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Jan 3, 2010 04:49 AM

New to Western Minnesota

Just moved to Central West Minnesota ( near Fergus Falls), besides cold, isolation, no shopping, I am hungry ! Any help in locating decent restaurants ??? I am tired of my cooking ! Tried Fargo for Sushi... hhhhmmm , will try Twin Cities.
I am at a very distinct disadvantage, Moved from So Cal. I realize I cannot begin to compare dining to the two, but would be satisfied finding a few decent restaurants. I miss sushi, any asian, and mexican food.


thank you....

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  1. Danita, welcome.

    i'm afraid you're finding yourself in a bit of a culinary wasteland, even by midwestern standards ;-P

    i don't know anyone who lives anywhere near fergus falls, but i know some people who go up around there, huntin'. i called them to ask if there were any restaurants of note in the area and before i was finished with the sentence, there were loud, resounding "no's" and giggling. uh, so that's not good.

    however, after repeating that there are no restaurants that they know of, and that this is what everyone who lives up there complains about, they did report that the union ave. market in fergus falls is a halfway decent place to shop, they've seen the owners of the store at the fancy foods shows, they can order provisions with proper notice, roast their own coffee, etc. so i hope you've checked out this store for some groceries. there is also apparently a decent butcher store called simply "meat store" in town--good local meats, custom butchery, sausages, and they supposedly get sushi-quality fish in, twice a week. note that this is a very tenuous rec of the fish, that i have no personal experience with. according to my friends there is also a new wine store in town, probably very down-market and limited selection by your standards, but they say they are also "attempting" to serve some small plates. . . and they qualify it with. . . "at least they are trying." so, it sounds like perhaps this has some potential, even if the offerings are disappointing at present.

    is there really nothing at all around the universities in fargo/moorhead? even a little german/dutch donut & coffee shop in rural mn can sometimes turn out to be a treasure. maybe someone who gets up that way can weigh in. as far as coming into msp goes, your options are quite a bit broader, and i'm sure the msp hounds will weigh in to try to help you navigate. they are really such a helpful and welcoming bunch! you can look forward to good sushi, great vietnamese, taqueria-style mexican, and wonderful local-foods restaurants when you visit msp.

    1. FWIW, I've seen topics here on Chowhound about good eats in Fargo. If you do a search on this (Midwest) forum for "Fargo", and click on "relevance" and topics updated within the last "5 years", the first 16 topics that come up are about Fargo. So browsing through those would be a good place to start. (I apologize if you've already done this, but the search function on Chowhound defaults to "newest first" and "1 year" and tends to be less useful than when you change those options, and not everyone knows enough to do that.)

      There's also a topic on Wadena County that mentions Fergus Falls, at

      As for MSP, the options are huge. Just search this forum on whatever type of food you want, and many of the resulting topics will be in MSP. For example, if you do a similar ("relevance" and "5 years") search for "sushi" on the Midwest forum, the first three pages show 45 topics with "sushi" in the title, and 15 of the 45 are in the MSP area.

      6 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        Thank you both....we will probably spend some time in Fargo, shopping there is better so we can explore that area.... I have found a couple of somewhat decent fare in Alexandria...thats 45 min south of us... Hoping Fergus keeps trying and I hear this area gets better in the summer...lots of lakes and some restaurants open back up for the season....again, thank you ~!!!!

        1. re: danita53

          I'm checking with a foodie friend who moved from the Twin Cities to Fargo/Moorhead in the last few years and found it a bit of an adjustment. She mentioned a few places she liked there last time I saw her a few weeks ago. So I'm hoping to have a couple more ideas for you.

          1. re: karykat

            I grew up 20 miles from FF, and while it may not be a culinary paradiese, there is a lot to love about the area. (Although, you're one bravel soul moving there this time of year.)

            There are two good restaurants in Battle Lake: Stub's and Stella's. Stub's is closed for the season, but they have the best steak you'll find any where. (I live in Mpls now.) They also have very good walleye, and it is real walleye, not "zander," the fish that poses as walleye. I believe Stella's has limited hours in the winter. It's a cozy bistro with good (and at times great) food.

            During the summer, there is a good breakfast place on the southeast side of West Battle Lake. It's called Battle View. Also in the summer, there is a good pizza place called Zorbaz on Ottertail.

            My family would go to Minneapolis several times a year for shopping, food, culture, etc. It's a mindset: it's less than 3 hours a way and well worth the trip.

            Good luck, and I hope you come to love the area!

            1. re: sweetsweetjane

              thank u.....ate at stellas, very good ! missed stubs, they closed before I could get there !
              Stellas ended up closing till feb or march. and i did hear about Zorbaz...will try that too.
              looking forward to my trips to mpls and st paul.... i love to eat out !!
              We are going to mpls jan 16 for target center show.... and i hope some shopping...looking for good restaurant to take kids that weekend..near targ center....any ideas ?? thanks sooo much !

              1. re: danita53

                I lived in Fargo/Moorhead area during college. Here are some places I remember;

                Grand junction in Moorhead for decent hand cut fries and sandwiches (IMO they have a pretty good Philly cheese steak sandwich). The ambiance of this place isn't that great but the food is.

                Nicole's in Fargo - this is a french bakery with some great deserts and pastries. I'm not sure if they have sandwiches or any other food items.

                I know there are several Indian restaurants in Fargo (although I'm not sure if they are any good - they all opened after I left).

                Hope this helps.

            2. re: karykat

              Here's what my friend in Fargo said when I asked her:

              "There is WF Maxwell's which is really good, they have their own website, there is Monte's which everyone raves about and there is Passage to India, besides that its pretty much standard fare with big chains."

        2. Zorba's, as mentioned, is a fun place with decent food. There are lots of great mom and pop places up that way with good soup and pie, but no real good gourmet food of any kind that I remember. Of course I was a very poor college student at the time, so I could have been missing lots of things.

          2 Replies
          1. re: churchka

            My grandma is from Fergus - and the only two restaurants IN town that I can think of that even had some decent grub (nothing fancy) was Jazzy Foxx (for brunch) and Mable Murphys.

            Like rajaya - I too went to college in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

            For Greek/Med - we always liked Santa Lucia's - toward West Acres mall.
            I've eaten at Monte's (a few years back) and absolutely loved it.
            HoDo (DT Fargo) for drinks. I think Lauerman's may have rebuilt after their fire-that was great for "sooner" mugs of cocktails.
            There was also a decent Mexican place in DT Fargo called Juano's - besides your typical Paradiso and Mexican Village.
            For coffee, hands down it is Atomic. They always made really great coffee and specialty drinks (over Moxie, Luna's, etc)
            Kroll's Diner is popular for well, diner food - decent enough (think-way nicer Fryin' Pan)
            Zorbaz is a chain around FF, DL, Pequot....they have decent pizza. Pizza of course, is always such a debate on our threads!
            FYI - there is a really great health food store with great options called Tochi.

            1. re: snoboardbabe77

              Thank you all again.... will keep these in mind, something to work on !!!!!

          2. I have been in Fergus Falls several times over the past few months, and I keep going back to Cafe 116 (on Union). The food is not mind-boggling, but you asked for decent, and decent it is. It's refreshing to me because so many of the small town restaurants are so stodgy and old fashioned (which I appreciate if they do it well!) but Cafe 116 offers a more contemporary menu without coming across as pretentious, and the pricing is competitive with the stodgier places.

            They have a simple menu of soups, sandwiches, and salads. I enjoyed the tuna salad, hummus sandwich, and shrimp and sausage gumbo a fair bit, while the broccoli cheese soup was short on broccoli and a cheese panini was a little one-dimensional.

            The staff are unfailingly friendly. There's an attached coffee bar with good coffee and mediocre bakery items too.

            That's about all I have for ya. I've tried a few other places in FF, but none that I'd make a point to go back to.

            I can't get the place link thingy to work right now so here's a link to their web site: