Restaurant Recommendations: St. Cloud

A basket of popovers.

photo by sarah and jason – flickr

Jason: One of Minnesota’s great river towns, St. Cloud has beautiful views of the Mississippi and the Sauk. The college community, with 16,000 students at St. Cloud State, has exciting food and brew scenes that are growing.

Anton’s: Nestled along the Sauk, this family-owned steakhouse has gorgeous views from the outdoor deck, along with a huge scotch selection and sophisticated wine list. Giant popovers come with every entrée, and don’t miss the herb-crusted “moonshine” sirloin with a horseradish/bourbon sauce. 2001 Frontage Rd. N., Waite Park

The White Horse: For 10 years, this scratch kitchen in downtown St. Cloud has served up burgers and salads as well as miso chili glaze tuna and aloo gobi. The first non-metro bar to serve Surly is also among the first to get the brewery’s new stuff. 809 W. St. Germain St.

Joy: I love discovering the history of an area through its long-running, family-owned restaurants. As much as St. Cloud is a college town, there are still a few spots where the neon signs blink.

Val’s Rapid Service: From the fantastic ’50s-era sign to the touch-screen ordering system, it’s no wonder this place has a cult following. Grab a double cheeseburger with a mountain of hot, fresh French fries. 628 E. St. Germain St.

Brigitte’s Cafe: For reasons I won’t go into, I’m usually in the market for a seriously hearty, regret-banishing breakfast when waking up in St. Cloud. A couple of German potato pancakes and a side of bacon are the cure. Also, the bright-yellow booths are glorious. 42 32nd Ave. S.