Sideshow in Lincoln Square


Is it a restaurant or an entertainment venue? Sideshow Gelato in Lincoln Square is a funky quirky fun experience.

On the surface this is a gelato shop with a variety of offbeat flavors that include pickle, ginger and Cheetos as well as more familiar flavors like crème brule, vanilla and chocolate as well as number of dairy free vegan options.

More importantly though this is an experience where the staff are also sideshow performers ready to entertain patrons with impromptu magic tricks or fire eating acts. There are also regularly scheduled performances in their little 30 seat theater.

We attended on Saturday afternoon with two young boys ages 7 and 10 who were delighted and amazed by master of ceremonies Sanjula who explained the history of sideshows after which he dangled a bowling ball from his pierced ears then laid on a bed of nails while the largest man in the audience stood on his belly.

Also onstage was comic sword swallower Cassidy Rose, and the Italian accented slight-of-hand magician Andrea.

Roughly 30 minutes this is one of the more unusual family friendly performance opportunities in Chicago.

Sideshow has been open for about a year. Though I live very nearby I finally made it over to see it and it was everything I hoped it would be. Silly, funky and fun. Full of cornball humor and astounding feats that explore the very boundaries of human physical endurance and mind-boggling illusions.

Put your cellphones down and enjoy a live show. Step right up. Don’t delay. Perfect for young and old. The faint of heart should be sure to bring a strong companion to hold you tight as you witness the unbelievable, the uncanny, and the utterly absurd from sideshow performers who make you question their life choices and preferred career path.

Sideshow Gelato is located at 4819 N. Western Avenue (just north of Lincoln Square and a short walk from the Western Brownline CTA stop.) Open Thursday through Sunday check their website for performance times.  Visit

Reno Lovison