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Here's all the ice cream you should be eating this summer

Put Sweet Science's new lakeside shop on your ice cream bucket list.

Put Sweet Science's new lakeside shop on your ice cream bucket list. Facebook: Sweet Science Ice Cream

For a state that experiences winter so intensely, we sure do love our ice cream parlors.

Maybe it makes sense, since Minnesota brought Dairy Queen into the world—but there’s a whole lot more than DQ going on in the Twin Cities. Along with stalwarts of the ice cream game—Grand Ole Creamery, Izzy’s, Sebastian Joe’s—there are myriad other shops turning local milk and tasty ingredients into spoon-licking, cup-scraping, let-it-dribble-down-your-chin ice cream goodness.

Which is pretty perfect, considering that July is National Ice Cream Month. Get out there and celebrate.

Nelson’s Ice Cream
With a history dating back to the 1920s, Nelson’s knows ice cream. Their Stillwater and St. Paul locations serve up a wide variety of tempting flavors (and they were this year’s CP pick for best ice cream, so…). Unique to Nelson’s is The Lumberjack: a bowl filled with five softball-sized scoops of ice cream and your choice of toppings. Finish this behemoth alone, and your photo goes on the wall. Will you topple The Lumberjack this National Ice Cream Month? multiple locations, nelsonsicecream.biz

Wonders Ice Cream
The opening of several rolled ice cream shops last summer made quite a splash, with Wonders claiming the crown of very first rolled ice cream shop in the state. Sample one (or more) of their 20 flavors, and get creative with your toppings. Each cup is its own work of art: cookies of all shapes and sizes, sprinkles of cereal, or carefully placed candy top the made-to-order rolls. Wonders doesn’t use any preservatives in their ice cream, so when you order that Honeydew Pebbles or Oreo Oreo, you know it’s fresh and delicious. multiple locations, wondersicecream.com

Yes, there's eternally a line outside Milkjam. And yes, it's worth the wait.

Yes, there's eternally a line outside Milkjam. And yes, it's worth the wait. Isaac Hale, Star Tribune

Minnesota Nice Cream
Instagrammers, get your phones out. The Fun Cones at Minnesota Nice Cream really live up to the name. You want edible glitter on your ice cream? They’ve got it. How about some cereal? Yep. What about cookie dough and bacon? Done and done. Each order of their locally sourced soft serve comes with your choice of three toppings. Choose wisely and for maximum photographic impact. (They also have an ice cream truck!) 807 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis, mnnicecream.com

Fletcher’s Ice Cream
Fletcher’s added another ice cream option to Northeast in May—an option that lets you get your ice cream in a cup or cone or on a waffle. (Fact: putting ice cream on a waffle makes it a meal.) Now, would you like that waffle topped with cocoa caliente ice cream or black licorice or piña colada? Fletcher’s even has ice cream specifically made for your dog. So grab a few scoops for you and your pooch and chill on their patio. 1509 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis, 612-345-4938; fletchersicecream.com

Sonny’s Ice Cream Café
Since 1945, Sonny’s has been churning out ice cream, gelato, and sorbet five to 10 gallons at a time. With that kind of track record, rest assured your ice cream experience here will be stellar. Go for the goat cheese honey ice cream, the mint truffle, or the organic Minnesota maple syrup with walnuts. And remember that you can pair your ice cream with one of the dishes from their dinner menu. Or eat ice cream for dinner. No judgement. 3403 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-824-3868; sonnysicecream.com

Sweet Science Ice Cream
New to brick-and-mortar but an old hand at mixing up ice cream is Sweet Science. They recently opened up a shop at Como Lake—so stop by after nabbing lunch at Spring Café or paddling a kayak—and will soon have another location in Keg & Case Market. Sweet Science makes all of their ice cream with organic, locally sourced ingredients. Sample flavors like berry crumble, rhubarb cinnamon almond, and honey chamomile ale. 1360 Lexington Pkwy. N., St. Paul, sweetscienceicecream.com

Sweet Me Creamery
Who doesn’t want to try ice cream that pastry genius Michelle Gayer of The Salty Tart has weighed in on? That’s what we thought. Sweet Me is currently available in affogatos at Salty Tart locations or in grocery stores throughout the metro area. Its pints come in flavors like strawberry rhubarb cobbler, bourbon butter pecan, and lemon bar. Sweet Me uses milk from the region and makes their ice cream slowly, in small batches, to develop deep flavor. sweetmecreamery.com

Crepe and Spoon
Calling all vegans and lactose-intolerants! And anyone who likes tasty ice cream! If the idea of vegan ice cream leaves you dubious, one taste of Crepe and Spoon’s tasty confections will clear away any doubts. How could an ice cream with a base of coconut milk steer you wrong? Flavors change fairly often, but look for the chocolate rye, coconut lemon saffron, and matcha green tea. 339 22nd Ave. NE, Minneapolis, crepeandspoon.com

Sota Hot and Cold
We can’t get enough of rolled ice cream in the Twin Cities! One Sota Hot and Cold location is conveniently nestled in the same building as dim sum restaurant Tapestry, so you can cap off your meal there with a signature roll or create your own. But we’re not sure how you could top Kimly’s Fruit Ube, which has an ube and matcha green tea ice cream base and is then topped with crushed Oreos, kiwi, strawberries, mangoes, and Pocky sticks. That, my friends, is an ice cream worthy of National Ice Cream Month. multiple locations, sotahotandcold.com

Four-flavor flights at Cold Front

Four-flavor flights at Cold Front Tony Nelson

Milkjam Creamery
This ice cream spot opened in Whittier in 2016—during the winter, no less—to great fanfare. Chef-owner Sameh Wadi was all about making the best ice cream possible, and we’d say that goal’s been safely achieved. Fun names go with their even funner flavors. (They’re so fun we eschew grammar.) Get a scoop of the Cereal Killers, flavored with orange coriander milk and candied pebbles. Or try the Hard Knock Life 2.0, a bomb of dark chocolate, salted chocolate fudge, whoppers, and brownie pieces. 2743 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-424-4668; milkjamcreamery.com

Pumphouse Creamery
Pumphouse is another operation that uses organic and locally sourced ingredients to craft super high-quality “farm to frozen” ice cream. Available in flavors like lavender, Earl Grey tea, and buttermilk with lemon bars, all of Pumphouse’s ice cream is made in the kitchen behind the shop. Stop by and try to choose from among 20 different flavors (non-dairy options available), and eat them plain or in sundae version (the lemon olive oil is especially tempting). And visit their website to learn more about their local partners. 4754 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-825-2021; pumphouse-creamery.com

Dar’s Double Scoop
Pizza and ice cream, ice cream and pizza. They pretty much have friendship bracelets, that’s how perfectly these two foods go together. At Dar’s, you can get cozy in a booth with some pizza and your friends, have a great time, and then keep the good times going with some classic ice cream parlor creations. Choose from the mom-and-pop shop's many, many flavors—black walnut! coconut joy! white chocolate raspberry!—in a cup or cone, or go whole hog with a banana split. 1048 Rice St., St. Paul, 651-489-2422; darsdoublescoop.com

La La Homemade Ice Cream
La La strives for quality in all of its products, whether it’s ice cream, sorbet, house-made sodas, or its dairy-free ice creams. When you stop in, you’ll be able to choose from 16-18 rotating flavors. The mocha almond crunch sounds suitably rich, while the dairy-free Good Girl is a little lighter, with an almond milk base flavored by lavender and burnt honey. Get a slice of ice cream cake, or order a sundae. Can’t choose? Get the tasting platter of eight or 16 mini scoops. 3146 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-824-5252; lalahomemadeicecream.com

Minnesota Nice Cream: Glitter! Cereal! Candy!

Minnesota Nice Cream: Glitter! Cereal! Candy! Emily Cassel

Cold Front
Want a thorough celebration of National Ice Cream Month? Head to Cold Front. Their extensive menu of ice cream-based treats means everyone will find something to feed their sweet tooth. Get a Purple Rain float, a flight of four ice creams, or a malt. Create your own sundae, or just go with a classic single scoop in a cone. For something a touch more international in taste, order an espresso or chai affogato. 490 Hamline Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-330-7632; coldfrontmsp.com

Loulou Sweet & Savory Ice Cream
The cool thing—literally—about rolled ice cream is that it’s hyper fresh, since the base is cooled and rolled right before your eyes. Loulou emphasizes freshness, and their ice cream base, too, is locally sourced. Order a cup with a fresh mixture of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. And if you have an upcoming event and need something super fun, consider reserving the Loulou Mobile Unit. 2839 Emerson Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-999-1908; loulouandco.com

Conny’s Creamy Cone
For a classic summer experience, head to Conny’s Creamy Cone. Order a burger and cheese curds, and follow that up with a generously sized scoop. With more than 24 flavors of soft serve, it’s going to be hard to choose—add in the fact that Conny’s also offers chocolate dips and banana splits and malts, and you’re in summertime ice cream heaven. It’s traditional, and it’s everything you want. 1197 Dale St. N., St. Paul, 651-488-4150; connyscreamycone.com