Since 1941, every morning at breakfast time a flock of patrons descends on cottage-like Our Kitchen. Once seated, diners are rewarded with stacks of pancakes and cheesy omelets served with crispy hash browns. The establishment keeps feeding crowds throughout the day with burgers, sandwiches, and Nathan's Famous hot dogs—best known for their use during the annual July 4 hot-dog beauty pageant.
Dishes from all across Asia make appearances on My Huong Kitchen's menu. The chefs spoon up spicy helpings of pho, the traditional Vietnamese soup, and dress plates in hearty vermicelli noodle salads. Their spicy and savory flavors are complemented by sweet bubble teas filled with tapioca pearls—a treat originally from China—and crepes.
The culinary team at Common Roots Cafe believes that the best way to create a welcoming restaurant is to fully embrace local flavor in every sense of the word. Even the interior speaks to this mission—reclaimed barn wood makes up the dining room's floorboards and tabletops, the counter is composed of recycled cardboard, and the air is one-hundred percent Minnesotan. The overall effect is one of casual warmth, an atmosphere that makes the cafe an ideal spot for guests to chew on eclectic, yet accessible, cuisine and relax with a choice of 10 local craft beers.
The menu itself also bursts with hometown pride, highlighting local organic and sustainable ingredients. As much as half of the restaurant's food comes from farms located within 250 miles of Minneapolis, while some produce is picked right outside the door at the cafe's urban garden. And since the selection of ingredients alters with the seasons, the chefs adapt their dishes each month to showcase their fresh flavors. Previous offerings have included redfish tacos with jicama slaw, mac 'n' cheese with local cheddar, and house-made tagliatelle pasta topped with a hearty bison bolognese sauce. Bites are complemented with sips from a drink list featuring wines—many made from organic grapes—and local beers. And, in the unlikely event that diners leave any food on their plates, the scraps are carefully composted to continue the cafe's green production cycle.
Anodyne uses real dishes and compostable containers, and it only features coffee from top local roasters, including Peace Coffee, Great River Roasters, and MorningStar Coffee from Brazil and Mexico. The coffeehouse's breakfast menu features the specialty Anodyne oatmeal (organic oats cooked in apple cider with pears, wild rice, craisins, raisins, pecans, and brown sugar with half-and-half or soy milk, $4.85) and a variety of waffles, including banana-pecan ($6.25). The lunch and dinner menu includes everything from sandwiches to vegan selections. The grilled triple cheese is oozing with a trifecta of dairy bedded between two slices of multigrain and served with chips and a pickle ($5.50). To quash comfort food cravings, try the mac 'n' cheese, homemade with cheddar, swiss, and parmesan cheeses ($6.95), or vegan out with a vegan plate full of veggie chili, greens with balsamic, and grilled vegan cornbread ($6.75). Anodyne also serves Sebastian Joe's ice cream if your sweet teeth require sweet attention.
At The Tea Garden, the brewers can blend exactly 2,331,091 drink possibilities. Besides iced black or green tea, they whip up iced tea lattes or chai shakes, with or without sippable tapioca pearls or fruit jellies in flavors such as pineapple and green apple. If someone needs to warm up or seek vengeance upon the snow for covering their car, the tea experts can create hot tea lattes or simply brew a cup of tea with 1 of more than 50 loose-leaf tea varieties, most of which are fair trade and organic. Art from local artists adorns the walls at The Tea Garden, and on weekend nights, ears prick up at the sounds from a live DJ or jazz players.
The Nicollet’s exposed-brick walls and hardwood floors provide great acoustics for the small coffee shop’s true passion: live music. Fueled by mugs of oak-wood-roasted coffee and espresso alongside gourmet sandwiches, the venue hosts nightly musical events that put the spotlight on local jazz bands, salsa-dancing lessons, and kazoo quartets. The neighborhood café encourages community participation with open mic nights and public jam sessions.