The 9 Best Ice Cream Shops in the Twin Cities

best ice cream shops - twin cites, mn

You guys, I think I’m developing a serious addiction to ice cream shops….

Let’s put it this way – I’m pretty sure my last six dinners out have ended with an impromptu trip for ice cream.

It’s not entirely my fault though. I promise!

You see, Minneapolis and St. Paul have such an awesome collection of ice cream shops that after a good dinner, I’m pretty much helpless to siren’s call of that refreshing scoop.

At this point, I think it’s safe to say my habit has had me sample just about all the cold treats the Twin Cities have to offer. So today, I’m sharing my personal picks for the 9 best ice cream shops in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Twin Cities.

Map of Ice Cream Shops around Minneapolis & St. Paul

My personal favorite ice cream shop: Bebe Zito

best ice cream in minneapolis - bebe zito's

I’ll be honest. There’s a ton of great ice cream shops in our city. But for my money, Bebe Zito is in a league of its own.

This tiny little shop in Uptown consistently churns out ice cream that’s unlike anywhere else in town. I have no idea how they do it, but each flavor is so perfectly creamy, and so perfectly crafted with generous chunks of whatever’s advertised, that each spoonful is absolute perfection. They even top most flavors with a delicious drizzle of sweet sauce, then sprinkle just enough crumble for added texture. This is my perfect ice cream, and you’ve gotta try it. (Bonus points for the always hilarious Schitt’s Creek puns).

PS – If you can’t make it to uptown, Bebe Zito’s started stocking their pints in local small businesses all over the city. Ask around!

  • Address: 704 W 22nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55405
  • Website: Bebe Zito

The Best “Cheffy” Ice Cream: Milkjam Creamery

Chef Sameh Wadi is a local legend around the Twin Cities. He first rose to prominence after appearances on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and his collection of delicious restaurants around Minneapolis only cemented that status. So you can imagine how excited we were to learn that he was opening an ice cream shop right next door to his always amazing fast-casual concept, World Street Kitchen. Enter Milkjam Creamery.

These days, it’s pretty much impossible for me to enjoy some of World Street’s delicious food without capping it off with the always unique ice cream flavors. Nothing exemplifies this quite like the namesake flavor… instead of traditional vanilla, “Milkjam” is made with caramalized goat’s milk, then mixed with various sweetened condensed milks for added depth. Of course, that’s just one such concoction from a menu also known for one-of-a-kind flavors like thai tea, toasted coconut, and some truly unique cereal and oreo concoctions.

The Most Popular Ice Cream Shop in Minneapolis: Sebastian Joe’s

sebastian joe's

Sebastian Joe’s has two neighborhood spots in the Twin Cities, and come summertime, each one is known for its line around the block. While they don’t have the longest list of flavors, Sebastian Joe’s has been bringing their small-batch classics to Lowry Hill and Linden Hills for over 30 years.

  • Address 1: 4321 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
  • Address 2: 1007 W Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405
  • Website: Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream

The Most Popular Ice Cream Shop in St. Paul: Grand Ole Creamery

grand ole creamery st. paul

You know a place is popular when The President eats there. During his 2014 visit to the Twin Cities, President Obama made sure to grab a scoop at Grand Ole Creamery. Not everyone agrees on politics, but we can all agree that administration knew their ice cream!

Grand Old Creamery is a classic. When you first walk in, you might be surprised to smell… waffles? Yep, those are the fresh waffle cones they’re crafting up for each order. The next thing you’ll notice is the seemingly endless selection of flavors, each one ready for a giant serving in a classic setting.

All of this is why you’re sure to find a massive line wrapping around the block on Summer nights. But don’t let that deter you, Grand Avenue is a must-visit.

For the cereal lovers: Treats

treats ice cream shop

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, just down the block from Grand Ole Creamery in St. Paul sits Treats, an extremely unique spot for ice cream. Treats calls itself a “cereal” bar, and they back up that claim by blending the cereal of your choice right into the ice cream itself!

No question, this is absolutely some of the best ice cream in the Twin Cities and definitely a must-try!

  • Address: 770 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
  • Website: Treats

Best Thai Rolled Ice Cream: Sota Hot & Cold

Never heard of Thai rolled ice cream? You’re in for a treat. Instead of the traditional scooped approach, this ice cream starts as a liquid. That liquid’s poured onto a frozen griddle, then chopped and rolled as you watch in amazement. The end product isn’t a domed scoop but multiple cigar-like rolls of frozen cream, usually topped with an Instagram-worthy mix of toppings. 

There’s a couple different places taking this unique approach, but for consistently delicious creations, you can’t beat Sota on University Ave in St. Paul.

COVID Update: Sota Hot & Cold closed at the start of the pandemic, and no word yet on the reopening. In the mean time, Wonders just down the block is another great choice for rolled ice cream.

  • Address: 394 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103
  • Website: N/A

Most Beautiful Soft Serve: MN Nice Cream

No summer trip to Able craft brewery in Northeast Minneapolis would be complete without a walk across the patio and into the most instragram-worthy ice cream shop around.

Originally an ice cream truck parked on site, MN Nice Cream advertises itself as “Soft Serve x Toppings x Glitter.” True to their line, this place is famous for packing their frozen yogurt cones to the sky with an absolutely beautiful collection of sprinkles, cookies, berries, gummies, popcorn, bananas, drizzles, and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s a fun experience that you gotta try.

  • Address: 807 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
  • Website: MN Nice Cream

The Best Italian Gelato: Cossetta’s Pasticceria

Sometimes, you’re not actually craving ice cream and instead are looking for its Italian cousin – the lighter, flavor packed goodness known as Gelato. And if that’s the case, there’s one obvious place you gotta go if you’re in the Twin Cities – Cosetta’s Pasticceria.

Located inside the monstrous Italian complex known as Cossetta’s, the pasticceria is a timeless pastry bar that will make you feel like you just teleported to Italy. (The marble pastry bar was actually shipped, piece-by-by, straight from Tuscany.) Don’t forget to top it all off with a perfectly crafted macaroon or Italian pastry; they only make the Gelato taste that much better!

My Favorite Neighborhood Spot: Icy Cup

best neighborhood ice cream shop in st paul - icy cup

Sure, this place is basically a tiny converted DQ, but there’s just something magical about Icy Cup’s neighborhood charm that has me coming back again and again. This spot closes each winter, which means its Summer opening is always a sign that we’ve turned the corner and are headed to greener pastures.

I love their fantastic soft serve, which takes on a custard-like flavor. But their Affogato coffee desserts are legendary, as are their sundaes. (The churro sundae is a neighborhood favorite – two warm churro sticks and all!) Rumor has it their frozen dilly bars are top notch, but I haven’t ever been able to pull myself away from all the other delicious menu offerings to test that theory.

The tiny indoor space with no seating and cute little patio just add to its charm.

  • Address: 63 George St W, St Paul, MN 55107

Best Place to Get Ice Cream After Midnight?

If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve had the ice cream craving hit late at night. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck finding any truly local ice cream places that are open after midnight. If you know of any, let us know through our contact page! Until then, as much as I’m disappointed to say it, your best bet would be something like a soft-serve cone at McDonald’s. Help us out, Twin Cities!

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