Every morning, the bakers at Solomon's Bakery set their alarms to wake up before the rest of Uptown Minneapolis. As the sun slowly rises into the sky, they work diligently to create the loaves, pastries, and cakes that have made their bakery a popular stop on morning commutes since 2012.
Their secret—besides the dedication it takes to stare down a baguette until it cooks—lies in their organic ingredients, which find their way into everything from pumpernickel bread to fruit horns topped with Bavarian cream. Besides breads and pastries, Solomon's specializes in fresh, made-to-order juices.
How does a small Middle Eastern deli end up with a city holiday named after it? Well, as Wajdi Wadi learned, the first step is to make the venture a family affair. When he moved to America from Kuwait, Wajdi brought with him his grandfather's century-old recipe for pita bread. He also brought his mother and father, who contributed memorable personalities and cooking expertise to Wajdi's new business, known as Holy Land. The trio worked tirelessly to establish Holy Land's place as a welcoming, authentic venue?one where you could find Halal meats, crispy falafel, and creamy hummus.
Holy Land really started growing when Wajdi's brother Majdi joined the business. Majdi's marketing background helped the family launch multiple expansions and earned them the aforementioned holiday: August 21, 2002, known in Minneapolis as Holy Land Bakery and Deli Day. The family has since seen the rise of their very own hummus factory, and distributed their products to grocery stores throughout the state of Minnesota. Their deli location, meanwhile, remains committed to old-world cuisine, from tender lamb kebabs to sweet baklava.
North Minneapolis is nowhere near the Mexican border, but you wouldn't know that from the cheesy enchiladas and fish tacos at Pico de Gallo. This place may be named for tomato salsa, but its menu makes room for dozens of other traditional Mexican dishes that run the gamut from mild to fiery. And these guys don't skimp when it comes to washing down meals, blending strawberries and bananas into smoothies or squeezing juice from carrots with their bare hands.
Subway tiles and a tin ceiling line the cozy confines of Maeve’s Cafe, where friendly servers zip sandwiches and salads to tables populated by neighborhood regulars. The checkerboard floor and vintage decor elements evoke nostalgic memories of childhood trips to train stations, malt shops, and Bobby Fischer’s castle. The staffers aim to cultivate a similar feeling of wonder with made-to-order comfort fare, which ranges from small, shareable plates of prosciutto and olives to breakfast bagels and hearty paninis oozing with cheddar, brie, or gruyere. Hot espresso and cold-press coffee compete for the honor of raising sleepy eyelids, and sweet italian sodas refresh palates with effervescent fizz.
Born in Vietnam and raised in the United States by Chinese parents, chef Nina Wong has always infused her dishes with a variety of Asian tastes. After marrying Thomas Gnanapragasam—a third-generation Malaysian of Indian descent—Wong discovered more unique flavors to integrate into her signature sauces and syrups. Originally opened in 2005, Chin Dian Café channels the pair's unique backgrounds through Asian soups, salads, and noodle and rice dishes, even offering some gluten-free options. Popular dishes, such as chow mai fun and chicken-and-chive dumplings, keep patrons rolling in and have earned the restaurant media acclaim from the Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, and the dictionary.