Bakeries and restaurants in/near St. Paul
We are looking to move soon and would love your feedback.
I am looking for bakeries that have the following qualities-
-reasonably priced (couple of dollars or less for a pastry, for example)
-actually bake them in the store and do not have them shipped in
-have a big selection and a variety of goods but especially excellent bread- French, Italian, etc.
-have fresh selections frequently (don't run out of fresh items right away)
Also, if you happen to live in or know the following areas, please let me know how you would rate their bakeries-
St. Anthony Park (not in St. Paul, but just outside)
Can you also describe the differences in restaurants among these areas?
ANY feedback would be super helpful for us.
Mac-Groveland and Highland are right on top of each other....so the amenities of one will feed the other.
You will want to seek out Cafe Latte and Bread and Chocolate...right across the street from each other on Grand and Victoria. Owned by the same family and you can get many, many baked goods there between the two, and all freshly-prepared in-house.
Also on Grand is Wuollet's. It is a chain with five locations with everything made in one central bakery. They are nowhere near as good as they used to be (especially in their breads), but they have many excellent breakfast pastries that can't be beat (especially the sour cream strudel) and the most beautiful cakes in town:
St. Anthony Park and Como are right on top of each other as well. They both have a few nice spots but have nowhere near the selections of great restaurants, bakeries and cafes that one will find in Mac-Grove or Highland.
The best thing about Mac-Grove/ Highland is our small but wonderful grocery store chain Lunds. The Highland location is the best:
And welcome to St. Paul...we like it here...
When i think of the neighborhoods you mention, I think of specialty bakeries rather than full service bakeries.
Grand Ave --readily accessible from MacGrove and (slightly less so) from Highland Park-- has the aforementioned Bread & Chocolate, Bravo! Bakery (great cream puffs and some unusual flavors of cake such as green tea or mango, etc.). Both of these are easily accessible from either MacGrove or Highland Park. I don't love Wuollet's, but yes, it's on Grand Ave, too. St. Paul Cheese Shop (on Grand Ave) and Coastal Seafoods (on Snelling just south of Grand Ave) carry a few nice baguettes. The cheese shop also has a few cupcakes.
MacGrove also has Breadsmith (very average, but it's Kosher if that is important to you).
Selby --easily accessible from MacGrove--has Great Harvest Bakery (bread and I think a few sweets) and Bars. Marshall has Sweets Bakeshop if you want tiny, precious cupcakes or macarons. When it was on Hamline, Kopplins (which has relocated to Marshall) used to carry some Rustica products. I don't know if it still carries them in its Marshall Ave location.
Highland Park has Mojo Monkey , which has lovely donuts (they sell out fast, though, and service is excruciatingly careful and slow). PJ Murphy's is a basic nice bakery for bread and cookies and bars if you don't need anything fancy. Highland also has the chains of Panera and Brueggers. (I think there's a Brueggers on Grand Ave., too). I think Cecil's Deli bakes some of its own breads (rye?), but I don't recall if they have any pastries or know if they'd be any good. I think Highland Bakery and Cafe has some cakes and pies. It's been forever since I've been, so I can't really comment.
As far as restaurants in general, MacGrove is best situated to hit up Grand Avenue and University Avenue restaurants. Como also gives you good access to University Avenue. There are a couple of Vietnamese bakeries on University Ave, such as Trung Nam. Highland is also very convenient to Grand Ave, a little less so to University (but you're talking a difference of just a few minutes drive), but also to West 7th Restaurants. I think Cossetta's will have an in-house bakery when its expansion is complete.
Como has a donut shop or two and Key's Cafe and Bakery. That's all that occurs to me. I think there's a Panera in Rosedale. Probably a Brueggers in the area, too.
I think St. Anthony Park actually is in St. Paul. And it has a little pocket of restaurants. Or did you mean the teensy little city of St. Anthony? If so, unfortunately, don't know the borders of it well enough to give any recommendations.
If your idea is to be able to walk to these bakeries and restaurants, I think MacGrove is probably your best bet. But, I'd say there are bakeries and restaurants readily drivable to all of these places.
MacGrove has the awful Rosemark Bakery and Highland Park has the meh Patisserie.
I hope that helps. I fear it just makes everything really confusing.
Thank you both gryffindor249 and The Dairy Queen! This is super helpful. I don't really know much about any of these areas in terms of bakeries or restaurants, so this really helps out.
Dairy Queen- yes, I was refering to the tiny area of St. Anthony Park, which I didn't think was part of the City of St. Paul, but a suburb just outside, but then again I could be wrong about that. Anyway, it's the area where the U-M has their St. Paul campus, I know the agricultural building is there, the vet clinic, etc. But it is a very small area.
Thank you again, this answers many questions for us, we're looking to move fairly soon now, but we just haven't had the time to walk around much and since bakeries esp. are very important to me (and secondly, some good Mom n Pop restaurants, was very curious to know what they were like in these areas.
I think you're getting two different places confused. There's St. Anthony Park which is an actual neighborhood of St. Paul. It's where Muffuletta is, for instance, and the new Colossal Cafe, and yes, near the UofM Farm Campus (you'll be able to go to the meat and dairy lab on Wednesdays!). Then there's the tiny little town of St. Anthony that is wedged between Minneapolis and St. Paul.
ETA: St. Anthony Park has Finnish Bistro, which I think is (or used to be, not sure, I think it has evolved over the years) a bakery/cafe. I've never been. Difficult hours. http://www.finnishbistro.com/
I live in an area bordering the east side of the Como neighborhood (a part that used to be listed as Como on the MLS, but now is not). There really isn't much to walk to in terms of bakeries and restaurants, if that is important to you, but there are several good places in close driving distance.
For baked goods I go down to Selby to Bars Bakery and A Piece of Cake. Bread and Chocolate and Cafe Latte isn't far from there either. The Mississippi Market on Selby carries Rustica Bread, and the St Paul Farmer's Market is a short drive as well, with some good bread vendors.
It is also easy to get to good restaurants on University Ave (Big Daddy's, Ngon, Bangkok Thai Deli), Selby (W.A. Frost, Cheeky Monkey, Mango Thai, etc.), Grand Ave (Tavern on Grand, Brasa, Punch), and downtown (Meritage, Heartland). The Strip Club is also not too far. Plus, it's pretty close to both Hmong markets.
I'm guessing parts of Mac/Groveland would be just as close or closer to most of the places I am talking about, and would probably be the neighborhood I would choose just based on culinary appeal. The nicest thing about the Como neighborhood is Como Park and Lake Como, really.
I agree with everyone else's assessment here and I too love bakeries. One place I never see mentioned on here is Highland Cafe and Bakery. It's a fairly average diner type place but I think they have a really good bakery. They make their own cakes and I think they are above average and always fresh. But I REALLY think they have the best caramel roll in town. Better than Isle Bun and Coffee, better than Good Day Cafe, and better than .....Bars Bakery. Yep I said it.
Glad to hear this place is still good (as I was wondering in my post above).
I ate there --and reported on it--a couple of times when it first opened (2007 or something?), but something about the setting seemed depressing to me so I stopped going. The owners worked at Keys for many years (like 25 years, I think) and I see a lot of Key's influences in their food.
Are they still serving the limited Nepali menu at lunch and dinner? There is something really neat, I think, about a place where you can order pork chops with gravy AND momos...
re: The Dairy Queen
Yes they are, although I've never ordered from the Nepali portion of the menu. For some reason I was thinking the owners were connected to the Himalayan. Did I totally make that up?
I didn't know about the Key's connection, but now that you mention it, I can see it too. I like the variety of baked cakes in the case. All that I've tried I really liked.
I also get what you're saying about about the depressing atmosphere...I think it's the clientele. Sort of the nursing home crowd. My mom and I often go for breakfast though and food is always solid. I'm willing to overlook it for a fabulous caramel roll. And possibly a piece of cake to go.
No, you're not making the thing up about being connected to Himlayan. That is also true! (Well, assuming nothing's changed. They used to list the Highland Cafe and Bakery on Himalayan's website, if I recall. They don't seem to anymore...) As I said, it's been a zillion years since I've been, but I really enjoyed the Nepali side of the menu the couple of times I tried it. The momos (vegetarian, I think?) and chicken curry were really delicious. I should get over there again just for that!
I can't remember the name of the place that used to be there before, but I think the depressing-ish atmosphere is leftover from that.
I'll see if I can find my old post about this place--maybe I put some of the history in that...
ETA: here is my old post. It used to be the VIllage Bistro. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4174... It was the meat momos that I tried that I liked. And I forgot about the mango lassi. That was good, too.