[MSP] Updated MSP Unique Dining Guide - Please Help
A little over a year ago (June 2007) I posted a list of "Restaurants serving more unique cuisines in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area". Soon after, by request, I created a two-column PDF version of the same. The list was last updated some time that summer, so obviously a number of the restaurants listed no longer exist or have changed address, and at least a few new restaurants serving less common cuisines have launched. But what are these? A few "deletions" I am sure of: "Aribel's" comes to mind. Among the new ones are T's Place, Gangchen, Qoraxlow, and Himalayan Restaurant. Below is a preliminary, updated version of the file. Any tips (deletions, additions, changes, etc.) regarding "less common cuisine"* restaurants would be very welcome.
* Anything other than American, Mexican, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Greek, Polish, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, or non-regional Chinese.
Restaurants serving more unique cuisines in the Minneapolis / St. Paul Area
Crystal Bistro Afghan Cuisine
6408 Bass Lake Road
929 W 80th St
Khyber Pass Cafe
1571 Grand Ave
448 University Ave. W
601 N Dale St
1115 Vicksburg Lane
Azerbaijani, Georgian, Russian, and Armenian
CUBAN / LATIN CARRIBEAN
800 Washington Ave N
119 Washington Ave N
3450 Lyndale Avenue South
Victors 1959 Cafe (Cuban) .
3756 Grand Ave S.
Pannekoken Huis (four locations)
White Bear Ave at 694
Best Buy Mall
Hwy 55 at 494
Next to Kelly Inn
CR 42 at O'Connell
4995 Excelsior Blvd.
St. Louis Park
ECUADORIAN AND PERUVIAN
1526 E Lake St
2467 W 7th St.
Mexican, Salvadoran, and Peruvian Cuisine
2505 Central Ave NE
Blue Nile Restaurant and Lounge
2027 Franklin Ave E
2713 E Lake St
Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant
510 Snelling Ave N
324 Cedar Ave S
Queen of Sheba
2447 W 7th St
Red Sea Bar and Restaurant
320 Cedar Ave S
2713 E Lake St
“Authentic Ethiopian – Asian Cuisine”
490 Syndicate Street North
FRENCH NORTH AFRICAN
720 Grand Ave
2424 Central Ave. NE
Traditional Guyanese / Carribean
HMONG (SEE ALSO: LAOTIAN)
544 University Ave.
St. Paul, MN
Grocery store with Hmong cafeteria in back.
Golden Triangle (Va Lor?)
371 W University Av
217 Como Ave
See “Ethnic Food Courts” at the end of this file
INDIAN – HYDERABADI
7814 Portland Ave S
3228 West Lake St
Babani's Kurdish Restaurant
544 St. Peter
LAOTIAN (SEE ALSO: HMONG)
Family Lao / Thai Restaurant
501 University Ave W
704 University Ave W
995 University Ave W
Beirut Lebanese Restaurant
1385 Robert Street South
West St. Paul
Emily's Lebanese Deli
641 University Ave NE
2608 Nicollet Ave.
2480 Winnetka Avenue North
Satay 2 Go Asian Cuisine
6670 150th St. W.
5554 34th Ave S.
23 Northeast Fourth Street
Moroccan dishes featured on some nights
Midtown Global Market
Lake Street & Chicago Ave.
See “Ethnic Food Courts” at the end of this file.
NEPALI – TIBETAN
Everest on Grand
1278 Grand Ave.
Gangchen Bar & Restaurant
1833 Nicollet Ave
Some Tibetan items (momos, thukpa) on menu
Highland Cafe and Bakery
1931 Ford Pkwy
Separate Nepali menu available alongside standard American items
2401 E Franklin Ave
2512 Hennepin Ave. S.
Abu Nader Deli & Grocery
2095 Como Ave.
Tam-Tam African Restaurant
605 Cedar Ave S
Central, East, and West African
2418 University Ave SE
5601 W 78th St
1811 Selby Ave
7800 Normandale Blvd
Scandia Bake Shop
5011 34th Ave. S.
Taste of Scandinavia (four locations)
Bakery and Cafe
401 W 98th St
2900 Rice St
845 Village Center Drive
Note that some of the restaurants listed below may be closed, while others may have opened up and not yet made it to this list. Somali restaurants and groceries can be found in the West Bank and South Minneapolis neighborhoods, especially along Lake Street
2800 27th Ave. South
370 W Lake St
425 E Lake St
1922 Chicago Ave S
Casablanca Restaurant and Coffee Shop
411 Cedar Ave S
Gazira International Food and Deli
2115 Chicago Ave S
Gulet Deli and Grocery
922 E 24th St
818 E Lake St
1304 E Lake St
Indian Ocean Restaurant
1401 11th Ave S
912 24th St E
Lake Plaza – Food Court and Bazaar
413 E Lake St
Madina Somal Restaurant
3205 Cedar Ave South
1202 E Lake St
1206 E Lake St
605 Cedar Ave S
1821 East Lake St
1424 Nicollet Avenue
408 Cedar Ave S
137 E Franklin Ave
1260 Town Center Drive
Be sure to ask for the Sri Lankan menu.
Evergreen Taiwanese Restaurant
2424 Nicollet Ave.
3761 Bloomington Ave
Black Sea Restaurant
737 Snelling Ave N
St Paul, MN 55104
15718 Wayzata Blvd.
WEST AFRICAN – WEST AFRIKIN
Kenkayba's Place (Ghana?
)864 University Ave
Three Crowns Restaurant & Catering
2817 Lyndale Ave S
West Indies Soul (Island Caribbean) .
625 University Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
Also at Midtown Global Market
ETHNIC FOOD COURTS
217 Como Ave
Large food court with several vendors serving authentic Hmong and Thai food:
5 Star Deli
Asian Special Drink
Mr. Papaya Kitchen
Nyob Zoo Kitchen
One Stop Deli
Thai Thai Daily
Complex also contains large produce, craft and merchandise markets.
Midtown Global Market
Lake Street & Chicago Ave.
Market is home to shops selling goods from around the world, as well as a number of food vendors, often side operations of local full-service restaurants:
A La Salsa (Mexican
)Café Finsprang (Scandinavian)
Farm in the Market
Grand Italian Ice
Holy Land Grocery & Deli (Middle Eastern)
Jade Asian Restaurant & Bar (Pan-Asian)
Jakeeno's Trattoria (Italian)
La Loma Tamales (Mexican)
La Sirena Gorda (Seafood)
Manny's Tortas (Mexican, desserts)
Pham's Deli (Pan-Asian)
Safari Express (Somali / East African)
Salty Tart (Pastries)
Taquería Los Ocampo
West Indies Soul (Carribean)
since i live outside of MSP, I don't have much to contribute. just want to thank you for putting a list together so when i do go to MSP i'd know where to go :)
Wow, thank you for that very detailed report. ^_^ Even tho I have never been to MSP, I feel like I need to visit up there. I've recently discovered I come from Swedish stock (on my father's side) and have gotten very into Scandinavian food/culture. I really envy you all up there, with your great choices!
Even tho I live in Las Vegas, with so many high-end (and out of reach, 9 times out of 10, for us normal locals on a budget) places to eat, we lack for anything Scandinavian! Such sadness to me.
This post makes me want to pack my bags and visit ASAP!
Sad to report you'll need to delete:
Each one closed during the past year.
I feel like such a Debbie Downer right now.
West Indies Soul at the St. Paul address (has anyone had different information since AnneInMpls confirmed they were closing in June?)
Va Lor is officially Golden Triangle.
Add Los Andes on Lake St. in Minneapolis to the list of Ecuadorian/Columbian restaurants.
Add Lucuma Bakery & Deli on Cedar Ave in Minneapolis to the list of Peruvian/South American restaurants.
Satay 2 Go is probably more accurately described as multi-ethnic Asian, which would include Malaysian.
HARD TO RECOMMEND:
Barbary Fig is indeed North African, but it seems to have gone downhill in recent years.
Don't want to get anyone's hopes up about Pannekoeken Huis. It's a breakfast chain, with some dutch-style pancake specialties.
Dashen also closed, it was replaced with T's Place, which you have listed.
Casablanca is Ethiopian, not Somali.
i think 3 crowns restaurant on lyndale is also closed, or maybe changing hands?
i'd add queen asian in st paul to the hmong category, and saffron for upscale north african/middle eastern/mediterranean
Triple Crown's number appears to be connected. I got their answering machine as they open today at noon.
West Indies Soul has moved to Lake St. in Minneapolis, according to the phone book. I called them and they are indeed open.
Thanks a million for all of your help. Let's keep the posts going, especially for new restaurants.
re: The Dairy Queen
Ha, if I dined at all of them you would have seen a lot more reports from me!
No, actually most of these places I have not yet dined at, though some I have - using my list. Actually, when I created the list originally, I don't think I had been to ANY of the restaurants on it. I love making lists, I love trying new cuisines, and my intent was to find all of the MSP-area establishments serving "less common" cuisines (stuff you can't expect to find in any city, or that most people have never tried, less even heard of - like Hmong, Guyanese, and Nepali). My first source was http://www.twincitiesdiningguide.com (strongly recommended), which though an excellent resource, put restaurants describe as "Hmong" under "Asian" with countless Chinese restaurants. Then I refined the list with the help of posts here (in threads like this one and in old threads) and other websites (such as the now defunct Somali Business Resource site).
The list itself does not seek to evaluate the restaurants in terms of quality, or exclude "poorly-performing" restaurants, even if their is a consensus against them. That's up to the reader of the list.
What I might do is expand the list to include not as "unusual" but still not Italian/Thai/Indian/etc. restaurants - probably adding Polish, Russian, non-Polish/Russian Eastern European (are there any in the Cities? Bosnian, etc.?), Korean, and perhaps Chinese regional cuisine (e.g. Little Szechuan).
HAHAHA! You crack me up. tvdxer, even if you haven't eaten at all of these restaurants (yet! I have confidence in you!) you certainly do your fair share of striking out into unexplored territory and reporting back--I always appreciate your reports on your adventures!
I thought I was a list person, too, but just reading your list and worrying that it might be incomplete exhausts me. Furthermore, I keep winding myself into a knot about what constitutes a "unique" cuisine and about whether I feel okay about adding anything to a list on Chowhound that I don't otherwise recommend. So, I'm glad you're undertaking such a list so I don't have to torment myself in order to do so. Whew!
Anyway, onto your most excellent and ambitious list...I don't see the "new" Hmong market on your list--the Golden Globe... Also, Rotisseria (Peruvian) on Lake Street probably belongs on your list somewhere--I don't think I saw it there... And there's a new Ethiopian place on West 7th in St. Paul in the old Steeler's bar --can't think of the name right now. I don't know if Tim McKee's new "Pirate"/BBQ joint in Stillwater is out of your range or belongs on your list but I know they are doing some really unique sourcing. There was a post awhile ago--say, in the past six months--about Hmong places and there was this really interesting sounding bakery in a reply (by, I think, KTFoley) to that post you might want to put on your list. I'm sure you can do a search here on Chowhound Midwest to pull the names up. I also think there are a couple Persian places you're missing, but I don't know the best way to find those for you--if I think of it later, I'll try to see if I can come up with the names. Sorry, I'm too tired to do so right now as I'm succumbing to being overwhelmed by the list. But, I figured it was better to pass along what I could, than nothing. ;-).
re: The Dairy Queen
Ethiopian: Dukem on West 7th http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/485399
Hmong: Cakes by Fhoua (and yes, the post I was thinking of wa KTFoley's) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5170...
Jamaican: Smalley's in Stillwater http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:8...
I know this doesn't fit the typical profile of the restaurants on your list, but apparently, they are the first restaurant in the country to cook over Jamaican pimento wood, so, I thought I'd mention it.
I think Cafe Havana has closed. I remember seeing something about it in either the paper or the Mpls-St Paul Mag, and it is off the Open Table website.
For Lebanese, I'd also add in Jerusalem's.
1518 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
It looks like La Gran Colombia is a must-add! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5151...
Also, I don't know if this is a helpful idea or bad idea, but City Pages has a pretty extensive restaurant list on its website that you can sort by ethnicity--in case you wanted to cross-check your list against that... But, yours is way more extensive than theirs in some ways...
Not sure if my reply will bump this up to the top and make it a "current" post but I LOVE this list and I'm wondering if we can update it for now, as in July 2009. What's open, closed, and new? I really appreciate the efforts that went into creating this list and I'd love to see it continue. Thanks:-)
babalu is closed.
a lot is new. . . that's going to take some brainpower on my part that i can't seem to summon right this instant, but i'll start with
pak zam zam (pakistani)
Pak Zam Zam
1839 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Be sure to check tvdxer's "final" stand-alone list from 2008 - it might be more up-to-date than this post.
Here are some recent updates for the Midtown Global Market.
- Farm in the Market
- Grand Italian Ice
- Andy's Garage (American/burgers) - back with new owners
- Grassroots Gourmet (meat, cheese, and sandwiches) - replaces Farm in the Market
And a few other updates:
- Puerta Azul (Puerto Rican) is closed.
- Kenkayba's Place (West African) is closed - it's now an Asian place (Red Pepper?)
- West Indies Soul closed its St. Paul restaurant - they're only at the MidGloMo.
Also, Rotisseria has re-opened and closed and re-emerged in the western 'burbs in a completely different incarnation.
Red Pepper is absolutely skippable, in my opinion. There's also now Maly's Deli in place of Golden Triangle in place of Va Lor.
But the one thing I'll mention about this list (and no disrespect to adventure-hound tvdxer) is that it's just a list of what's available; it's not a list of recommendations.There are many places that aren't very good on it.
re: The Dairy Queen
Thanks, TDQ. I figured as much and will review the places here and other websites before they go on my "TO VISIT" list. I hope to make one for my boyfriend's birthday in early August. A list that includes suggested dinner options, too:-) It seems there is a lot of info on this board. Not sure why I didn't think to look here earlier. I've used this board while working (I am a flight attendant.)
Safari on Nicollet has closed. The space has been taken over by Bali, an Indonesian restaurant. The back room is a bit of an odd space - a bit of a club/restaurant combo feel (for example, when we got there it was a couple of couples on dates, when we left we were the only couple left in the back and the only other people were part of a large group of guys that ordered bottle service of vodka). I did, however, enjoy the food.
Hey, this is brilliant! You mentioned a 2-column PDF of this list--have you updated this at all? I saw the Geocities site posted below which is now down, of course. I would love to have this printed out to have in my car, so I don't wind up paying for yet another mediocre meal!
Perhaps we can all work on this collaboratively as a Google Document?