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Ice Cream Social

With summer's hot days upon us, we’re turning to the classic cool-off trick—ice cream, naturally. Here’s what’s currently satisfying our sweet tooth.

Sprinkles red velvet ice cream and cupcake sandwich

1. Sprinkles Cupcakes puts on a new twist on this summer favorite with thick and creamy ice cream that’s slow churned to have less air. Flavors range from traditional mint chip to Cap'n Crunch and the uberindulgent red velvet ice cream, packed with bits of the brand’s iconic red velvet cupcake—frosting and all. 50 E. Walton St., 312.573.1600,

2. Explore ice cream’s elegant side with Balena’s pistachio gelato sundae. Made with burnt orange, pistachio nougat and confit orange, this cold dessert is a must-have. The Italian restaurant's other cool delights include grapefruit sorbetti and cannoli sundaes. 1633 Halsted St., 312.867.3888,

3. In the mood for something different? Then head on over to Black Dog Gelato, an ice cream store that has found success in combining unconventional flavor, such as sesame fig chocolate chip and goat cheese cashew caramel. You'll find us at the whiskey gelato bar enjoying a decadent bacon-topped treat. 1955 W. Belmont Ave., 773.235.3116,

4. Cutting back on calories? We love Forever Yogurt’s selection of selection of sugar-, fat- or dairy-free soft serve yogurts in flavors like ginger lemonade, angel food cake and sweet watermelon. An added bonus? There are eight locations in Chicago!

5. Asian barbecue hot spot Belly Q cools things off with two specialty desserts: coconut water-inflused vanilla soft serve topped with either passionfruit ice and coconut jelly or huckleberry ice and lime basil seed. We can't think of a better way to relax after an impromptu performance in the karaoke den. 1400 W. Randolph St., 312.563.1010,