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Chicagoland Italian ice?

  • b

Looking for great Italian ice in Chicago or the western suburbs. Thanks in advance.

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  1. I had a nice italian ice at Mikko's on Damen three or four blocks north of north ave. It is some guy's basement.


    8 Replies
    1. re: Seth

      And of course there is the famous Mario's Italian Lemonade on Taylor across from Al's. But you knew that.

      1. re: Pepper

        Still better is Carms, which is a couple of blocks north of Mario's - go north from Taylor on Carpenter, and watch on your left for the signs. Superb stuff.

        1. re: Pepper

          No, I didn't know that, so thanks very much, and thanks to the other tipsters. Should be getting to Chicagoland in the next couple of weeks (whenever we can get reservations at Topolobampo.) Quick weekend chow expedition, dine out, food shop, restock the larder and cellar, buzz home with the trunk so full that the car looks like its going uphill all the time.

          And now plans will include some Italian icecapades, try to taste test all these places and report back. BTW, any particular flavor recommendations folks? I must admit I am very partial to lemon - I even think of Italian ice as "lemon ice" - and that will probably be my standard of comparision. But if there's any "must haves," I'm all ears.

          And thanks again all.

          1. re: bill jr

            OK, it really is called Italian Lemonade. Mario's on Taylor is VERY GOOD.

            And you should also try Ferro's, which is on 31st, just West of the Dan Ryan - exit, when you go to see the Sox, onto 31st, and maybe 2 blocks on your right is Ferro's.

            You are going to see the Sox, aren't you?

            1. re: lee
              Patrick Thompson

              Mario's is a personal favorite. I am quite partial to the watermelon; anyone else have a favorite?

            2. re: bill jr

              I come from florida just to have Miko's ice...been here 5 days and haven't missed a day. Lemon is great but try the Mango. Better than the ones off the trees at home. (no smell when you eat it) Enjoy them all. As far as being some guys basement...beats going to the 95th floor just for a drink! Ears don't pop!!!!!

              1. re: nan

                Hey Mikos has a 2nd location on Sacremento just south of Fullerton. Same great Ice. Not as pricey as a lot of other places, which makes it even better.I am a regular!

          2. re: Seth

            I second that vote for Mikko's at Damen and Moffit. The lemon ice is by far the best there.

          3. Johny's. North Ave west of N. Harlem. A true ice, with fruit, not at all sweet. And of course, great sausage & italian beef sandwiches (that's all they sell: sandwhiches and ices. There is always a line, and it moves quick.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Steve D.

              Ahhhh, Johnny's. An institution too often overlooked while Al's gets all the attention. Possibily the best Italian been in ... the world. Been there forever.

            2. Hi everyone, I am not to familar with chicago, however My family comes to visit us from California and they make Tom and wendy's Italian Ice a must everytime. Can't give directions though but I know it is near Armatage and the express way You should be able to find it in thephone book for directions.

                1. Teddy's Red Hots at 63rd and Main in Downers Grove is a good stop in the western suburbs...Lemon and a couple of flavors of the day. Another location in Darien as well.

                  1. Both Mikko's locations are solid since they use real fruit but the flavors can be hit or miss. I think Freddy's in Bridgeport (31st & Union) is superior despite only 3 flavors (Lemon, Strawberry, and watermelon). All 3 flavors are great and you can buy buckets to take home.

                    IMO Mario's is not the best choice because the flavors don't rely so much on real fruit; flavorings dominate.

                    1. Had to post for Mario's. I've been eating it for most of my life, having grown up in Little Italy, and no Italian ice I've had in New York tastes as good. This time back home, I flew into Midway and took the L directly to Mario's for their extra large pineapple. Then I promptly finished it in 15 minutes (I think it's 48 oz!) and promptly ate some of my friend's Tutti Frutti (my other most favorite flavor with real pieces of fruit - apples, pears, grapes, watermelon, etc.) Plus I still wanted more, but we were downtown by then. Should have gotten a gallon sized jumbo. Mario's also does a mean watermelon.

                      There's something about the drinkable slushiness and chunks of fruit of Mario's Italian Ice that makes it a standout.

                      1. there is also a miko's on sacramento and palmer. i dream about the grapefruit ice.

                        1. I was so surprised by Miko's on Damen. My friends and I were ending a long trek after the Wicker Park/Bucktown sidewalk sale (the discounts can't be beat!), and plopped into Miko's after noticing the barely visible sign. We sat in the "garden" with cheapie plastic chairs and had the softest, tastiest italian ice. While working in Philly, the locals would work themselves into a lather about Rita's "water ice," but I am happy to say that Miko's supplies equal if not superior product. The mango is amazing.

                          1. Soupbox/Icebox (2943 N Broadway St)...20 different flavors, cheap as hell and made fresh daily. This place is amazing. Mix and match...YUM!!!