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St Paul's best

kasiav Apr 22, 2013 11:10 AM

After 5 years, I'm back out in the MSP area for about a year and have had great luck with my old favorites as well as some really excellent new restaurants in Minneapolis. However, it's been difficult to find a post devoted solely to St Paul's best. From some of the bets of the TCs threads it seems we have:

The Happy Gnome
On's Thai Kitchen

MSP please help! I seriously need to diversify - any price point and any cuisine, as long as its GOOD.


  1. k
    KristinT013 Apr 27, 2013 10:21 AM

    Shish on Grand (same owners as Grand Central)
    Colossal Cafe on Como (great for breakfast and nice dinner service, too)

    1. a
      american_idle Apr 25, 2013 07:10 AM

      A lot of St. Paul residents like Red Savoy Pizza.

      1. NugarifiK Apr 24, 2013 09:15 PM

        I Nonni has the best Italian food in the city imo. It's close enough to be considered St. Paul.

        1 Reply
        1. re: NugarifiK
          foreverhungry Apr 25, 2013 01:41 PM

          I hesitated including I Nonni because it's not in STP, but I agree, excellent Italian if not the best. The service there is fantastic also.

          If we're going to I Nonni, then I'd add the deli, Buon Giorno. Though lots of folks go there for their lunchtime pasta bar, I'm a huge fan of their sandwiches and their deli selection. Not a huge selection, but high quality and a great price (as compared to the new Cossetta's deli, for example, whose prices border on the criminal).

        2. b
          Brad Ballinger Apr 24, 2013 09:12 PM

          Missing from the thread:

          Joan's in the Park
          Black Sheep on Robert
          Foxy Falafel

          2 Replies
          1. re: Brad Ballinger
            BigE Apr 25, 2013 06:54 AM

            Black Sheep absolutely deserves a nod. Best pizza in MN, for me. And a nice (though small) tap selection.

            1. re: Brad Ballinger
              cayjohan Apr 25, 2013 01:57 PM

              Hearty agreement on Foxy Falafel. Delicious food. Small space, but pleasant. Very gluten-free friendly, too, for those to whom it matters.

            2. f
              foreverhungry Apr 23, 2013 11:24 AM

              New on Grand Ave is Grand Central, a sandwich shop. Great sandwiches and salads. Macalester Campus area.

              Brasa. Apologies if it's been mentioned (reading comprehension isn't what it used to be), Brasa usually gets lots of love on this board.

              1. j
                JimGrinsfelder Apr 23, 2013 10:55 AM

                Little Szechuan

                Meritage (for oysters)

                Bangkok Thai (are they still open?)

                iPho by Saigon for Banh Mi (I didn't care for the the grocery store Ha Tien?)

                Pho Cadao for Pho (gotta get to Ngon and try theirs)


                Ristorante Luci

                1. NugarifiK Apr 23, 2013 10:32 AM

                  I'll add BJ's Hotdog Shoppe and Italian Beef. Best italian beef I've ever had.

                  1. j
                    jaltstatt Apr 23, 2013 07:57 AM

                    Not all new...but my faves are:
                    El Burrito Mercado
                    Black Sheep Pizza
                    Pollo Campero
                    Trieu Chau
                    Russian Tea House
                    Cheeky Monkey
                    Blue Door Pub
                    St. Paul Cheese Shop

                    1. r
                      run2eat Apr 22, 2013 08:16 PM

                      Meritage, best French in town.
                      Los Ocampo best Mexican
                      Rum Mit Thai, great thai food, zero atmosphere!
                      Strip Club, great drinks and steaks
                      Bars Bakery, great pastries
                      Kopplins, fantastic coffee
                      Ngon Bistro, upscale Vietnamese
                      Senor Wongs, fun Asian/Mexican fusion with great happy hours.
                      Hmong Village for papaya salad and BBQ

                      1. z
                        zfwp Apr 22, 2013 01:38 PM

                        i will hijack this thread... has anyone been to Babani’s lately?

                        1. k
                          kasiav Apr 22, 2013 01:17 PM

                          also forgot to add WA Frost

                          1. a
                            american_idle Apr 22, 2013 12:56 PM

                            Along with previously mentioned, I like:

                            Cheng Heng
                            Thai Cafe
                            Homi Mexican
                            Los Ocampo
                            Hmong Village (Food Court)

                            I really adore Ward 6, especially their breakfast dishes.

                            1. g
                              gildeddawn Apr 22, 2013 12:10 PM

                              Little Szechuan on University should be added to the list, too.

                              1. Db Cooper Apr 22, 2013 11:36 AM

                                Ngon for Vietnamese, especially the Pho
                                The Strip Club - Small plates and steaks
                                The Nook - Best hamburgers in the Twin Cities
                                Mama's - Best Hot Dago sandwich available
                                Yarusso Brothers - Old school red sauce Italian
                                Ward 6 - Neighborhood joint w/great Reuben sandwich
                                Gopher Bar - Killer Coney Island dogs
                                Caffe Biaggio - Killer Northern Italian fare and best carbonara in the city
                                Lucia and Lucia Ancora - More great Italian.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Db Cooper
                                  parkermsp Apr 22, 2013 02:41 PM

                                  We love Ngon, but I think their hu tu/mi is actually better than their pho. (I think the tu is with rice noodles and the mi with egg; I get the egg.) The pho does have the delectable house-made meatballs (reportedly made weekly by the chef's father), but the Hu Mi's shrimp balls are the true business. For pho, the best in the Cities still seems to me Pho Tau Bay, if only for their near heavenly tendon. A squidge of beef scallop down the gullet? Check.

                                  1. re: parkermsp
                                    Db Cooper Apr 22, 2013 03:01 PM

                                    We'll agree to disagree. That stock that Ngon makes for their Pho, to me, is better than any around and that includes Pho Tau Bay. Everybody has different tastes and preferences.

                                    I should have also added Taqeuria Los Paisanos for tortas. I know most point to Los Ocampo, but I prefer these.

                                    1. re: Db Cooper
                                      parkermsp Apr 22, 2013 04:00 PM

                                      Have you had the Hu mi? Try the hu mi at Ngon. I'll try Los Paisanos.

                                      1. re: Db Cooper
                                        mull0263 Apr 23, 2013 08:02 AM

                                        I'll second the tortas at Los Paisanos over those at Ocampo, though I prefer the latter for most everything else.

                                  2. d
                                    docfood Apr 22, 2013 11:14 AM

                                    The Asian Deli Restaurant at 388 Western Ave. It is only open for lunch, but is fantastic! Great Laotian food!

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