The best of the Twin Cities’ ice cream shops prepare for a delicious summer


Grace Moran

Adele’s unique and secret custard recipe sets them apart from traditional ice cream shops.

Sebastian Joe’s
Sebastian Joe’s, another of Minnesota’s nationally recognized best ice cream shops, can be found in the heart of Minneapolis and Uptown. Created by brothers Tim, Todd, and Michael in 1984, Sebastian Joe’s—named after their late grandfather Sebastiano or “Joe”— has been family owned since its origins and pushes for excellence in their product. “It’s really important that we use natural ingredients in all of our ice cream,” a Sebastian Joe’s employee said.

Sebastian Joe’s offers a wide variety of ice creams and sorbets, all homemade daily, varying from Pineapple Toasted Coconut and Egg Nog to Basil Sorbet. Customer favorites include Raspberry-Chocolate Chip, Oreo, and Pavarotti (caramel, banana, and chocolate chip). Not only does Sebastian Joe’s offer a variety of flavors, but they allow the customers to choose from their wide assortment of combination flavors that change frequently. If that’s not enough, the shop also offers ice cream sandwiches, pies, ice cream cakes, “Joe’s Brr Bars”—oreo ice cream dipped in Swiss chocolate—, and homemade dipped cones. The shop also is complete with a bakery and coffee, and sells fresh coffee beans. A unique and permanent fixture in Minneapolis, Sebastian Joe’s continues to make a name for themselves nationally with the quality of their ingredients and large variety of flavors.

Izzy’s Ice Cream
Winner of Minneapolis’ “Best Ice Cream Parlor” for 2011 and 2012,” Izzy’s Ice Cream is known as one of Minnesota’s best ice cream shops. When creators Jeff and Laura Sommers decided to open up a ice cream shop in 2000, located off of Marshall Avenue in St. Paul, they committed to the process. “They went to North Carolina to learn about gelato from experts, read ice cream books, and shadowed a ton of ice cream shop owners and customers so they could create the best ice cream shop possible,” an Izzy’s Ice Cream employee said.

Not only did they research business-wise, but the Sommers also put in a lot of work into finding the right ingredients for over 150 flavors offered. Customers can create combinations of the different flavors and use local and exotic ingredients to top their ice cream. One of the most unique things about Izzy’s includes the “Flavor Up! System” that emails customers when their favorite flavors become available. With many flavors and initiative for customer satisfaction, Izzy’s Ice Cream makes memorable experiences for every customer.

(grace moran)
(grace moran)

Adele’s Frozen Custard
Adele’s, a small famous frozen custard shop, is now open for the summer after a seasonal closure. It may seem like there is little difference between custard and ice cream, but the process and taste are completely different. “Instead of the average cream, milk and sugar that make up ice cream, custard adds egg yolk to the base, and instead of whipping the air into it — the ice cream way, we whip the air out. It makes the custard thicker and better flavored than your average ice cream,” an Adele’s employee said.

Adele’s was established in 1988 and quickly became a hit with founder Adele’s secret recipe for vanilla and chocolate frozen custard. Adele’s continues to switch up their flavors, offering a fresh new flavor in their store almost daily; the flavors can be found on their website under “Calendar,” enabling customers to keep up to date with the new additions. Adele’s challenges the average custard with the addition of more unique flavors, such as Key Lime, Orange Creamsicle, or the favorite Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, to provide customers with the full Adele’s experience.

Pumphouse Creamery
As one of the “Top 25 Ice Cream Shops in the USA”, Pumphouse Creamery certainly has a big reputation to uphold. Opened in 2003, all the ice cream is handcrafted by the owner herself, Barb Zapzalka. Zapzalka works with a dairy farm in Wisconsin to ensure that her ice cream is organic and makes great use of the local farmer’s markets to create delicious flavors with the best natural and organic ingredients.

Located in Minneapolis, Pumphouse Creamery has also managed to nab the city pages “Best Ice Cream Parlor of 2010”. The Creamery claims to change flavors seasonally or on a “whim,” however, they always keep their store stocked with classics such as chocolate and vanilla. Two popular choices from the Pumphouse Creamery include Sea Salt and Caramel—with Praline Pecans— and Vanilla (a special mix using bourbon and Tahitian vanilla). Pumphouse Creamery also offers their own homemade cones, consisting of whole-wheat flour, sunflower seeds, and other ingredients that round out the natural and organic experience at Pumphouse. The Creamery makes homemade root beer called JakeDog Soda, available for purchase year round. A refreshing and natural ice cream shop, Pumphouse ensures that eating organic can be tasty and fun.