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Eight Must Try Global Eateries Along Central Ave

By Theresa Swaney Northeast Minneapolis has always been a hotbed for immigrants, from Eastern Europeans to today’s diverse populations.

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Yesterday’s sausages, pierogies, and cabbage rolls have transformed into todays tacos, kabobs, and kimchi as the worldly cuisine of Central Avenue has expanded. If you are looking to explore exotic flavors without leaving the comfort of Minneapolis, a 6-mile stretch along is a great place to start. Take a deep breath, put on your stretchy pants, and get ready to eat the world.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Aki's Bread Haus

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2506 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 578-7897
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New along Central Ave, Aki’s specializes in German-style baked goods, including rolls, pretzels, and specialty items like potato and wild rice bread. There is also coffee from Sweetwater Roasters wrapped up in a fresh, modern atmosphere. Located next to Fair State Brewing Cooperative, this little section of Central Ave is a gluten-lover’s paradise.

2. Dong Yang Oriental Foods

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735 45th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55421
Dong Yang’s is the jackpot for food explorers. Tucked away in the back of a Korean grocery store, in an unassuming strip mall, this little gem of an eatery serves authentic Korean stews, grilled meats and rice bowls. All arrive quickly: hot, spicy, and delicious. Order at the counter, take a seat, and enjoy waiting as the sights, sounds, and smells of Korea waft out of the kitchen. [Photo courtesy Yelp]

3. El Taco Riendo

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2412 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 781-3000
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El Taco Riendo means the laughing taco, but these are some seriously good eats. With 13 different varieties of meats and everything from tacos and quesadillas to tortas and empanadas, options are nearly endless. No matter what you choose, your plate will be filled to the brim with freshly cooked ingredients; topped with onions, cheeses, salsas, and cremas. [Photo courtesy El Taco Riendo Facebook Page]

4. Sen Yai Sen Lek

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2422 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 781-3046
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Sen Yai Sen Lek blends traditional Thai cuisine with a contemporary atmosphere and a focus on local and sustainable products. Enjoying pulling apart sticky rice with Issan-style dishes like Som Tum (spicy green papaya salad) and Laab (seasoned chopped chicken or pork). Or delve into their Bangkok-style noodles and curries. Either way be sure to order a local beer to keep your mouth cool. [Photo courtesy Sen Yai Sen Lek Facebook Page]

5. Chimborazo

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2851 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
MN, 55421
(612) 788-1328
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There is much to love about Chimborazo. The simple, home-cooked Ecuadorian food is hearty and loaded with tons of cilantro. Their llapingachos (cheese-filled potato pancakes) will have you longing for a Ecuadorian grandmother. The tres leches cake will make you wish you didn’t eat so many llapingachos. If you are up for unique treat, try some Inca Cola, a bubblegum flavored Peruvian soda.

6. Crescent Moon Bakery

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2339 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 782-0169
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Crescent Moon’s Afghani pizza is a magical thing. The soft dough is topped with cheese, your choice of meats and veggies, and baked into a gooey football-shaped delight. The best part is the spicy green sauce you can squirt liberally over your pizza. They have a full menu of other Middle Eastern and Central Asian eats, but who can resist a spicy, football shaped pizza? [Photo courtesy Crescent Moon Foods]

7. Filfilah Restaurant & Market

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4301 Central Ave NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
(763) 781-2222
Filfillah might have a funny name, but their food is serious as a Minnesota winter. Located in Columbia Heights, this traditional Turkish fare includes crunchy-soft falafels, succulent kebabs to shwarma plates to tangy yogurt sauce. Pack away a pile fresh baked lavash bread or homemade baklava for your trip home. [Photo courtesy Filfilah Market]

8. Maya Cuisine

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1840 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 789-0775
Stepping into Maya Cuisine feels like stepping straight into a Mexican bungalow with brightly colored walls, exposed brick and wood accents. Even better than their decor is their food, including homemade corn tortillas tacos that are topped with juicy meats, veggies, onions, and cilantro. Stop by for quick lunch and or a night out enjoying cold beers and margaritas. [Photo courtesy Maya Cuisine]

1. Aki's Bread Haus

2506 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
New along Central Ave, Aki’s specializes in German-style baked goods, including rolls, pretzels, and specialty items like potato and wild rice bread. There is also coffee from Sweetwater Roasters wrapped up in a fresh, modern atmosphere. Located next to Fair State Brewing Cooperative, this little section of Central Ave is a gluten-lover’s paradise.
2506 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

2. Dong Yang Oriental Foods

735 45th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55421
Dong Yang’s is the jackpot for food explorers. Tucked away in the back of a Korean grocery store, in an unassuming strip mall, this little gem of an eatery serves authentic Korean stews, grilled meats and rice bowls. All arrive quickly: hot, spicy, and delicious. Order at the counter, take a seat, and enjoy waiting as the sights, sounds, and smells of Korea waft out of the kitchen. [Photo courtesy Yelp]
735 45th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55421

3. El Taco Riendo

2412 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
El Taco Riendo means the laughing taco, but these are some seriously good eats. With 13 different varieties of meats and everything from tacos and quesadillas to tortas and empanadas, options are nearly endless. No matter what you choose, your plate will be filled to the brim with freshly cooked ingredients; topped with onions, cheeses, salsas, and cremas. [Photo courtesy El Taco Riendo Facebook Page]
2412 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

4. Sen Yai Sen Lek

2422 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Sen Yai Sen Lek blends traditional Thai cuisine with a contemporary atmosphere and a focus on local and sustainable products. Enjoying pulling apart sticky rice with Issan-style dishes like Som Tum (spicy green papaya salad) and Laab (seasoned chopped chicken or pork). Or delve into their Bangkok-style noodles and curries. Either way be sure to order a local beer to keep your mouth cool. [Photo courtesy Sen Yai Sen Lek Facebook Page]
2422 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

5. Chimborazo

2851 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN, 55421
There is much to love about Chimborazo. The simple, home-cooked Ecuadorian food is hearty and loaded with tons of cilantro. Their llapingachos (cheese-filled potato pancakes) will have you longing for a Ecuadorian grandmother. The tres leches cake will make you wish you didn’t eat so many llapingachos. If you are up for unique treat, try some Inca Cola, a bubblegum flavored Peruvian soda.
2851 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
MN, 55421

6. Crescent Moon Bakery

2339 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Crescent Moon’s Afghani pizza is a magical thing. The soft dough is topped with cheese, your choice of meats and veggies, and baked into a gooey football-shaped delight. The best part is the spicy green sauce you can squirt liberally over your pizza. They have a full menu of other Middle Eastern and Central Asian eats, but who can resist a spicy, football shaped pizza? [Photo courtesy Crescent Moon Foods]
2339 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

7. Filfilah Restaurant & Market

4301 Central Ave NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Filfillah might have a funny name, but their food is serious as a Minnesota winter. Located in Columbia Heights, this traditional Turkish fare includes crunchy-soft falafels, succulent kebabs to shwarma plates to tangy yogurt sauce. Pack away a pile fresh baked lavash bread or homemade baklava for your trip home. [Photo courtesy Filfilah Market]
4301 Central Ave NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421

8. Maya Cuisine

1840 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Stepping into Maya Cuisine feels like stepping straight into a Mexican bungalow with brightly colored walls, exposed brick and wood accents. Even better than their decor is their food, including homemade corn tortillas tacos that are topped with juicy meats, veggies, onions, and cilantro. Stop by for quick lunch and or a night out enjoying cold beers and margaritas. [Photo courtesy Maya Cuisine]
1840 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

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