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12 Indulgences for Coddling a Sweet Tooth Through the Pandemic

Frosted buns, chocolate swirls, boozy ice cream, and more

Two scoops of toasty-colored ice cream dripping over the edge of a white bowl
Ultra rich and creamy ice cream threaded with grown up flavors
Sweet Science [Official]

As 2020 comes to an agonizingly slow end, let us state the obvious: we all deserve a treat. Here is a collection of sweets and goodies to indulge in as we bid adieu to arguably the most challenging of years.


If there has ever been a time for ice cream for breakfast, this is it. The Grand Avenue shop serves up childhood memories in a cone, crushing breakfast cereals into ice cream and topping it with a variety of nostalgic treats like gummy bears or Teddy Grahams.

Sweet Science

Marrying art and science, the small-batch ice cream shop inside Keg and Case uses all natural, locally sourced ingredients for clean, unique flavors like cayenne caramel brownie or goat cheese and blackberries. There’s also an Old Fashioned flavor, which seems like important information for right now.

Thick, soft round pancakes topped with whipped cream and strawberries
Soufflé pancakes from Thirty Six Cafe
Joy Summers

Thirty Six Café

When Thirty Six Café first started serving fluffy Japanese style pancakes on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, the wait tended towards the hour mark for each order. Now, reservations can be made ahead of time and orders can be picked up to go for delicate, sky-high soufflé pancakes with sweet or savory toppings.

Isles Bun and Coffee

The shop in Uptown is known for Puppy Dog Tails, a twist on cinnamon rolls popular with kids and their grownups. Fresh from the oven cinnamon buns are smeared with all the decadent cream cheese frosting your little heart can desire. Always ask for more, they’ll keep piling it on. All buns can be ordered fresh or frozen.

Cossetta Pasticceria

Trips to Italy are a no-go right now, but Cossetta’s sweets shop on 7th Street near downtown St. Paul is the next best thing. Celebrate La Dolce Vita with gorgeous creations like torta pistachio, a scoop or four of Tiramisu gelato or red wine macarons.

Trung Nam French Bakery

Since opening in the Frogtown neighborhood since 1989, the understated Vietnamese café has become a staple for buttery croissants and crusty banh mi. The line forms early for filled and plain croissants.

Thin pancakes are topped with huge piles of whipped cream, strawberries, and some chocolate chips
Swedish pancakes are an excellent vessel for toppings
Taste of Scandinavia/Facebook

Taste of Scandinavia

Maybe a cupcake is not enough. Maybe you need an entire cake to satisfy that sweet tooth. Taste of Scandinavia’s got you. Order a traditional strawberry Scandinavian torte or a buche de noel, no special occasion required.

House of Halva

Halva is an ancient middle easter treat made from sesame paste, forming a sweet and dense confection that can be served in thin slices with a cup of tea or even smeared on toast. The versatility of halva is endless, and on full display at House of Halva at Keg and Case, where owners David and Liz Kadosh offer unique flavor combinations imported from the family bakery in Israel.

Honey and Mackie’s

The colorful Plymouth shop rotates ice cream flavors from over 100 recipes, stuffing the creamy concoctions into waffle cones or selling by the pint. Feel guilty eating ice cream for lunch? Pick up a hot dog and hand cut fries first. And dipping said French fries in ice cream is practically the law here.

A tray of doughnuts frosted with white and chocolate, decorated with multi-colored sprinkles
All gluten-free indulgences
Sift Gluten Free Bakery / Facebook


Sift has been providing gluten and peanut free treats to cafes and co-ops, as well as selling at farmers markets around the metro before opening a bricks and mortar shop in Minneapolis. Most of the rotating sweets like cookies and cakes are also dairy and soy free.

Fruit and Grain

Fruit and Grain has taken up residence at Northern Coffeeworks, where baker Emily Lauer creates her beloved pop tarts filled with sweet and savory goodness, as well as other treats. Lauer was inspired by her son’s life-threatening allergies and all of her baked goods are free of peanuts and tree nuts, as is Northern Coffeeworks.

Crepe and Spoon

All vegan treats abound at Crepe and Spoon in Northeast Minneapolis, from ice cream to cookie sandwiches to savory crepes. You won’t miss the dairy with creamy combos like rosewater cardamon ice cream, elote crepe or peanut butter ice cream taco.

Northern Coffeeworks

1027 South Washington Avenue, , MN 55415 (612) 353-4222 Visit Website

Sweet Science Ice Cream

3919 Market Street, , MN 55424 Visit Website

Sift Gluten Free

4557 Bloomington Avenue, , MN 55407 (612) 503-5300 Visit Website

Thirty-Six Cafe

949 Grand Avenue, , MN 55105 (651) 493-0163

Isles Bun & Coffee

1424 West 28th Street, , MN 55408 (612) 870-4466 Visit Website