Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Jul 7, 2007 05:57 AM

good bakery near UMN campus and/or Mill City museum?

I'll be in Minneapolis next week, staying at the University, and would like to bring home some good artisanal bread. Have to leave town before the Farmer's Mkt. on Saturday, alas, so I am wondering if people can recommend a good bakery near the campus or the Mill City Museum (I'm sneaking over there Friday around lunch- thoughts on lunch?) where I can grab some loaves that will travel well.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Cupcake is a great bakery on University Avenue -- famous for its namesake, but they also bake wonderful bread. And in the same building as the Mill City Museum is Spoonriver, owned by Brenda Langton, our local equivalent of Alice Waters. I've had a couple of excellent dinners there. (Couldn't get the Spoonriver link to post, but the Cupcake link seemed to work!)

    3338 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    2 Replies
    1. re: mcgeary

      Here's that Spoonriver link.

      750 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

      1. re: mcgeary

        Cupcake's sourdough is the way to go. Also I find their scones to be exquisite, and the cinnamon pull aparts. Cupcake is not quite close to the U, about a 30-45 minute walk depending on where you are - though the number 16 bus will take you right there. The Birchwood Cafe (25th st and 35thish ave) is a similar length walk (and would take a transfer on the bus) and they make excellent bread too, I would argue better than cupcake's.

        Also there is the New French Bakery on 26th Ave and 26th street. I had a good loaf from there the one time I went. I am not sure what other MSP hounders have to say about it and mine was not an in depth study.

        New French Bakery
        2609 26th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

      2. Cupcake's bread is good, but they don't usually have a lot and they often sell out early. They're more of a coffee shop than a pure bakery. But when they have it, I love their multigrain bread.

        Franklin Street Bakery does nice bread, too - plus great pastries and cakes. They usually have white and sourdough bread. Availability of other breads is iffy. On Saturdays, they say that they make wild rice baguettes.

        But Rustica Bakery gets my vote for the best bread in town. They're way over in south Minneapolis, but you can get their bread at area co-ops. I go to Seward Co-op, about a mile south of the U of M West Bank campus, for Rustica's multigrain bread. The olive bread is great, too.


        Rustica Bakery
        816 W 46th St, Minneapolis, MN 55419

        Franklin Street Bakery
        1020 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

        Seward Co-op Grocery and Deli
        2823 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

        1. I agree with both Spoon river for a fabulous lunch try the terrine and Rustica for bread. If you can't make it to the bakery Rustica breads are available not too far from where you'll be at a liquor and cheese store called Surdyks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: stpaulbreadman

            Adding location for Surdyk's - you can in fact get great bakery goods there. It's limited (they run out before the day gets too far along) but they do have the bread you're looking for.

            Surdyks Liquor and Bistro 2go
            303 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

          2. Kramarczuk's Deli is outstanding as well.....Hennepin and University...right by Surdyk's. They have a great Meat Counter w/sauages and a bakery with lunch deli....stuffed cabbage rolls, pierogi's, borscht, grinders.

            13 Replies
            1. re: FlourPeddler

              Does Kramarczuk's have any artisanal bread like the OP is seeking?

              1. re: KTFoley

                I think the OP may have been recommending Kramarczuk's for lunch (?) I agree with that recommendation or if you go to Surdyk's for Rustica bread I also would recommend Punch Pizza on Hennepin (all 3 are w/in a block of eachother) It gets a little crazy there right at the lunch hour (12-1) but you can still get through in a reasonable amount of time even when the line's out the door and as far as I'm concerned it's worth it. I think it's some of the best wood-fired pizza anywhere including Italy (you have to get it D.O.C. style though w/the fresh mozzarella and san marzano tomatoes which they import) I have it every chance I get. If you're at all a pizza person you have to try it.

                Punch Neapolitan Pizza
                210 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                1. re: cherrylime

                  Here's the link to Kramarczuk..

                  Kramarczuk East European Deli
                  215 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                  1. re: cherrylime

                    If you're sneaking out for lunch somewhere, Punch is not worth the effort. There's a huge debate in this town - Punch vs. Nea - that I don't intend to restart in this thread, but really neither are going to be significantly better than whatever you can probably get at home. Nea is somewhat bland and Punch is always soggy (at that location, anyway). There are literally dozens of places in the U area, or the East Hennepin area (near Surdyk's and Kramaczuk), and along Washington from the Guthrie to Sex World that would be more worth the trouble of a visit.

                    On a side note, if you can get to the Mill City Museum on Thursday afternoon, a smaller and somewhat limited version of the Farmer's Market is going on from 4-8 pm. They have some bread, but not necessarily what you're looking for.

                    Good luck with your quest.

                    1. re: Loren3

                      Of course,I think this opinion is spectacularly wrong. I have never had great pizza at Nea and never had soggy pizza at Punch; wonderfully perfect balance of wood burned and sauce and cheese and bubbly crust yes. Soggy no. Anyone I know who loves pizza in Italy and respects the standards of the VPN (including people I've taken to punch from everywhere including chefs, serious foodies and my grandma) thinks punch is far superior. Whatever..I won't go there in this thread.

                      1. re: cherrylime

                        The Punch v. Nea debate is like the abortion debate; both sides are convinced they are right, and there is a little middle ground. All it does is spark bitterness. I have seen some wicked arguments about this.

                        I'm on the Punch side, by the way. Been to Naples, and it's exactly how I recall it. But Nea is fine in it's own right, too.

                        1. re: pgokey

                          Pgpokey, you're right! I tested this theory myself, with a friend who lives in the warehouse district. She mentioned pizza, and I casually asked "Punch or Nea?" I was knocked over by the force of her reply. She's a Nea fan all the way. Me, I'm a Punch die-hard. Our discussion was lively, to say the least!

                          Ah, well - at least we have a choice. I'm old enough to remember when there was no decent pizza in this town (not counting Vescio's square-cut variety).


                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                            Yes indeed I fell right into that's when people start throwing around opinions as if they were facts that I get my undies in a bundle.

                            So, let's see.. 3 so far for punch and one tepid yes for Nea? not that I'm keeping track or anything. I may have to start some sort of pizza thread
                            (NOT nea vs. punch which is pointless on many levels..)

                            1. re: cherrylime

                              I'm a strong yes for Nea and tepid about Punch. <shrug> No point in restarting the debate. Try both and see which you prefer.

                        2. re: cherrylime

                          You'll note in my post that I was NOT planning on starting this discussion again, only noting that if an out-of-towner has only one hour to grab a lunch, I would not recommend Punch (or Nea) as worth the trip, because this town has so much more to offer. And for the record, Toast blows them both away.

                          And the reason for more responses from Punchies is that this was perceived as a slam on their fave, and they had to reply. They're both good in their own right, and I'm glad Punch works for you. But for me - soggy and pretty much inedible every time. At least at the NE location. Elsewhere might be better.

                          1. re: Loren3

                            The middle part of a single serve neopolitan pizza is nearly impossible to make as crisp as the outer parts. I found this to be true at Mozza, Mario Batali's take on this style, and it was pretty much universal on the Amalfi Coast.

                            You might want to try the Calhoun location, though. It's the only one I've been to, and have never had that impression of what I've gotten there. It could be that it's been around longer, and they staff has had the chance to perfect their technique. Even Batali's Mozza was serving mediocre crusts for the first month or two when they opened. Getting the temperature right in those ovens is incredibly hard.

                            But I agree that Nea (where I have had crusts with the exact same firmness) also serves good pizza.

                            1. re: pgokey

                              In all honesty, I'm more of a Psycho Suzi's/ Fat Lorenzo's fan. That's the "authentic" Italian pizza style I grew up with, and it's what I prefer - bready crusts heaped with toppings.

                              But for thin crisp pizza, I have found that I really do like that at Toast, which is the best of the four in my n'hood (Punch, Nea, Luce, and Toast).

                    2. re: KTFoley

                      Kevin at Kramarczuk's makes some great Rye Breads and The Best Vienna in Town, Challah is very good as well.
                      He doesn't make a Cibatta or French Bread....Mostly Eastern European Artisan Breads.