Cloud 9

The Ice Storm

Italian Ice, Chinese-Style

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The spring forecast in this town never fails to surprise you. Sunny today. Rain tomorrow. And then, on Thursday... snow.

Delicious, delicious snow.

Introducing Cloud 9, a Lakeview dessert boutique opening this week and trafficking in one thing and one thing only: that sweet, exotic Chinese delicacy known as xue-hua-bing... But if you'd prefer to call it snow ice, we understand.

This will be one of only three spots serving it in the United States—and if you ask the owner, the most authentic. You may have encountered snow ice on a detour down a side street during your last business trip in Taiwan. (Well, among other treats.)

If you've had Italian ice or a snow cone, you're familiar with the concept. (And if not, you should consider doing childhood over.) Snow ice takes that basic formula into creamier, fluffier territory with fresh fruit, and maybe a little sugar, frozen inside. The block is then shaved into long, wide, delicate ribbons. The result: a sticky, ethereal puff of summer relief.

There are just three flavors right now: mango, vanilla or strawberry. You'll add your "drizzle," one of several toppings that cover all the basics: chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, chocolate sprinkles. You'll seek refuge here on a muggy August night—or after a Cubs day game in May, perhaps—and line up in a bright, bouncy, kaleidoscopic space, which looks like a little video game from the 80s.

Your Pac-Man fantasy, finally realized.

Vitals

Cloud 9
604 W Belmont Ave
(at Broadway)
Chicago, IL 60657
773-857-1255
website

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