Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top shaved ice hot spots in Chicago, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to venture when cravings strike.
1. Annette's Italian Ice
Photo: Christopher V./Yelp
Topping the list is Annette's Italian Ice. With 23 flavors, you're sure to find a favorite. Cantaloupe, peach, pina colada and lychee are among the evolving options. Combine your Italian ice with some frozen yogurt for an Italian fro-yo. There's also ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies and more.
Located at 2009 N. Bissell St. in Lincoln Park, it is the highest-rated shaved ice spot in Chicago, boasting 4.5 stars out of 240 reviews on Yelp.
2. Vinny D's
Photo: Noemi R./Yelp
Next up is East Ukrainian Village's Vinny D's, situated at 1709 W. Division St. (between Paulina Street and Hermitage Avenue). Approach the walk-up window to order shaved ice in one of a dozen-plus flavors. Or, switch gears and go with a handmade gelato, in flavors like pistachio and rum chocolate. There's also food like hot dogs, Polish sausage and curly fries.
With five stars out of 61 reviews on Yelp, the eatery has proven to be a local favorite.
3. Miko's Italian Ice
Photo: Miko's Italian ice/Yelp
Next, Palmer Square's Miko's Italian Ice, located at 2236 N. Sacramento Ave., is another top choice, with Yelpers giving it 4.5 stars out of 160 reviews. Miko's is laser-focused on Italian ice, with a rotating selection of more than 25 flavors, including watermelon, grapefruit, apple crisp and pumpkin spice, in sizes from baby to jumbo. To exercise your creativity, ask them to combine a couple of flavors for you.
Note that the walk-up window is closed for the season, but you can always order online for next-day pickup. It also has locations in Bucktown and Irving Park.
4. Snow Dragon Shavery & Yogurt
Photo: April Justine M./Yelp
Snow Dragon Shavery & Yogurt in Park West is another go-to, with four stars out of 325 Yelp reviews. Its shaved ice comes in Asian-inspired flavors like taro and black sesame, and you're invited to top it with things like flavored boba and gummy bears. Another specialty of the house is an ice cream sandwich made from colorful French macarons in fruity flavors.
Head over to 2618 N. Clark St. (between Wrightwood Avenue and Drummond Place) to see for yourself.
5. Taipei Cafe
Photo: Jenny K./Yelp
Finally, there's Taipei Cafe, a Bridgeport favorite with four stars out of 181 reviews. Shaved ice here comes in five flavors: mango (served alongside fresh fruit), chocolate, strawberry, matcha and milk tea. The latter two spring from this shop's real calling as a Taiwanese cafe and tea house. There are more than 20 milk teas, alone, but there are also fruit and fresh teas.
Hungry? Order off the extensive menu of Taiwanese dishes, from noodle soup to honey toast.
Stop by 2609 S. Halsted St. at 26th Street to hit up this spot next time you're looking to satisfy your cravings.