Few things go better together than summer vacation and a trip to the local ice cream shop. Whether they make their own flavors or add a special touch (like a jelly bean at the bottom of every cone), it's hard to beat a cold scoop on a hot day. Here’s a sampling of some popular ice cream shops in Minnesota for whenever your next craving hits.
Selma's Ice Cream Parlor
This classic ice cream shop has been a popular destination for many years in this quaint village in the St. Croix River Valley.
This downtown shop features super premium ice cream in a wide array of imaginative flavors (try the Fat Elvis), which change weekly, plus malts and sundaes.
Mabel's Ice Cream
Blocks from the scenic St. Croix River, this adorable downtown shop serves two-dozen flavors of Cedar Crest ice cream, made just across the border in Wisconsin.
Blaine & North Oaks
Big Dipper Creamery
More than 50 handcrafted flavors ranging from classic chocolate chip to s'mores and salty caramel make this family-owned shop a local favorite. And if you happen to stop by when it's closed, fear not: The ice cream vending machine is open 24/7.
What's the Scoop?
New to downtown Buffalo, this family-owned shop serves 40 flavors of Cedar Crest ice cream, perfect for bringing to the nearby splash pad or Buffalo Lake.
Adele's Frozen Custard
Adele's has over 80 flavors of custard made with fresh ingredients, but only makes a few each day. Check out the monthly calendar.
Near Lake Minnetonka, this little shop is a great place to get off the boat and grab some ice cream. Choose from a wide variety of flavors, including Zoreo—chocolate/marshmallow ice cream with Oreo pieces.
Chill Ice Cream Studio
Come for the Chocolate Shoppe ice cream (a popular import from Wisconsin), stay for the '80s arcade games!
Grandpa's Ice Cream
Produced in small batches on-site, Grandpa's serves 32 flavors including unique takes like maple bacon, horchata and lime basil sorbet.
Try any of the 32 hand-dipped premium flavors or shoot for the Hall of Fame if your group can eat 16 scoops in 30 minutes or less.
Marine on St.Croix
The General Scoop
Tucked away behind the historic Marine General Store, The General Scoop features a back patio with a view of the Marine Mill Stream.
The hippest spot in town for a scoop, Milkjam serves flavors you won't find anywhere else, including a boozy one for those 21+.
This tiny shop features ice cream made from all-natural ingredients, plus homemade caramel and butterscotch sauces.
A local institution with two Minneapolis locations, Sebastian Joes' makes hundreds of ice creams and sorbets, ranging from basil vanilla in the summer to salty caramel year-round, as well as vegan and kosher varieties.
Honey & Mackie's
This shop became an instant hit thanks to its homemade, creative flavors like cayenne candied bacon and chocolate covered pretzel.
Cone Brothers Ice Cream
A 1950s-inspired ice cream shop offers more than 20 flavors in this first-ring Minneapolis suburb.
This bike shop near the Dakota Trail sells ice cream, too, making it a popular stop for bikers on the move.
Grand Ole Creamery
This long-time local favorite serves up award-winning ice cream (rotating menu from 200 flavors!) in a hand-rolled malted waffle cone that is still warm from the iron.
Izzy's Ice Cream
Izzy's, one of St Paul's treasures with a second location in Minneapolis, is a fun ice cream parlor with great flavor selections. Don't miss out on the Izzy scoop, a bonus, tiny scoop of another flavor on top of your cone.
Sweet Science Ice Cream
Inside the trendy Keg & Case Market, Sweet Science uses locally sourced and organic ingredients in its small batch ice creams, with unique flavors like honey chamomile ale (made with beer from nearby Tin Whiskers Brewing Co.), eggnog and lemon basil.
Nelson's Ice Cream
Nelson's has 40-plus flavors of ice cream, but is especially known for its HUGE portions. On a hot summer evening, the line extends down the block. There's also an outpost in St. Paul.
This old-fashioned ice cream parlor serves 32 flavors and overlooks Steiger Lake.
White Bear Lake
Cup and Cone
Family operated, this ice cream shack serves soft-serve ice cream and sherbets. A favorite with locals, it draws a line every evening.
The Old Skool Malt Shop
Northwest of Detroit Lakes, you'll find great old-style malts and an attached boutique at this casual pit stop on Hwy 10.
A hot spot for a cold cone, especially during the town's popular summer turtle races.
The Dilly Bar was invented here in 1954, and the annual reopening of this walk-up shop draws lines every spring. Not your average DQ, the menu features hard-to-find treats like Chipper sandwiches, Mr. Malties, Monkey Tails and more.
Muskie Waters Company
Near the Heartland Bike Trail, this adorable shop offers cones, sundaes, malts and shakes, as well as candy and souvenirs.
This classic downtown diner also serves up ice cream and malts. Get the blueberry shake!
Big Dipper Sweets & Ice Cream
Open seasonally, this shop on the North Shore Scenic Drive features Bridgeman's ice cream, Abdallah chocolates, espresso drinks, smoothies, malts and sundaes. Don't miss the adjacent stores, including the Agate Shop & Museum.
Gordy's Warming House
Warm up with coffee, then chill out with 32 flavors of ice cream. If you're still hungry, the famous Gordy's Hi Hat burger joint is next door.
The PortLand Malt Shoppe
Just off the Lakewalk, the Malt Shoppe serves cones, sundaes, floats and malts within view of the big ships Lake Superior. Open spring through fall.
Sydney's Frozen Custard
Sit on the rooftop deck for a beautiful view while enjoying frozen custard and outstanding brick-oven pizza.
Pier 77 Mini-Golf & Creamery
This cute north woods-themed mini-golf course is tucked into the birch forest along the shore of Lake Vermilion, and the little cafe has soft-serve ice cream, malts and root beer floats.
Lake Country Crafts & Cones
The front of the store is an ice cream shop with cups, cones and shakes, the back features crafts and tchotchkes. Every cone comes with a jelly bean at the bottom!
An old-fashioned seasonal shop that serves malts, shakes, sundaes and more in an adorable red building.
Nisswa and Crosslake
The Chocolate Ox
Open seasonally, this candy and ice cream shop is a favorite stop for Brainerd Lakes area vacationers.
Tip Top Dairy Bar
Opened in 1955, this walk-up, take-out is a classic, offering freshly made ice cream, malts and sundaes, plus burgers.
Open seasonally, Mr. Twisty offers a variety of Italian ice flavors and specialty items daily, as well as other foods and snacks.
Scoops Ice Cream
A convenient, flavorful stop for cyclists right across from the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail; it serves both soft-serve and regular ice cream. Bike rentals also available!
Serving yummy, affordable ice cream, Dairy Freeze has been a staple in Fairmont since 1952.
Toody's Sweet Treats
This classic soda fountain on one of Minnesota's most charming main streets serves real ice cream in cones, shakes and malts, as well as homemade fudge. Don't miss the old-fashioned, counter-service pharmacy in the back.
Another Time Ice Cream Parlor
You can't miss the pink exterior of this Lanesboro ice cream shop, not far from the Root River Trail and adjacent to several antique stores, galleries and a photo-worthy dining car.
Mom and Pop’s
The variety includes 32 flavors of hard scoop ice cream, plus soy, non-fat yogurt, sherbet, no sugar added and Italian ice, served in a dish with a freshly made waffle wedge. Espresso drinks, fudge, smoothies and 1919 Root Beer are also on the menu.
More than just a fun name, Flapdoodles serves a ton of flavors, from gingerbread to cranberry swirl, and was voted best ice cream in Rochester.
Soft-serve ice cream cones, sundaes, shakes, malts, floats and slushes are just some of the frozen treats made on-site. Try the Paddle Wheels, which are ice cream sandwiches dipped in chocolate and covered with a mix of nuts and sprinkles.