Now that I work all day during the week, like a big girl, I spend my weekends enjoying the city and rarely get out during the week (except for a good Happy Hour, but that’s another post). I try to fill my weekends with activities that keep me active (because I don’t wanna waste the day doing a workout at the gym) and enough fun and food to keep me from feeling like I’m alive. I try to avoid dairy lately, so back when I was constantly spending my nights going from ice cream shop to ice cream shop I came up with a pretty good list of what I definitely consider the best ice cream places in the Twin Cities.
Let’s get lickin’
As far as cool, seasonal flavors goes, this is the place. The ice cream is super creamy and the waffle cones are thin and crisp. They also always have weird combinations to try, but I usually get the Salted Caramel or their famous Pavarotti which is a banana ice cream. The Nicollet Pothole is also famous and it’s the darkest ice cream I’ve ever seen because it’s like chocolate on chocolate. They also have 2 locations (Uptown and Linden Hills), so you’re bound to be in the area of at least one.
They were featured on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown back in the day, and I’m pretty sure Izzy’s won. They have incredibly creamy and thick ice cream, but the best part is their cones. The cones are super thick and massive, and whenever you walk into Izzy’s you instantly smell the waffle cones being made to the side. The ice cream flavors aren’t anything crazy. They mostly just do the originals like Oreo or cinnamon. I did have graham cracker once and it was life changing. Izzy’s is known for their “Izzy scoop” which is a tiny scoop of any flavor they put on top of your main flavor and it’s adorable. Like Joe’s they also have 2 locations (Minneapolis and Saint Paul).
Home of the 5 scoop sampler. Except I recommend skipping that and getting one of their delicious cones with chewy seeds in it. They are what I would consider an artisan ice cream shop. They only use fresh and local ingredients. Even the chocolate in their mint chocolate chip is homemade. The flavor I’m dying to try right now is their buttermilk ice cream with lemon bars in it. I’m a sucker for a lemon bar. The real reason I love this place, though, is because they offer dairy-free coconut milk ice cream. I’ve yet to see an ice cream place in the cities offer coconut milk ice cream of such great quality. Points for Pumphouse.
Grand Ole Creamery
This place is always packed on a nice day. The location on Grand Ave in St. Paul is likely why. The ice cream is plentiful and the cones are huge. You definitely get your moneys worth. The don’t do crazy flavors, but the classic apple pie and s’mores are always a great option for something different. I’d say they specialize in what kids want and childhood favorites to make it nostalgic for the adults. Great stop after shopping and eating your way down grand ave all day or just go for a stroll to work off the ice cream. It’s a great pastime.
This is the place you go if you really really really want ice cream. They have two locations, one in St. Paul and the other is located by the water in Stillwater, but the drive is worth it for the quantity and quality of ice cream you get. They have flavors with cute names like “Superman” with red, white and blue swirls of berries mixed into vanilla to look like Superman, and Java Chuck with coffee in chocolate ice cream. Here’s a tip: THE CHILD SIZE IS PLENTY (for 5 people). You get an insane amount of ice cream for your money and that’s what makes it so great, kinda…