July 2, 2010 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Dish it out: Where's the best ice cream in Minneapolis-St. Paul?

A friend is moving to the Twin Cities (Southwest suburbs to be specific) and is looking for ice cream places in & around her new stomping grounds.

I'd love to hear about your favorite gourmet, local, full-on drugstore counters with soda fountains, wherever you love to go on a warm summer night. My friend's favorite places are ice cream "shacks" - little roadside open-only-in-summer type places. (The Zesto in Brookings, SD and B & G Milky Way local chain in SoDak, for example.)

Thanks for helping me help my friend, but I can't deny that I'm excited to try a few places out next time I'm in the Cities!
posted by sararah to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
We take our kids to Grand Ole Creamery (750 Grand Avenue, St Paul) whenever we go up there. It's really excellent!
posted by crapples at 8:39 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Last time I was in the area, I went here. Izzy's is really tasty stuff.
posted by jangie at 8:49 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I love ice cream and there are a ton of great places, but since you said the best, the answer is Pumphouse Creamery. Barb's simply an ice cream genius. I'm always torn between the Sea Salt Caramel or the Local Cheeries and Homemade Brownie. There's almost always a few other things that tempt me too.
posted by advicepig at 8:50 AM on July 2, 2010

There are a couple places in St Paul that maybe someone else is more familiar with; I know there's one on Grand Ave whose name escapes but it has a good reputation. I don't know of any real "shack" type places in the area, but in Minneapolis the two local ice cream joints that spring to mind are Sebastian Joe's and Sonny's (techinically, Sonny's is the brand of ice cream and the cafe is Crema, but people tend to refer to the location as Sonny's as well).

Both supply various restaurants and some grocery stores in the area, and both have a really nice neighborhood feel to their retail locations. Sebastian Joe's has a couple of stores - one near the Walker and one in Linden Hills - while Sonny's just has the one spot on Lyndale.
posted by nickmark at 8:51 AM on July 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

(I should also add that Izzy's, Sebastian Joe's, and Grand Ole Creamery are also exceptional.)
posted by advicepig at 8:51 AM on July 2, 2010

Can you be more specific about "southwest suburbs"? There's a standard list of ice cream recommendations for the Twin Cities, most of which have already been mentioned, but they are all St Paul or Minneapolis proper, and not the suburbs. If you're talking Prior Lake or Shakopee or somewhere like that, maybe we can find something more local that won't require a 30-minute drive.
posted by cabingirl at 9:04 AM on July 2, 2010

For the old fashioned Philadelphia style ice cream, that uses whole milk, then definitely the Pumphouse Creamery. For French style custard, I would recommend Izzy's. But hey, it is not a Minnesota summer until you have had at least one dilly bar at the Dairy Queen.
posted by jadepearl at 9:05 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Grand ole creamery is overpriced in my opinion.

Izzy's is better, plus they have their signature "izzy scoop" which is a small ball of any flavor ice cream you want on top. Perfect for the weird ones that you couldn't consume too much of, but still want a bit.

If you are looking for a fantastic "shack", your friend won't beat Conny's Creamy Cone on Como ave. It is seasonal, great - but not gourmet - softserve, and a real neighborhood place.

For my money, I go to Liberty Frozen Custard in tangle town - but I prefer custard over regular fare. It's not too expensive, plus its in an old mechanic's garage so they open up the garage doors in the summer and it is quite nice.

Finally, there is a great Dairy Queen "Shack" here - it's possibly going to be named a historical landmark. Also, it's for sale if you want to buy it.
posted by Think_Long at 9:09 AM on July 2, 2010

Sebastian Joe's salted caramel ice cream is awesome, especially on something like a brownie or with pie or cake.
posted by sanka at 9:14 AM on July 2, 2010

Response by poster: cabingirl - she's moving to Shakopee.
posted by sararah at 9:21 AM on July 2, 2010

Oh. Shakopee is faaaar outside my sphere of influence, I know nothing about the dairy situation over there.
posted by Think_Long at 9:30 AM on July 2, 2010

Oh, well in that case I will recommend Adele's Frozen Custard in Excelsior. It's still a little bit of a drive, but downtown Excelsior is very cute and should give the small-town vibe you're looking for.
posted by cabingirl at 10:06 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

South Dakotan fond of both the places you mentioned, now living in St. Paul - Grand Old Creamery is fantastic. Sweet cream in a waffle cone makes me die of happiness.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 10:10 AM on July 2, 2010

Response by poster: Shakopee seems to be a dessert desert (har har) with only a Dairy Queen when I search Urbanspoon and Yelp. Thanks for the suggestions so far, I think she's open to a little urban exploration!
posted by sararah at 10:10 AM on July 2, 2010

Long time reader, first time poster, and Shakopee resident. Someone finally posted a question in my area of expertise! :-)

There's a little shop called Coffee Ta Cream in the Towne Square Mall near Hwy 69 and 10th Ave in Shakopee. It's a little one-man shop that serves (excellent!) Sebastian Joe's ice cream. The service is great. A word of warning: the portion sizes are big, so be careful about ordering a "large"!

No affiliation with the shop, except as a happy customer.
posted by jdwhite at 10:45 AM on July 2, 2010

Sebastian Joes at Franklin/Hennepin or Franklin Freeze on East Franklin Ave.

Not close to your friend though.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 10:46 AM on July 2, 2010

I look forward to Izzy's every time I visit my best friend in St. Paul. Oh god I want their salted caramel ice cream now.
posted by desuetude at 3:08 PM on July 2, 2010

This isn't exactly a roadside hut, and it's in Uptown Minneapolis, not Shakopee, but anytime anyone is talking about ice cream in and around the Twin Cities, there should be at least one mention of the glorious Crema Cafe. One of my favorite places on earth.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 3:43 PM on July 2, 2010

In Bloomington, there's a place called Scoops that we always went to when I was younger. It's on the northwest corner of Old Shakopee Rd and Bloomington Ferry Bridge Rd, about half a mile east of Hwy 169 (which goes straight to Shakopee).
posted by JannaK at 7:58 PM on July 2, 2010

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