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[MSP] Near U of M

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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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  1. Assume you are at U of Minnesota, correct? Go see Georgia at 421. You'll be happy.


    3 Replies
    1. re: stevieBcanyon

      What happened to the post for the U of M in the Ann Arbor area? Did it get moved? I didn't jot down the rec and now can't remember it.

      1. re: stevieBcanyon

        Sorry, that was mine. Still learning the conventions like MSP = Minneapolis. The Ann Arbor rec was for La Shish:


    2. 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
      (612) 379-9472

      Jasmine Orchid (NOT Jasmine Express under any circumstances!) is an offshoot of Jasmine Deli and has good Banh Mi and Spring Rolls.

      Jasmine Orchid
      304 Oak Street Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414
      (612) 331-4061

      1. 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.

        1. 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).

          Caspian Bistro
          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.

          Keefer Court
          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.

          Birchwood Cafe
          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.


          1. I recommend True Thai in west bank. Its open between lunch and dinner and does take-out.

            2627 East Franklin Avenue
            Minneapolis, MN 55406

            PHONE: 612-375-9942
            Fax: 612-904-2446

            11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


            1. True Thai is fairly good. If you go, I recommend the Green Curry, which they do very well. They also do a good version of Pad See Yew as well as Drunkard's Noodles. Their Pad Thai is only so-so, and I don't recommend it.

              1. Five minute walk or less from the West Bank Campus is a Thai restaurant called Chai. It's next door to the Cedar cultural center on Cedar Ave. ( half a block south of the intersection of cedar and riverside) It quite possibly has the best Thai curries i have ever had. I am particular to the Panang but the green and Massaman are also excellent. The Tom Kha Ga (Lemongrass coconut soup) is also excellent ( My favorite item on the menu) One important feature of all of these curries is that the restaurant spices them appropriately rather than asking you how spicy you want it. The non-curry dishes are all good, but not as good as the curry or tom kha. Chai is head and shoulders above true thai in my opinion.
                If you don't like thai, i'd second the Birchwood. I've never been disappointed. If it is not as delicious as I want it to be it is because it is creative and interesting, but not perfect.

                1. Ack! So many replies--Thank you so much!!

                  And Anne, thanks for the Spoonriver recommendation. I will actually be going to see a play at the Guthrie, so I'm hoping I'll have time to check out Spoonriver!

                  Also, I'm hoping that people will still check this thread... Does anyone have any recommendations for places to go after 10pm on a Saturday? Not really into bars (nor places that require you to be 21), but I was thinking of places to eat that are open late. Also, do you know of any places really close to the science musuem? Thanks!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Embla

                    At the UofMN, near the days inn you should be able to do late night (after 10pm) dining at Village Wok, Big 10 (technically this is a sports bar, but not required to be 21 if not ordering drinks).
                    In Dinkytown (just a short distance from the days inn area - easily walkable) you could do Loring Pasta Bar, Kafe 421 (I think is open late)
                    Near(ish) the Science Museum there is Cosetta's (italian/pizza), but not sure exactly how late they are open, Mickey's Diner. I'm sure there are more, but can't think of anything else at the mooment