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Lincoln Park, Old Town

Original Rainbow Cone Brings Famous Ice Cream To North Side With Truck At Lincoln Park Zoo

The Original Rainbow Cone's truck at Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the only places on the North Side where people can buy the company's famous ice cream.

Ice cream is served up out of Rainbow Cone’s truck, a recent addition to the Lincoln Park Zoo, on June 19, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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LINCOLN PARK — North Siders can now get a taste of the Original Rainbow Cone thanks to a food truck stationed outside Lincoln Park Zoo this summer.

The Original Rainbow Cone, a family-owned business that opened its first store in Beverly in 1926, made a deal with the zoo to sell ice cream out of a food truck near Farm in the Zoo, 1911 N. Stockton Drive.

The pink polka-dotted truck sells a limited selection of the Original Rainbow Cone’s offerings, including the original rainbow cone, which is a five-layer ice cream cone with orange sherbet, pistachio, palmer house, strawberry and chocolate; cookies and cream ice cream; and a vegan wild berry sorbet, said John Buonavolanto, catering and sales manager for the business.

Customers can also shop Original Rainbow Cone T-shirts, hats and other merchandise, Buonavolanto said.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ice cream is served up out of Rainbow Cone’s truck, a recent addition to the Lincoln Park Zoo, on June 19, 2022.

“We love this location because it’s so iconic being at the Lincoln Park Zoo,” Buonavolanto said. “We’re not quite in the zoo — we’re right outside of it — so I hope that people who live in Lincoln Park can see this truck as a staple of their community now.”

The Original Rainbow Cone has several locations across Illinois, with the new Lincoln Park ice cream truck being one of the only spots on the North Side to buy a rainbow cone, Buonavolanto said.

The company introduced its Rainbow Cone trucks early in the pandemic as a way to continue serving customers while where were restrictions on indoor dining, Buonavolanto said.

“It started in 2020 because we had to find a way to serve our customers during the closings of all the businesses and after losing the Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza,” Buonavolanto said. “So we came up with the idea of these cool, pink polka-dotted ice cream trucks, and it really took off from there.”

The Original Rainbow Cone now has six trucks, including the permanent ones at Lincoln Park Zoo and the Shedd Aquarium, Buonavolanto said. Customers can keep tabs on the other six trucks using the truck tracker on the Original Rainbow Cone’s website.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ice cream is served up out of Rainbow Cone’s truck, a recent addition to the Lincoln Park Zoo, on June 19, 2022.

Brendan Daley, vice president of operations for the Lincoln Park Zoo, said the partnership with the Original Rainbow Cone lasts through summer.

“Rainbow Cone, like Lincoln Park Zoo, is an iconic Chicago staple,” Daley said. “Bringing their truck and serving ice cream near Farm-in-the-Zoo is a connection between Chicago’s North and South sides in a fun way that can delight guests and neighbors alike.”

The Original Rainbow Cone truck is open daily form 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ice cream is served up out of Rainbow Cone’s truck, a recent addition to the Lincoln Park Zoo, on June 19, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ice cream is served up out of Rainbow Cone’s truck, a recent addition to the Lincoln Park Zoo, on June 19, 2022.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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