My ice cream trek now brings me to a hub for sweet creatives. If you’re in the mood for crazy, off-the-wall, interesting, imaginative, think outside-the-box and inventive flavors then look no further than Sonny’s Cafe. A slice of Italy in Minnesota, if there ever was one – offering a stroll through the garden, it’s the perfect place to grab a cone, a coffee and start a conversation. Flavors like Affogato, Cardamom Black Pepper, Black Licorice, Sweet Corn, Whoopie Pie, Cherry Zinfandel, Authentic Spumoni, Green Tea, Rhubarb Sorbet, Blood Orange Sorbet, Lonely Blonde Beer, Lychee Lime Sorbet, Anise Hyssop Sorbet, Cucumber Pinot Grigio, Watermelon Mint Sorbet… The list goes on and on. My personal favorite is their Honey Lavender in a sugar cone (pictured). I tried to tell you that they have a lot of options, more than 1,000 a year! They even have a mobile ice cream cart!
Named for Martin Siron, affectionately known as “Sonny“, a former baseball player that worked at the old Nicollet Park Baseball Field and was drafted to the Chicago Cubs. He chose not to go but did serve in WWII. In 1945, Sonny began working in Ralph’s Ice Cream Shop, where he met his wife Joan “Jiggs”. Together, in 1950, they bought Sonny’s uncles and moved it to its current location, 34th and Lyndale. As an old-fashioned, quintessential soda-pop shop, they sold malts, hamburgers and french fries. Sonny’s is still family owned, with their son, Ron at the helm with the help of his business partner, ice-cream-connoisseur Carrie Gustafson. Named Crema Cafe in 1994, it later changed back to Sonny’s to keep his memory alive and to instill the 70 years of history it represents. Whether you want a gelato, sorbet, ice cream, dinner, a bottle of wine, or a great cup of espresso, spend some time on the piazza at Sonny’s, it is definitely worth it.