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Sep 8, 2010 09:46 PM

Boston Hound visiting for the first time!

Hi all,

I live in Boston but I'm flying to the twin cities for a conference, in a couple weeks.

What should I eat that is unique to, or popular in Minnesota, and that I can't get in Boston?

thanks! Looking forward to hearing your suggestions.

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  1. What city are you visiting?
    Where are you staying?
    What is your budget?
    Will you have a car?
    Are you here on weekends or weekdays?
    Are you seeking dinners only or breakfast & lunch as well?
    Bwsides seafood what do you think you have plenty of already in Boston?

    1. If you're in downtown Minneapolis for your conference, I recommend Hell's Kitchen for breakfast. Most everything is made from scratch, and they've got some dishes that use Minnesota ingredients, including a wild rice (our state grain) porridge and a bison bread that sounds not so great, but is.

      I have some other thoughts for you, too, but it would be nice to know where' you'll be, when you'll be here (ie., including a weekend?), and whether you'll have a car and/or are willing to travel a little. Minneapolis/St, Paul is unique in that it has the largest Somali population in the world outside of Africa and the largest urban Hmong population in the world. Both of those cuisines are worth investigating, but they aren't convenient to conference centers, for the most part.

      Also, there is some Scandinavian food to be found, but not super easily.

      Local honeycrisp apples are worth looking for this time of year...

      Pearson's salted nut roll (as well as their YUCKY Nut Goodie) is made in St. Paul and is not widely distributed on the coasts. Convenience stores etc. usually have them.


      Hell's Kitchen
      80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

      1. i'm also going to assume you'll be staying in dt minneapolis for your conference. if you'll be in st. paul or other environs please let us know so we can add recs!

        i'd encourage you to try some local foods restaurants. the harvest menu at alma would be a great jumping off point, and if you have transport, you could try the new location of heartland in st. paul.

        definitely try local mn and wi cheeses and local charcuterie while in town.

        how long will you be here/how many meals?

        1. Having lived in Boston for several years before moving to the Twin Cities a couple of years ago, I think that the Twin Cities restaurants really do a great job of emphasizing local ingredients (more than was my experience in Boston).
          My recommendations for nice "local foods" dinners would be:

          Restaurant Alma (just across the Mississippi from downtown Minneapolis)
          Corner Table (south Minneapolis)
          Heartland (downtown St. Paul - I have not been to the new location, but very much enjoyed the old location and have heard raves from a few friends that have been to the new location)
          Strip Club Meat and Fish (a bit east of downtown St. Paul - definitely a bit of a trek, but a trek we make from Minneapolis on a somewhat regular basis because we like it so much there)

          I second the Hell's Kitchen recommendation for breakfast.

          Another thing to try might be local beer. A few favorite local breweries in the area are Surly, Lift Bridge, Fulton and Flat Earth.

          Hell's Kitchen
          80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

          Restaurant Alma
          528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

          Corner Table
          4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

          The Strip Club
          378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

          1 Reply
          1. re: LauraB

            One more thing...I think the Twin Cities also does Vietnamese food better than Boston. If you can make it over to St. Paul, Ngon Bistro is a great combination of local ingredient sourcing (and beer) with excellent takes on both traditional and not quite traditional Vietnamese food. There are a number of other worthwhile, more casual Vietnamese places on both University Ave. in St. Paul and on Nicollet Ave (Eat Street) in Minneapolis.

          2. Thank you all for such wonderful suggestions. I'm flying out tomorrow, and look forward to trying as much as I can in 3 days. REALLY excited at the claim that Minneapolis' Vietnamese food is better than Boston's, as we have a pretty sizable Viet population here!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Prav

              I think you'll be impressed!

              I lived in Boston for a year, going to school at Northeastern University. My favorite Vietnamese place there was Pho & I, right on Huntington, but here at home, my heart belongs to Quang. The one thing I miss the most is definitely JP Licks. We don't have an equivalent for softserve, which is all I'd ever want... (can you bring me home some Yo Tango, please?!), but if you're after hardscooped, Sebastian Joe's does a great job.

              Enjoy your stay here!

              Sebastian Joe's
              4321 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410