Six sweet scoops

Is there anything better than sitting outside with an ice cream cone on a hot summer day? This ritual gives us a moment to pause, to stop and smell the lady slippers, to perhaps reclaim some unplugged family time, to look back on our own good old days of summer.

We don’t go out for ice cream to sustain the body or stave off hunger. We go to experience pleasure and satiate the soul.

You probably have your own favorite sweet spot for a scoop or two, perhaps even a fully developed top 10. Our standards are such for good reason, but it’s always fun to try something new, right?

Our picks for must-hit ice cream spots in the Twin Cities combine that slow pace of summer, the aforementioned olden days and a dash of ingenuity sure to surprise and, we hope, delight.


Izzy’s Ice Cream

Where: 2034 Marshall Ave., St. Paul (pictured below) and 1100 Second St. S., Minneapolis

The scoop: This makes just about every “Best of” list in the Twin Cities for a reason — really good ice cream. Izzy’s offers a no-frills atmosphere mixed with top-notch craftsmanship. Is your name Isabel? Isabella? Izzies get their Polaroid up on a Wall of Fame.

Wow factor: The signature “Izzy” — a cute little taster scoop (3/4 ounce) on top of your regular order. (Jump to the end of this story to learn more about this special trademarked treat.)

Fun flavor: Salted Carmel


Pumphouse Creamery

Where: 4754 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis

The scoop: This teeny-tiny neighborhood ice cream shop utilizes organic and all-natural ingredients sourced from local farmers. It’s an ideal choice for the health-conscious parent or the family that’s feeling a little over-sugared, but still wants a treat. The cones contain flax seed; the orange sorbet tastes like fresh oranges. It tastes “good for you,” but still scratches the ice-cream itch.

Wow factor: Fresh-baked goods from local bakers make their way into the ice creamflavors — buttermilk lemon bar, for example. 

Fun flavor: Milk Chocolate Homemade Peanut Butter Cup



Conny’s Creamy Cone

Where: 1197 Dale St. N., St. Paul

The scoop: All soft serve, in various incarnations — dipped cones, “flurries” and a. Located just east of Lake Como, this St. Paul classic feels like a 1950s beach shack — serving chilidogs, cheese curds and onion rings in addition to their famous ice cream.

Wow factor: 24 flavors of soft serve with new treats to try on every visit, not to mention flurries generously abundant with mix-ins. 

Fun flavor: Coconut


Kristy Rud and her sons, Jake and Owen, 7 and 5, enjoy a treat at Conny’s Creamy Cone in St. Paul.


Annie's Parlour

Where: 313 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis

The scoop: In the heart of Dinkytown, climb up the old wood steps to this upstairs eatery and enjoy the nostalgia of the classic American malt shop. Dozens of options for milkshakes, malts and ice cream sodas.

Wow factor: Awesome views of the skyline and sunsets in a relaxed setting.

Fun flavor: Vanilla Oreo Malt



Adele’s Frozen Custard

Where: 800 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior

The scoop: Adele’s motto is “ice cream made better.” The difference between ice cream and custard? The addition of egg yolk and the omission of air, resulting in a silky smooth texture. Committed to freshness, Adele’s — though prolifically proficient in making 80 flavors of custards — only offers one or two on top of the standard vanilla and chocolate daily, so you’ll have to check their calendar to catch your favorite.

Wow factor: Pretty patio and lake proximity make this a sweet family summer outing.

Fun flavor: Chocolate Raspberry Truffle



Menchie's Frozen Yogurt 

Where: 750 Cleveland Ave. S., St. Paul; Elm Creek Blvd, 8097 Wedgewood Lane N., Maple Grove; Shakopee Crossroads Center
is “coming soon.”

The scoop: This is one of the first — and most original — places to ring in the DIY-frozen-yogurt revival. It’s fresh, clean, fun and has an outstanding frequent fro-yo rewards program.

Wow factor: In St. Paul, you can pair your mix with people-watching on the patio or walking and shopping in adorable Highland Village.

Fun flavor: Zesty Lemon Meringue


The Izzy Scoop: A Minnesota original! 

So, what are the flavors featured in The Izzy Scoop photo that ran with this story (below)?
We asked and got two answers from an Izzy's insider. 

Short answer: "The bottom flavor is Blue Mountain Spice and the izzy scoop® is Blackberry Crème Fraiche."

Long answer: "Flavor-packed flecks of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom swim in a scoop-sized ocean of pale golden, tea flavored ice cream known to St. Paul, Minnesota as Blue Mountain Spice. The zenful collision of Malaysian Black Tea and a Chai Spice Blend leaves a comforting, warm savor as it slips off frosty spoon tips or substantial waffle cones. Perched atop this hearty helping rests a petite portion, the infamous Izzy scoop, of Blackberry Crème Fraiche. This velvety blend of blackberry and crème fraiche compliments Blue Mountain Spice with a subtle tang and indescribable richness that makes this fusion as common as summer and ice cream itself."

Learn more about the story behind the official trademarking of the special scoop here.

 Jen Wittes is a mother of two who lives in St. Paul. Send questions or comments to