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Jan 12, 2008 02:46 PM

Kansas Citians moving to MN! Need new resturaunts!!

Hello everyone!

SO, we are relocating to MSP after a good 10 years in KC. While it's a little sad (friends, family, etc...) we are *really* excited about the potential food prospects in MSP! I mean, priorities, right? We are looking for a few recommendations to make the transition easier. Even one idea off the list would be very helpful...

1. Solid no-nonsense Chinese in Minneapolis proper (uptown, s. minneapolis, etc...)
2. Ethiopian
3. We had lovely Pho in a place on Eat St. the very end. Is there better?
4. Indian. Saag Paneer is a must, it's our son's fave!
5. Pizza, burgers, good old stuff
6. Mac and Cheese.
7. Thai
8. Schmancy, but not too $$$
9. Little neighborhood coffeeshops
10. Neighborhood bistro

We are trying to decide where to live, and while Eat st. area is tempting, we like to eat off the beaten path.

We are willing to trade KC BBQ for information. Thanks for the help!

Elizabeth et all

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  1. 1. I'd suggest either Ping's (1401 Nicollet Ave) or Rainbow (2739 Nicollet Ave)
    5. Pizza Luce (119 N 4th St and 3200 Lyndale Ave S)
    7. Tum Rup Thai (1221 W Lake St)
    9 Acadia has moved to 329 Cedar Ave S but I don't know if they're open yet. I also recommend the Boiler Room Cafe (1820 3rd Ave S)
    10 Bryant-Lake Bowl (810 W Lake St)

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. 1. I`m afraid there is none better than Tea House in Plymouth for Szechuan food, but apparently they have a location in St Paul, which I haven`t tried, so I would check it out. I also like Hong Kong Noodle in Stadium Village (by the U of M) for coastal style Chinese.

        2. While I've had good Ethiopian food, the service has always been horrible. You can try the Blue Nile, but there are some more hole-in-the-wall places in Cedar Riverside that are good (but again, terrible service). I just went somewhere on Snelling and University, and their food varied wildly in quality (the chicken platter was good but the grand sampler was meh).

        3. Saigon noodle on University and Dale is my all-time fave. I'm not too impressed by the places on Eat Street.

        4. There's a place on 49th and Central (Columbia Heights) called Nala Pak. They had a fire and moved and have had a few re-models, but they make great Southern Indian food that's a bit different from the usual Indian we get here. You can also try Chutney's on 37th and Central for a bit more standard fare, and very friendly service.

        5. I like Pizza Luce for pizza, and if I can put up with the pretentious bobos, Punch's Woodfire Pizza. Honestly, though I usually go to California Pizza Kitchen if I'm outside of the city (in Maple Grove). I like basic burgers, so I go to Porky's, which I think is moving up to Central Ave. Another good option for both is Psycho Suzie's Motor Lounge, again in NE.
        6. Hmm, this I just make myself.

        The rest aren't really my style, and I'm sure you can find recommendations for them from other folks. I'm having spotty luck with the linking feature, so sorry if I don't have links for all the places. Also, there are a lot of Hmong here who moved to the US from Laos, so I think it's easier to find Lao food than Thai. They're similar cuisines, but not exactly the same. The best approach is to just try out all the mom&pop places on University in St Paul. I'm not wild about Thai food and I think Sawatdee is awful.

        Tea House
        1676 Suburban Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

        Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge and Tiki Garden
        2519 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

        1. For #5, I'm assuming that "good old stuff" includes "diner type food." If so, you are in luck, since in my (non-native) estimation, diners and greasy spoons are one of the area's real strong points.

          For fancy-pants diner food (didn't realize that existed? you're in for a treat!) try Town Talk Diner.

          Otherwise, ask around for neighborhood favorites, but definitely try some of these:

          -Mickey's Diner, downtown St. Paul (open 24/7 since 1939, I believe), also great breakfast
          -Snuffy's Malt Shop (if only for the name), St. Paul
          -The Dari-ette (closed for winter), an actual drive-in, Italian-American food as well as burgers and such, St. Paul
          -Matt's Bar in Mpls, home (original home even?) of the Juicy Lucy, a burger with molten cheese in the middle
          -The Nook, home of the Nookie Lucy, a version of the Juicy Lucy preferred by many

          And speaking of breakfast-- good 'greasy spoon' breakfast spots are also one of the area's fortes. You'll certainly want to go to Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown (be prepared to wait, but rest assured, it's worth it). Happy Eating!

          Matt's Bar
          3500 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407

          Town Talk Diner
          2707 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

          Al's Breakfast
          413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

          Dairy-Ette Drive In [SEE DARI-ETTE DRIVE IN]
          1440 Minnehaha Ave E, Saint Paul, MN 55106

          Mickey's Diner
          36 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          Nook - duplicate
          492 Hamline Ave, S St Paul, MN

          Snuffy's Malt Shop
          244 Cleveland Ave, S St Paul, MN

          1. Welcome to Minneapolis! If I were picking a place to live solely on the density of good restaurants and food shops, I'd go for Uptown. But there's an equal density of people, traffic, and noise, which I don't like.

            So if I were looking for a great neighborhood within a reasonable distance of the best food, I'd probably live in Seward - an area bounded, roughly, by Franklin Ave, Lake St, Hiawatha Ave, and the river. Here's what you'd get in Seward:

            1. Keefer Court (West Bank) is my current favorite "no nonsense" Chinese joint. It's tiny and very casual, and is a Chinese bakery as well.

            2. Ethiopian places abound on West Bank, but my favorite has closed, and I haven't picked a new favorite yet. (Instead, I'm obsessed with the great Somali food at Safari in the Midtown Global Market.) Others have recommended the Blue Nile at the edge of Seward.

            3. Alas, I haven't discovered a great Pho place in/near Seward proper. But you'd be only 2-3 miles from Eat Street and not too far from St. Paul's University Ave (where my favorites are Pho Ca Dao and Saigon). Jasmine Orchid and Bona are across the river near the East Bank campus - both are good options, though not world-class. (But try the Bona's Duck and Rice Noodle soup - it's WONDERFUL!)

            4. There's an OK Indian place at Franklin & 31st (I forget the name), plus lots of good places in Uptown. I like Marla's, partly for the food, and partly for the charm of the owner. My favorite Indian place is Bombay 2 Deli in N.E. Mpls, but they don't have saag paneer very often (they make three different dishes each day and serve them at a tiny counter in a grocery store).

            5. I gotta pass on this one - I don't eat much "Pizza, burgers, good old stuff." There's a Pizza Luce in Seward, but I'm not a fan.

            6. Ditto. It's hard to find a good, traditional mac & cheese in this town. Upscale gourmet versions are available, but I find them too rich to appreciate.

            7. True Thai at Franklin & 27th is my favorite Thai place in town. Chai's Thai Restaurant on West Bank is also good.

            8. Birchwood has schmancy food at good prices. It's a coffeeshop/cafeteria with gourmet, organic, locally produced food (and amazing desserts). For sit-down schmancy, I'd recommend the Craftsman. Or scoot across the river to Signature or Jay's Cafe.

            9. Coffeeshops abound, including Birchwood, Blue Moon, Cliquot Club, and 2nd Moon.

            10. See answer #8.

            Have I sold you on Seward yet? Me, I live just across the river from Seward, so I haven't done too badly for myself - plus, I'm just a bit closer to the great Asian restaurants in St. Paul!


            1 Reply
            1. re: AnneInMpls

              Oh, yeah - places links!

              Also I remembered the name of the Indian restaurant in Seward - Moti Mahal. I'm pretty sure they'd have saag paneer on their menu.


              Birchwood Cafe
              3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

              Signature Cafe & Catering
              130 Warwick St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

              Jay's Cafe
              791 Raymond Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55114

              Craftsman Restaurant
              4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

              Jasmine Orchid
              304 Oak St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

              True Thai Restaurant
              2627 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406

              Chai's Thai Restaurant
              414 1/2 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

              Moti Mahal
              3025 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406

              Keefer Court Bakery & Cafe
              326 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

              Safari Express
              920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

              Bona Vietnamese Restaurant
              815 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

              Blue Moon Coffee Cafe
              3822 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

              Clicquot Club Cafe
              2929 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN

              2nd Moon Coffee Cafe
              2225 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

              Marla's Indian and Caribbean Cuisine - MOVED
              1123 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN