11 Best Places to Grab a Bite Before, After, or During a St. Paul Saints Game

It's not all just burgers and dogs downtown: Barrio makes a great guac.

It's not all just burgers and dogs downtown: Barrio makes a great guac.

The St. Paul Saints have always been as much about off-field shenanigans as they have been about the game. Massages, haircuts, and tailgating have been as much the name of this particular game as baseball.

While the beautiful new stadium is definitely more pro than the ragtag little field at Midway, the antics are sure to continue. The new downtown location also means better access to a bunch of great bars and restaurants.

See also: Burgers, Dogs, and Dude Food: A Look at the New St. Paul Saints Stadium Concessions

11. Classic steakhouse Kincaid's is as reliable as they come; beef is always cooked properly to temp, the potatoes are always man-sized, the salads always come with blue cheese, and it's always, always a good idea to order a burger, because house-ground premium bits and prime trim make up the patties.

10. Got grandma, four kids, dad, aunt Zelda, and her husband Fred in tow? Best head over to Public, where they've truly got something for everyone, from flatbreads to deviled eggs to hummus to lamb chops to big slabs of chocolate cake to even bigger martinis, which you're going to need.

9. For the kind of man's man experience where Frank Sinatra would not feel undignified, the St. Paul Grill is a scotch on the rocks, big-old-steak, hold-the-sides kind of place. All dusky mirrors, lots of liquor, and pro barmen from days gone by.

Public has a little something for everyone

Public has a little something for everyone

8. While we hotly anticipate Saint Dinette, the upcoming restaurant by Tim Niver and J.D. Fratzke, patronize their now-classic Strip Club Meat and Fish, what was once a radical idea (a trendy, classy joint on the East Side) that's proven the test of time and now might as well be that grande dame chop and fish joint where all the generations converge for Bourbons, Shirley Temples, and general memory making.

7. The best, wait-in-line-a-long-time-because-it's-worth-it breakfasts and lunches come from the Buttered Tin, an instant classic, anchor-the-neighborhood greasy spoon that's not really greasy at all, just farm-fresh, spot-on delicious Benedicts, egg sandwiches, and signature house-made Twinkies.

6. Show your East Side pride by pushing yuppie pizza aside and ordering up a pie from the East 7th Street Savoy, the East Side's longest standing pizzeria. The seasoning on a half-century old pizza oven does not lie, and it's the only place you're gonna get an East Sider, the house special with sauerkraut.

5. Dungarees and jerseys might not seem like the most proper attire for St. Paul's best restaurant, Meritage, but their adjacent oyster bar is welcoming and accessible as any St. Paul hangout, with the added joy of bivalves. And for protein lovers, there's a veritable meatopia: smoked confit chicken wings, roasted bone marrow, spice glazed pork ribs, steak tartare, and a house burger with roasted garlic aioli, shallot confit, and emmenthaler that's knee-tremblingly good.

4. Because you don't want the fun to end just because the final home run has been hit, head over to the Amsterdam Bar, where a full roster of entertainment can always be seen and heard, from DJs to burlesque dancers to hip-hop to trivia. Little Dutch meat sandwiches called broodjes and hand-cut frites will offset the effects of the extensive gin list, probably the most comprehensive in town.

3. If you like ball, but not the stereotype that sports fans must also love eating animals, Tanpopo is the place for you, where the most excellent Japanese homestyle cooking in either city takes place, like soba and udon noodles easily made vegetarian and even vegan.

2. Barrio is one of the longstanding gold standard Mexican places offering style meets substance. Tacos are almost always superb (our favorite is the ahi tuna with avocado in a fried flour tortilla), and the made-to-order guacamole is luscious. Don't miss the many tequila flights or the black diamond -- a pomegranate margarita with a black sea salt rim.

1. Perhaps the most buzz-worthy, Lenny Russo has turned his Direct Farm Market into Heartland Wine Bar, to specifically cater to Saints fans, who will practically step onto the threshold of his door when exiting the stadium. Instead of farm direct produce and goodies, expect great wine, good beer, and lots of meats. Russo's got a full time butcher and charcuterie master cranking out proteins aplenty. The brats and Polish Sausages can be had at the stadium, but the bar will be worth a look for the full menu of meaty and non-meaty treats. Now open.

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