[MSP] Near U of M
I'll be staying at Days Inn on the U of M campus, and I'll have about 1 to 2 hours to kill on a Saturday afternoon. Something within walking distance would be nice, but I wouldn't mind taking a short cab ride somewhere either (Btw, are cabs expensive in the cities?). Does anyone have any suggestions for bakeries, food stores, or even restaurants that let you order for take-out? Not looking for a sit down dinner since we'll be having dinner after that. Thanks!
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Hong Kong Noodle is a good option, I really like their scallion ginger noodles (ask for American style because the Chinese style is a soup)
Hong Kong Noodle
901 Washington Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Jasmine Orchid (NOT Jasmine Express under any circumstances!) is an offshoot of Jasmine Deli and has good Banh Mi and Spring Rolls.
304 Oak Street Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Cupcake on University Avenue - excellent breads, cupcakes, etc.. and next to Archetectural Antiques (relocated from the former mega warehouse location downtown - before condofication pressure).
Signature Cafe on Warwick Street in Prospect Park. While you're in the neighborhood check out the Frank Lloyd Wright house on the end of Bedford Street (nearest the freeway).
Cab fares? No idea. But Lucia's in uptown, Bakery To-go, and Wine Bar are all worth the fare.
You're visiting my neighborhood! There are lots of restaurants within walking distance. Most, if not all, places do take-out. (Lucky for me, as I almost never cook.)
You've got some good reccomendations already, but here are some more.
Right across the street is the Caspian Bistro (no sign, but look for the big arched windows). It's a Persian restaurant & deli with imported groceries and other treats. A good place to sit with some Turkish-style coffee & a rich pastry. No alcohol, but try the doogh (a yogurt drink) or the sour cherry drink. Their food is great, too (I love the ground-chicken kabobs).
2418 University Ave SE, Minneapolis
Cupcake, as Karl recommended, is a small coffee shop & bakery with soups & sandwiches. Service can be scatterbrained, but the food is good and the cupcakes are fabulous. It's a just-under-1-mile walk up University Ave, towards St. Paul (or you can take the #16 bus). It's one block past Tower Hill - if the weather's nice, walk up the hill and look out at downtown for a very pretty view.
3338 University Ave SE, Minneapolis
Note that the nearby Signature Cafe (another of Karl's recommendations), is charming, but they don't open until 5pm on Saturdays. They also close between lunch and dinner on weekdays, too.
Keefer Court, a Chinese bakery, is about 1.5 miles away on West Bank (Cedar Ave. and Riverside Ave.) - easy to reach on the #16 bus. It's mostly take-out - there might be a few tables, but it's not a good hanging-out place.
326 Cedar Ave. S. Minneapolis
The Birchwood Cafe, a bit further away, is a very nice place. It's one of my favorites for hanging out; great food, coffee, wine, and treats (fabulous baked goods & Izzy's ice cream). Free wi-fi, too. But it can be a bit noisy with the espresso machine and lively conversations (or frequent young patrons).
And it's not that close to the Day's Inn - perhaps best for a short cab ride (yes, cabs are kinda expensive here, but a few miles aren't too bad). Or, if you have three hours and are up for a 4+ mile walk, round trip, it would be a nice jaunt along, then across the river and through the Seward neighborhood. But a map and precise directions are essential, because the streets do weird things in Seward.
3311 East 25th Street, Minneapolis
I wanted to recommend Spoonriver, but it looks like they also close between lunch and dinner. Dang! This place is really nice - it's a hip, new, organic restaurant next to our new Guthrie Theater - and is pretty easy to get to on the #16 bus. Besides, it's near the river and right next to the best scenic view in the Twin Cities: the jutting-out piece of the Guthrie Theater (free and open to the public, because it hangs over park land). Durn the luck! But if you find that you're available during mealtime, I recommend it.
Food stores - aka grocery stores - are harder to find within walking distance, although there is a convenience store two blocks away on Washington Ave. And the Caspian Bistro's deli. Real groceries would require a cab ride or bus-and-light-rail ride (for the latter, I would recommend Seward Co-op, which is near the Franklin light rail stop). If you're cabbing it, go to the Wedge Co-op at Lyndale & Franklin Ave. in Minneapolis - it's the center of the universe!
Enjoy your trip! I'll keep my fingers crossed for some nice fall weather for you.