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Sep 13, 2009 03:01 PM

St. Paul budget-friendly suggestions needed

I will be in St. Paul in 2 weeks for business over a weekend. I am looking to take out an author for dinner at least once. And my colleague and I are on a paultry per diem. We'll be staying by the Excel Center and although we have a car, would prefer not to drive too far. Would love unique places--no chains, prefer no bar food--and need restaurants with vegetarian options. I have read some on here about Kyber Pass, Barbary Fig, and Babani's but not all reviews are recent nor consistent. Any recent experience with these places? Thanks in advance!

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  1. Senor Wongs for great Asian/Mexican food, in a funky setting (great HH's too). Downtown to boot.
    Bulldog for burgers and beer.
    Cheeky Monkey on Selby for fun deli food.

    Senor Wong
    111 East Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55101

    1. If Japanese food is in play, I would recommend Tanpopo.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MSPD

        For downtown St. Paul, all walkable:

        I second Tanpopo.

        Also, Babani's is great, but only the "original" location on St. Peter. Not the location on West 7th (dreadful).

        You can eat pretty cheaply at Meritage for lunch if you get a sandwich.

        Bulldog is a bar.

        I guess Barrio is a bar, it's a tequila bar, but it's pretty high-end. You can eat pretty inexpensively for lunch.

        If you don't mind driving a little:

        Brasa on Grand is fantastic. And Punch Pizza next door is good, too. if the weather's nice enough to eat outside.

        Khyber Pass is fine, not amazing. I'd rather steer you to Everest on Grand, which is a wee bit closer for you anyway.

        I agree Cheeky Monkey is a good choice for sandwiches.

        But, if it were me, honestly, and I were willing to drive, I'd head to University Avenue to Ngon Bistro or Saigon (super affordable) or even Cafe BonXai.

        Have fun!


      2. I would check out Ngon Vietnamese Bistro. They have their menu on their website. It's really not too far from the Xcel Center.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Quince

          Thanks for all the suggestions ... and web sites to ease my research! Will just have to see what we're in the mood for at the time. Now I'm wishing I were going to be there longer to try out more than just two of these places!
          Thanks again!