In Argentina, gelato is more than a dessert: it is a social tradition that is held dear any time of day, any season of the year. FRÍO Gelato (3721 N. Southport) is bringing this tradition to Lakeview and the results are superb.
Italian immigrants came to Argentina in droves during the late 1800s, bearing saddlebags inherited from their ancestors. Inside, and fiercely guarded: their prized gelato recipes. With local and high-quality dairy products native to the country, Argentine gelato was born.
Growing up in Buenos Aires, FRÍO Gelato owner Sebastián Koziura frequented the corner “heladería”, and after moving to the U.S., was surprised to find nothing like his childhood treat. After extensive training with Argentine gelato masters, Sebastián partnered with his wife Karla and cousin/Dairy Consultant, Enrique Schcolnik, to develop a natural recipe and bring Argentine gelato to Chicago. Working alongside their four children, the husband-and-wife duo are changing the way locals experience dessert. Their first location opened in Evanston, and they recently opened another one in Lakeview.
On a recent visit, I had the chance to sample nearly all of their current flavors – nearly 30 of them. Their gelato is crafted in the Evanston production kitchen and focuses on both traditional Argentine flavors and local, seasonal ones. Standout flavors include Dulce de Leche, Horchata, Malbec con Frutos Rojos, and even Avocado. More traditional flavors like Chocolate, Strawberry, and the like certainly abound, but the unique flavors are the ones to try. In addition, they often come up with temporary flavors to celebrate holidays. In May, for instance, keep an eye out for something like Tequila and Lime.
For those who worry about allergy issues, FRÍO Gelato is a perfect solution. All of their products are made in an allergen-friendly kitchen with a nut and gluten-free focus. No artificial flavorings are added — only fresh and natural ingredients, and FRÍO Gelato is 100% handmade with hormone-free milk. This attention to detail and focus on fresh natural ingredients creates gelato that is some of the best I have ever tasted.
In addition to being allergen-conscious and sourcing the freshest ingredients from Argentina, the brand is known for its specialty items such as the Alfa-lato (gelato sandwiched between Argentine alfajor cookies), Café-lato (coffee flavored with melted gelato) and Cucurucho (handmade waffle cone). The waffle cones are worth special mention. They are created fresh and are double wrapped. That means that they don’t get soggy and won’t crack and fall apart. Besides that – they are delicious. They have so many specialty items that it’s impossible to cover them all here. Check out their website for details, and be sure to try them all (maybe not at once – but certainly over time).
FRÍO Gelato in Lakeview is open daily from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. and is available for delivery from Grubhub. For more information call 773-799-8683 or visit their website. You can also follow their social media conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.