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It all started with a homework assignment.

That’s how owner Cora Shaw describes iCream‘s inception: The Wicker Park ice cream shop was originally a grad school project to create a new business, but the idea was so flippin’ great that she decided to take her A+ all the way to the bank.

iCream is “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” meets “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” smack in the middle of Milwaukee Avenue.

Customers get to choose their own special combination of flavors, a dairy (or non-dairy) base — ice cream, frozen yogurt, shake or pudding — and even a color, no matter how weird it is, from a eyedropper of then the Weird Science begins:

The mixture goes into one of several stand mixers hooked to a liquid nitrogen system that flash freezes it to -320° F, creating instant ice cream. Sorry…iCream!

The result? A frozen concoction as tasty as anything out of a gourmet grocer’s freezer case, but with a DIY twist that’s 100 percent individual.

iCream is the final and, for some, favorite stop on our Bucktown/Wicker Park food tasting and cultural walking tour. After a couple of hours of walking around the neighborhood trying all sorts of new foods, what better way to wind down than with a taste of something cool, creamy and refreshing?

Folks on the Bucktown/Wicker Park tour get a sample of a signature flavor — we’ll let you be surprised — but for those who brave iCream independently, there’s an almost unlimited number of combinations of flavors, consistencies, colors and creations you can put together.

Obviously, we’d love to have you on a tour to sample this unique treat, but either way, this place is one you have to see — and taste! — to believe, which is one of the reasons it’s been featured on Chicago’s “190 North” as well as the Food Network’s “Kid In a Candy Store.” Take a look at the Food Network clip here (our tour guide Gina makes a quick appearance…can you spot her?):

 

iCream
1537 N. Milwaukee Ave. | 773-342-2834
 

Photo: Clif’s Notes

Chicago Food Planet offers a variety of awesome walking food tours in Chicago

Explore historic Mom & Pop specialty food shops and indulge in classic Chicago tastes in Gold Coast and Old Town neighborhoods [Seasonal]

Tour Length3 hours
Cost$60 Adult | $72 Adult VIP | $35 Youth
Tour Distance1.3 Miles
NeighborhoodsGold Coast & Old Town

Inspiring wonder since 1916, enjoy 50 acres of exquisite restaurants & bars with impressive historical and cultural anecdotes. [Year-Round]

Tour Length2 Hours
Cost$50 Adult | $55 Adult VIP | $35 Youth
Tour Distance0.5 Miles
NeighborhoodsNavy Pier
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