There are foods you regularly associate with Chicago - deep dish pizza and thanks to The Bear Italian beef. But what about ice cream? Many fewer folks outside of Chicagoland know what a Rainbow ice cream cone is. Here's what it's not - it's not blue moon, nor is it Superman ice cream.

The Rainbow cone is a stack of 5 different ice cream flavors that seemingly are ill-suited to share the same cone. Yet those who love it, say it just works - and has since the first shop opened in the 1920s.

The chain, The Original Rainbow Cone Ice Cream Shop, has not located many parlors outside of Illinois likely due to the highly localized nature of the treat. However, Rainbow Cone has been nudging away from home base opening in nearby Northwest Indiana and, on Memorial Day weekend 2024, its first Michigan location in downtown New Buffalo.

The southwest Michigan city, less than a hour's drive from the Illinois border could be considered a Chicago suburb, so Rainbow Cone will likely be a known commodity and do well in the Lake Michigan resort community.

What is a Chicago Style Rainbow Cone?

There are likely two things that set the rainbow cone apart from other ice cream parlors where, of course, they will serve you scoops of any combination of flavors.

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The first distinction is that the ice cream is not scooped but, rather, sliced onto the cone or dish.

Second, it is a very exact combination of 5 flavors layered in a precise order. From bottom to top the rainbow cone consists of: chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with almonds and cherries), pistachio and orange sherbet.

Sounds odd, no? Like anything, you've just got to try it for yourself.

It's worth noting that Rainbow Cones do serve other flavors than those 5 and will slice up your cone however you wish, but the classic is the classic.

If you do head to New Buffalo, the Rainbow Cone shop is at 1 Whittaker connected to Sonny D's Bar and Grill. The location is at the main stop light in town where Whittaker meets US 12.

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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