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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.

Cecil's Deli

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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. 

French Meadow Bakery & Café

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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.

Highland Grill

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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. 

West Indies Soul Food

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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. 

Maverick's Real Roast Beef

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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. 

Hamburguesas El Gordo

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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

W. A. Frost and Company

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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. 

Keg and Case Market

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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.  

Cossetta

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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.  

Hope Breakfast Bar

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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. 

Nico’s Taco Bar on Como

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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

Cecil's Deli

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. 

French Meadow Bakery & Café

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.

Highland Grill

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. 

West Indies Soul Food

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. 

Maverick's Real Roast Beef

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. 

Hamburguesas El Gordo

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. 

Kim Ly Curry / Supplied

W. A. Frost and Company

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. 

Keg and Case Market

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.  

Cossetta

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.  

Hope Breakfast Bar

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. 

Nico’s Taco Bar on Como

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.

Kim Ly Curry / Supplied

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