These new joints won’t disappoint. From donuts topped with Korean short rib, to crepe cakes with 25 layers, these restaurants will challenge all you thought you knew about deliciousness.
Hi Lo Diner ($$) – 4020 E Lake St, Minneapolis – Distance from campus: 2.8 miles
An original 1957 Fodero Diner travelled from Gibsonia, PA to Minneapolis, MN to continue a great American tradition! This diner is fantastic. I really and truly recommend it. Located over the bridge on Lake Street, this place has a cool retro feel and outside seating in the summer! If you like food that thinks outside of the box, this is the place for you! Their signature item is a hi-top, which is fried dough topped with sweet and savory flavors. Shaped like a donut, the hi-tops are served in a variety of ways. My favorite is the Yum yum yum, which is topped with braised Korean short rib, simple glaze, apple-bacon slaw, and wasabi microgreens. It’s so good.
If you’re in the mood for sweet and salty, try the Gary Cooper which comes with buttermilk fried chicken, maple-bourbon syrup, country gravy and micro arugula. If you’re craving just sweet, go for the venus pie trap, which is topped with Baked apples, creamy sea salt caramel, simple glaze crème fraîche and candied pecans.
If dinner on top of a donut isn’t doing it for you, don’t fret … Hi Lo has tons of other options. Try the crispy chicken sandwich, the lavender-crème brûlée French toast, the chicken dumpling pot pie or the lox benedict. If you’re really feeling wild, give one of the ice cream cocktails a try (made with Sebastian Joe’s products).
Mucci’s Italian ($$) – 786 Randolph Ave, St Paul – Distance from campus: 2.4 miles
This new restaurant located in St. Paul has been receiving lots of hype recently … and it’s not undeserved. This cozy, red-sauce restaurant offers fried pizzas (!!!), fresh pastas and even donuts! This unpretentious neighborhood eatery will bring you back to simpler times, and is one of the few good Italian restaurants in the area (coming from a pretentious Bostonian Italian food lover). If you have a more mature palate, try the Kenzi-Jo pizza which is topped with creme fraiche, pears, pecans, pancetta, mozzarella and red wine reduction. If you have simpler tastes, no need to worry! Try the Jane, which is topped with red sauce and mozzarella, or the Audrey, which adds pepperoni. The best (or worst, depending on your taste) part of these pizzas is that their crust is DEEP FRIED. It’s awesome. If you’re more of a pasta lover like myself, try the Lasagna which is made with “layers of love,” the ravioli verde which comes with chevre, ricotta, spring vegetables and brown butter, or the simple spaghetti which comes with red sauce and meatballs. Everything here is good. You simply cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. But you will go wrong if you don’t order dessert.
Black Coffee and Waffle Bar ($) – Corner of Marshall Ave and Cretin Ave – Distance from campus: 1.8 miles
This sweet (literally) coffee shop isn’t new to the Twin Cities, but they will soon be opening in St. Paul! If you like breakfast, come here. Their waffles are creative and delicious, and while I am not a coffee drinker, I have heard it is superb. I’ll stick to what I know, and tell you about their fantastic waffles. My personal favorite is the S’more, which is topped with chocolate chips, marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate drizzle.
My runner up is the Fat Andrew, which is served with peanut butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon, bananas and whipped cream. If you like sweet and savory, order the One Bad Pig, which is topped ham and swiss. If you’re not a coffee drinker, you will not leave here thirsty! Try the strawberry basil, mint or rose lemonade. This is a classic new-to-the-neighborhood, hip coffee joint. I’ve had better breakfast, but this is a great weekend spot that will soon be more accessible to Mac students!