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Best ice cream shops in the Twin Cities

This Sunday, July 18, marks National Ice Cream Day, during which we plan to give thanks for the breadth and depth of our outstanding independent ice cream shops with a few local licks. All the Twin Cities' standard-bearers use premium ingredients (often local and organic) and have a creative assortment of flavors. Here are our top 5 scoop shops and recommendations on what flavors to order:

The Grand Avenue storefront opened in 1984.
The Grand Avenue storefront opened in 1984.
www.citypages.com

5. Grand Ole CreameryThe most old-fashioned of our local scoop shops, this 20-plus-year vet often has lines out the door that stretch down the block. One of our favorites that's worth the wait: Birthday Cake, with fluffy hunks of angel food and colorful candy bits.

Gray is the hue of a cookie-rich scoop at Sebastian Joe's.
Gray is the hue of a cookie-rich scoop at Sebastian Joe's.
Jessica Chapman

4. Sebastian Joe's
There are other flavors in the Sebastian Joe's case, sure, but every time we set foot in the place, our vision narrows, our ears start ringing, and we hone in on the Oreo, a blend that happily seems to contain more cookies than ice cream. Better yet: Get a Brr Bar, which is Oreo ice cream dipped in dark chocolate.  

Look online to see what Flavor's Up before you head to Izzy's.
Look online to see what Flavor's Up before you head to Izzy's.
www.izzysicecream.com

3. Izzy's
Izzy's is known for its experimentation and innovation, between its bi-annual People's Choice Flavor Contest, its solar-powered shop, and its new high-tech Flavor Up site, which shows you which 32 ice creams are currently being scooped (it's updated every three minutes!). Izzy's signature flavor is Norwegian Chai, but we have a hard time bypassing Cream Cheese when it's in the house.  

2. Pumphouse Creamery
Beloved for its proximity to Minnehaha Creek, Pumphouse executes its far-out flavors like the Indian kulfi (pistachios, rosewater, and cardamom) as well as its classics. We're especially partial to the local, organic strawberry ice cream: simplicity meets sublime.  

Crema's courtyard is a lush oasis on Lyndale Avenue.
Crema's courtyard is a lush oasis on Lyndale Avenue.
Jana Freiband

1. Crema Cafe
With its quaint Italian piazza, its unparalleled selection of sorbets, and full cafe menu, Crema Cafe, home of Sonny's ice cream, is the full package. Our favorite flavor, when they have it, is the ultra-creamy olive oil with sea salt--sounds weird, we know, but trust us.

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miles
Crema Cafe

3403 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

612-824-3868

www.cremacafeminneapolis.com


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