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Just a few snacks from Hmongtown Marketplace
Devan Grimsrud/Instagram

Explore These 8 Markets with Excellent Dining

The best grocery stores serving ramen, tacos, kebabs and more

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Just a few snacks from Hmongtown Marketplace
| Devan Grimsrud/Instagram

The Twin Cities are full of great indoor markets and grocery stores; many that cater to the immigrant communities in Minneapolis-St. Paul and their surrounding suburbs. These are ideal places grab dinner and groceries at the same time. From silken hummus to freshly pressed tofu, killer ramen to unlimited banchan, here are the best places to shop and dine in the Twin Cities.

—by Julie Zhou

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Loon Grocery

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More convenience store than grocery, this Uptown staple offers a surprisingly diverse selection of imported specialty snacks and candies, but the real draw are the gyros and falafel. Fried to order and shatteringly crisp, both come with a mountain of chopped veggies —shredded lettuce, cucumber, onions, tomato, jalapeno—and a generous drizzle of housemade tahini sauce. Get it heaped over rice pilaf or tucked into a pillowy pita, and don’t forget the napkins.

Ground zero for Uptown gyros
Loon Grocery & Deli/Facebook

Andale Taqueria & Mercado

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With a specialty bakery, butcher shop, and cold deli attached to a large selection of produce and grocery items, this Mexican restaurant and marketplace is worth the trek to Richfield. At the counter-service restaurant, order some of the best tamales and tortas in the city. Whatever you pick, top it off with a selection of their housemade salsas: from a fresh, smoked-jalapeno version, to a creamy, rich avocado salsa, to the eye-wateringly hot chile de arbol.

Shopping is better with a taco in hand
Yelp

Dong Yang Oriental Food

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A Korean grocery store located in Columbia Heights, Dong Yang’s aisles are crammed with imported snacks, shelf-stable condiments and spices, and a huge selection of rice and packaged noodles. At the small deli attached to the store, a rotating selection of banchan start your meal: vinegary daikon, kimchi, soy-braised spinach, bean sprouts drizzled with toasted sesame oil. Order the dolsot bibimbap and get a heated stone bowl of crisped rice, salt-pickled vegetables, and a fried egg still sizzling when it reaches the table.

Dong Yang doesn’t skimp on the flavor
Yelp

Holy Land

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With products sold in every major grocery chain in the Twin Cities, Holy Land is no hidden secret. But at their brick and mortar market in Northeast, they sell more than just the Holy Land classics. In addition, you’ll find aisles of fresh produce, a meat counter, a wide selection of specialty groceries, and a counter-service restaurant with an extensive menu of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

Gyro from HolyLand Deli
Joy Summers/Eater Twin Cities

United Noodles

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United Noodle might be best known for the large bags of dumplings and steamed buns always available in their freezer section, somehow perpetually half-price. But the expansive Asian grocery store offers more than just pre-made foods. Find imported condiments, hand-pulled noodles, fresh produce, a meat and fish counter, and UniDeli; an in-store restaurant serving sushi, curries, and bowls of ramen in a silken, housemade pork broth.

All the hard-to-find Asian goodies and a stack of dumplings
United Noodles/Facebook

Caspian Bistro and Gourmet Marketplace

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At this Persian grocery store near the University of Minnesota, sweets are king. The market offers a wide variety of imported cookies, dates, yogurts, and made on site pastries. At the cafe in the back of the store, there are enough options for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. From charbroiled kebabs to herbed grape leaves, all entrees come with velvety hummus, saffron-spiked basmati rice, grilled tomatoes, and warm pita.

A full meal at Caspian Bistro
Caspian Bistro/Facebook

Hmongtown Marketplace

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Situated in several large warehouses in St. Paul, the bulk of the Hmongtown Marketplace houses an indoor/outdoor green market and stalls with vendors selling everything from clothing to ceramics to imported snacks and dry goods. But nestled in a back corner is a can’t-miss food court: searingly spicy-sour papaya salad, balls of vermicelli waiting to be dunked into simmering pork broth, duck rubbed with chili and herbs and roasted until golden-brown and crackling.

One of the best places to shop and snack in St. Paul
Hmongtown Marketplace/Facebook

Ha Tien Super Market

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Housed in a former Lunds & Byerly’s on Suburban Ave in St. Paul, Ha Tien offers a well-curated selection of fresh meat and produce, as well as a refrigerated section with freshly made noodles, dumplings, tofu and vegan meats, and more. The market’s deli offers an extensive hot bar for lunch, as well as a wide selection of banh mi on airy, crisp baguettes from their in-house bakery. Order the Thai sausage and laarb, or the roast pork and sticky rice--and don’t forget to ask for extra jalapeños.

Loon Grocery

Ground zero for Uptown gyros
Loon Grocery & Deli/Facebook

More convenience store than grocery, this Uptown staple offers a surprisingly diverse selection of imported specialty snacks and candies, but the real draw are the gyros and falafel. Fried to order and shatteringly crisp, both come with a mountain of chopped veggies —shredded lettuce, cucumber, onions, tomato, jalapeno—and a generous drizzle of housemade tahini sauce. Get it heaped over rice pilaf or tucked into a pillowy pita, and don’t forget the napkins.

Ground zero for Uptown gyros
Loon Grocery & Deli/Facebook

Andale Taqueria & Mercado

Shopping is better with a taco in hand
Yelp

With a specialty bakery, butcher shop, and cold deli attached to a large selection of produce and grocery items, this Mexican restaurant and marketplace is worth the trek to Richfield. At the counter-service restaurant, order some of the best tamales and tortas in the city. Whatever you pick, top it off with a selection of their housemade salsas: from a fresh, smoked-jalapeno version, to a creamy, rich avocado salsa, to the eye-wateringly hot chile de arbol.

Shopping is better with a taco in hand
Yelp

Dong Yang Oriental Food

Dong Yang doesn’t skimp on the flavor
Yelp

A Korean grocery store located in Columbia Heights, Dong Yang’s aisles are crammed with imported snacks, shelf-stable condiments and spices, and a huge selection of rice and packaged noodles. At the small deli attached to the store, a rotating selection of banchan start your meal: vinegary daikon, kimchi, soy-braised spinach, bean sprouts drizzled with toasted sesame oil. Order the dolsot bibimbap and get a heated stone bowl of crisped rice, salt-pickled vegetables, and a fried egg still sizzling when it reaches the table.

Dong Yang doesn’t skimp on the flavor
Yelp

Holy Land

Gyro from HolyLand Deli
Joy Summers/Eater Twin Cities

With products sold in every major grocery chain in the Twin Cities, Holy Land is no hidden secret. But at their brick and mortar market in Northeast, they sell more than just the Holy Land classics. In addition, you’ll find aisles of fresh produce, a meat counter, a wide selection of specialty groceries, and a counter-service restaurant with an extensive menu of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

Gyro from HolyLand Deli
Joy Summers/Eater Twin Cities

United Noodles

All the hard-to-find Asian goodies and a stack of dumplings
United Noodles/Facebook

United Noodle might be best known for the large bags of dumplings and steamed buns always available in their freezer section, somehow perpetually half-price. But the expansive Asian grocery store offers more than just pre-made foods. Find imported condiments, hand-pulled noodles, fresh produce, a meat and fish counter, and UniDeli; an in-store restaurant serving sushi, curries, and bowls of ramen in a silken, housemade pork broth.

All the hard-to-find Asian goodies and a stack of dumplings
United Noodles/Facebook

Caspian Bistro and Gourmet Marketplace

A full meal at Caspian Bistro
Caspian Bistro/Facebook

At this Persian grocery store near the University of Minnesota, sweets are king. The market offers a wide variety of imported cookies, dates, yogurts, and made on site pastries. At the cafe in the back of the store, there are enough options for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. From charbroiled kebabs to herbed grape leaves, all entrees come with velvety hummus, saffron-spiked basmati rice, grilled tomatoes, and warm pita.

A full meal at Caspian Bistro
Caspian Bistro/Facebook

Hmongtown Marketplace

One of the best places to shop and snack in St. Paul
Hmongtown Marketplace/Facebook

Situated in several large warehouses in St. Paul, the bulk of the Hmongtown Marketplace houses an indoor/outdoor green market and stalls with vendors selling everything from clothing to ceramics to imported snacks and dry goods. But nestled in a back corner is a can’t-miss food court: searingly spicy-sour papaya salad, balls of vermicelli waiting to be dunked into simmering pork broth, duck rubbed with chili and herbs and roasted until golden-brown and crackling.

One of the best places to shop and snack in St. Paul
Hmongtown Marketplace/Facebook

Ha Tien Super Market

Housed in a former Lunds & Byerly’s on Suburban Ave in St. Paul, Ha Tien offers a well-curated selection of fresh meat and produce, as well as a refrigerated section with freshly made noodles, dumplings, tofu and vegan meats, and more. The market’s deli offers an extensive hot bar for lunch, as well as a wide selection of banh mi on airy, crisp baguettes from their in-house bakery. Order the Thai sausage and laarb, or the roast pork and sticky rice--and don’t forget to ask for extra jalapeños.

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