Carm's Beef and Italian Ice
Little Italy | 1057 W. Polk St. | Chicago, Illinois 60607 | 312.738.1046

Our History


Carm's started out as a grocery store in 1929. The Italian Ice was made in front of the store in the summer from the months of April through September. Original Lemon was the only flavor made.

When Grandma Mary Carm and Grandpa James Fontano retired from the grocery business, the birth of Carm's as a fast-food restaurant was begun. It was also at that same time that the University of Illinois at Chicago (Circle Campus) was built. Carm's still exists at that same building. The restaurant now serves a variety of hot and cold sandwiches including the famous Italian Ice, consisting of Original Lemon and other delicious new flavors.

The restaurant is still owned and operated by the 2nd and 3rd generations of the original family. Steven still uses the same recipe handed down from his Grandmother & Grandfather. He has also created some of his own new flavors such as real Cantaloupe, Mango and Chocolate, which are quickly becoming as popular as the Original Lemon.

Pictures of the 4th generation great-grandchildren can be seen on the wall of fame behind the counter. On October 20, 2006, Carm's was inducted into the Vienna Beef Hall of FameĀ®. Read all about it here.