BEST CHEAP EATS - 2006
It's hard to see past : Cafe Latté's glistening Italian fruit tarts and the shiny chocolate tortes, the lingonberry and lemon scones or the Dakota bread, but this bustling, urbane cafeteria has been serving up some of the Cities' best salads, soups, stews, curries and sandwiches pretty darn cheap for over 20 years. An anchor in one of St. Paul's oldest neighborhoods, Victoria's Crossing, Cafe Latté caters to busy shoppers, professionals, students, moms and grandmas with kids. The selections are long and eclectic; the only issue here is trying to decide. Grab a tray and sashay down the cafeteria line where salads are freshly tossed to order—chicken, artichoke, and pasta; crab and tomato; brown rice with cashews; and craisins in a chutney apricot yogurt dressing. Sandwiches are built to your pleasure, all on wonderful, just-baked, thick, hand-cut slices of bread. Handmade pizzas are topped off right before your eyes. Always fresh, ever inspired, Cafe Latté's food is consistently good and exceedingly reasonable. Though long, the line moves quickly; spare a little time to linger in a sunny booth over a glass of wine or beer, and save a little room for some of that insanely gooey caramel double chocolate fudge Turtle Cake.