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[MSP] Kid friendly+Vegetarian friendly for casual dinner in Twin Cities?

Esteemed 'hounds: I'm looking for a casual dinner spot to take a friend (who is a vegetarian) and children (who are not vegetarians). We've got a car, so driving isn't a problem as long as long as we stay within Minneapolis, St. Paul or the "inner suburbs."

I was thinking Birchwood Cafe? I thought Midtown Global Market would be fun, too--but I'm drawing a blank on what might appeal to a vegetarian there. Any other ideas?

We could do Groveland Tap or something like that (they have a garden burger, a portobello mushroom sandwich, etc.), but, ideally would like to avoid the burger experience if at all possible.

Thank you muchly!


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  1. Several good options. Broder's Pasta Bar comes to mind, because we were there last night.

    1. Lots of choices available. I can't think of many restaurants in MSP that don't have vegetarian menus.

      Longfellow/Edina/Highland Grill is good and kid friendly.

      Pizza is always easy, with my favorite being Dulono's.

      Evergreen is a great Taiwanese (Chinese) place where everything can be prepared vegetarian. If the kids eat chinese.

      1. I'd follow the pasta theme or go Asian.

        Two ideas, centrally located in Dinkytown. For Asian, I'd consider Pagoda - it's pretty good and ought to have something to meet everyone's tastes. For pasta, I'd go to Loring Pasta Bar - both kid friendly and open to vegetarians... Neither of these places is best in class as far as I'm concerned, but should suit your needs very well.

        I think Jordan's and Churchka's ideas are great too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bob s

          I like Loring, but it's a little tricky. On some nights, they have live music and there's a cover to get in ... not really the scene for family-friendly dining.

          1. re: Jordan

            I guess that's true. We take our (younger) children there fairly often, but are usually in and out by 7:30. We've never had problems early, but if you're interested in dining later, take Jordan's note of caution to heart.

        2. I tend to agree with the Longfellow/Edina/Highland Grill suggestion.

          While there are a lot of restaurants with 'some' veggie items, they are usually limited and I feel guilty when we dine with our veggie friends.

          We usually go out for pizza, which is their suggestion.

          We went out with them a few weeks ago to El Patio in St. Paul, again their idea.

          Good luck, I feel for you. We go through this all the time.

          1. How casual do you want? You could hit up one of the St. Paul "Eye-talian" joints. I'm always looking for a good excuse to go to Mama's. Most of the pasta dishes come with meatballs or sausage, but they'll gladly leave it off. (TCL asks for the meat on the side, and lets someone else at the table share.) The kid will LOVE all the cheese on top of whatever is ordered.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Danny

              Oohhh, mama's is a good one! I think we'll probably end up Edina this time around, so, likely Edina Grill because the patio appeals to us... Also, Patrick's seemed to be quite veggie friendly and for every adult meal purchased, you get a kid's meal free on Tuesday (and Thursday, I think) evenings after 4pm. So, for future reference, that seems like a good option.

              But, we'll probably need future meals, too, so it's good to have the Mama's option plus some of the others suggested in this thread.

              Thank you so much everyone!


            2. At Midtown Global Market there is a good Mexican restaurant, Salsa a la Salsa, a middle-eastern cafeteria style, there would be lots of vegetarian food.

              How about French Meadow on Lyndale near 26th? It had a wide range of dishes, from fancy full dinners (including some of about teh only good-tasting vegan dishes I've had), to sandwiches etc. for kids.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tapaculo

                Mexican food is hard for strict vegetarians, they put lard in lots of things. It is important to ask.

                The new Agri might be good because it looks like an almost completely veggie menu, and then we could get a review too.

              2. Thanks, everyone. We ended up at Edina Grill, which turned out fine. Very kid friendly, with a kid's plate and kid's menu+crayons. Several of the appetizers, such as the pierogies, green beans, sweet potato fries, onion strings, were veggie friendly. There were a couple of salads to choose from, a veggie burger, a veggie risotto, a mac and cheese main, and eggplant parmesan. So, a pretty reasonable set of options, I thought. Something for everyone.

                Also, I recently had breakfast at Longfellow Grill--I guess it's been awhile. Still kid-friendly, though, I was less focused on the "veggie" friendly aspect of the menu on this visit. They are doing some fun stuff on their breakfast menu (mostly having to do with using up leftovers, I think): poached eggs on cornbread; some kind of meatloaf hash, etc., a breakfast "burger" with chorizo sausage. And it's hard to beat the patio and the bike accessibility of this place this time of year...

                I had hoped to find something a little more chowhound'ish than Edina/Longfellow Grill for this visit, but I do think it was better than just having pizza. And, I forgot how unadventurous kids can be sometimes (depends on the kid, of course) so, I think the restaurants in this Blue Plate Chain serve in a pinch.