The Five Best Ice Cream Shops in Minneapolis

Check out Hopper's picks for the five best ice cream parlors in Minneapolis to get ideas on how to satisfy the kids when vacationing in the Twin Cities.

Hopper Editors - Oct. 26, 2017

In a city where summer is short, Minneapolis ice cream needs to be at its best. These five ice cream shops serve up innovative flavors, alongside ice cream creations such as ice cream sandwiches, dip cones and homemade ice cream bars. That’s not to mention the other tasty treats — coffee, pizza and burgers, to name a few — that make these spots popular among ice cream lovers as well as hungry locals looking to get a delicious meal before topping it off with an ice cream treat. For those diners looking for ice cream made using all-natural ingredients, look no further than Minneapolis for a memorable, melt-in-your-mouth treat.

Ice cream straight from the source at the Pumphouse Creamery

The staff at Pumphouse Creamery creates its ice cream using natural, organic ingredients — so fresh that the dairy is brought to Pumphouse every week by Crystal Ball Farm. Perhaps its most popular ice cream is the sea salt caramel with praline pecans. It along with three of its other flavors — vanilla, chocolate and mint with homemade chocolate chips — are sold in local grocery stores. Apart from the ice cream, the shop offers homemade cones and homemade soda. The handcrafted root beer is available year round, in addition to a monthly rotating flavor.

Local treats served at Crema Cafe

Crema Café is a restaurant known for its more than 65-year-old venture selling Sonny’s Ice Cream, among other fare. All the food and ice cream served at the restaurant are made using local, sustainable ingredients. Apart from delicious ice cream treats, the breakfast, burger and pizza options on the restaurant menu keep customers coming back. For instance, the chocolate batter pancakes with chocolate sauce and any choice of Sonny’s Ice Cream is one of the sweetest ways to start your day. The ice cream can also be purchased from the traveling ice cream cart that sets up shop at a variety of farmer’s markets throughout the Twin Cities.

Izzy's 30 flavors are more than traditional

Ever since Izzy’s Ice Cream opened a second location in Minneapolis, locals can’t get enough of the more than 30 flavors it offers each day. Traditional flavors such as the vanilla made with Nielsen Massey’s pure bourbon vanilla extract are served alongside signature flavors. Try the basil, made with fresh basil leaves and a hint of lime juice. Or the Spongebob flavor is a mixture of lemon custard with a raspberry swirl and chunks of spongecake. It won the 2005 People’s Choice Awards, making it the first time a child ever won the contest.

Coffee makes the perfection addition to Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream Cafe

Sebastian Joe’s has become an institution in the Twin Cities ever since opening in 1984. The all-natural ice cream is made in small batches and served in a variety of ways: ice cream sandwiches, pies, cakes, dip cones and Joe’s Brr Bars. One of the standout flavors is the Pavarotti, a combination of caramel, banana and chocolate chip. This ice cream chain is not just a spot to get ice cream though. Its several locations serve a variety of coffee and espresso drinks as well, using beans roasted by the Sebastian Joe’s team. Plus, each location features artwork created by local artists.

Grand ole ice cream and pizza at Grand Ole Creamery

Part ice cream shop, part pizza place, Grand Ole Creamery serves up a variety of tasty treats in a classic ice cream parlor setting. The red and white awning invites customers in for a slice of pie before finishing off the meal with a scoop of the cookie monster or caramel chai coffee ice creams. Its malted waffle cones have a sweet Whopper candy surprise at the bottom — so good that the restaurant almost always has a line out the door with customers looking to get a taste.

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