Illinois Screams For Ice Cream, But Which Flavors Does It Favor?

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Sometimes, the most simple, straightforward, and unadorned version of a thing is the best way to go.

That’s apparently how folks in Illinois feel about their ice cream.

In the depths of summer, one of the favorite treats to beat the heat is clear. Of course, it’s ice cream. 

But unlike the old days when ice cream came in its three standard versions – vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry – today ice cream comes in a seemingly endless variety flavors, including blended flavors. And they’re marketed under an array of exotic names.

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How We Determined This List

All of these ice creams might be terrific, but – your home for Illinois sports betting and for lifestyle stories such as this one – wanted to sort out the favorite ice cream in the Land of Lincoln using analytical methodology.

So we used Google Trends to determine the most searched ice cream flavors by each state in the U.S., based on YouGov’s data on the Top 11 most popular ice cream flavors in 2018. After completing the trends over 12 months (from July 6, 2022, to July 6, 2023), IllinoisBet found results to get the top five ice cream flavors in Illinois. 

Search interest is measured compared to other topics during that timespan.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavors in Illinois

Rank Flavor Search Interest
1 Vanilla 23
2 Cookies and cream 17
3 Chocolate 16
4 Strawberry 8
5 Butter pecan 5

Other flavors in the data: Mint chocolate chip, chocolate chip cookie dough, pistachio, Rocky Road, chocolate chip and cake batter.

Top Pick Is Just Plain Obvious

And the winner is – ta da – vanilla. Yep, plain old vanilla, with a score of 23 in Search Interest.

The No. 2 ice cream flavor was just slightly exotic, cookies and cream, with a search interest score of 17. That was followed by, in order, chocolate (16), strawberry (8), and butter pecan (5).

There were several others under consideration, but the flavor possibilities nowadays seem endless.

Some Other Ice Cream Options

Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia (cherry ice cream with fudge bits) is an obvious homage to the Grateful Dead music group and its late lead singer, Jerry Garcia.

Van Leeuwen makes an ice cream based on Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (hey, kids love ice cream, they love mac & cheese, so why not). 

And a number of companies make an ice cream that shouts out “birthday cake” on the label with pictures of a creamy dessert with what appears to be festive sprinkles already in the ice cream (that saves a step).

Some flavors mix ingredients that sound terrific in another context but may give one pause in a creamy dessert, such as jalapeno, avocado and cayenne.

So whatever the choice, enjoy – and keep turning to IllinoisBet for the best Illinois sportsbook promos as well as fun deep dives into other topics.


Bill Ordine covers state gambling issues for He was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years.

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