hungry weekend in Minneapolis
June 29, 2009 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Minneapolis: Hip, delicious, adventurous and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Also, bars that know how to make a good cocktail.

My hotel is at 8th and Marquette. Planning 1 day at Mall of America, and 1 day at Walker. Any recommendations around these sites appreciated.
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Lol. Nothing good around the mall, IMHO. Walker is close-ish to Uptown, and there are some pretty cool restaurants there. Pizza Lucé (there are many locations, including 1 downtown and 1 uptown) has a reputable array of vegetarian options. I'm blanking on specifics right now but I am confident that most places in MSP have vegetarian options, especially the nicer, trendier places. Some trendy places: Chino Latino (best for big groups), Figlio, Stella's Fish Café, Psycho Suzie's motorlounge.
posted by ShadePlant at 10:28 AM on June 29, 2009

Vegetarian is pretty easy. Try Lucia's as well in the uptown area. Birchwood Cafe in the Seward area is another good choice. If you are into Ethiopian then Fasika on Snelling has good vegetarian options.

The Sample Room is another good choice with many a fine brew on tap. I like the neighborhood feel of Cafe Citizen which has some very good dishes and a nice patio.

Really, being a vegetarian is not too hard in the Twin Cities though vegan may prove somewhat troublesome though there are plenty of co-ops that have takeaway such as, the Wedge.
posted by jadepearl at 10:33 AM on June 29, 2009

Masa is at 11th & Nicollette - about 3 blocks from your hotel. Fantastic mexican food, wonderful cocktails. Cannot recommend it enough

Ike's is excellent, but a burger bar - no decent veg, but great cocktails and ambience

The Walker is mid way between downtown (your hotel) and uptown. There are some excellent, funky, fun restaurants in Uptown, easy drive/cab ride from the Walker. try Chino Latino , really,
- funky, great atmosphere. Barbette is one of my favs, but not sure about veg options.
posted by darsh at 10:37 AM on June 29, 2009

Cafe Brenda! (downtown)
posted by Malla at 11:09 AM on June 29, 2009

Seconding Cafe Brenda as an upscale, walkable option for you. My partner and I are both vegan and have lived here for more than a year; we've actually found MSP to be more vegan friendly than parts of California. If you get over to Uptown, Namaste Cafe has lots of vegan and vegetarian Indian options, though not so authentic. The Himalayan on Franklin has a few vegetarian dishes and their momos are vegan. Jasmine Deli on Nicollet Ave should have some good Vietnamese fare for you.

However, my personal favorite for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can't beat French Meadow Cafe on Lyndale--this should be commutable via bus.
posted by thenewbrunette at 11:18 AM on June 29, 2009

Oh! Also, you should check out the Guthrie Theatre for nothing less than the architecture and try Spoonriver, right next door. The chef/creator is the same as Cafe Brenda.
posted by thenewbrunette at 11:20 AM on June 29, 2009

Minneapolis is really a fantastic food and cocktail city and I miss living there. The Midwest board on chowhound is usually overrun with Twin Citizens so I would highly recommend browsing the archives for downtown and uptown suggestions (or post your question there, you're sure to get responses.) A good casual spot that hasn't been mentioned is Galactic Pizza, they do delicious creative pizzas (and pastas) with veggie options available. Somewhat off the beaten path but near the downtown/uptown area is Evergreen Chinese restaurant, they are known for their fantastic selection of vegan and vegetarian options (including some really great fake meat and seafood dishes)

A fun place to drink in Uptown is the Bryant Lake Bowl, its a nice restaurant and bar with a bowling alley and a theater space, all in the same building.

Lake Street in general is a great place to find authentic Mexican food and the like (although you'll probably have trouble getting truly vegetarian Mexican food, you know, beans NOT cooked with lard, etc.) The Midtown Global Market on lake st. is a fun newish indoor market with lots of different food vendors from around the world and other things to buy as well.

The ethiopian place, Fasika, was mentioned above. It's going to be a bit out of your way in St. Paul but it is freaking fantastic.

The Mall of America is way out in the suburbs so i don't have any words of wisdom there. Again, there's probably something on chowhound.
posted by dahliachewswell at 11:59 AM on June 29, 2009

Ecopolitan (raw food) may be a fun place to eat if you don't want to be anywhere near meat. I haven't been there myself but it seems to get good reviews.
posted by lakeroon at 12:12 PM on June 29, 2009

+1s for French Meadow, Midtown Global Market, Birchwood, Jasmine Deli, and Evergreen. The latter two are dives, but they are amazing. Since you asked for hip: Seward Cafe is pretty hippie and crust-punky. If you can roll with that, their brunches and sandwiches are kickass.

Closer to you, there's a damn good veggie burger at Wilde Roast Cafe. Extra adventurous and also in Uptown, so nearish the Walker, is Ecopolitan on Lyndale. It's all raw vegan food; the toastadas are my favorite, and strawberry mint limeade if they have it.
posted by clavicle at 12:17 PM on June 29, 2009

As others have said, you are going to have not too hard of a time in the Downtown/Uptown areas (Walker kind of straddles Downtown and Uptown), and the Mall is going to be hard. Cafe Brenda is kind of the go-to Veggie option downtown, though I have to say I find their food bland (probably because they don't over salt it, like every other restaurant, but I do find it bland). Near the Walker, I might point you to Bar/Cafe Lurcat, just over the bridge from the sculpture garden in Loring Park.

I think you might have better luck with eating in the Mall of America than outside. There is a crepe stand somewhere on the second floor and the California Grill on the 3rd floor is acceptable. I'd fully skip the crap on the 4th floor and the "food court" areas.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:23 PM on June 29, 2009

One of my favorite places is Victors 1959 Cafe, cuban food. Most options arent vegitatian but I dont eat meat and got by fine, breakfast menu is my favorite.
posted by nzydarkxj at 4:01 PM on June 29, 2009

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