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The Penny Ice Creamery
Restaurant or Cafe$
Today 12–11PM
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913 Cedar St Santa Cruz, CA 95060
913 Cedar StreetUSCaliforniaSanta Cruz95060
$Restaurant or Cafe, Ice Cream Shop
Restaurant or Cafe
Ice Cream Shop
Dessert Restaurant
Today 12–11PM
Friday 12–11PMSaturday 12–11PMSunday 12–11PMMonday 12–11PMTuesday 12–11PMWednesday 12–11PMThursday 12–11PM
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The Penny Ice Creamery is the only ice cream shop in Santa Cruz making ice cream completely from scratch in house. Flavors change with the seasons, and feature locally farmed and organic ingredients.
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Review Summary
4.5
65 reviews
5 star
47 reviews
4 star
11 reviews
3 star
4 reviews
2 star
1 review
1 star
2 reviews
Eclectic & seasonal flavors of organic, made-from-scratch ice cream served in a spare, rustic space.- Google
"The flavors I ordered were mascarpone & hazelnut, and chocolate bergamot."
"Love the toasted marshmallow topping."
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Cory Ban
2 weeks ago
I don't come here too often, but when I do it is an enjoyable experience. The lines can sometimes be unpleasantly long, but that is something that happens when you are at a popular location and sell a magnificent product. I ordered a two scoop in a cone with fluff. The flavors I ordered were mascarpone & hazelnut, and chocolate bergamot. Like what everyone else says one of the main reasons this place is so popular is their 'fluff' and of course I ordered it with mine as well. As for what their fluff is it is basically just marshmallow creme and burned similar to when you burn marshmallows for s'mores. They put it over whatever your top scoop of ice cream is and use a small torch to burn it. It is very sweet, so if you aren't looking for something sweet and sugary I do not recommend it. I on the other hand like the texture and flavor it adds to the ice cream. Their waffle cones are also good. They have a nice flavor and crunch to them, which is nice considering some ice cream shops have stale cones. I haven't ever had a stale cone from them myself, mind you I wouldn't recommend a place that sells stale food in general. I will go ahead and make sure I mention that they rotate their ice cream options/flavors fairly often, and may not have what you liked on a previous visit the next visit. I believe this can be a good thing, but sometimes it is a bit of a let down. That being said their flavors are generally pretty good, and often intriguing. This also encourages you to explore more flavors then going with 'the usual' sometimes you discover something even better this way. As for the flavors I ordered, Chocolate Bergamot and Mascarpone & Hazelnut, I enjoyed both quite a bit. I do not think the two flavors mesh well exactly, but they were the flavors I wanted at the time. The chocolate bergamot had an interesting sour and sweet taste. I found the sourness in this flavor of ice cream to make the flavor much more enjoyable, and more creative then using raspberry for a similar effect. The texture of it was closer to the creamy side of things rather than ice-y. I do feel the flavor would have been slightly better with a more bitter chocolate, but this form of it is better for not aiming too deep into the niche. I believe the flavor contrasts did well enough with how they made it mind you I am just sharing my 2 cents on what may have made it slightly better. Again I did order the fluff, so there was added sweetness to it, but when I tested it on its own I still felt that way. I would probably be willing to order this flavor again. The mascarpone & hazelnut was a simple, but enjoyable flavor. I adore hazelnut in general, and believe that mascarpone has a mild enough flavor that it wouldn't detract from the other flavor I ordered. Hazelnuts also go well with chocolate in general, which is part of why I wanted both. As for what the two flavors, mascarpone and hazelnut, combined was like it was a delicate yet strong enough to stand out flavor. The texture was creamy with a quite few crunches from actual crushed hazelnuts, which they did not skimp out on. I was of course satisfied by this ice cream. The service was friendly and patient, and were okay with basically everyone in my group trying various flavors of their ice cream. They also made some recommendations when asked, and were patient and kind while explaining what certain flavors were. They also did not portray themselves as being overwhelmed despite having so many customers before and after us, which is something I appreciate. I definitely feel this place is worth visiting again, but I feel bad for the people who visit with the over-hyping some people give it. It is a great place without a doubt, but living up to a fantasy is difficult. I believe it can stand toe to toe with various great ice cream shops, but it is not undisputed. That being said this is one of the two ice cream shops I recommend to people who visit Santa Cruz to try while they are here.
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Eli Triona
2 months ago
I love the idea behind this place. They have a lot of unique flavors, but sometimes they are just...not quite all that great. But when you dig into a good flavor it's heaven!
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Robert Wilcox
2 months ago
Very unique flavors of ice cream/ my favorite was the Basil ice cream! They change their flavors often, so it's always a new experience!
Response from the owner - 2 months ago
Thanks Robert!
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Brian Haley
3 months ago
This place makes Marriane's look like Baskin Robbins.
Response from the owner - 3 months ago
Aww, shucks. But we love Marriane's too :)
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Andrew K
3 months ago
Awesome flavors of ice cream that change from time to time. Personally, some of them were too sweet for me. I would stick to less sweet flavors.
Response from the owner - 2 months ago
Thanks for the feedback Andrew! Keep an eye out for Roasted Barley; not too sweet, lots of complex flavor! One of my personal favorites! Zachary Davis, Owner The Penny Ice Creamery
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Colin Musselman
2 months ago
Great ice cream shop but with much more to offer. Good selection of other snacks and floats. All cones are made in house.
Response from the owner - 2 months ago
Thanks Colin! We love our cones (regular and gluten free) and we're about to release a special gingerbread cone for the holidays!
Cherry Green
6 months ago
They have homemade ice creams that have unique flavors and taste great. Tried the rose with peach and horchata with raspberry.
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Dan Killam
2 months ago
My favorite ice cream in Santa Cruz. Always tasty, creative flavors and good prices.
Response from the owner - 2 months ago
Thanks Dan!

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