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Highland Grill is among a handful of superb St. Paul spots offering lunch for dine-in and takeout.
Highland Grill / Facebook

11 Excellent Lunch Destinations in Saint Paul

Street tacos, all-day french toast, pork belly pancakes and more

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Highland Grill is among a handful of superb St. Paul spots offering lunch for dine-in and takeout.
| Highland Grill / Facebook

Picture this: The sun sparkles overhead as co-workers gather for a real lunch break, in real life, with an actual server placing gorgeous salads and buttery bread on the patio table. Sounds almost surreal, doesn’t it?

With everything from affordable eats for under $10 to baller spreads and contemporary all-American, there is a midday meal location waiting just around every corner. Make lunch out a reality again this summer at these spots in St. Paul. (Ordering take-out or delivery? Remember to order directly from the restaurant whenever possible to help already-struggling businesses avoid fees from delivery services.)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cecil's Deli

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651 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116
(651) 698-0334
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This proper, old-school Jewish deli’s boxed lunches are iconic for a quick lunch grab. Pick up some picnic provisions from the well-stocked grocery section for the perfect midday break. 

2. French Meadow Bakery & Café

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1662 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 789-8870
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French Meadow was farm-to-table before the term became ubiquitous in hipster circles. The lovely patio beckons – and patrons are invited to bring along their pups for a sunny, breezy lunch date.

3. Highland Grill

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771 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116
(651) 690-1173
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The Blue Plate Restaurant Group is known for serving comfort on a plate. At their Cleveland Avenue location, indulge in breakfast all day. French toast topped with ooey-wgooey blueberry compote seems like a perfectly reasonable lunch in 2021. 

4. West Indies Soul Food

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1166 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 726-4120
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Chef Sharon Richards-Noel’s dishes are born of her roots in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Grenada. Items like jerk chicken and gumbo pack a flavorful punch yet remain accessible to all palates. Be sure and grab a couple of bottles of Chef’s specialty sauces. 

5. Maverick's Real Roast Beef

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1746 Lexington Ave N
Roseville, MN 55113
(651) 493-9672
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Maverick’s is a humble shop, serving loads of juicy meats on squishy soft buns from a strip mall store front in Roseville. It is beloved by families and shift workers alike, and while it is an iconic neighborhood spot, folks come from around the metro for its classic sandwiches and sides. 

6. Hamburguesas El Gordo

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927 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130
(651) 348-2484
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This casual spot serves street tacos, burritos, and burgers and hot dogs with a Mexican twist. The tiny local chain now boasts three Saint Paul locations where burgers come topped with anything from split hot dogs to grilled pineapples. For veggies, we recommend the soy meat burrito. 

Kim Ly Curry / Supplied

7. W. A. Frost and Company

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374 Selby Ave #1825
St Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-5715
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One of the most beautiful patios in the Twin Cities is finally reopened with a refresh of the menu from new Executive Chef Peter Drinan that’s full of poppy contemporary American dishes showcasing fresh vegetables – just in time for summer. 

8. Keg and Case Market

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928 7th St W
St Paul, MN 55102
(651) 443-6060
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They’re baaaaack. The West 7th food hall at the historic Schmidt Brewery grounds has reopened with a few new tenants like Woodfired Cantina in place of the former In Bloom and Purple Ice Cream where Sweet Science once lived. Try Rose Street Patisserie, one parking lot North, if lunch must include an award-winning pastry or four.  

9. Cossetta

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211 7th St W
St Paul, MN 55102
(651) 222-3476
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Like a fine Italian wine, Cossetta’s keeps getting better with age. While Louis Ristorante and Bar remains closed, Frank’s Levee Tavern has recently opened on the second floor, offering Italian street food and bar bites. No visit to St. Paul’s Little Italy is complete without a sweet treat from the stunning pasticceria.  

10. Hope Breakfast Bar

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1 S Leech St
St Paul, MN 55102
(651) 330-8996
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During the pandemic, Hope Breakfast Bar and its friendly neighbor, Astoria Café, requested and received permission from the city to extend outdoor seating onto the adjacent street, resulting in a vast space in which to safely dine on luscious dishes like bourbon smoked salmon toast, pimento cheese scramble and pork belly pancakes. 

11. Nico’s Taco Bar on Como

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2260 Como Ave
St Paul, MN 55108
(651) 450-8848
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What St. Paul has lost with the shuttering of Muffuletta’s, it has regained in spades with Indigenous street tacos, mezcals and margs at Nico’s. The sprawling patio is the exact place to be for a sun drenched lunch that includes a margarita aptly named Spring Fever.

Kim Ly Curry / Supplied

1. Cecil's Deli

651 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116

This proper, old-school Jewish deli’s boxed lunches are iconic for a quick lunch grab. Pick up some picnic provisions from the well-stocked grocery section for the perfect midday break. 

651 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116

2. French Meadow Bakery & Café

1662 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105

French Meadow was farm-to-table before the term became ubiquitous in hipster circles. The lovely patio beckons – and patrons are invited to bring along their pups for a sunny, breezy lunch date.

1662 Grand Ave
St Paul, MN 55105

3. Highland Grill

771 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116

The Blue Plate Restaurant Group is known for serving comfort on a plate. At their Cleveland Avenue location, indulge in breakfast all day. French toast topped with ooey-wgooey blueberry compote seems like a perfectly reasonable lunch in 2021. 

771 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116

4. West Indies Soul Food

1166 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104

Chef Sharon Richards-Noel’s dishes are born of her roots in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Grenada. Items like jerk chicken and gumbo pack a flavorful punch yet remain accessible to all palates. Be sure and grab a couple of bottles of Chef’s specialty sauces. 

1166 University Ave W
St Paul, MN 55104

5. Maverick's Real Roast Beef

1746 Lexington Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113

Maverick’s is a humble shop, serving loads of juicy meats on squishy soft buns from a strip mall store front in Roseville. It is beloved by families and shift workers alike, and while it is an iconic neighborhood spot, folks come from around the metro for its classic sandwiches and sides. 

1746 Lexington Ave N
Roseville, MN 55113

6. Hamburguesas El Gordo

927 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130
Kim Ly Curry / Supplied

This casual spot serves street tacos, burritos, and burgers and hot dogs with a Mexican twist. The tiny local chain now boasts three Saint Paul locations where burgers come topped with anything from split hot dogs to grilled pineapples. For veggies, we recommend the soy meat burrito. 

927 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130

7. W. A. Frost and Company

374 Selby Ave #1825, St Paul, MN 55102

One of the most beautiful patios in the Twin Cities is finally reopened with a refresh of the menu from new Executive Chef Peter Drinan that’s full of poppy contemporary American dishes showcasing fresh vegetables – just in time for summer. 

374 Selby Ave #1825
St Paul, MN 55102

8. Keg and Case Market

928 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102

They’re baaaaack. The West 7th food hall at the historic Schmidt Brewery grounds has reopened with a few new tenants like Woodfired Cantina in place of the former In Bloom and Purple Ice Cream where Sweet Science once lived. Try Rose Street Patisserie, one parking lot North, if lunch must include an award-winning pastry or four.  

928 7th St W
St Paul, MN 55102

9. Cossetta

211 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102

Like a fine Italian wine, Cossetta’s keeps getting better with age. While Louis Ristorante and Bar remains closed, Frank’s Levee Tavern has recently opened on the second floor, offering Italian street food and bar bites. No visit to St. Paul’s Little Italy is complete without a sweet treat from the stunning pasticceria.  

211 7th St W
St Paul, MN 55102

10. Hope Breakfast Bar

1 S Leech St, St Paul, MN 55102

During the pandemic, Hope Breakfast Bar and its friendly neighbor, Astoria Café, requested and received permission from the city to extend outdoor seating onto the adjacent street, resulting in a vast space in which to safely dine on luscious dishes like bourbon smoked salmon toast, pimento cheese scramble and pork belly pancakes. 

1 S Leech St
St Paul, MN 55102

11. Nico’s Taco Bar on Como

2260 Como Ave, St Paul, MN 55108
Kim Ly Curry / Supplied

What St. Paul has lost with the shuttering of Muffuletta’s, it has regained in spades with Indigenous street tacos, mezcals and margs at Nico’s. The sprawling patio is the exact place to be for a sun drenched lunch that includes a margarita aptly named Spring Fever.

2260 Como Ave
St Paul, MN 55108

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