Best Ice Cream, Gelato and Frozen Yogurt on the North Shore

girls at Red Mango in EvanstonIn a chocolate-covered waffle cone. With alcohol or fruit mixed in. Covered with sprinkles, Oreo crumbles or bits of Reese’s peanut butter cups. Any way you dress it, ice cream is the best summer treat around.

In honor of National Ice Cream Month, we’ve singled out the North Shore ice cream spots that are lick-the-drips-off-your-fingers-fabulous and rated them on a four-star scale. And for good measure, we’ve thrown in our favorite gelato and frozen yogurt (roughly half the calories of ice cream, which is 220-280 per 4-ounce serving, with gelato falling in the middle).

Ice Cream


The Winner:

1237 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette

Homers Ice Cream in Wilmette, IL
Our pick: Cappuccino chip made with Kona coffee and mocha flakes
The reaction: “Straight up phenomenal.” Homer’s has more than 40 flavors made with fresh milk and cream from its own dairy. Our faves are Prairie Berry, Fresh Peach, Cappuccino Chip, Mint Chip, Pistachio, Coffee, Peppermint Stick, Cinnamon Apple, Cookies and Cream, Seasonal Peach.
Price: $2.62 (for 4 ounces)

The Runners Up:

Bobtail Ice Cream Company

1114 Central St., Wilmette

Bobtail Ice Cream Shop in Wilmette, IL
Our pick: Cubby Crunch, which is vanilla ice cream, sprinkles, Oreo crumbles, chocolate chips and toffee
The reaction: Very good-with some really interesting “grown up” flavors such as Signature Sunset (merlot ice cream and dark chocolate) or Daley Addiction (vanilla ice cream with butterfudge). Kids might like the Rice Crispy or Lucky Charms featured flavors.
Price: $2.82 (for 4 ounces)

260 E Deerpath Rd., Lake Forest

Our pick: Elephant Tracks (Chocolate fudge with peanut butter cups)
The reaction: Very good; about 16 flavors to choose from and one special flavor. The store looks like a summer resort ice cream store. We also ordered a green river slushie, which was a big hit!
Price: $3.70 (for 4 ounces)

Village Creamery
4558 Oakton St., Skokie

Our pick: Buko (young coconut)
The reaction: Hit-or-miss. Stick to the exotic flavors. If you are in the mood for Cookies and Cream, go somewhere else. Some interesting flavors are Avocado, Lychee and Mango.
Price: $2.99 (for 4 ounces)

Frozen Yogurt


The Winner:

Red Mango
813 Davis St., Evanston

MIBS Pick: There are only four flavors of yogurt to choose from (Original, Raspberry Cheesecake, Black Cherry, or Pomegranate), but you can add a dozen-plus available toppings.  Add one topping for $0.75 or two or more for $1.25.

Primary Ingredients: All-natural, non-fat, certified gluten-free and packed with live and active probiotic cultures.
Tasters’ Comments: “OMG really yummy and delicious!”
Price: $3.23 for 4 oz.
Calories: Less then 100 calories (not including the toppings)

The Runners Up:

Yogen Fruz

At Michael’s Chicago Style Red Hots
1879 Second St., Highland Park

Our pick: Non-fat, no-sugar-added Vanilla topped with kiwi and mango
The reaction: “Refreshing, light and fresh.” Yogen Fruz features low-fat or non-fat frozen yogurt made with skim milk and topped with fresh or frozen fruit. Sugar-free options are available as is soft serve yogurt with probiotics.
Price: $2.50 (for 4 ounces, without toppings)

Loves Yogurt
122 Skokie Blvd.
Our pick: Peanut butter/chocolate
Tasters’ comments: “Tasty, creamy and delicious”.  If you are on a diet nothing compares to Loves’ wide variety of low-fat or non-fat yogurt (with sugar-free options available).
Price: $2.45 (for a small)



The Winner:

Via Gelato
1853 Tower Dr., Glenview

Our pick: Coconut Crunch (coconut base with white chocolate, almond, and hazelnut) and Swiss Coco
The reaction: “Yumgasmic-fantastic!” “Heavenly!” “Best Gelato I have ever had.”
Price: $3.50 (small: 1-2 flavors) and $4.75 (medium: 1-2 flavors)

The Runners Up:

Leonidas Cafe Chocolaterie
1157 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette
Our pick: Toasted Coconut Almond Fudge
The reaction: Only about ten flavors to choose from, but the ones we tried were very good and rich.  Also consider the Banana Walnut Praline or the Chocolate Cafe Caramel.
Price: $3.45 (for a small) $3.75 (sugar cone)

Linz & Vail
2012 Central St., Evanston
Our pick: Tiramisu (part of their flavor rotation)
The reaction: “Yummy!” “Cozy and warm atmosphere.”
Price: $2.99-kiddie size    $3.65-small    $4.50-original

Frozen Custard

The Winner:


719 Church Street, Evanston
Our pick: Try a malt or a “concrete” with toppings, such as cheesecake, mixed in for an irresistible treat!
The reaction:  Open until midnight Friday and Saturdays throughout the summer, this is the perfect place for a late night snack when your day is over!  The custard is made fresh every hour, so you can watch the whole process right in front of you!
Price: $4.37 for a small “Concrete” with one mix-in

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