Happy New Year, Foodies! With temperatures below freezing for the next few (or six) months, I thought I would share some of my favorite cold-weather picks! All three are within walking distance of campus and offer a range of options!

1. iPho by Saigon ($)

Location: 704 University Ave W. – 3.3 miles from campus

Located on University Avenue in St. Paul’s Summit-University neighborhood, this easygoing Vietnamese joint offers a large menu with great prices. There are a variety of both meat and vegetarian options, as well as a variety of meal size options. While I have yet to try everything on the menu, the pho is a great cold-weather option! Offered in three sizes, there are tons of options, such as seafood, chicken, brisket and flank, tofu and broccoli. There is also the option for a pork or beef broth, as well as add-ins. The smallest size (kid’s size) costs around $5, and is plenty of soup, while the largest size (jumbo) costs around $10 and can be shared between two or three people! Other great options at iPho include their banh mi, vermicelli salads and bubble tea. The bahn mi sandwiches range from $3 to $4.50, and feature different fillings paired with cucumbers, pickled vegetables (carrots and daikon), cilantro and jalapenos … all on fresh bread made in house! Some of the fillings include tofu, grilled chicken, steak, grilled pork and meatballs. These pair great with the pho and are equally delicious and filling. For those who aren’t phased by the cold, iPho offers 24 oz. bubble tea (iced tea, cooler or smoothie) in a variety of flavors for $4! This is a great and cheap winter option, and can be accessed by public transit in 36 minutes! (84 bus to green line.)

2. Café Latte ($$)

Location: 850 Grand Ave – 1.6 miles from campus

Located on Grand Avenue in St. Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood, this cafeteria-style eatery offers gourmet soups, salads, sandwiches and much more! While on the pricier side, their menu changes daily and offers great meat and vegetarian options. Some of their soups include chicken salsa chili, a vegetarian black bean chili, thai coconut soup, New England clam chowder and quinoa asparagus soup. Depending on size and ingredients, the soup ranges from $5 to $10 and comes with a choice of bread made in house. The soup pairs great with a small sized salad, which change daily but are always great (coming from someone who doesn’t enjoy eating salad!) Café Latte also offers spread plates, sandwiches and a pizza and wine bar, but their desserts really take the cake (hehe.) My favorite dessert is the three layer turtle chocolate cake, but other options include tres leches cake, mango and blueberry cheesecake, flourless chocolate torte, strawberry rhubarb crostata and a variety of cupcakes! While a little pricier, Café Latte can be accessed by public transit in only 9 minutes! (63 bus from Grand and Snelling)

3. Cecil’s Delicatessen ($)

Location: 651 Cleveland Ave S. – 2.2 miles from campus

Located in St. Paul’s Highland neighborhood, this kosher-style deli has great soups, sandwiches and burgers! Their homemade matzo ball soup will make you feel like you’re at your Jewish grandmother’s house for the holidays (or just happy, if you don’t have a Jewish grandmother.) Cecil’s also offers plain chicken soup, homemade chili and borscht. Their soups pair well with one of their delicious sandwiches that come in three sizes. They offer a variety of reubens (even a vegetarian one), and hot sandwiches such as tuna melts, pastrami, smoked turkey and roast beef sandwiches. If you really want to indulge in some classic Jewish delicatessen foods, Cecil’s offers homemade potato latkes and blintzes (crepes filled with sweet ricotta cheese). The front of the deli operates as a grocery store and sells homemade hamantaschen cookies year round! While it’s not the same as grandma’s house or a New York deli, Cecil’s comes pretty close (literally). It’s only a 19 minute ride on the 84 bus!

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