Saint Paul & Eastern Suburbs, Minnesota

Home of the Minnesota State Fair, realm of food-on-a-stick. Holly and I now live in Saint Paul itself.

128 Café
128 Cleveland Ave. N., Saint Paul, 55104
Last visit: Winter, 1998/1999

Someone shoehorned in an elegant restaurant into the basement of an apartment building, and it works! Somewhat pricey, but a moderately formal atmosphere and delightful food combine beautifully. I recommend paying the dollar for valet parking, since all the streets around it are permit-only.

Abetto’s Pizzeria and Deli
560 Como Ave., Saint Paul, 55103
Last visit: October, 1999

Holly has decided that Abetto's is her favorite local pizza place. The spices they use are perfect, and they cut her pizza into squares. They aso have speedy delivery! We have had two recent experiences which weren't so nice, but we'll withhold judgement one more time.

The Best Steak House
1676 White Bear Ave. N., Saint Paul, 55106
Last visit: June, 1999

Another chain, but this is the one I frequent the most. The lunchtime special is the Steakburger, grilled, with sides of texas toast, a baked potato, and a small salad. With a glass of water, this costs less than five dollars. Not a bad lunch deal at all. The gyros are also good, since it is run by a couple of Greek fellows. They have other specials from time to time.

Café Latté
850 Grand Ave., Saint Paul, 55105
Last visit: Winter, 1998/1999

Think Yuppie Cafeteria and you get the idea. The deserts are excellent, the sandwiches pretty good...but it is all done with trays, you seat yourself, and so on. Not bad.

Carbone’s Pizza Inc.
680 7th St. E., Saint Paul, 55106
Last visit: May, 1999

This is a chain, but I visit this one most frequently. A half-order of cheese bread and a small pizza is enough for two people. The food may seem greasey to some, but it sure has flavor! Don't expect to sit very far from the smoking section.

Cherokee Sirloin Room
886 Smith Ave. S., West Saint Paul, 55118
Last visit: 1998

You can get an excellent lunch special of prime rib with a small salad and baked potato. Inexpensive, but very good!

Christos Greek Restaurant
214 4th St. E., Saint Paul, 55101 (The old train station waiting room)
Last visit: October, 1999

This is inspired urban renewal: Take a huge, old train station's waiting room and renovate it into a home for restaurants. Christos sits in the middle of the waiting room on a raised platform; the bar is housed in the former ticket office. For lunch, they have an all-you-can-eat buffet, which has always been excellent. It is moderately pricey, but well worth the cost if you enjoy fine Greek food.

Dakota Bar & Grill
1021 Bandana Blvd. E., Bandana Square, Saint Paul, 55108
Last visit: Winter 1999

Live jazz! If that catches your attention, you'll like this place. Pretentious food! If that catches your attention, you'll like dining here. OK, maybe the food isn't that pretentious, but you may find items on the menu that you can't define. The wait staff are friendly, though, so you'll survive. If you get dinner reservations, you don't have to pay cover for the live music. If you try their Sunday brunch, a jazz trio will go from table to table, playing requested songs.

Bandana Square itself is well worth a visit. It is a small shopping mall in some old railroad car maintenance barns. There are tracks in the concrete floors, old engines and rolling stock outside, and the Twin City Model Railroad Museum's O-scale layout upstairs.

Gallivan’s Downtown Bar
354 Wabasha St. N., Saint Paul, 55102
Last visit: June, 1999

This restaurant dates from World War II, and I can easily imagine 1960s-era cocktail lunches in its cool, dark, wood-paneled rooms. For lunch, they have a modest menu with a fairly good variety. Reasonably priced, decent portions.

Gold Fountain Chinese Restaurant
2575 Fairview Ave., Roseville, 55113
Last visit: Spring, 1999

This is the best Chinese restaurant I've been to in our area. The meats are of high quality, the flavors excellent. If you live in Roseville or Como Park, give them a try.

John’s Pizza Café
622 Como Ave., Saint Paul, 55103
Last visit: Spring, 1999

They have slow delivery, upwards of 45 minutes. They aren't cheap. But if you are wanting exotic toppings, including various sauces, you must give them a try. John's...where "extra cheese" means "what kind?"

Key’s Café and Bakery
1682 Lexington Ave., Roseville,
Last visit: October, 1999

This is the nearest to us of a chain of restaurants in the Twin Cities area. They have large portions, well-priced, and will accomodate you if they can. One time I asked for a rootbeer float, even though it wasn't on the menu, but they had rootbeer and ice cream...they made me a float. This is also the sort of place to go to if you like thick milkshakes it takes two people to finish.

The Lexington
1096 Grand Ave., Saint Paul, 55105
Last visit: Winter 1999

Nice restaurant, good food, but the last time we were there we got menus from three different times: a lunch menu from that day, a dinner menu from the day before, the rest were correct. Not as elegant as the St. Paul Grill, but worth a visit.

Lilly of the Valley
890 E. 7th St., Saint Paul, 55106
Last visit: July, 1999

This place is right across the street from where I work. The egg-rolls are the best thing, although the buffet isn't bad. There are better Vietnamese restaurants, though none within walking distance.

The Little Oven (formerly The Italian Oven)
1786 Minnehaha Ave. E., Saint Paul, 55119
Last visit: June, 1999

This is a fun place, with a great lunch menu, and yummy Italian food. They also have popovers, if you need a fix. For a good but inexpensive lunch, give it a try.

Moscow on the Hill
371 Selby Ave., Saint Paul, 55102
Last visit: 1997?

I had only the one visit, but it is a neat place, with outside dining in a courtyard during the warm months. I didn't like the Russian tea too needs the jam for sweetning. But it is a different culture.

Savoy Red’s Pizza
421 E. 7th St., Saint Paul, 55101
Last visit: June, 1999

When we want a treat at work, we order a pizza for carryout from Red's. They are flavorful, some of the best pizza around.

St. Paul Grill
350 Market St., Saint Paul, 55102
Last visit: Winter, 1999

Located in the St. Paul Hotel, and facing Rice street park, the St. Paul Grill has excellent food in beautiful settings, with large picture windows allowing diners to gaze at the park. This is an expensive restaurant, and if you want to make dinner reservations prior to an opera performance, you'd better book them months in advance.

W. A. Frost & Co.
374 Selby Ave., Saint Paul, 55102
Last visit: 1998

I've been here once, for a business lunch. Excellent food, beautiful architecture...this place is a feast for your eyes as well as your palate.

This page last updated on Wednesday, November 10, 1999.
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