adventurous—think goat cheese cashew caramel, blueberry French toast, and maple cayenne bacon.

Get snowed in with Snow Dragon Shavery
Finally, snow you can eat and feel good about. Taiwanese-style shaved “snow” just so happens to be what this frozen treat shop specializes in—along with macarons, macaron ice cream sandwiches, and bubble teas. Choose from flavors like Key lime, mango, and pina colada before topping your dish off with a variety of fruits and candies.

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