Saint Dinette: The cheeseburger and bologna sandwich will get you in the door, but chef Adam Eaton’s beautifully composed, flavor-packed small plates will keep you coming back.
Big River Pizza: They call it Minne-politan pizza: Neapolitan-style, wood-fired pizza made with Minnesota-grown ingredients. Try the Market Veggie with flavors from the St. Paul Farmers Market or the Land of 10,000 Leeks—thinly sliced potato-and-leek pizza with Gruyère and chive oil.
Joy: Finally, St. Paul is the home of “big deal” restaurant openings. From Pajarito to the Lexington, it’s a great time to explore the city’s new eats.
Gray Duck Tavern: Chef Don Gonzales, formerly of Forepaugh’s, does globally inspired comfort cuisine, from spicy, Chinese-style fried-chicken bits to a serious entry into the Twin Cities burger pantheon. Cocktails such as the charred-peach Old Fashioned have made Gray Duck Tavern my new favorite happy-hour spot.
Afro Deli: How I lived all these years without Somali spiced tea in my life is a mystery. Think of it as a cousin to Chai: milky, fragrant, sweet, and delicious. I adore the variety served at the downtown St. Paul location of Afro Deli and appreciate the crowd-pleasing menu that includes the mild, creamy chicken fantastic, a good caesar salad, and decadently flaky fried sambusas.