Ever since LA’s infamous Pinkberry burst on the scene (which has been rumored to be making it’s Chicago debut fairly soon), copy-cats, imitations and just plain weird ice cream derivatives have been popping up all around town. Here’s your quick guide to grabbing a cold fixing on a hot summer day.
The closest cousin to Pinkberry, and many a local’s favorite spot, this River North storefront was the first of it’s kind in Chicago. With rotating flavors like Chocolate Amaretto, Pina Colada and Pink Guava, there is always a refreshing treat to brighten up the day. Looking for a late night indulgence? They’re open ‘til 4 am on Friday and Saturdays and probably a much safer option than Al’s Beef. Most notably at their State Street location, they are also opening at Ravinia, US Cellular Field and Ogilvie station later in the year.
Berry Chill, 635 N. State, Chicago.
This 6-year-old rapidly expanding chain is the darling of LA fashionistas. Born and bred in Texas, Red Mango is now in Lincoln Park, Evanston and Naperville. With all-natural toppings of fresh fruit or “fun and crunchy” think mochi, Fruity Pebbles, Cap’n Crunch, and Ghirardelli chocolate, concoctions come in frozen yogurt, smoothie or parfait form.
Red Mango, 2806 N. Clark St., Chicago.
I Cream is a futuristic ice cream factory that literally designs your creation out of thin air. Started by a few former Starbucks employees interested in utilizing some seriously cool chemistry, you pick the base texture: ice cream, soy milk, non-fat yogurt, low-fat yogurt, sorbet or hot pudding, the flavor and the color, and the concoction comes to life via liquid nitrogen right in front of your eyes. Pink vanilla is a mind trip.
I Cream, 1537 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.
Technically not frozen yogurt, all the low-fat smoothies, frozen treats and yummy parfaits at Starfruit are made with Lifeway Kefir, which packs up to four times the health-boosting probiotics of yogurt. Specialty toppings include granola from Milk and Honey cafe, cupcakes, and Vosges Red Fire bars. With locations in Wicker Park, Lincoln Park and the Loop, Starfruit lets you feel good about your indulgence and not break the bikini diet.
Starfruit Cafe, 1745 W. Division St., Chicago.