Chicago, IL

The Original Rainbow Cone: Chicago's best ice cream invention

Brandon Wang by Naomi Tamar on Unsplash

The Original Rainbow Cone is one of Chicago's most memorable and identifiable desserts. The ice cream concoction is created from various layers of ice cream flavors including chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, pistachio, and orange sherbet.

Each of these flavors is piled on top of each other in easily identifiable slabs instead of scoops all balanced on top of a classic cake cone. This wild and colorful concoction can be found at the Original Rainbow Cone around the South Side of Chicago. Around the Beverly neighborhood, the ice cream shop can be easily seen with crowds around the pink stucco building waiting for their rainbow cones.

The Original Rainbow Cone first started all the way back in the beginning of the 1900's with a man named Grandpa Joe. Joe grew up working on a dairy farm and had a true love for ice cream all throughout his life. He loved the various different flavors of ice cream and often times felt himself craving multiple flavors at once. Unfortunately, around his time there were not any available establishments that offered him the variations of flavors he truly wanted.

Unsatisfied with what he had around him, Joe took it upon himself to create his very own ice cream shop that would offer exactly what he wanted. As such, The Original Rainbow Cone was born and over time Joe kept experimenting with different combinations of flavors and tested variations over and over until he finally came upon the wonderful culmination of flavors that can be found today in the rainbow cone. These flavors are listed in order of assembly as: chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House, pistachio, and orange sherbet. The Palmer House flavor is a vanilla with nuts and berries. These flavors would then be stacked on top of one another not in scoops but in slabs of ice cream all balanced on top of a cake cone which would soon become an iconic sight.

The original location of Joe's ice cream shop was on the corner of 92nd and Western and is still currently in operation as of the writing of this article. This location would continue to bring in customers from all around that would want to try out the novelty of the Original Rainbow Cone and inevitably fall in love with the combination of flavors.

The Original Rainbow Cone has been a family business and has since been passed down from Grandpa Joe through the rest of his family and now currently is owned by his grandchild. Today the establishment is a true part of Chicago history and continues to exist in the same spirit of Grandpa Joe serving the same combinations of flavors that he loved.

In addition to the famous rainbow cone, they also serve the ice cream in cups as well as cakes which are all different representations of the same original flavors. In most years, the ice cream shop is only open for a few months during the year from March to November but in recent years, the establishment has started to continue operations during the colder winter months due to high demand for the extention of their opening periods.

During their winter hours, the store is open from Sunday through Thursday between the hours of eleven thirty in the morning to eight thirty at night whereas on Fridays and Saturdays it is open an extra hour until nine thirty at night. The Original Rainbow Cone also has a second location at Navy Pier at 600 E Grand Ave but as of the writing of this article, it has been temporarily closed.

The Original Rainbow Cone's original shop can be found located at: 9233 S Western Ave

Comments / 1

Published by

Foodie / Personal Finance Enthusiast / Post-grad Life

San Francisco, CA

More from Brandon Wang

Comments / 0