Spot: Shawn Michelle's Old Fashioned Ice Cream
Here's the scoop: We give Shawn's cred for creativity; instead of ho-hum 'nilla names, look for choices like Melanin Magic (chocolate) and Caribbean Sunbeam Supreme (mango). Did we mention they taste as good as they sound?
Lick pick: Rainbow Coalition ($5.75), a waffle cone loaded with chocolate, cherry, lemon, mango and strawberry ice creams.

Spot: Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream
Here's the scoop: Real–a.k.a. 14-percent butterfat–ice cream from the Madison, Wisc.-based Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company. Other stores around town serve the Chocolate Shoppe brand, but this parlor on the far northwestern edge of the city is the only Chocolate Shoppe store you'll find from here until well past the state line.
Lick pick: Fat Elvis ($2.39 for a single scoop), banana ice cream rippled with peanut butter and chocolate chunks.

Spot: Treats Frozen Desserts
Here's the scoop: We all have enough things things to feel guilty about. Eat here, however, and ice cream ain't one of 'em. This place bills itself as "the healthy alternative to ice cream" -- it uses skim milk instead of butterfat. It serves a daily rotation of 6 flavors (from 70 recipes!) of 99-percent fat free and 100-percent cholesterol free ice cream; a small cup's just 90 calories.
Lick pick: Julia's Mess ($4.35 small), chocolate-dipped ice cream loaded with Reese's peanut butter cup and banana chunks for those who insist on a little guilt in their lives.

Spot: Scoops
Here's the scoop: This newbie offers a plethora of ice cream flavors and concoctions like a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich ($4) and brownie delight ($5.95). Added perk: Wi-fi.
Lick pick: Strawberry Shortcake Explosion ($4.75), a berrylicious treat of pound cake, vanilla ice cream, strawberry wafers, strawberry topping and whipped cream.

Oak Park
Spot: Petersen's Restaurant, Ice Cream Parlour and Sweet Shoppe
Here's the scoop: We love the charm of this suburban staple--they've been serving up the sweets since 1919--but we're psyched they're adding a liquor license soon so we can double-up on our vices. We can't wait to dig into alcohol-laden bananas Foster ($8.50) and specials like baked Alaska ($8.50). Bonus: free dinner theater; staffers will prep these treats tableside.