Square-cut in the Warehouse District: A new Dulono’s
If you’re an avid fan of Minnesota-style square-cut pie, you’re probably either a Savoy or Dulono’s devotee (and what side of the river you happen to be on in a given moment might dictate which way you sway).
Savoy has been on a franchise tear in recent years (though true disciples know that only east St. Paul has the real deal). Meanwhile, Dulono’s has been slower to open outposts, with only two other locales besides the legendary Uptown store.
But joining everybody else and their grandma with a liquor license, Dulono’s is opening soon in the Warehouse District. And they’ll be open late.
Opens sometime this spring
Ethiopian on West Seventh: Tropicana Cafe
It's a good time for craving East African food in the Twin Cities. Tropicana Cafe recently landed on West Seventh Street with a decidedly next-generation “Ethio-American” vibe, serving pizza next to traditional Ethiopian favorites.
The storefront is also a departure: Instead of a homestyle cafe, here you’ll find a modern coffee shop with fire engine red vinyl booths, and even a couple of pool tables for knocking around some balls. They’re also serving a full list of fresh-squeezed juices, fruit smoothies, ice creams, coffee drinks, and all your Ethiopian faves folded into injera or tortilla.
If you’ve been dying to try the fragrant beauty that is Ethiopian cooking but have been a little shy, step up to this approachable counter-service spot. If you chicken out, you can grab a slice instead.
2585 W. Seventh St., St. Paul
Delivery and grab-and-go in downtown Minneapolis: The Tiffin Man Global Kitchen
Taking its name from the Indian tradition of having meticulously personalized homemade lunches delivered by the Tiffin Man to workers every single day, this local Tiffin Man does the same. In the spirit of a hot meal delivered to your door daily, they serve breakfast, sandwiches, pizza, and “Mexi-Terranean" (huge tacos, gyros, burritos and falafel) to downtown office types and students. Grab-and-go meals are also available if you can fathom peeling away from the office chair.
1415 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Sushi burritos everywhere: Fourth location of SotaRol
The Yogurt Lab is wisely turning four stores into SotaRol “sushi burrito” shops instead, jumping out in front of a trend that’s gaining traction: raw fish, served more casually. The Stadium Village location is now open, Uptown's will open next month, and watch for Eagan and Apple Valley outposts later in the spring.
One now open, three others coming soon
More skyway pho: Come Pho Soup
The skyway system is a little light on pho, which is odd because it’s just the thing for quick, cheap, and delicious eats that the habitrails demand.
Bep has it, and La Belle Crepe quietly had it, and now they have it more loudly. Check out their new annex Come Pho Soup, down the hall from their original spot in the beautiful Medical Arts building. It’s a build-your-own situation, the way we seem to like things these days, so choose your broth, choose your meat, and choose your veg, then grab it and go.
Also serving banh mi and other sandwiches on French baguette.
823 1/2 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
In the Medical Arts Building
A sneaky new speakeasy: The Green Lantern
Did you know a speakeasy has sneakily slid into the lower level bar at Public Kitchen + Bar in Lowertown? We might have thought that the era of the speakeasy was over, but no! Here is a new one, and it’s doing what it’s supposed to do, being sneaky.
Despite the famous superhero it evokes, the name is reputedly a reference to a speakeasy by the same name in (roughly) the same place circa 1920.
The modern day version hosts live music and serves craft cocktails and standard-issue bar fare like poutine, deviled eggs, and cheese curds. We'll try to sneak in and report back.
229 E. Sixth St., St. Paul
A Restaurant with a mission: Byte
This upcoming “geek pub” (think board games) serving casual, counter-style, affordable street food-inspired fare has a mission. In addition to the typical food, drink, and laid back atmo, the owners plan to serve their employees something special too: a living wage, full benefits, and even paid time off. We’ve got a close eye on this place with its “social justice” mission. Bonus: They’re in the old Foxfire Lounge space, so if you loved that long-lost punk bar, you might visit Byte for some lingering cool vibes. Watch for a full story on them coming soon.
Opens March 1
319 N. First Ave., Minneapolis
Hell’s Chicken and Fish for those deep, deep-fried cravings
Fried fish, hot wings, Philly cheese steaks, Chicago dogs and Polish, and plenty more of your other junky cravings under one fast-food roof. And! Add grits to anything for $1.99.
805 E. 38th St., Minneapolis
St. Paul Bagelry comes to Minneapolis
St. Paul Bagelry has one of the best bagels to be had, but thanks to its somewhat out-of-the-way location in Roseville, you might not know it. The place has been around for like 20 years, first founded by Mike Sherwood, who now owns Pizza Nea (also one of the best pizzerias in town, and if you haven’t been, go). It’s now owned by Peggy Teed and Dodie Green, and thanks to demand, they’re branching out to a second location.
And yes, it will still be St. Paul Bagelry.
Opens this spring
5426 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
Get Juiced on Selby
The recognizable local juice chain Truce is taking over Naked Nina's on Selby Avenune sometime this spring. The "Nina" in Naked Nina's will focus on her great coffee cafe of the same name (minus the naked), also on Selby Avenue.
526 Selby Ave., St. Paul