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Mar 14, 2006 04:24 PM

Twin Cities Street Food

  • b

Since the topic of good street food came up in someone else's post as a side item, I'd like to hear more about everyone's favorites. I'm going to do my own mini-restaurant tour of the Twin Cities and I'd like to include the cheap good eats that I know are out there but rarely get publicized.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations!

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  1. Here are two links to threads on this topic from last summer. It should give you a place to start.

    1. what does street food mean in minnesota? the little wagons selling pretzels and hot dogs and who knows what else can survive new york winters but minnesota doesnt seem to have any of that stuff. it seems you are thinking of a different idea of street. it reminds me of the woman in the billy wilder movie 1,2,3, who wants her children to be in parades to "keep'em off the street".

      1 Reply
      1. re: mike

        Chino Latino describes their menu as "...serving street food from the hot zones..." - they are not selling it on the street, but they are serving it. That's what I referred to when I asked for "street food" suggestions. With all the ethnic restaurants in the Twin Cities, I know many of them serve what is typical street food in their respective countries. But hey if you know of authentic Minnesota street food you can add that too - my guess is there probably isn't much of that. Sorry I guess I should have clarified that to begin with.

      2. Technically, most authentic Mexican, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern restaurants serve street food (tacos, pho, shawirma/gyros, etc.) It's all good, but I love food that's sold on the street or meant to be consumed outdoors.

        My favorite Twin Cities street food:

        - Roasted corn from the roaster in the parking lot of El Burrito Mercado supermarket in St. Paul.

        - Anything from the food booths at El Mercado Central in Minneapolis. Yeah, there are tables and chairs, but there's an outdoor market ambiance that makes the tamales, tacos, pupusas, and tortas taste even better.

        - Chinese buns (curry beef and BBQ pork) and sweet pastries from Keefer Court Bakery. I suppose you could take them home to eat them, but I never make it that far.

        - Piroshki from the Russian Tea House. Again, they have tables and chairs for eat-in diners, but these meat-filled buns are nice to eat while walking. (But when I eat in the restaurant, I get a side of the garlicy, tomato-y cabbage-roll sauce for dipping.)

        - Izzy's ice cream (the ultimate summer street food).

        I wish there was a good Paris-style crepe stand somewhere in the Twin Cities! Sit-down restaurant crepes just aren't the same...


        8 Replies
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          There is a crepe stand in the Mall of America.......

          1. re: Danny

            danny wrote "There is a crepe stand in the Mall of America......."
            that is interesting, while i have never considered the MOA a place for street food i have often wanted to drive my car through it.

          2. re: AnneInMpls

            While walking around Art-a-Whirl in NE Minneapolis last May, we stopped at a crepe stand. It was pretty good, as I recall -- with sugar and lemon, nutella, preserves, etc. as fillings. It was attached to a gift shop/boutique. I can't remember the exact location -- I think it was on 13th Avenue NE, but I'm not positive.

            Anyone else know of this place?

            1. re: AnneInMpls

              Where is the Keefer Court Bakery? We're going to be in the Twin CIties in 2 weeks and I'd love to try it.

              1. re: sumac

                Keefer Court bakery is at 326 Cedar Ave. S, at the intersection of Cedar and Riverside in Minneapolis (just southwest of the U of MN campus).

                1. re: diesel

                  Thank, Diesel. Is Keefer Court Bakery an Asian bakery only, or do they sell other things?

                  1. re: sumac

                    Keefer Court is a Chinese bakery. I think the owners are from Hong Kong. They sell only pastries, buns (savory and sweet), cookies, and cakes. They also have a huge fortune-cookie business that supplies many of the Asian restaurants in the area.

                    Years ago, Keefer Court also served cooked-to-order food - including my favorite dish of all time: Noodles with Spicy Meat Sauce. But they closed the restaurant part and kept only the bakery - I think because they had several young children and not enough time.

                    I still dream of that noodle dish. But their Curry Beef Buns keep me from descending into melancholy.


              2. re: AnneInMpls

                I am psyched to see someone mention Keefer Court. I go there to get melon cakes, which are a nice mellow sweet bun.

              3. my perennial favorite, satay2go, in Apple Valley, serves what is traditionally served at so called hawker stands in some Asian countries (perhaps Malaysia?) So awesome!