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“I nearly fainted” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Penny Ice Creamery

The Penny Ice Creamery
Ranked #3 of 21 Dessert in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Kids
Dining options: Late Night, Seating, Takeout
Description: Ice Cream
Ensenada, Mexico
Level Contributor
54 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“I nearly fainted”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2012

Last summer when visiting family in the area they recommended this place. I was a tad skeptical of the price range for sorbet ... but here I am nearly a year later and I still remember the taste, texture and sophistication of flavors. I had the chocolate sorbet and felt I was king for the day. You will not be disappointed.

  • Visited August 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Wavefarmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    103
    32
    11
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
75 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“I don't get the hype”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2012

The Penny Ice Creamery has gotten a lot of hype locally during its short life, and has been wildly successful...to the point where they recently opened a booth in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz on Pacific Avenue in addition to their store front on Cedar Street. The Cedar Street shop always has a line out the door, and many people have told me "you just have to try Penny!" so I've been looking for an opportunity to give it a try.

Last Saturday afternoon, after taking in a show as part of the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival, we found ourselves standing outside of Penny Ice Creamery. It was a warm day, and ice cream sounded nice, so we joined the throng waiting to be served (the place is absolutely tiny inside, it turns out, so any group of any size ends up waiting outside).

When we got up to the counter, I was a bit disappointed to see a disproportionate offering of sorbets, which is not what I want when I'm craving ice cream (even the chocolate offering was a sorbet). Of the ice creams on offer that day, the two that sounded most appealing were "stout" and "burnt cinnamon." I tasted the stout, which tasted like a slightly yeasty vanilla, then opted for the burnt cinnamon as the selection most likely to have a distinctive flavor. My husband and daughter also went with the cinnamon (my daughter and I got cones, while my husband had a milkshake).

Sadly, even the cinnamon tasted more strongly of vanilla than of cinnamon. A decent vanilla, to be sure, but the cinnamon character was sadly lacking. The homemade cone was nice, but not enough to make up for the rather bland-tasting ice cream.

My husband even thought they'd mixed up and made his milkshake with vanilla until he tried a taste of my cone.

It was OK (it was ice cream, after all), but I kept thinking of the much more flavorful options we could have had at Marianne's just a short drive away (10-20, Banana Fudge, Black Licorice, Baby Coconut...mmmm!). I doubt I'll bother again, unless some one can persuade me that this was a fluke.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RedwolfCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pacific Palisades
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Love the Penny!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2012

Simply the best Ice Cream for 100 miles around. Unusual seasonal flavors, organic ingredients and cool retro decor. Check out the Strawberry Pink Peppercorn if its available!

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
8 Thank iamabus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Flavored Ice”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2012

Lots of unusual flavors, and all local and organic, etc. But very, very icy, giving it a cheap, 'thin' feel in the mouth. I'm a local and will not return. In Santa Cruz, go to Marianne's for better quality ice cream, if a little more traditional on the flavor selection.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
4 Thank BimBam976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Yummy unique ice cream”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2012

Best ice cream in the central coast, if you in for local ingredients, and unique favors this is where to go.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
8 Thank MLRMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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