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Oct 5, 2011 08:05 PM

San Diego Foodie coming to MN

Love all sorts of food. Would love some recs on local gems. Staying downtown. Casual preferred but if there is a must eat, I would love to hear about it.

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  1. Will you be moving about / out of downtown at all?

    7 Replies
    1. re: semanticantics

      Some.....mostly downtown. Did you have something in mind?

      1. re: dbwave

        Travail in Robbinsdale (10 minutes north of Minneapolis) was recently named #4 best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit. Small plates, fancy plating, casual. It's prohibitively hard to get into, they don't take reservations. You should be prepared to wait outside for them to open at 5pm, it's easier than waiting once they open. They are known for a 10 (+) course tasting menu for 2 for $70.

        Piccolo in south Minneapolis is a bit similar (small plates, small space), but a good touch fancier and about 50% more expensive.

        112 Eatery and Bar La Grassa are two of the better restaurants in downtown Minneapolis).

        Meritage and Heartland Restaurant are the two best restaurants in downtown St. Paul. Our downtowns are about 10 minutes apart.

        The area is also known for a variety of ethnic cuisines, we've got good Thai, Vietnamese, Hmong and Ethiopian.

        1. re: semanticantics

          I'd add Haute Dish to the mix, and depending where in downtown, Sea Change would be another worthy choice.

          Sea Change
          806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415

          1. re: semanticantics

            I'd definitely agree that the Twin Cities has good (even great) Vietnamese. There are a couple of good Thai places, but overall I'm not sure it's a strength. Same with Ethiopian (though I don't know how San Diego does in those cuisines either). Hmong restaurants are not ubiquitous, but are worth seeking out as not many other places have them.

            The TCs are also known for (or should be, in my opinion): good "greasy spoon" breakfast (Al's Breakfast, in particular, in the Dinkytown area); good use of local ingredients (Heartland, Alma, or Brasa for more downscale eats); and good ice cream (Pumphouse Creamery is our favorite; also Izzy's, Crema Cafe/Sonny's, or Sebastian Joe's).

            Crema Cafe
            3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

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

            1. re: mtullius

              Sadly, except for Heartland which is in downtown St. Paul, none of those wonderful places you've listed is in "downtown." And we're stil not even sure which downtown the OP will be visiting.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                112 Eatery is downtown. I would add Saffron and Blacksheep for pizza.

                112 Eatery
                112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                1. re: Latinpig

                  I don't really think of the warehouse district as being downtown (which I think of as the main business district) and it's not comfortably walkable in my opinion from all of the downtown hotels. NEVERTHELESS, the OP said he was going to Saffron, across the street from 112, so it must have been downtown enough for him. I'm hoping he took MSPD's suggestion and popped into 112 while he was nearby and comes back to tell us all about it.


      2. Downtown...Minneapolis? Or St. Paul? Which twin do you mean?


        1. Downtown Minneapolis (I assume this is what you mean), your best bets are Saffron, the 112 or Cosmos. Saffron is my pick for out of towners because the chef has an enormous talent for seasoning and it's a cuisine that is lacking in other urban areas.

          If you do venture south, you can hit up Heidi's, which happens to be nailing it at the moment, or you can visit one of the Vietnamese places on Eat Street, of which Quang is my personal favorite.

          1. Barrio, Joe's garage (great patio if there is nice weather), King and I Thai, B.A.N.K. for lunch was good for me though the reviews vary on that place, Oceanaire has a great happy hour during the week, get a few appetizers and drinks for dinner and go out somewhere else for dessert and coffee like Cafe Lurcat. Have fun!

            King and I Thai
            1346 La Salle Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

            Cafe Lurcat
            1624 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

            88 South 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402

            1. dbwave, I assume you are visiting Minneapolis (and not St. Paul), but where exactly are you staying, when is your visit, how many meals, will you have a car?

              All this determines how close to your hotel to recommend places. For example, one poster recommended Bar La Grassa (a solid recommendation). But if you are staying at the southwest end of downtown, you won't be walking to Bar La Grassa. And Minneapolis cab rates are ridiculous.