In 1944, Reino Wuollet opened a small bakery where he prepared fresh bread each day. More than 65 years later, his humble shop has grown into six locations where 30 or so family members tinker over cakes, pastries, and pies. Wedding and other occasion cakes are one of their specialties; flavors such as chocolate mousse and Lady Baltimore can be coated with marzipan, buttercream frosting, or fondant in an impressive array of custom designs. Of course, they still bake breads: an international selection of loaves includes baguettes, challah, Swedish lympa, Irish soda bread, and buns shaped into busts of United Nations delegates.
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.
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.
The aroma of brewing organic, fair-trade coffee from Brazil wafts through the air at 50th Street Cafe during breakfast and lunch. Behind the breakfast counter, cooks work to reinvent classic breakfast dishes. They flip pancakes made with cookie dough and drizzle them with chocolate or add fresh mozzarella and basil-pesto hollandaise to unorthodox omelets. Farm-fresh eggs and housemade hash browns, early-morning staples, arrive alongside less traditional panko-battered walleye fillets. The griddle sizzles like a knight in shining armor left in a hot car, laden with half-pound patties of Cattleman’s Selection ground beef, which end up on thick-cut sourdough toast with Old Smokehouse bacon and melted swiss cheese. That heat is also reflected in the bright hues of yellow tile and orange accents as well as whimsical calico-patterned carpets. The staff at 50th Street Cafe works to reduce its collective carbon footprint by using recyclable materials.
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 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.