What’s a hot Minnesota summer without something cold and sweet to cool you down? (Okay, let’s be honest – we eat ice cream year round here. Even when it’s -15. It’s just easier to enjoy outdoors in the summer months!)
As the temps start to warm up and you’re wondering “what are we going to do all summer?” here are my top favorite spots for ice cream in the Twin Cities. I highly suggest adding a stop at each to your summer bucket list!
Our first stop: Grand Ole Creamery. It’s a classic with unforgettable ambiance and ice cream flavors. Did you know? It’s Minnesota’s first gourmet ice cream shop – standing firm for over 30 years. Another plus? They also just happen to have a pizza shop right next door, too! Pizza AND ice cream?! Heaven!! Oh wait. What’s that? They’ve made life even easier for us? The answer is Yes. They deliver!
GOC has locations in both St. Paul and Minneapolis, and when you make a stop, make sure that you give their Cookie Monster and/or Butter Brickle a try!
Linden Hills Location
With two locations in fantastic Minneapolis neighborhoods, this is a must on your local summer adventure list. They have amazing flavors, but the reason we love them the most? If you ask, they’ll not only use a brand new scoop for your ice cream, but are known to open a whole new container of ice cream just to keep your kiddo safe
This place is a summer must (in my opinion.) It’s a classic drive-in with greasy burgers and deep-fried everything. But what you really need to try? The shakes. I highly recommend the fresh raspberry or homemade butterscotch, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. It’s worth the drive – but don’t forget your cash! They don’t take credit cards.
Sticking out in the western ‘burbs for another stop, I’d like to welcome Licks Unlimited to the list. Not only is the shop itself adorable, the location is phenomenal. In the heart of downtown Excelsior, you can enjoy a walk along the shores of Lake Minnetonka or sit outside to take in the hustle of this quaint lakeside town. My recommendation? Blue moon in a chocolate-and-sprinkles-dipped waffle cone.
Alright. I honestly don’t know where to begin. There are very few places that have the hype this place had during its initial opening and then actually live up to that hype. But this one does – and honestly, so much more. The employees are energetic, engaging, and fun. The flavors are incredible. (The EVV and Ridin’ Duuurty were our faves – so far.) Apparently there’s a pretty long line on evenings – but who cares, right? Beautiful warm nights for some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had!
Cold Front has the best of both worlds – delicious ice cream AND coffee. Really, really good coffee. Call me weird, but I love the contrast of a sweet ice cream treat paired with a hot macchiato. Then there’s the overall ambiance. It’s a balance of modern and 50’s . . . the classic swivel stools up at a beautiful counter, gorgeous floors, shiny serving pieces. There’s not a bad thing on the menu (they even make their own soda syrups!) but the Salty Turtle tops my list. And the macchiato. And the Cherry Lime Rickey.
Selma’s. First of all, this place is adorable. It’s like stepping back in time, to the days when phones still operated on a dial. (What’s that?!) Second of all, that makes sense – why? Because it’s the Oldest Ice Cream Shop in MN. According to their website, they’ve been “dishing out ice cream since the early 1900s when the shop was established in a building used for ammunition storage during the Civil War”! Another plus to this place is the beautiful park across the street. You can get your ice cream and then enjoy the park and river. If I can recommend anything, it’d be any of their ice cream – in the waffle cone. I know that sounds really, really cliche, but trust me on this one!
Located in the quaint downtown of Anoka (which is, quite interestingly, also the Halloween Capital of the World) Two Scoops offers an insane list of flavors as well as delicious waffle cones. If you’re really up for a family challenge, you should attempt to attack the Tornado. It’s 20 scoops of that day’s ice cream, topped with traditional sundae toppings. It kind of sounds Heavenly, right?
Formerly Cow Interrupted, this is an Ice Cream Studio and 80’s arcade located in beautiful downtown Farmington. They serve premium hard ice cream from Chocolate Shoppe, which is made in Madison, Wisconsin.
Click the image below to find our full Ultimate Guide to Summer in the Twin Cities: