Best Ice Cream Parlor Minneapolis 2012 - Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe
2034 Marshall Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe is one of St. Paul's treasures. The retail store offers more than 30 flavors a day, all updated by the minute on its website. Izzy's does traditional flavors exceptionally well: The vanilla ice cream is made with Neilsen Massey's pure bourbon vanilla extract, the chocolate is dark and rich, and the mint chocolate chip boasts both peppermint oil and peppermint extract. Other tried-and-true selections include cookies and cream (made with real Oreos), strawberry, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and Guatemalan coffee (steeped in dark roast coffee beans from Peace Coffee). Seasonal and specialty flavors, such as pumpkin, tiramisu, and cotton candy, are served alongside the more traditional options. Each order of ice cream comes with an Izzy Scoop, a small taste of a flavor of your choice, so the mildly adventurous can pick their usual favorite while getting a three-quarter-ounce scoop of something completely different. Izzy's has a fun ice cream parlor vibe and hosts enjoyable events, such as the annual People's Flavor Awards, where customers submit new flavor ideas. Some are created and voted on, and one lucky flavor finds its way into Izzy's ice cream rotation. ("Hot Brown Sugar" was the 2006 winner, which Izzy's owner Jeff Sommers used to beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay on Flay's Food Network show Throwdown.) The ice cream shop is innovative in other ways: Check out the solar panels on the roof. Can't make it to the shop? Selected pints of Izzy's Ice Cream are available at Kowalski's, Mississippi Market, and Coborns Delivers, and Izzy's is looking to expand to Minneapolis this year.