2 Northwest Side spots cool Chicagoans with classic, exotic spins on soft serve

Sunday, July 7, 2019
2 Northwest Side spots cool Chicagoans with classic, exotic takes on creamy treats
The Hungry Hound looks at two restaurants serving up sensational soft service ice cream in the first installment of a summer series on desserts.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's in the heat of summer, and what better time for a cool, creamy dessert? There are plenty of options in the region, which the Hungry Hound will be highlighting in his Saturday Night Sampler all month long.

Guests at Avondale's Honey Butter Fried Chicken know that even though they're eating familiar food, the sourcing and quality of the ingredients is paramount. That also goes for dessert.

"We are using Kilgus Dairy, Kilgus Creamery Dairy, so really amazing soft serve from here in the state of Illinois; rich, delicious, amazing soft serve ice cream," said Honey Butter Fried Chicken Co-owner Josh Kulp.

The vanilla-honey is stellar; truly memorable. You can go plain, get it in a float with Green River or root beer, and as a special, drape it in raspberry and corn muffins.

The chocolate is equally special, even more so when you spike a shake with rum.

"It's just got perfect balance of that sweetness and the flavoring we use, and I think they're wonderful," Kulp said.

In Wicker Park, the relatively new Rakki Cafe has an Asian theme, and their two machines produce soft serve that's colorful and uniquely delicious.

"Flavors from Japan and Korea, China, maybe Taiwan and Thailand," said Rakki owner Jackie Chan.

So no boring vanilla and chocolate here. Instead, think vibrant green matcha or green tea and earthy black sesame. Better yet, get them together in a swirl.

In Steve's extra course video, he takes a look at the "Rakki Royale" back inside Rakki Café, which comes loaded with all sorts of unique toppings.

The other machine cranks out a vegan Thai Iced Tea made with coconut milk, plus a purple-hued ube -- that's the prized Filipino purple yam -- in frozen form.

"I noticed a lot of Filipinos, with the population growing thought it was maybe a good market to target," Chan said. I myself like the ube one a lot as well."

Soft serve has come a long way since Dairy Queen, and whether you opt for the vanilla-honey or one of these four Asian-inspired flavors, it's a creamy, delicious way to stay cool this summer.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

3361 N. Elston Ave.


Rakki Café

1375 N. Milwaukee Ave.