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Keep Cool with These International Frozen Desserts

Travel the globe, one icy treat at a time.

Soft-serve ice cream from ReLeaf
JAPAN

Soft-serve ice cream

ReLeaf
100 E. Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights
Photos: Jeff Marini

Chocolate-vanilla soft serve, you’re on notice: There’s a new swirl in town. This stall in the food court at the sprawling Japanese grocery store Mitsuwa dishes up an ice cream flavored with a sophisticated duo of grassy, vibrant green tea and mellow vanilla. $2.75

 

Red bean bingsoo from Java & Mug
KOREA

Red bean bingsoo

Java & Mug
3247 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Albany Park

A single serving of this Korean fave contains a riot of vanilla ice cream, sweet red beans, shaved ice, condensed milk, mochi (a rice treat), and every fruit imaginable—piled into a bowl big enough to swim in. $5.99

 

Ice-cream cone from Amorino
FRANCE

Ice-cream cone

Amorino
838 N. State St., Gold Coast

Parisians and—as of April—Chicagoans have fallen for this refined scoop shop’s signature dessert: dainty rose petals made of delicately flavored ice cream and nestled inside a waffle cone. $5.50

 

Taro shaved snow from Snow Dragon Shavery
TAIWAN

Taro shaved snow

Snow Dragon Shavery
2618 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park

Somewhere between fro-yo and a snow cone lies this Taiwanese treat. Paper-thin sheets of lavender-hued taro cream make a gently sweet base for a plethora of toppings, including fruit jellies. $5

 

Peach Italian ice from Miko’s Italian Ice
ITALY

Peach Italian ice

Miko’s Italian Ice
2236 N. Sacramento Ave., Logan Square; 1846 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown

Before you wander by one of this shop’s walkup windows, check Facebook, where Miko’s announces the flavor of the day, and cross your fingers for peach. Eating it is like biting into a chilled, more refreshing version of the actual fruit. $2.50 to $6

 

Mango kulfi from Rangoli
INDIA

Mango kulfi

Rangoli
2421 W. North Ave., Humboldt Park

Kulfi may not be the belle of the dessert ball, but you won’t find a tastier way to extinguish the afterburn of Rangoli’s fiery Indian curries than these cubes of mango ice cream studded with chunks of almonds and cashews. $4

 

Tamarind paleta from Alaska Paleteria y Neveria
MEXICO

Tamarind paleta

Alaska Paleteria y Neveria
3446 W. Irving Park Rd., Irving Park

Seek out this mom-and-pop storefront for its sweet-tart tamarind ice pop, the perfect antidote to a sticky summer night. (Hurry: The operation shuts down at summer’s end.) $1.75

 

Avocado gelato from Frío Gelato
ARGENTINA

Avocado gelato

Frío Gelato
517 Dempster St., Evanston

Bypass chocolate chip and vanilla for the more enticing Argentine options, such as egg custard, wine-spiked berry, or avocado (which takes better to sweetening up than you might expect). $3.50 to $5.50

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