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Local News

Top-7 ice cream spots in Westmont

WESTMONT – With vacations ending, school just around the corner and days slowly shortening, there is one sure fire way to prolong the summer season, and it’s called ice cream! While some ice creams are better than others, I’m of the opinion that there really is no bad ice cream.

Westmont has seven ice cream stops, and I have tried them all! They are also pretty evenly distributed with three on the north near Ogden Avenue, two in the middle of downtown and two on the south end of town along 63rd Street. You’re never far away.

Tasty Treat

Based on crowds and on-line reviews, Tasty Treat would appear to be the leader of the pack. Located in the front portion of a house-like structure previously known as the Swizzle Stick Lounge, the conversion took place in 1999 under owner Tina Kasson.

Tina is the definition of a mom and pop business owner. She runs a small town cozy environment, and there are so many back stories to be had if you (and Tina) get the time.

Tasty Treat features Homer’s premium ice cream. It’s a solid brand; and while 20 changing flavors are displayed, there are often a few more tucked back in the coolers. If you don’t see your favorite, just ask. Same goes for samples.

In addition to a mom and pop business and great ice cream, no one competes with Tasty Treat on value. A Kiddie Cup is $1.45 and is two scoops. My go to is the “1 Scoop,” which includes four scoops for $1.90 plus tax.

While there are basic sundaes such as chocolate and caramel, along with shakes and soft serve, you are here for the great ice cream. The rum raisin and spumoni are two of my favorites and among the best anywhere.

Tasty Treat is open every day till 11 p.m., and when summer lines continue after closing, Tina stays open to make sure everyone gets their favorites. It's just what you’d expect in a mom and pop business. I not only love the ice cream and rate it Westmont’s Finest, I enjoy the feeling of supporting local a business.

Coco Froyo

Another ice cream option and new to our downtown area is Coco Froyo. Featuring frozen yogurt, Coco Froyo is a self-serve destination that allows you to control portion size. Coco Froyo offers eight frozen yogurt or sorbet flavors.

Flavors range from chocolate caramel, to alpine vanilla, to cake batter, to dairy free mango sorbet. Grab a cup, pick your flavor or flavors and pull the lever. Next stop, topping town.

Toppings include plenty of fresh fruits: blueberries, strawberries, mangos, plus the usual culprits like chocolate chips, M&M’s, sprinkles, jelly bellies, raisins and many more.

At the end of the line, Ghirardelli chocolate, white chocolate and caramel sauces await you. As with everything before, you can choose as little or as much as you like. Weigh-in time: place your cup on the scale and the register computes your charge at $0.45 per ounce.

One of my combinations included Cake Batter and Strawberry Banana with chocolate chips, blueberries and strawberries on top. Coco Froyo clearly represents a lower calorie option as the self-serve format means you control the portion size and thereby the calories. With plenty of fresh fruit toppings, it gets even better. Perfect for an evening walk and a refreshing after dinner treat.

Pompei

While Pompei is primarily known for its great Italian food selection, they also have a really good tasting Italian ice cream called gelato. What’s the difference? Gelato is made with less egg yolks and more milk than cream when compared to ice cream resulting in fat contents of 5-7 percent versus 10 percent and up for ice cream.

Gelato is churned much slower than ice cream which incorporates less air keeping gelato denser. Typical air content is 25-30 percent for gelato and 50 percent and up for ice cream. With different ingredients and air content, ice cream needs to be served between 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit to keep from melting while gelato is served at 15-25 degrees to keep it creamy.

Pompei rotates flavors with gelato being sourced from the legendary Angelo Gelato in Franklin Park. Purists will often enjoy pistachio but newer flavors such salted caramel has arrived on the scene.

Spumoni combines cherry, pistachio, chocolate and vanilla creating unique flavor mixtures in each spoonful and for the kids, Animal Crackers is always a favorite.

Outside of the gelato at Freddy’s in Cicero, I find Angelo Gelato to be the best of the best. Try it for yourself at Pompei!

Dairy Queen

Most of us are familiar with Dairy Queen, as it was founded in Illinois back in 1940 and many of us have visited one or more of the over 6000 locations over the years. The new owners have changed addresses, created a clean and shiny new location, injected customer service and smiles while bringing all the DQ favorites along for the ride.

Purists love the dipped cones with three flavor choices; chocolate, cherry and butterscotch along with absolutely the freshest cones.

Traditionalists will opt for the DQ Blizzard, a thick enough to be turned upside down mixture of DQ ice cream and various toppings. Blizzards come in classics, fan favorites and the new royal Blizzard, which combines several premium toppings for a slight upcharge. The royal rocky road brownie with peanuts and marshmallow is a perfect example.

Vanilla soft serve is blended with a rocky road mix, brownie pieces, peanuts, chocolate and marshmallow for a superb combination. DQ veterans will find DQ able to recreate your favorite discontinued Blizzard combinations like chocolate covered cherries (mine)!

Old timers will be happy to see the DQ banana split is unchanged. A full banana is joined by chocolate, pineapple and strawberry toppings and a squirt of whipped cream. And all your other favorite sundae combinations are also available.

Hot desserts (a new trend), waffle and cake cones, shakes, frappes, smoothies, join a large menu of choices. There’s also a cooler with premade DQ cakes, bars and cones ready to take home or to a birthday party. Various specials are offered on weekdays between 2-5 p.m. during happy hour.

Marianos

When Mariano’s arrived on the scene in Westmont in early Spring, many folks not familiar with the upscale grocery chain did not realize the many dining options on the inside. While inside dining options include a sushi bar, grilling station, raw bar, bbq bar, etc., the Vero Caffe and Gelato caught my eye. Vero Caffe and Gelato is part of the Mariano’s chain of grocery stores serving coffee drinks and gelato after originating here in Chicago in 1968.

With 11 different flavors of gelato and sorbet, there’s a flavor for everyone. Sicilian pistachio is made using pistachios imported from Sicily providing a robust flavor and sea salt caramel is just plain creamy good. Occasional specials include a decadent dulce de leche gelato shake.

Not sure, samples are welcomed to assist the indecisive. There are several sizes to fit all cravings and a beautiful indoor seating area that is both relaxing and a great people watching spot.

Baskin Robbins (two locations)

Sometime in mid-grammar school, Baskin Robbins – then called 31 Flavors or just 31, opened a shop in my little town. I was a regular before I even knew what a regular was. Ed scooped for long hours all year round enabling him to put his kids through school. He was there for at least 25 years and the sight of the sign brings back instant childhood memories.

Baskin Robbins has really grown over the years from the original 31 flavors, one for each day of the month to over 1300 flavors along with 7300 locations worldwide. Many are co-located with Dunkin Donuts allowing two (three if we count coffee) addictions to be fulfilled simultaneously.

Westmont is well covered with a South location on 63rd Street (24 flavors on display) and a north location on Ogden Avenue (16 flavors on display). Both are impeccably maintained, clean, shiny and inviting. There’s even a giant video screen with high definition pictures to further assist, or complicate the selection process.

The menu is huge with cups and cones in kids, single, double or triple sizes! Cone selection involves cake, sugar, waffle, chocolate dipped or fancy (with sprinkles). Milk shakes, smoothies and cappuccino blasts add another layer and even sundaes have options: classic (1, 2 or 3 scoop options), premium (Brownie/Banana Split) and layered (Reese’s/Snickers).

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, a Layered Sundae option, combines 3 scoops of Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Reese’s Peanut Butter chunks, hot fudge, Reese’s Peanut Butter sauce and whipped cream. With a nice flavor to the ice cream and a creamy consistency, the crumb topping and layered chunks added a texturally contrasting element. For Reese’s fans, this is as good as it gets!

I am a huge ice cream sandwich advocate and I still remember Ed putting a perfect scoop between thin wafer cookies and applying just enough pressure so as to never crack the cookie. Today, Baskin Robbins has upped the ante. There are five flavors of cookies (double fudge, dark chocolate chunk, candy, peanut butter chocolate, white chunk macadamia nut)and single or double scoop options. The double cookie sandwich allows for three cookie options and two ice cream options.

I went all-in and from the bottom up, a double fudge cookie topped with pralines ‘n cream (top-5 all time ice cream seller) topped with a dark chocolate chunk cookie topped with cherries jubilee topped with a white chunk macadamia nut cookie. While the cookies can be heated, I opted for room temperature so as to partially avoid the inevitable melting mess. Cookies can also be combined into sundaes for even more choices.

The staff will hand pack your favorite flavor in pints or quarts and there’s also has a large cooler filled with ready-made treats, cakes, decorative cones and even more flavors in quart sizes.

Indoor seating is available at both locations and ice cream is available anytime the store is open which means there’s a lot of opportunity for enjoyment.

Not only are you never far away, but with 24-hour, 3:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. starting times paired with late evening closing times, ice cream is available virtually around the clock. There are no excuses!

Tasty Treat

19 S. Cass Ave.

Westmont, IL 60559

630-968-8387

Noon – 11 p.m. or later, daily

Coco Froyo

29 N. Cass Ave.

Westmont, IL 60559

630-442-7386

11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily

Pompei of Westmont

200 W. Ogden Ave.

Westmont, IL 60559

630-324-1007

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday

Dairy Queen

695 N. Cass Ave.

Westmont, IL 60559

630-522-3187

11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily

Mariano’s

150 W. 63rd St.

Westmont, IL 60559

630-964-2254

6 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily

Baskin Robbins

121 W. Ogden Ave.

Westmont, IL 60559

630-395-9698

5 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily

Baskin Robbins

19 W. 63rd St.

Westmont, IL 60559

630-271-8261

24 Hours

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