There are a variety of restaurants serving tasty, authentic cuisine from around the world, including Thai (I’m looking at you, Sawatdee), Japanese, Latin American, Middle Eastern, French, Greek, German, and Vietnamese. Wherever you decide to stay in the Twin Cities, you won’t be far from great global eats in Minneapolis.
Black Forest Inn
1 East 26th Street, Minneapolis;
Phone (612) 872-0812
A local favorite since 1965, the Black Forest Inn celebrates German cuisine. I love their freshly made spaetzel, schnitzels, and homemade wurst. Of particular interest in summer is the garden – a green oasis of calm in a busy city. Sit back with a mug of your favorite beer, and all is right with the world. The Black Forest Inn is part of EATSTREET – a mile and a half of great restaurants on Nicollet Ave.
737 N Snelling Ave, St Paul;
Phone (651) 917-8832
Craving Turkish food? Head to the Black Sea near Hamline University (there’s also a location in White Bear Lake). It’s small, friendly, and full of incredibly delicious, authentic Turkish cuisine. While most love the Doner, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu (including the Turkish coffee, oh yes). This is the first (and only) Turkish restaurant in Minnesota.
1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis;
Phone (612) 332-3908
Brit’s Pub is more than fish & chips and good beer. It’s an authentically decorated pub (think dark wood, interesting signs, classical British Pub menu), PLUS. What’s the plus? Head to the rooftop and you’ll find lawn bowling on the English Garden Park, complete with a large (10,000 sq ft!), flat, lushly green lawn, fun pint holders, and outdoor seating. Brit’s is a hidden oasis in downtown Minneapolis, and one of my favorite places to hang out – and get a taste of Britain.
El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St. #2, St Paul;
Phone (651) 227-2192
Nestled in the back of a Mexican grocery store is an authentic Mexican eatery. Cafeteria-style, move down the line – the helpful staff puts your meal together with your input. More beans and rice? Yes, please. Jalapenos? No, but indeed, more cilantro. Everything is delicious. When you’re done, meander the grocery store and take authentic treats home.
TIBETAN | NEPALESE | INDIAN
Everest on Grand
1278 Grand Ave., St Paul;
Phone (651) 696-1666
Everest on Grand serves up flavorful cuisine from Nepal, Tibet, and India. The momos are the best dumplings you will EVER have. The samosas, curries, and masalas are authentic, delicious, and definitely will whisk you away to the Himalayas.
791 Raymond Ave., St. Paul;
You know, the usual story…midwestern chef studies in NYC under an Israeli chef, returns home with a love for falafel and a passion for local, organic sourcing. At the restaurant and the food truck, you can find foxy falafel, curry falafel, beet falafel, a stoplight of all three flavors, and more (think shawarma, gyros, lamb burgers). The sides are tasty, and include house made pickles. What I love are the sauces – cucumber mint yogurt, green tahini, or spicy harissa. Swoon.
422 University Ave. West, St Paul;
Named by CNN as one of the 50 best Chinese restaurants in the whole US, Little Szechuan is also one of my favorite places to satisfy a craving. There are two locations for this very popular restaurant. No matter which location, you’re sure to love the food. Be sure to state you like it hot if you like it hot – my husband loved his hot entrée, noting “finally, someone got the heat right!” Meanwhile, for us zero-flames kind of folks, you can order that, too.
Midtown Global Market
920 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis;
Can’t decide amongst yourselves which sort of global eats you want? Visit Midtown Global Market. You’ll find shops, groceries, and international restaurants of all types. When you’re done, wander around until you’re hungry again.
Punch Neapolitan Pizza
704 Cleveland Ave. S, St Paul;
If you’re craving the taste of pizza from Naples, head to one of Punch’s 9 metro area locations. The welcome is warm, the oven is even warmer. All the pizzas here are baked in an 800 degree wood fired oven. Top the secret recipe dough with a tasty tomato sauce, fresh herbs, fresh mozzarella, and whatever other bits you love, and you’ll be in gustatory delight. Note: you will fight over the flame-blackened blisters, because they are so crunchy and good. Work fast to get yours – it’s worth the hot fingers.
2719 Nicollet Ave. Minneapolis;
Another EATSTREET favorite, Quang’s has been my go-to for years. But it’s hard to choose between pho and banh mi. Not in the mood for soup or a sandwich? Try the vermicelli salads, served with plenty of fresh herbs and a variety of grilled meats (beef, pork, meatballs, shrimp, or tofu) – be sure to add an extra eggroll for crunch. All are served with a variety of sauces, including hot hot hot!