By Amy Rea

Summer’s actually been pretty pleasant this year, with limited numbers of scary heat waves and a goodly amount of beautiful weekends. Regardless of whether it’s hot, hotter, or hottest, ice cream is always welcome. Luckily, the Twin Cities have tons of options for that sweet treat. Here are a few to get you started.

Milkjam Creamery
One of the metro’s newest venues, Minneapolis’ Milkjam has a changing menu of ice creams and sorbets that are thoughtful and surprising. Try the Ridin’ Duuurty, made with Oreo milk and Oreo chunks, or try the Black, an extreme dark chocolate. There’s also a tip of the hat to the Pokemon Go craze, with a Pikachu flavor (mango and chili).

Izzy’s Ice Cream
Izzy’s has locations on both sides of the river, and it also has a wide range of flavors, some of which change frequently. They run the gamut from basics like strawberry and chocolate to more adventurous offerings, which may include Green Tea Oreo and Basil.

Pumphouse Creamery
This Minneapolis mainstay has a rotating menu of 20 flavors, with each flavor comprised of ingredients sourced as locally as possible. Some flavors, like vanilla and sea salt caramel pecan, are always available. Other flavors, like Door County cherry and nondairy chocolate, are sometimes offered.

Sebastian Joe’s
Long-time purveyor Sebastian Joe’s has two Minneapolis “scoop shops” where you can find delectable flavors like Nicollet Avenue Pothole (chocolate, caramel, Heath Bar chunks, fudge truffles, fudge swirl, sea salt) and Pavarotti (vanilla ice cream with banana, caramel, and chocolate chips) along with traditional favorites like chocolate and vanilla.

Cold Front
St. Paul’s Cold Front, which is also a coffee shop, brings back the old ice cream shop concept with a number of ice cream sodas (Purple Rain, anyone? Grape soda and vanilla ice cream), an old-fashioned egg cream, and milkshakes, malts, and cones. The latter includes the Cone Flight, a set of four mini cones that allow you to try four flavors of ice cream.

Grand Ole Creamery
Grand Ole Creamery, which has locations in both St. Paul and Minneapolis, offers changing menus of flavors, from the good old standbys of vanilla and chocolate to Lychee Sorbet and Taro. If you live near one of the locations, you might even be able to get your ice cream delivered to your home.

Sonny’s Ice Cream
Minneapolis’ Sonny’s makes all its ice cream, sorbets, and gelatos onsite. Flavors vary according to season and availability of ingredients, but you might find flavors like Multimelon Sorbet, Candied Ginger, or Pineapple Basil Mango among more traditional flavors.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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