Moving to St Paul...
I'm making the move from Minneapolis to St Paul (this will be the first time I've lived east of the Mississippi). I'll be in the highland park area--close to Cleveland and Ford Parkway--so suggestions for that particular neighborhood are particularly welcome. But I'm also interested in hearing about other must eat spots in St Paul generally. My tastes are pretty wide ranging, so hearing about good Vietnamese joints and authentic Mexican joints along with good spots for burgers and beer and Italian and so on would be good. (I hear tell of a best of list crafted by TDQ, but I can't seem to find it in the archives.) Thanks in advance for your help!
Welcome to St. Paul! That list is a couple of years old, and I can't find it in the archives anymore either. So much changes so fast around here that I wouldn't want to rely on it anymore anyway.
Here's are links to a couple of good, recent threads to get you started:
re: The Dairy Queen
In order of nearish to you to farther away. These are my favs (though there are many many other choices:)
If you're at Cleveland & Ford Parkway, I recommend the Highland Grill on Cleveland just north of Ford Parkway. http://www.highlandgrill.com/ Many people also recommend Punch Pizza in that same general area--food's great, but sometimes the wait annoys me. Cecil's deli is on Cleveland, which is about the closest you'll get to a NY style Jewish deli in the Twin Cities, I think.
Also, of course, just across the Ford Bridge into Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis is Sea Salt Eatery, if you don't mind a long wait in line to order (about 45 minutes) and for your food (another half hours)...http://www.seasalteatery.com/
Also on Ford Parkway there will be Haskell's, which will be your nearest, best local wine shop. http://www.haskells.com/
Von Hanson's meats on Ford Parkway in that mall just south of Cleveland is a nice little butcher.
A little farther afield in St. Paul, for burgers, I really like the Nook at Randolph & Hamline (my fav is their Molitor burger--a lucy with pepper jack--or the lodge burger.) http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=82341412
OR, the Groveland Tap on St. Clair at Fairview for jucy lucys, all you can eat fish on Fridays, or portabella mushroom burgers. http://www.grovelandtap.com/
On St. Clair on the other side of Fairview is Heartland restaurant, your best fine dining option in the neighborhood and perhaps in all of St. Paul (maybe even Twin Cities, depending on your tastes.) They also have a wine bar with a more casual a la carte kind of bar menu. http://www.heartlandrestaurant.com/general.htm
For fried chicken and very divey, neighborhoody atmosphere, Skinners on Randolph (past 35E). Expect to wait about 20 mins for the chicken.
Lots of wonderful chowish choices right near where Grand Ave and Snelling intersect. On Grand just west of Snelling, I like the Italian Pie Shoppe (deep dish pizza with wonderful, tangy homemade sauce), Coffee News Cafe (coffee house style breakfasts), and Shish (best mediterranean in the Twin Cities according to City Pages "best of" issue.)
On Grand Ave going East on Snelling is Cafe Latte (at Victoria, nice soups, salads, and desserts) http://www.cafelatte.com/ and Everest on Grand (across from Kowalski's--I especially like their veggie momos.) http://www.hotmomo.com/
Coastal seafoods is right there on Snelling, just south of Grand, for seafood to take home to grill. http://www.coastalseafoods.com/
Marshall Avenue has a few nice spots, including the fabulous Izzy's Ice Cream for handcrafted ice cream. http://www.izzysicecream.com
Lee and Dee's has my favorite BBQ in St. Paul, it's on Victoria just south of Selby.
University Avenue is a treasure trove. My favorite for Chinese is Little Szechuan on University Avenue (fairly far East--nearish to Dale St--my favs there are the Fish Fillet and Tofu in Spicy broth, the green beans in spicy sauce, and dan dan noodles). http://www.littleszechuan.com/ I also like Cafe BonXai on University just north of Snelling--very affordable. Trung Nam bakery (with the chain link fence) for croissants or bahn mi. Saigon on University for fantastic bahn mi.
For Mexican, I'm afraid my favorites are all in Minneapolis. El Patio Mexican Grill is new on West 7th and has a wonderful patio. Reviews are mixed so far, but their tortillas and sauces are home-made. I like their roast pork. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/393017?query=el%20patio%20st.%20paul
Also on West 7th is Degidios: I like their hot dago sandwiches (I'm not sure I recommend anything else there.) The Day by Day Cafe has nice breakfasts, including a patio in summers. On West 7th not far from the Xcel Center, I like McGovern's (bar) for their house-roasted turkey sandwiches. Also, I really like the Italian grocery in Cossetta's on West 7th near the XCel Center.
Also, don't forget the wonderful St. Paul farmers market downtown http://www.stpaulfarmersmarket.com/ and, very nearby, Tanpopo (for Japanese, mostly organic and local. Quiet, simple setting) http://www.tanpoporestaurant.com/ and Black Dog Cafe (pizza, salads, sandwiches, all organic and local.) http://www.blackdogstpaul.com/
My long-gone list also included some spots in St. Paul that will take more driving:
Connie's Creamy on Dale nearish to Maryland, which is seasonal, summer-only, serves soft serve ice cream mixed on the premises in an huge array of flavors (I love the peach and all the berry flavors.)
The Dairy-ette Drive-in (also seasonal only) on Minnehaha Ave West of White Bear Avenue for hot dago sandwiches.
New is Tea House II on Suburban Avenue near White Bear Avenue, right behind the Target. http://www.ourteahouse.com/
TDQ - Great List.
I would also add.... and comment....
Downtowner woodfire grill - on 7th a few blocks from Xcel. Great price points & great menu.
Il Vesco Vino - On selby - east of dale. Menu/Kitchen has finally arrived. Wine selection by the 1/2 carafe is outstanding.
Izzy's ice cream on Marsall (east of Cleveland) is excellent. Much better than Grand Old creamery (in my opinion)
Cafe 128 - on cleveland - near st thomas.
Ristorane Luci - near corner of cleveland and randolf - its sister is Luci Ancora. The first one is much better. Second one is decent.
Coastal Seafoods has great crab cakes as well - easy dinner.
Shish, Shish, Shish is a great addition to St Paul. Its my fave faster place this year. Plus super friendly service.
If you are getting in a car for more than a mile or 2....also try Signature Cafe - its actually in Minneapolis - but near the st paul line. Excellent food. & great political commentary.
& I actually will go get Pad Thai on grand every now and then, not "the best" but the best for me in my hood. And quick, and they have no probs with special orders & again great service.
Whole foods on fairview & grand.
Across the street is grandview cafe - which has great breakfasts & lunches. And shakes/malts.
Coffee News is great.
Welcome to the better side of the river.
re: St Paul Susie
Great additions Susie.
Downtowner is good for that middle of the road meal--not too casual, not too fancy. Has a slight Persian tint, with cumin fries and nice lamb dishes and such, in addition to American standards. http://www.downtownerwoodfire.com/
I never think about Luci--only been once or twice, but it was nice. Again, nice sit-down dinner kind of place. http://www.ristoranteluci.com/
Whole Foods is fine, but if you want to support local businesses, gavagai would pass right by Mississippi Market Co-op at Fairview and Randolph on the way to whole foods. It's small, but has a nice selection for the size, and focuses a bit more on local produce and products than Whole Foods does.
The bigger location (i.e., more stock and a full deli) of Mississippi Market is at Dale and Selby. http://www.msmarket.coop/
Another place you'd pass on your way to Whole Foods is Widmer's, on St. Clair at Prior, which has a fantastic butcher. (Thanks to the reminder from JimGrinsfelder in another thread...)
Talking about the "big" Mississippi Market reminds me of another spot I forgot:
Muddy Pig is on Dale just south of Selby--good burgers/bar food. Small patio out back. http://www.muddypig.com/
I love Izzy's, especially since you get that extra "Izzy" scoop (which is a complimentary scoop of any flavor about the size of a cherry tomato), but I still think Grand Ole Creamery (on Grand Ave, a block or two West of Dale) does a great job with the more traditional flavors, and their waffle cones are wonderful. They make them right in front of their shop, so you can watch through the window.
I'll have to check out those crab cakes at Coastal Seafoods. Haven't tried those yet!
re: The Dairy Queen
I'm linking to a bunch of St. Paul places mentioned in this thread to faciliate folks (who want to) to start fleshing out the Wiki's for their favorite (or not so favorite) places. It's easy, just click on the link for the place to open up the Wiki and then click the "edit" buttons to start filling in the details. Certain details like address "automatically" come in, but if you want to add details about the type of cuisine, the fact that they have fish fry on Fridays, restaurant history, website url, etc. we've got to do that ourselves. Don't forget to save! Chowhound asks that they be written in a neutral point of view. (NPOV.)
Later, whenyou mention a place in a post, you can just use the "link to a place" button to add a link to this Wiki. I love this feature!
Cafe BonXai is located at the old "best steakhouse" address. I can't get "El Patio" and GrandView Cafe to come up. I'm adding Cafe 128 (sniffle) so we can let people know in the Wiki that it's closed. Snuffy's is at the Pro Pharmacy address (if you disagree, speak up!) I wasn't sure about the link for La Corvina, so I left it alone. Same with Cheung's and a Toast to Bread. I think I got everything else!
Connys Creamy Cone
1197 Dale St N, Saint Paul, MN 55117
1806 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
Little Szechuan - West End
5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Saigon Restaurant & Bakery
704 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Trung Nam French Bakery
739 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104
Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe
2034 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Grand Ole Creamery
750 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Tavern On Grand
656 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
492 Hamline Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116
DeGidio's Restaurant & Bar
425 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102
771 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116
Punch Neapolitan Pizza
704 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116
651 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116
Haskell's International Wine
2221 Ford Pkwy, St Paul, MN 55116
Von Hanson's Meats
2018 Ford Pkwy, St Paul, MN 55116
1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
919 Randolph Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Italian Pie Shoppe & Winery
1670 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Coffee News Cafe
1662 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Shish Mediterranean Grill
1668 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
850 Grand Ave Ste 1, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Everest On Grand
1278 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
74 Snelling Ave S, St Paul, MN 55105
Lee's & Dee's Barbeque Express
161 Victoria St N, Saint Paul, MN 55104
1613 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
1676 Suburban Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106
Day By Day Cafe
477 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Tanpopo Noodle Shop
308 Prince St, Saint Paul, MN 55101
Black Dog Restaurant
308 Prince St Ste 100, Saint Paul, MN 55101
Patrick McGovern's Pub
225 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102
IL Vesco Vino
579 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
128 Cleveland Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104
2060 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
470 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Signature Cafe & Catering
130 Warwick St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Mississippi Market Food Co-Op
622 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55104
Mississippi Market Food Co-Op
1810 Randolph Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
Whole Foods Market
30 Fairview Ave S, St Paul, MN 55105
Widmer's Super Market
1936 St Clair Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
162 Dale St N, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant
510 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Cossetta Italian Market
211 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102
800 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116
Pro Pharmacy [NOT FOOD RELATED]
242 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55105
756 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116
1698 Randolph Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Puerta Azul (closed)
1811 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55104
Khyber Pass Cafe
1571 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
498 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102
287 Ruth St N, St Paul, MN 55119
West Indies Soul Cafe
625 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104
El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107
Mirror of Korea
761 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104
695 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
Sakura Restaurant & Sushi Bar
350 Saint Peter St Ste 195, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Swede Hollow Cafe
725 7th St E, Saint Paul, MN 55106
Red's Savoy Pizza
421 7th St E, Saint Paul, MN 55101
Grampa Tony's Pizza
631 Snelling Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116
238 Snelling Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Pad Thai Restaurant
1659 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Downtowner Cafe [SEE DOWNTOWNER WOODFIRE GRILL]
253 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN 55102
Dairy-Ette Drive In [SEE DARI-ETTE DRIVE IN]
1440 Minnehaha Ave E, Saint Paul, MN 55106
I'd also add to the list Fasika Restaurant on Snellling just north of University for really tasty African food. Conny's Creamy Cone, in addition to being a nice place in the neighborhood to get a soft serve cone, is a wonderful place to get onion rings, french fries, chicken strips and cheese curds because they fry to order.
While not in the Highland Park area, Cossetta's is one of my favorite cheap eats in St. Paul. It's on West 7th, kiddy corner from the Xcel center.
Couldn't find a web site, but here's this:
I also like the market/deli attached to it - good provisions, and some food to take out. Big frozen food section, too.
re: g rote
I second Carbone's on Randolph (between Snelling and Fairview)--for that super thin crust pizza. They do a hopping take-out business. I think they just got a liquor license (in the last year or so) if you want to dine in, though seating is pretty limited. Carbone's "Minnesota style" pizza cut in squares is a good contrast to Punch, which is Neapolitan style, baked in a wood-fired oven or Black Dog Cafe's pizza rustica (Sicilian style, I think.) For delivery, I like Grampa Tony's--their spicy sausage gives quite a kick!
I second the thumbs-down for the food at the Chatterbox Pub, even though the atmosphere (with the old atari games and living room sofa style seating) is terrific and it would be very nearby to you. I want to love it since it's such a cute concept, but, blech, everything is just too much garlic and chili powder and way oversauced and oversalted. I just head to the Highland Grill, about a block down the street, across Ford Parkway, instead.
One more for this great list:
Puerta Azul (at Selby and Fairview).
It's a cozy neighborhood bistro with nice Puerto Rican food. They make the best black beans in town. And their roast pork is very tasty (but I think the pork goes better with the pinto beans, so I always get chicken instead).
Oh - one more:
Khyber Pass (Grand @ Snelling) - good Afghani food. The lunch buffet is great. And there's free parking in the lot a few doors down.
From a SP resident to a transfer resident - here's my list:
Burgers - The Nook
Varietal beers & decent food - Happy Gnome
Brunch - Highland Grill
Mexican - Los Tejanos (Ruth St & 94) has pretty good salsa, cojita cheese sauce, and chicken entrees. Also, El Burrito Mercado is good eats and plenty cheap, and if you want to venture to Bayport, there is the cutest (but small) place called La Corvina (?), it's excellent and the service is excellent as well.
Greek/Middle Eastern - I agree. Shish.
The West Indies Soul Kitchen has some excellent food.
Korean - As a Korean, I prefer Mirror of Korea over the other two in the area (not over King's..but we're talking St Paul).
Chinese- Little Szechuan OR if you like hot n' spicy chicken (not fried)-there is a small place called Cheung's chow mein...he is on Dale/Como - and he's only open during the week til 8PM. Take out is best advised if you go this route.
Japanese- Saji-Ya is not bad, and Sakura has fairly good sushi for the area.
Fish - Tavern on Grand (walleye of course)
Coffee/pastries -a Toast to Bread off Mounds Blvd. as well as Swede Hollow Cafe
Italian - I have heard mixed reviews on Carmelo's over the Highland Park neighborhood. But I've heard mainly good (I don't normally go out for Italian so you'll have to look to others)
Pizza -I know this is debatable, but if you like spicy sauce - it's Red's Savoy or Carbones.
Great list, though I have to respectfully disagree about the food at the Happy Gnome. I don't think even their big patio would draw me back to try the food. Many say their beer list is great, but the food is mediocre at best.
I think the best fish dish in St. Paul is the fish fillet and tofu in spicy broth at Little Szechuan. Tavern on Grand is surely a more conventional stop for fish and where you might go if you didn't have the patience for Sea Salt.
re: St Paul Susie
Which Carbone's, soupkitten? There are several and they aren't all affiliated... I like the one on Randolph, a couple blocks West of Snelling. I've never had an underdone pizza there. The crust is always nice and thin and the toppings pretty uniform. I can't say they haven't been greasy though, but that's probably a function of our ordering the Carbone's Special which is loaded with sausage and all kinds of things that beget grease.
re: The Dairy Queen
yes i think that this is definately true w the different carbone's joints! i regret to say my experience is with the shop on east 7th street-- the one most local to the soupkitten manor. . . as i said, pizzas were great for the 1st couple times, then stinkers 3 times running and i can't stomach paying for bad, gloopy pizza when it is so easy to make i guess :( i would definitely try the carbone's on randolph, or any of the others, but i think our local shop needs to fix the oven or something!
Wondering if the La Corvina in Bayport is related to the one that used to be on Selby at Snelling. I couldn't find any information on it. I did however, find this post when I searched the archive for Bayport. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/12408...
Is it possible that this is the place you are talking about? Or are they two different places? Thanks!
A GIANT tip of the hat to all of you for this!
The partner and I headed up yesterday from Chicago for a convention and this was like the map to the pirates treasure!
Thank you so much ... we drove up and were a bit tired... staying at the Crowne Plaza so we walked over to McGovern's for the turkey. A nice tryptophan sleep ensued!
Going to Little Szechaun tonight! Big fans of Lao Sze Chaun in Chicago http://www.laoszechuan.com/index.htm
Thanks for the feedback. Oh, I love those turkey sandwiches. Let us know how you like Little Szechuan. There are lots of threads about it if you want to search to see what people's favorite dishes are. As I mentioned above, my favorites are the fish fillet and tofu in spicy sauce (or something like that), the green beans in special sauce (though they aren't that "saucy"), the dan dan noodles. Also, the cucumber appetizer is good. Really, just about everything is good, except, avoid the diced rabbit big sister style --it's not been a favorite.
EDIT: and here's a link to a recent thread that's more geared toward visitors than locals, if you're interested. It covers MPLS, too.