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The 10 Best Places to Eat Near the U of M St Paul Campus

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The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is made up of three main campus areas: Minneapolis campus is split by the flowing Mississippi river and comprised of East bank and West bank while the sprawling St Paul campus sits adjacent to the Minnesota State Fair grounds. We already showed you where to eat near the Minneapolis campus and, due to multiple requests, we will now introduce you to the best places to eat near St Paul Campus.

-Devan Grimsrud

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Mim's Cafe

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This little café is locally owned and serves an eclectic mix of Middle-Eastern and American cuisines including falafel, shawarma, cheeseburgers and burritos. All the food is made to order and really delicious. Start with the authentic and creamy hummus or mouthwatering baba ganouj before ordering your choice of meal, all at an extremely affordable price point. If it’s coffee you’re craving, Lori’s coffee house is located right next door and serves up a variety of beverages at a great price.

Muffuletta in the Park

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Beautiful restaurant that serves tasty locally sourced foods ranging from classic chicken salad sandwiches to crispy and light Italian inspired fritto misto (mixed fried seafood and vegetables). Dinner entrees run $13 and up, so if you find yourself on that college student budget, try visiting for lunch or brunch where entrees are between $10 and $17. For something special, visit on any Sunday night and treat yourself to the Chef’s Three-Course Tasting Menu, which includes a starter, main course and dessert from a special limited menu, all for $27.

Colossal Cafe

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After too many bowls of instant ramen and microwaveable mac and cheese, we know you’re craving some made from scratch comfort foods. Colossal Café is your saving grace. They make everything by hand, including the bread for all of their scrumptious sandwiches. The flappers (pancakes) are thick yet fluffy and topped with local Three Rivers Farm pure maple syrup. Don’t miss the apple, walnut and brie flappers topped with honey-brown sugar syrup, apples, walnuts and thick slices of creamy brie cheese. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

Finnish Bistro

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A great place for a casual and unique breakfast or lunch, the Finnish Bistro serves up delightful dishes that keep people coming back for more. Order at the counter and seat yourself. The food always comes out quick and is sure to satisfy. Miss your grandmother’s lefse? Order the lefse scramble--freshly scrambled eggs and fillings of your choice, wrapped in a warm potato lefse and served with homemade salsa.

Nelson's Cheese and Deli

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Nelson's offers a variety of Midwestern meats and cheeses that can be packed inside a sandwich or adorn a custom salad. Delicious and convenient, you can stop in to create something for a quick lunch or you can order ahead from the array of diverse party trays for anything from business meetings to graduation parties.

Phở 79

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This small Vietnamese restaurant has an authentic menu and attentive staff. The pho is subtle, yet flavorful, and their rice plates and vermicelli noodle salads are a great quick lunch or dinner option for those late nights spent studying.

Mac's Fish and Chips

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This tiny blue and white restaurant serves up an assortment of fried things in baskets or as sandwiches. You can get hand-battered walleye or hand-breaded clams alongside freshly cut potatoes and house made slaw. Ever heard of the Canadian comfort food poutine? Battered cheese curds atop a pile of hot potato fries and covered in rich brown gravy; Mac’s keeps it traditional, and delicious. Finish off your meal with a bag of salt-water taffy made in-house using a custom made taffy puller prominently displayed in the shop’s front window.

Stout's Pub

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A pub with a wide variety of tap beers and Irish-American fare including wood fired pizzas, burgers, and salads. The pizzas are a favorite for most so choose your favorite or make your own with the wide array of different toppings from artichokes and kalamata olives to fresh basil and feta cheese. Stout’s has a one of the best craft beer lists on this side of town.

Keys Cafe & Bakery

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With nine Twin Cities locations, locals know Keys Café, but this location is the one that started it all in 1973. This old school cafe makes all their food and baked goods from scratch and serves it up with a smile. Try the huge, fluffy pancakes or omelets stuffed full with your choice of fresh veggies and/or meats. Don’t miss one of their famous caramel rolls.

Como Dockside

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St. Paul’s answer to Sea Salt Eatery or Tin Fish, Como Dockside is the new restaurant in the Como Lakeside Pavilion. Check out lakefront views and live music while ordering New Orleans-inspired dishes like beignet dogs, pimento cheese, and gumbo. Plus they've got a full liquor license for a classic St. Paul style martini.

Mim's Cafe

This little café is locally owned and serves an eclectic mix of Middle-Eastern and American cuisines including falafel, shawarma, cheeseburgers and burritos. All the food is made to order and really delicious. Start with the authentic and creamy hummus or mouthwatering baba ganouj before ordering your choice of meal, all at an extremely affordable price point. If it’s coffee you’re craving, Lori’s coffee house is located right next door and serves up a variety of beverages at a great price.

Muffuletta in the Park

Beautiful restaurant that serves tasty locally sourced foods ranging from classic chicken salad sandwiches to crispy and light Italian inspired fritto misto (mixed fried seafood and vegetables). Dinner entrees run $13 and up, so if you find yourself on that college student budget, try visiting for lunch or brunch where entrees are between $10 and $17. For something special, visit on any Sunday night and treat yourself to the Chef’s Three-Course Tasting Menu, which includes a starter, main course and dessert from a special limited menu, all for $27.

Colossal Cafe

After too many bowls of instant ramen and microwaveable mac and cheese, we know you’re craving some made from scratch comfort foods. Colossal Café is your saving grace. They make everything by hand, including the bread for all of their scrumptious sandwiches. The flappers (pancakes) are thick yet fluffy and topped with local Three Rivers Farm pure maple syrup. Don’t miss the apple, walnut and brie flappers topped with honey-brown sugar syrup, apples, walnuts and thick slices of creamy brie cheese. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

Finnish Bistro

A great place for a casual and unique breakfast or lunch, the Finnish Bistro serves up delightful dishes that keep people coming back for more. Order at the counter and seat yourself. The food always comes out quick and is sure to satisfy. Miss your grandmother’s lefse? Order the lefse scramble--freshly scrambled eggs and fillings of your choice, wrapped in a warm potato lefse and served with homemade salsa.

Nelson's Cheese and Deli

Nelson's offers a variety of Midwestern meats and cheeses that can be packed inside a sandwich or adorn a custom salad. Delicious and convenient, you can stop in to create something for a quick lunch or you can order ahead from the array of diverse party trays for anything from business meetings to graduation parties.

Phở 79

This small Vietnamese restaurant has an authentic menu and attentive staff. The pho is subtle, yet flavorful, and their rice plates and vermicelli noodle salads are a great quick lunch or dinner option for those late nights spent studying.

Mac's Fish and Chips

This tiny blue and white restaurant serves up an assortment of fried things in baskets or as sandwiches. You can get hand-battered walleye or hand-breaded clams alongside freshly cut potatoes and house made slaw. Ever heard of the Canadian comfort food poutine? Battered cheese curds atop a pile of hot potato fries and covered in rich brown gravy; Mac’s keeps it traditional, and delicious. Finish off your meal with a bag of salt-water taffy made in-house using a custom made taffy puller prominently displayed in the shop’s front window.

Stout's Pub

A pub with a wide variety of tap beers and Irish-American fare including wood fired pizzas, burgers, and salads. The pizzas are a favorite for most so choose your favorite or make your own with the wide array of different toppings from artichokes and kalamata olives to fresh basil and feta cheese. Stout’s has a one of the best craft beer lists on this side of town.

Keys Cafe & Bakery

With nine Twin Cities locations, locals know Keys Café, but this location is the one that started it all in 1973. This old school cafe makes all their food and baked goods from scratch and serves it up with a smile. Try the huge, fluffy pancakes or omelets stuffed full with your choice of fresh veggies and/or meats. Don’t miss one of their famous caramel rolls.

Como Dockside

St. Paul’s answer to Sea Salt Eatery or Tin Fish, Como Dockside is the new restaurant in the Como Lakeside Pavilion. Check out lakefront views and live music while ordering New Orleans-inspired dishes like beignet dogs, pimento cheese, and gumbo. Plus they've got a full liquor license for a classic St. Paul style martini.

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