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By: Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl | Posted: 07/30/2013
The frozen yogurt phenomenon has ripped across the Twin Cities like a sweet tornado, leaving gummy worms and cookie crumbs in its wake. If you’ve never seen one of these places, they’re nuts! A wall of frozen yogurt dispensers, with flavors from plain vanilla to triple chocolate to tart Greek yogurt, a salad bar or three of toppings to put on top, from fresh blueberries to malted milk balls, and then you go crazy and put everything on everything and typically pay in the 40-odd cents an ounce range for your sundae. They are sundaes!
You can get a super-healthy fresh fruit and plain yogurt one, but most people load on the marshmallows and brownie chunks. Sundaes are good, and it’s summertime, so here are my top five frozen yogurts in town:
1). Yogurt Lab
My absolute favorite of the bunch, the home grown chain is extremely themed in a slick future science way, with a winking periodic table of yogurt flavors (Tahitian Vanilla, Pomegranate, Avocado!) and a nearly endless array of toppings, including fat fresh blackberries and lots of other fresh fruits. Six metro locations (plus three more on the way!), yogurtlabs.com
The smallest, most mom-and-pop of the frozen yogurt shops, I like TruBerry’s actual yogurt flavors tremendously, the mascarpone is mellow and rich, the blood orange nicely citrus-inflected. They’re going to start doing Blizzard-like shakes soon, so that should be cool. 949 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-222-2740, truberryfrozenyogurt.com
California surf-board themed, with a nice kid-friendly but adult-friendly, too, vibe, Freestyle is notable for its great number of dairy-free sorbets, so those who don’t do dairy can build a big sundae on Malibu Mango Sorbet. Four metro locations, freestyleyogurt.com
A national franchise that's cute, kid-directed cute off the charts. It’s like a toy store for frozen yogurt. And kids need that! My kids love this place, it’s cute! Did I mention the cute? Cute. 750 Cleveland Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-797-6428, menchies.com
5). Tutti Frutti
Another worldwide chain, but in the great diversification of frozen yogurts, Tutti Frutti in Maple Grove offers high-protein soy yogurt! For the vegan sundae-cravers, I suppose. (7781 Main St, Maple Grove, 763-416-0362, tfyogurt.com).
That said, I honestly have a hard time making a case for a favorite for fifth place. I like Chilly Billy’s in Dinkytown and homespun chain Freeziac—all about the same for fifth place. This is, as always, a metro guide. I’ve never been to Rochester, Minnesota’s Caroll’s Cup, Red Wing and Rochester’s CherryBerry, or St. Cloud’s Feed Your Imagination, but they all look—yes, she’s doing it, she’s going for the shameless pun!—cool. So cool they’re, yes, frozen. I will keep doing this till you go out for yogurt people, so just go! Stand up, go! It’s only summer once.
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.See bio
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