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MEET RAKKI CAFE, AN ASIAN DESSERT SHOP DISHING OUT MATCHA SOFT SERVE IN WICKER PARK

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Nicole Briese

When the coldest months of the year hit Chicago, we typically opt for dishes on the warmer side (hellloooo, Ramen!), but LA chef Johnny Lee has us rethinking our winter (and year-round) cravings.

The next time you get a hankering for something sweet, you can opt for a treat that’s a little more… unexpected: matcha ice cream.

DEEP FREEZE

No matter what season it is Rakki Cafe, an Asian dessert shop in Wicker Park, is always packed thanks to their main — matcha soft serve.

Though the sweet, antioxidant-packed flavor—said to boost brain function, protect your organs, and help regulate weight—is readily found in teas and Frappuccinos, matcha soft serve is a rare find in the Windy City… or at least, it was.

Co-owner Johnny (known for crafting the culinary creations at LA restaurant Side Chick and gourmet food concept Eggslut) is changing all that, keeping matcha in rotation long after the winter months have ended. Yep, you can get your hands on both matcha sips and soft serve year-round.

But if matcha’s not your thing—or you simply want to switch it up—the intimate shop is also stocked with plenty of traditional treats from Chinatown’s own Chiu Quon Bakery (think coconut tarts and Bean Paste Baby Moon Cakes). Plus, it also offers an array of alternating Asian soft serve flavors, like black sesame, too.

MAD ABOUT MATCHA

Rakki literally translates to “lucky” in Japanese, which we think is no coincidence — this sweet shop no doubt has Chi-town feeling [object Object].

Head to 1375 N. Milwaukee Ave. to get your delicious fix.

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