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Four burgers in baskets
A lineup of burgers inside Brunson’s Pub
Brunson’s/Website

8 Eateries to Explore in the Eastside’s Payne-Phalen Neighborhood

From fried chicken to pho

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A lineup of burgers inside Brunson’s Pub
| Brunson’s/Website

While Grand Ave, West Seventh, and Lowertown seemingly get all the glory, Payne-Phalen is a paradise of diverse food options, packed with mom-and-pop soul. From taquerias to Thai, red sauce Italian, there is something for everyone along inside this under-sung neighborhood.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Yarusso Bros Italian Restaurant

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635 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130
(651) 776-4848
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A neighborhood Italian icon, Yarusso Bros has been around since the 1930s. Not much has changed at the family owned spot, with lunch specials topping out at $10. Portions are hefty with meatballs that almost seem to fill the plate and pizzas that will surely need to be shared with family and friends.

2. Eastside Thai Restaurant

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879 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130
(651) 776-6599
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Pho and curry are the stars of the show at this Payne-Phelan Thai mainstay. The pho broth is perfect to slurp on on a cold Twin Cities day, and one can’t go wrong in ordering any of the various curry dishes (but the Thai Red Curry is difficult to beat).

3. Tongue in Cheek

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989 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130
(651) 888-6148
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A restaurant that prides itself on the humane and sustainable raising of its products is one to stand behind. The steamed pork buns with a stone fruit salsa is the perfect combo of sweet and savory, and the cocktail flight allows for the creative libations to be tried in small doses.

A curved booth next to a long black bar
A fine spot for vegan or carnivorous dining
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

4. Magnolias Restaurant

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1081 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130
(651) 774-3333
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Magnolia’s restaurant has an entirely separate “Chicken To-Go” menu, so you know this is a serious fried chicken situation. If not in the mood for chicken though, a killer hot beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and pan gravy inside this classic family-style diner.

5. Bymore Taqueria

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870 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130
(651) 774-7109
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This comfortable, counter-service taco joint that packs a punch, Bymore is the Payne-Phalen spot for everything Mexican. Tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas fill the menu, with a self service topping bar that houses the spots homemade salsa.

6. Brunson's Pub

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956 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130
(651) 447-2483
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A beloved local watering hole, Brunson’s Pub gives patrons a place to enjoy outstanding food at even more outstanding prices. The savory Brunson wings are made from chicken thighs and served in a multitude of flavors, while the pulled bacon BLT elevates the classic with avocado and garlic aioli. 

A sandwich stuffed with a thick slab of something meaty, lettuce and carrots
All the dive bar charm with fantastic food and drinks that defy expectations
Brunson’s Pub/Facebook

7. I ❤️ Pho

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850 Maryland Ave E
St Paul, MN 55106
(651) 600-3724
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Home to a beautiful, traditional banh mi, I Heart Pho. Located on the east side of Maryland Avenue. Owned by the same people behind University Avenue’s icon iPho by Saigon deliver a menu of Vietnamese staples, such as the very popular sandwich along with seven types of pho, and broken rice.

The exterior of the restaurant, with a front of all windows
A great option for a beautiful banh mi
I Heart Pho [Official]

1. Yarusso Bros Italian Restaurant

635 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130

A neighborhood Italian icon, Yarusso Bros has been around since the 1930s. Not much has changed at the family owned spot, with lunch specials topping out at $10. Portions are hefty with meatballs that almost seem to fill the plate and pizzas that will surely need to be shared with family and friends.

635 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130

2. Eastside Thai Restaurant

879 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130

Pho and curry are the stars of the show at this Payne-Phelan Thai mainstay. The pho broth is perfect to slurp on on a cold Twin Cities day, and one can’t go wrong in ordering any of the various curry dishes (but the Thai Red Curry is difficult to beat).

879 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130

3. Tongue in Cheek

989 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130
A curved booth next to a long black bar
A fine spot for vegan or carnivorous dining
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

A restaurant that prides itself on the humane and sustainable raising of its products is one to stand behind. The steamed pork buns with a stone fruit salsa is the perfect combo of sweet and savory, and the cocktail flight allows for the creative libations to be tried in small doses.

989 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130

4. Magnolias Restaurant

1081 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130

Magnolia’s restaurant has an entirely separate “Chicken To-Go” menu, so you know this is a serious fried chicken situation. If not in the mood for chicken though, a killer hot beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and pan gravy inside this classic family-style diner.

1081 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130

5. Bymore Taqueria

870 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130

This comfortable, counter-service taco joint that packs a punch, Bymore is the Payne-Phalen spot for everything Mexican. Tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas fill the menu, with a self service topping bar that houses the spots homemade salsa.

870 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130

6. Brunson's Pub

956 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130
A sandwich stuffed with a thick slab of something meaty, lettuce and carrots
All the dive bar charm with fantastic food and drinks that defy expectations
Brunson’s Pub/Facebook

A beloved local watering hole, Brunson’s Pub gives patrons a place to enjoy outstanding food at even more outstanding prices. The savory Brunson wings are made from chicken thighs and served in a multitude of flavors, while the pulled bacon BLT elevates the classic with avocado and garlic aioli. 

956 Payne Ave
St Paul, MN 55130

7. I ❤️ Pho

850 Maryland Ave E, St Paul, MN 55106
The exterior of the restaurant, with a front of all windows
A great option for a beautiful banh mi
I Heart Pho [Official]

Home to a beautiful, traditional banh mi, I Heart Pho. Located on the east side of Maryland Avenue. Owned by the same people behind University Avenue’s icon iPho by Saigon deliver a menu of Vietnamese staples, such as the very popular sandwich along with seven types of pho, and broken rice.

850 Maryland Ave E
St Paul, MN 55106

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