The retro decor and vintage bottled sodas at Cone Brothers Ice Cream hearken back to the heyday of the ice cream shop. Behind gleaming counters, Cone Brothers' confectionists scoop 17 flavors of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, which hails from creamery farms in southwestern Wisconsin and northeastern Iowa. In addition to its year-round and seasonal ice creams, the shop quells sweets cravings and local schoolyard rebellions with whole-fruit smoothies and sundry candies.
Although the drive-thru of West Side Perk lets patrons easily grab their coffee to go, this café is no caffeine assembly line. Instead, owners Dave and Deb Irvin have sought to create a community-oriented cultural hub where locals can banter about significant issues, get some work done via free WiFi, and catch up with old friends over cups of gourmet coffee. The full menu of coffee, tea, and smoothies pairs up with a selection of sandwiches and soups that rotate by the day of the week or by which vegetable was not pardoned by the chef. When the lights begin to dim at week's end, the café entertains patrons with its Friday Night Movie Series, which showcases kid-friendly films to audiences nestled in the café's cushy seating.
At Yogurt Sundae, patrons choose from a revolving selection of more than 50 fro-yo flavors which contains a proprietary formula packed with 45 superfoods and over 85 toppings to create their own frosty masterpieces. Once they've narrowed down their options?cherry almond cookie versus mango sorbet, honey vanilla greek versus something called chocolate?they can scoop up toppings from a veritable bounty of fruit, candy, and sauces. Even better, folks can trade in the standard paper bowl for waffle cones or opt for flavors that have no or reduced fat as well as ones without added sugar.
Dairy Queen offers a cool respite for shoppers tired of fitting-room lines and surly sales clerks. The signature Blizzard Treat's chunky charms are as inescapable as ever, with classic candies and other flavor options blended to unmatched thickness with creamy soft serve (medium, $3.59). The waffle-bowl sundae slathers vanilla ice cream in fudge for an appealingly layered delight ($2.99), and the milkshake puts spoons to shame with its refreshing strawability (medium, $2.99). Alternatively, sizzle-starved denizens can gnash on a mushroom-swiss burger ($3.79) or the crispy-chicken sandwich ($3.89). With a variety of meal options, the Edina location's grilled delectables offer appetites savory samplings worthy of being referred to as the dessert that comes before dessert.
Snuffy's Malt Shop is like stepping into the 1950s: there's a red-and-white candy stripe motif, and the chocolate malts get poured into tall glasses. The sweet scoops of nostalgia come courtesy of founder Mike Mueller. In the early eighties, he found himself pining for the evenings of his youth spent at drive-ins and diners, a malt in one hand and cheeseburger in the other. In 1983, he opened Snuffy's Malt Shop in tribute. Cooks here grill up cheeseburgers and hotdogs and serve them up alongside classic treats: floats, phosphates, sundaes and, of course, malts.
With 2013 marking their 30th anniversary, Snuffy's has added a few updated menu items. They now make their famed burgers with bison or veggie patties, and malts come in inventive flavors such as Snuffy Colada. These particular takes on the good old days are now found at four locations, spread evenly across Twin Cities neighborhoods like chili over cheese fries.
Cafe Inc is a private workspace created with productivity in mind for modern workers who only require a laptop and Wi-Fi to do their jobs. Beyond its members-only area, Cafe Inc shares its space with Makers Cafe, which offers food and beverages to the public.