Jorge’s Paleteria is West Chicago’s must-visit ice cream shop

By Asa Kuharich, Reporter

A view of Jorge’s from the outside. In the warmer months, the restaurant provides picnic tables as an option for guests. (Photo by Andrea Hernandez)

Jorge’s Paleteria & Neveria, 110 S Neltnor Blvd Ste 4-5, West Chicago, IL (630-520-0694).

Zapote. Pineapple. Escamocha. Mango. These are all flavors that can be found at Jorge’s Paleteria, a unique ice cream shop in West Chicago that is well-known across town for serving up paletas and a variety of other desserts crafted from fresh materials.

I had the opportunity to go to Jorge’s Paleteria with my parents around 5:00 p.m. one day over Valentine’s Day weekend. It was a bit chilly walking in, but that is to be expected as Jorge’s is an ice cream shop. Immediately upon walking in, I noticed one of two large TVs screening a sports event – or perhaps it was a movie. Looking to my right, I saw a tribute to the virgin Mary, with statues and flowers accompanying her. Much of the restaurant, especially the visitor-facing side of the freezers, are decorated with photographs of items on the menu. The freezers are situated to the left of where you walk in, leaving an L-shaped space for visitors.

This independently owned restaurant opened in 2014 and describes its offerings as “sometimes weird, but wonderful” on Facebook. The store is open seven days a week, and prides itself on originality and authenticity.

The front counter at Jorge’s invites visitors to select a flavor amidst a colorful graphic display. (Photo by Andrea Hernandez)

With the exception of the dinner hours, business is relatively timid throughout the day. Service is very casual and employees are friendly. Having been to Jorge’s previously, I know that when I walk in, I am either met with a line, or I can walk straight up to one of two counters: one for paletas, and one for standard ice cream and other items. The paletas are wrapped in thin plastic, and the employees hand me whatever paletas I order in a small paper bag. I can then sit down at one of several tables, or take them out. 

The paletas are separated in their respective freezers by the base for which they are made: the left side of the freezer is for water-based paletas, and the right is for those that are milk-based. 

Depending on the flavor, black raspberry or escamocha, for example, it is highly likely a chunk of fruit or one of the ingredients can be found stuck on the inside or embedded to the outside of the paleta, indicating that paletas are indeed made on-sight from fresh ingredients. Jorge’s paletas are homemade with fresh ingredients and I could tell, both in sight and taste. If I have had a flavor of popsicle that Jorge’s also has, I notice immediately that it is fresh and different from what I have had previously from similar establishments. In my case, with the grape-flavored paleta (a frequent selection of mine) I ordered on this particular visit, I thought it tasted closer to the actual fruit from which it came and that is about all I could ask for: something about the natural flavors provides the taster with a special feeling.

David Jennings

I would recommend Jorge’s restaurant, especially during the warmer seasons because there is definitely something to be gained from being a visitor. Products are well and carefully made, staff are friendly, and there is no shortage of menu options to choose from upon visiting. New and amazing flavors are frequently rolled out, which means visitors can return to try out different options each time.