MSP - Top 10
Since I'm new to this board, I was hoping to get regulars to post their top 10 Twin Cities restaurants. What are the last 10 restaurants you'd go to if you were moving tomorrow? I know this is a hard task, but I'd love to see what everyone thinks.
Well I'll bite. Here's the list I came up with today (could be different tomorrow) after a minute. Each of these places has something that I don't think would be easily found elsewhere or is a long time favorite.
In alphabetical order
Broder's Pasta Bar
1432 W 31st St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402
1806 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Vincent A Restaurant
1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
1624 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403
1113 E Franklin Ave Ste 102, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Broders' Southside Pasta Bar
5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Adding places links:
600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Sea Salt Eatery
4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417
Tanpopo Noodle Shop
308 Prince St, Saint Paul, MN 55101
251 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401
4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409
3450 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408
900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
5607 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417
Oh after seeing everyone else's list. I want to add:
Bombay2Deli - I was just lurking on the Manhattan board and they were complaining that they didn't have any chaat houses, but we do!
I guess I'll loose Sea Salt and Nami since I would only move to a place on the coast and there ought to be better seafood there.
More places links:
Quang Pastry & Deli
2719 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Rainbow Chinese Restaurant
2739 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405
jP American Bistro [CLOSED]
2937 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408
2418 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
465 Wabasha St, Saint Paul, MN 55109
311 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
MSPD's places links
(wasn't sure whether Manny's meant steak or tortas, so I've included both...)
492 Hamline Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116
816 W 46th St, Minneapolis, MN 55419
112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Fugaise [CLOSED 2009]
304 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
825 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55402
2700 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Ba Gu Sushi
4741 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
My “Top 10” restaurants (which I assume to mean my “favorite” or what I consider “the best”) is not necessarily the same as which restaurants I’d visit one last time if I were moving tomorrow. First, it would depend on where I was moving to…
But, if I were moving tomorrow, I’d likely try to visit the places I consider uniquely Twin Citean, Minnesotan, or Midwestern. Some combo of (in no particular order):
1) Conny’s Cream Cone in St. Paul (for the State Fair style deep fried cheese curds and the peach or blueberry soft serve ice cream—summer only of course)
2) The Nook in St. Paul, for one last Jucy Lucy
3) Dari-ette in St. Paul (summer only) for one last “hot dago” sandwich. In winter, I’d head to DeGidio’s in St. Paul for my last hot dago.
4) Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis (because I think it’s unique)—I’d get the wild rice porridge, the house made peanut butter, the lemon ricotta pancakes. I’d split them with my sweetie because they are way too rich.
5) Al’s Breakfast in Minneapolis because it’s an institution and is completely unique to the Twin Cities. I’d order pancakes and eggs benedict.
6) Mancini’s steak house in St. Paul—because it defines “old” St. Paul in a nutshell, even if the chow isn't spectacular.
7) Izzy’s Ice Cream in St. Paul
8) The Groveland Tap in St. Paul for all you can eat Friday fish fry. (And I’d have a Cajun lucy, while I was there, as well as some deep fried cheese curds if it were winter and Conny’s was closed.) (If it were Lent, I'd go to a church-basement fish fry, St. Matthews perhaps, though that choice is more driven by atmosphere than chow.)
9) Kramarczuk's in Minneapolis for the fantastic sausages
10) I’d drive to Fisher’s in Supper Club in Avon for the walleye and the panfried sunfish.
11) Key's Cafe for the caramel rolls and toast with the house-made rhubarb jelly.
If State Fair were on, I'd have to go one last time for the Mouth Trap curds, the honey with sunflower ice cream, the french fries, spaghetti on a stick, shake from the Dairy Building, a few other things, if I had room.
I’d pack a box of Pearson’s salted nut rolls, some wild rice (the hand harvested kind from Mississippi Market), and make sure I knew the mail order address my favorite source in Two Harbors for smoked lake trout and whitefish.
re: The Dairy Queen
TDQ's places links
Connys Creamy Cone
1197 Dale St N, Saint Paul, MN 55117
DeGidio's Restaurant & Bar
425 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102
1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Kramarczuk East European Deli
215 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Mancinis Char House
531 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Dairy-Ette Drive In [SEE DARI-ETTE DRIVE IN]
1440 Minnehaha Ave E, Saint Paul, MN 55106
428 Stratford St W, Avon, MN 56310
Keys Cafe & Bakery
500 Robert St N, Saint Paul, MN 55101
re: The Dairy Queen
Yours is the best response. Pretty much everybody else's top 10 are easily duplicated, and in most cases improved upon, in other cities. Unless of course you are moving to someplace like Olathe, Kansas.
True, we're lucky to have so many good sushi places, but none of them are uniquely spectacular. Don't get me started on the complete lack of stellar pizza here. The only pizza place I would miss is Psycho Suzi's, and not because of the pizza, but because of the ambience and the deviled eggs and tater tots. And 112 is on national lists of great restos, but most major cities have a place as good. And with the massive influx of Mexican, Central American, and South American immigrants, most cities (especially some of the smaller ones) have really good Mexican food. And there's a rather long ongoing thread about the lack of good Indian in this town, so that shouldn't be on anybody's list.
Instead of places, I would list things I would miss:
honey crisp apples
Shepherd's Way cheese
Carr Valley cheese
Mrs. Kelly's Teas (but not all of them)
Mill City Farmers Market, and Brenda, and what she's doing with the local sourcing, organic, etc.
On second thought, there are a few places I would visit one last time, and would miss, but strictly for emotional reasons.
Runyon's - that was my study hall during grad school, and there's a picture of me in New Zealand, and of Chowspouse in Yunan on the wall, and I do love their Buffalo style shrimp.
Koyi Sushi - because this was the "world is too much and the biz trip has been harrowing, and I'm brain dead, and I need some reliable, predictable sushi in a pleasant environment" regular sushi spot.
Nye's - because where else can you polka with a bunch of hipsters to the world's most dangerous polka band, especially after Aquatennial fireworks?
Keegan's - again not for the food, but for the beer and the live Irish jam sessions on Sunday nights. Years ago, in Houston, I used to hang out at a place like that, and it's not easy to come by such a place.
Psycho Suzi's - as mentioned above, not for the pizza but for the ambience and the apps.
Sam's Wine Shop and Surdyk's - lots of great free tastings, and they are just as happy to sell you that terrific, obscure $8 bottle of wine as they are that famous $60 bottle.
Almost any local bar - Summit EPA on tap.
5-8 - perfect lunch spot for a walleye basket, or a grilled cheese sandwich. Where the waitresses (not waitstaff) know your name and have your drink ready as soon as you are seated. A very down-home midwest experience.
Moose and Sadie's - best darn huevos rancheros in town, and just a charming place; not the typical stuffy coffeehouse. It was the "Sunday morning, spring is in the air and we can finally eat outside" go to spot across the street from the loft where I used to live.
Since I just recently re-located to the Twin Cities, I have gone through that process for real---listing out all of those places I wanted to visit "one last time" or foods I didn't think I'd be able to find here. A very pared down version of that last is my "must do" list for when I go back "home" to visit, though, sadly, I hear one of my favorites has undergone a major change. :(
But, I love all the lists in this thread. A part of me wants to NOW do a list of my ten favorites, but that just seems piggy.
Loren, your list is a list of all the places I've yet to try in the Twin Cities!
If I had to eat at 10 restaurants before tomorrow, I'd be REALLY full. But I would try. Today, my list would include some top-of-the-class places as well as my sentimental favorites.
Birchwood Cafe (for everything on the menu and five slices of key lime pie)
Bombay 2 Deli
Izzy's (I believe that three ice cream cones count as a meal)
Keefer Court (love the pastries - and now there's sit-down food, too!)
Russian Tea House
And I'd cheat and call the Midtown Global Market "one restaurant", so I could eat at La Sirena Gorda, Los Ocampo, La Loma, Safari, Holy Land, West Indies Soul, and Manny's.
Midtown Global Market
920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe
2034 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Punch Neapolitan Pizza
704 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116
Bombay 2 Deli [Closed - May Reopen in Different Place]
1840 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Keefer Court Bakery & Cafe
326 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454
Russian Tea House
1758 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Foureyes' places links:
30 N 1st St Ste 1, Minneapolis, MN 55401
337 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Chai's Thai Restaurant
414 1/2 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454
Campiello [Closing June 20, 2008]
1320 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Gorditas El Gordo
211 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN
re: bob s
Looks like they didn't all make it:
1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
3001 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408
728 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
2505 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
French Meadow Bakery & Cafe
2610 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408
eek-- well i guess if i was moving, these would be what i'd miss, & have the least chance of being able to replace (depending on where i moved to)
holy land-- deli/restaurant, right?
i am glad that this thread is going just for the places list of everyone's faves!
Ngon Vietnamese Bistro
799 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Holy Land Bakery & Grocery
2513 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Obento-Ya Japanese Bistro
1510 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
I'm assuming that if I actually ever leave saint paul I'll be moving to a metropolian area and will be able to get things like sushi, steaks etc.
If I assume that I'd be moving somewhere less populated I'd need a LOT more than 10.
That being said.
Alma, Hell's Kitchen, Midori, Broders, Izzys (5 times) all previously linked
(thanks again Bob S!)
And that bakery - Truc Nam - would make some fedex deal for crossiants!
There is typically good food in many cities, but it's the local food that's unique. For instance, El Paso will have Mexican, Tex-Mex, and New Mexican (yes, they're all different) all in one metro area, but the fish there wouldn't be very good. While I'm not familiar with Milwaukee, I'm sure that you could get good German food there, as well as walleye and maybe lake perch.
I'm a newbie to this area, and so far I've found Uncle Franky's, which has pretty good Italian beef, and Vienna hot dogs. I'm still looking for New Mexican style food (red or green chile on food, green chile stew, green chile cheeseburgers, good posole, etc.).
Most of the taquerias around the cities will have posole, especially on Saturdays. I really don't have the breadth of experience to say which place is better than the others or similar to what you would get in New Mexico. I suspect the posole at El Burrito Mercado would rank high for MSP.
As for foods with emphasis on green chile, it's virtually non-existent around these parts. I've never seen green chile cheeseburgers like I've enjoyed in back roads joints in southern Colorado and New Mexico.
I actually found a salsa at Target(!) called Desert Pepper Salsa DIablo. It's made in EL Paso from New Mexico red and green chiles (probably grown in nearby Hatch or Las Cruces NM), along with jalapenos. It's spicy, but not fiery.
Posole is found in Mexico as well as Texas, and is easier to find in Mexican restaurants, so I'm hopeful.
re: liquor cupcakes
Liquor's places links:
452 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Victor's 1959 Cafe
3756 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409
414 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454
629 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
Saigon Uptown Restaurant
3035 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
I keep a list of restaurants I want to visit so I don't always go back to the same old places. I think you guys may have just doubled it! Thanks for all the great input. Since Chai Thai is the only Thai restaurant on here, I guess I better try it out.
I have two lists, one for if I were moving tomorrow and one if I were moving in the middle of the summer. You see, to me there are some outdoor venues that I’d truly miss.
Moving tomorrow’s list:
Café Barbette and Bryant-Lake Bowl. I love the quirkiness (and huevos) of BLB and I love the atmosphere and food of Barbette.
New Delhi, Bombay 2 Deli and Best of India. All have different favorites, and meet different needs.
Basil’s because if it’s good enough for Mary Tyler Moore it sure as heck is good enough for me. First, I’d stop in at the Mark VII Lounge and have a martini and a salty snack. I always feel remarkably well-heeled when I go to Mark VII, probably because it is over the moon spendy, but I dig the atmosphere, too.
Heartland because I’ve truly enjoyed each Flora prix fixe dinner I’ve had there. I always go with a friend who’ll swap desserts with me, because for some reason the Flora dinner never has a chocolate dessert whereas the Fauna dinner almost always does.
Murray’s. An odd choice for a vegetarian, but I always wonder if I’m sitting where Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin sat when they ate there (which apparently they did whenever they were in town). Plus, it also has a quirky character and they make a great martini. Oh, and the alfredo sauce is wonderful.
Pepito’s because the craving for bean lupitas and their spicy salsa actually pulls me out of my house even if I don’t feel like it.
Byerly’s because I’d have to buy a case of Salted Nut Rolls before I moved and where better to do that?
Not a list of 10, but an addendum for summer needs:
Nicollet Island Inn for an appetizer and a glass or two of red wine. They always have something really good by the glass and who can argue with that view?
Axel’s in Mendota because they let me order an entire dinner of side dishes, all done very well and all very tasty. I love the drive there, it’s so scenic. And the patio is great fun. Also, they have a great martini and a good by the glass wine list.
Sunsets in Minnetonka. Just for the view and the splendiferous people watching.
I guess now it’s my turn to be dogged for my choices even though I’ve given reasons for most of them. I realize that food is not always at the heart of the choices listed above, but as you can see by my list it’s not always the food that drives me to pick where I spend my dining dollars.
re: MplsM ary
Places links for MplsM ary:
Nicollet Island Inn
95 Merriam, Minneapolis, MN 55401
New Delhi Bar & Restaurant [Closed]
1400 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Murray's Restaurant & Cocktail
24 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402
710 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Best of India
8120 Minnetonka Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55426
4817 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN
Axel's River Grille
1318 Highway 13, Mendota, MN 55150
Sunsets On Wayzata Bay
700 East Lake Street, Wayzata, MN 55391
Bryant Lake Bowl
810 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN
I think the Twin Cities have top-notch authentic Asian places. University Avenue in St Paul is home to some of my favorites in the Twin Cities - Hoa Bien, Krua Thai, Little Szechuan, Que Nah, Va Lor and Cambodia Cheng Heng. Amazing Thailand in Uptown is a new Thai eatery worth checking out. Amazing food and decor imported from Thailand.
re: MSP Foodies
Places for MSP Foodies:
Little Szechuan - West End
5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Golden Palace (formerly Va Lor)
371 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103
Cheng Heng Restaurant
448 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103
Hoa Bien Vietnamese Restaurant
1129 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
432 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103
Que Nha Vietnamese Restaurant
849 University Ave W Ste 101, Saint Paul, MN 55104
3024 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
3500 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
The Tin Fish
3000 E Calhoun Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Ted Cook's 19th Hole Barbeque
2814 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Convention Grill & Fountain
3912 Sunnyside Rd, Minneapolis, MN 55424
Pho 79 Restaurant
2529 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
3800 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55409
5555 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
128 Cafe [DUPLICATE]
128 Cleveland Ave, N St Paul, MN
800 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401
re: bob s
I don't think anyone has mentioned Sapor Cafe yet. Haven't been there since their new menu (a couple of months), but we usually choose this as a special event destination. Great food, locally sourced, excellent service. Would be #3 on my top ten...112 and Alma being 1 & 2. Erte would also rank for consistently good food and service.
I have been away for six months in total since January on research trips and I can tell you what I actually missed and what I think are gems having spent significant time in Honolulu (5 months) and Philly (one month), chowing away:
Bryant Lake Bowl
Auriga (for happy hour, before it closed. i still dream about that tomato pizza)
Pane Vino Dolce (again, closed while i was gone) --> Good thing I have a new crush on Broder's Pasta Bar
Chatterbox pub for cheese curds and beer
Hell's Kitchen for breakfast
King and I Thai
And I have to include the Wedge Co-op as #10 since I missed the deli, bakery, and everything about it while in Honolulu, where co-ops like that don't exist. We are so, SO lucky, fellow MSPers that we have such a selection of co-ops.
Honorable mention: Heartland makes me proud to be from the midwest. Although I did not miss it while I was away, if I were moving tomorrow, I'd head there for dinner.
Tea House II
Tea House I (in Golden Valley)
Let's see...I'll try-even though some of my favorites have closed...
1. Bickos pizza (closed)
2. KhinDo (the one in Golden Valley for their curry chicken lo mein)
3. Holy Land
4. Grand Pad Thai (I think that's what it's called)
5. Lucia's take home place
8. Cafe Latte
9. Freighthouse in Stillwater (for the view, not the food)
It took me a while to think or them-
so i got my post deleted because i included a restaurant that shall go unnamed that i used to work at...here's the amended version, without the unnamed restaurant.
Red Stag Supper Club
Triple Rock (sunday brunch)
Punch Pizza (Highland Park)
French Meadow Bakery
Mickey's Diner (7th St.)
Not in any specific order..
Bulldog (burger, tots, Belgium beer)
Zelo (pasta...a dish they don't have on the menu anymore)
Granite City (Cuban, wings, two-pull beers)
112 Eatery (fried bread w/ proscuitto and a Summit)
Bar Lucrat (bbq sandwich, doughnuts, fries)
Bella (butternut squash ravioli)
Key's (egg sandwich, rolls)
Tasty's (good ‘ol pepperoni pizza)
Brit's (anything on the rooftop on a spring day)
Ruth's Chris (still the best steak I've had in town)
And for everyone that complains about our food options....open a restaurant. If the need is really there I'm sure you will do well!
This is a difficult question. Mood makes everything change. There is also the question of cost. I see someone posted Vincents. I love Vincents but it is a bit spendy. Especially if you do the tasting menu with the wine paring. I promise you will not be disappointed but be prepared to pay. My all time favorite place is "Everest on Grand" it's in St. Paul on Grand. Price is fair and food is excellent. Emily's Lebanese Deli is awesome as well, JP's American Bistro on Lake and Lyndale in Mpls is good comfort food. I think depending on what one is in the mood for makes a difference as well. Sushi, steak, Thai, Italian. If you put that all aside Everest on Grand is still my #1 pick!
Satay 2 Go
Punch Pizza (NE is just as good as Highland and 6 times faster)
Los Ocampos #3 at Chicago and Lake