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Nov 8, 2007 11:15 AM

German and Austrian specialties in Minneapolis/St. Paul?

Hi, chowhounds:

I am moving soon from Brooklyn, NY to Minneapolis. While growing up on Long Island and living in Brooklyn, I shopped at some local German-styled stores, such as Karl Ehmer's and Schaller and Weber (where my grandfather was a butcher!).

Here goes: Where can I buy German and/or Austrian food, alcohol, desserts, and other goodies in the Twin Cities area, preferably at a local chain or independent store? Things I am thinking:

1. Jacobs coffee, Julius Meinl coffee and/or preserves;
2. Good smoked bacon (like Schaller and Weber, if not Schaller and Weber itself) and other German cold cuts (Westphalian Ham, etc.);
3. German/Austrian/Viennese pastries and/or bread;
4. German/Austrian beer (specifically a good selection of hefeweizen and pilsners);
5. German/Austrian alcohol (i.e. Schladerer Obstler, German digestifs).

I realize these all won't be in the same place and some will be in obvious places (like in a good grocery or liquor store), but I am hoping there is a good independent store or chain that I can support.

I am looking forward to the move and have been reading these boards in anticipation of eating all the good food there.


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  1. Welcome to the Twin Cities! I used to live right around the corner from Schaller and Weber for a while when I lived in New York.

    It may help with suggestions if you let us know where you are living -- in Minneapolis proper or someplace else?

    I don't have a lot of leads for you, but know that Lund's (a locally-owned, but larger grocery store chain) has both Westphalian ham and Speck at its meat and cheese counter in Uptown Minneapolis. I don't think it's S&W brand, but you'll at least be able to find decent meat in a pinch. I'd bet there may be other, better, sources of meat - particularly in St. Paul which traditionally has had more of a Germanic heritage than Minneapolis.

    As for beer, I'd suggest my new favorite place for imports - Blue Max in Burnsville. It's about 20-30 minutes away from the middle of Minneapolis without traffic, but has the best selection of beer that I've found in the Twin Cities. Don't know about their selection of non-beer imports as I'm always dazzled by the beer.


    3 Replies
    1. re: bob s

      Places link for Blue Max:

      Blue Max Liquors
      14640 10th Ave S, Burnsville, MN

      1. re: bob s

        Hi, Bob S.

        Thanks for responding. We are moving to the Uptown area, so the Lund's there sounds like a good bet for a few things.

        1. re: AmityGuy1

          Welcome to the neighborhood - I live in Uptown too. Hennepin Lake Liquors (which, confusingly, is NOT at the corner of Hennepin and Lake) has a few decent German wines. Better and fairly close is France 44 Liquors. I wouldn't suggest that either of them has a gigantic selection of German wines and would not recommend them if you weren't close to them.

          I have no clue about apertifs, digestifs, etc. at either place. My guess is that France 44 probably has a better choice there too, but that's just my speculation.

      2. Welcome to Mpls! Try Kramarczyk's for middle-European meats and bread, as well as a few grocery items (tea, mustard, jam, etc.).

        Alas, grocery stores in this state can't sell beer or wine (except for 3.2 beer) - you must go to a real liquor store for your alcohol. Try Surdyk's (half a block from Kramarczyk's) - they have a great selection of German and Austrian wines, less great for imported beers and liqueurs, but still pretty good.

        These two places are just across the river from downtown Minneapolis, on East Hennepin Ave. It's a quick-ish trip from uptown unless you try to do it during rush hour(s).


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

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

        4 Replies
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          I visited these places when we were apartment hunting this September and they looked liked good options. The mittel Europa feel of Kramarczuk's made me feel at home. Surdyk's, I noticed, also had their own label of German wine, which they apparently export. Has anyone tried this? Any good, or just sweet plonk?

          Has anyone seen Julien Meinl coffee sold anywhere in the Cities?

          1. re: AmityGuy1

            I checked both the Kowalski's and Lund's grocery stores in Uptown this weekend, and neither of them are selling Julius Meinl coffee. (Among the places I thought most likely to carry it.)

            Before you posted your question I didn't even know that Julius Meinl was available to purchase outside of their Chicago coffee shop. But now that I do know I am determined to help you find it because I'd love to buy some too!

            1. re: StPauliGirl

              StPauliGirl: You are my new favorite person for checking this out. Thank you, thank you! Bummer about not finding it, but somehow we will find it. I will begin looking for it next week.

              I fell in love with Julius Meinl coffee in Vienna on my honeymoon and have only seen it at a few places in NY. I wasn't even aware of the Chicago outpost until I looked it up on the internet. That said, it is worth finding. Cafe Sabarsky, which is attached to the Neue Galerie, serves Julius Meinl coffee and it is the best tasting stuff I have had in NYC. Context is probably everything (it is a wonderful space in a wonderful museum), but I willing to find out the hard way. Thanks for all your help.

              1. re: AmityGuy1

                I was at the Kowalski's on 25th & Hennepin today and asked them to start selling Julius Meinl coffee. I'll report back if it turns up.

        2. Good smoked bacon is available in both high end super markets here (Lunds and Kowalski's). The brand name is Nueske's.

          The chefs around here tend to specifically call out when the are using it.

          1. A comment.

            "Greater Minnesota", especially west and north of the MSP area has a large population of ethnic Germans. Tho it is now too late for a fall leaf watching trip, a weekend's car trip will take you through many smaller towns which have a local butcher shop and bakeries. Variety of what you may be looking for may be small (if any), but may be a source. Generally bounded by New Ulm on the south, Sauk Center on the west, and Little Falls on the north. In my trips around MN, I've noticed that there are many small local butcher shops and bakeries, but haven't stopped to check them out. Maybe others on this board may have a favorite. Just get off I 94.

            3 Replies
            1. re: AZGrandpa

              This is a good lead, AZGrandpa. Does anyone have any suggestions? I suspected New Ulm might have some good options and I can pass through it when visiting the in-laws. But finding something akin to those small town places in the Twin Cities would be ideal.

              Thank for passing along your advice.

              1. re: AmityGuy1

                There's a place called Deutchland Meats in Lindstrom, MN - about 45 min north of the Twin Cities. I haven't been there (yet), but I hear it's a solid place owned by a guy who was born in Germany. And I recommend the gingersnaps from the Lindstrom Bakery across the street.



                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  the butcher from deutchland meats and the guy from glockenspiel are one and the same :) you can order anything from the lindstrom store & pick it up at the glockenspiel, he makes the trip back & forth several times weekly. i'll have to stop & try the gingersnaps if i go thru lindstrom any time soon!

            2. hi!

              for specialty butcher cuts & charcuterie, i'd rec talking to the german butcher partner/supplier of the glockenspiel restaurant in st. paul. can special order lots of great stuff & his sausages are top notch! enjoyed his bacon but honestly have had better from our local farmers at st. paul farmer's market-- the market goes all winter for local meats, cheeses etc. before exploding in size in summer for local produce-- well worth a jaunt across the river to sample local meat products.

              605 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102