I first discovered Paciugo five years ago when we lived in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Although there are locations of this awesome gelato shop all around the United States, I was unlucky before then to live in a state that did not have one. Thankfully, I didn’t know what I was missing at the time. But the first time I tried Paciugo, it turned me off from ice cream forever. Here’s the truth: I am a gelato snob. I just can’t eat ice cream anymore without wishing it had the smooth, creamy texture of gelato. But in all seriousness, I highly recommend this fun shop. If you find yourself in a location near a Paciugo, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Now that we moved to the suburbs, I miss having a Paciugo right in our neighborhood. My monthly gelato runs have now turned into a once a year gelato run- every time we go to the zoo, we have to stop by Paciugo. That yearly stop happened this past weekend when we took our annual family trip to Lincoln Park Zoo.
Paciugo literally means “messy concoction” in Italian and was created by the Ginatta family who moved to Texas from Italy in 2000. You can read more of their story here.
Paciugo has a wide variety of flavors– probably the largest I’ve seen in any other ice-cream shop. The flavors are made daily and the menu is quite lengthy. It makes it interesting every time we go because the menu is usually completely different than the time before. I like this because it encourages me to try new flavors instead of getting stuck in my ways and getting the same thing every time. I’m partial to the fruity flavors although I can always go for the wedding cake (Pannacotta) or anything with lavender in it.
When deciding what to order, there are three sizes to choose from. Piccolo is the smallest and allows you to choose up to three different flavors. Medio is the next size up and holds up to four flavors. Five flavors fit inside a grande size. Along with the cups, you can also get your gelato in a cone or made into a sundae. You also have the option of ordering various shakes and coffee items.
One of the things I love to do at Paciugo is sample the flavors. If you’re not sure what kind you’re in the mood for, just ask for a sample and the worker will give one to you on a cute little colored plastic spoon. I’ve been known to sample quite a few before deciding to make sure that my selections are amazing.
If you live near- or are traveling near- a Paciugo location, I highly recommend adding this fun gelato shop to your itinerary. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the best gelato outside of Italy. Although I haven’t been to Italy yet, someday, I want to find out if I’m right.
Have you tried gelato? Where did you have it and what did you think?
*This is not a sponsored post. I am not affiliated with Paciugo and I was not compensated for this post.
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