BEST RESTAURANT FOR OUTDOOR DINING Minneapolis 2007 - Swede Hollow Cafe
For an outdoor, sit-down dinner, you can't beat the elegantly ensconced patios of W.A. Frost or the Black Forest Inn. But for a casual, sunny breakfast or lunch, consider this small St. Paul spot with the giant view. Perched atop a hill rising above Swede Hollow—now a park, but from the 1850s to the 1950s a busy immigrant community where some families simply found empty houses and moved in—this cozy eatery offers an unexpected outdoor-dining experience. Located in a historic building on an old street, the cafe offers a variety of organic and fair-trade coffees; the mocha latte ($2.95-$4.25), made with house-blended Belgian chocolate, is a fine indulgence. There are always thoughtful, creative breakfasts (a recent, delicious quiche was made with prosciutto, portobello mushrooms, and spinach) and lunches (fancy grilled cheese, $4.95; a Mediterranean veggie sandwich on house-made foccacia, $6.50) on the menu. There's an exceptionally pretty little brick-lined patio where you can gaze upon the expansive, impressive center of Minnesota's first city. A seat outside here is especially nice during the blooming season, but even on a foliage-free, crisp spring morning one can appreciate the surprisingly urban feel of this friendly neighborhood retreat.