Family Adventures · Minnesota · The Mud Belt-Traveling the Mississippi

Market to Market to Market: Miles of Minnesota Meals in Saint Paul

The sweetest part of Saint Paul is easy to find. Lucy was just one of many who welcomed us to this entertaining Midwest hot spot. The days of winter can zip by when you make road trips like this!

Saint Paul, MN: Ramsey County

The winter is nearly complete which means you only have a little time left to enjoy it. Who read that right? Stop pacing back and forth, refreshing your weather app for updates, and give the calendar a break from flipping to mid-year. Enjoy every moment of 2020 and see a city that does the seasons so great you’ll want to see them all from Saint Paul! Here was our style of getting around town from one market to another with a lot of the city in between! Let’s get a big dinner because we’ll need our energy for a huge Saturday. Tonight we carb-up!

Davanni’s Pizza & Hot Hoagies

Just calm down, Wisconsin. You’re not the only institution for the cheese lover of the world. Always do your stretches before any workout.
Hoagies are in the Davanni’s name. There was no way I wasn’t leaving with out one. Chicken parm for the opening meal in Saint Paul!
One does not say no to garlic bread topped melted and bubbling mozzarella. Why would you!
The Davanni’s calzone has no shortage of mozzarella either. That is how you welcome a hungry family into town!

Davanni’s is an easy choice when you’re arriving a little late in the evening. This famous establishment gave us the energy booster we needed to keep up the pace while exploring Saint Paul. This was a place the locals love and we find ourselves gravitating to yummy suggestions during many of our gallivants. How did Minnesota instantly win us over? By providing large amounts of melted mozzarella that’s how! Our tasty meals were dripping with delicious flavor, packed with juicy chicken and sausage, and CHEESE stretching its way through the experience. Welcome to Saint Paul, Team Goodvin!

Hmong Village Shopping Center

Hope you love fresh fruit, veggies, and more while you’re here. The proud business owners of Hmong Village are eager to sample them out. 1001 Johnson Parkway
Row after row of healthy options are everywhere in this Saint Paul market that could lure us back to the Twin Cities all by itself. I’m quite certain that we’re not the only ones that will be saying that.
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Your inner recipe Rolodex will be constantly flipping back and forth when you walk through Hmong Village.
We may have found proof that a picture can make you feel healthier.
Exotic ingredients surround your exploring adventure the entire time in Hmong Village!

We felt like we had a healthy dose of fiber by just walking through Hmong Village. Finding healthy eating choices proved to have very little challenges when it came to getting onto our shopping list and there’s scores of locals that can say the same thing. The large Hmong population of the Twin Cities is an obvious clientele that keeps this market, and other businesses of this growing community, going but they are not the only ones. Saint Paul citizens pack this facility day after day and more visitors discover the tasty wonders of this culture all the time. One of the best ways to get a feel for a city you’re seeing for the first time is to simply go grocery shopping. It’s also a wonderful way to explore while staying indoors when there’s still a chill in the air outside. Needless to say, this stop made us very hungry. Let’s see what the city has in between markets!

Bangkok Deli

From Hmong Village to a Thai twist in out trip. 333 University Avenue West
What did we order? A lot of veggies! The stroll through the market minutes earlier inspired this.
If you are a sucker for condiments like me then you would love eating at Thai restaurants. This tray takes up some table real estate but every thing on it is totally worth it!
Delicious pea tips and plenty of rice for every bite.

Inspiration can hit in several ways. A simple stroll through a market with wall to wall veggies makes you crave…..You guessed it. All I wanted was veggies and they had to be green and a lot of them. Bangkok Deli is in the neighborhood called Frogtown and this area is filled with ethnic restaurants like this. We love hearing what the locals love and this Thai joint that stayed busy the entire time we were there. Pea tips and rice were up to bat for our early lunch and we dove in. Direct quote from the woman who rang us up when reading our ticket, “Oooooo….That was a very healthy choice.” So there you go, Mom. I did it! And they were delicious, too! Tender and and juicy with all that wonderful render that comes from beautiful foods like this. I love a good soaker-upper for my rice in every Asian style dish and pea tips are a perfect match.

Keg & Case Market

The local flavors and products are in amazing display here at the Keg & Case Market! 928 7th Street West
Birds eye view is always better while holding a cold beer at Keg and Case. Beer’s eye view? Beer bird’s eye view? Beer view. We’re going with beer view. I like things.
In Bloom serving up Saint Paul’s wood fired creations with their expertise in full display. And you thought watching an aquarium was an interesting way to pass the time.
Local means local here at this market. That goes for the pottery too! Elva Pottery has enough creations to redo your entire house. Or just start with a new pencil holder for your desk. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life.
Cook it in Minnesota, create it in Minnesota, and grow it in Minnesota. Forest to Fork is a mushroom lovers must-see and experience. Growing right in front of your eyes and looking for a good home in a hot saute pan. Like yours!
Sweet Science Ice Cream gives people this happy face every darn day. That is a guarantee I’m quite willing to make.
In the words and wisdom of Wayne and Garth I proudly say, “EXTREME CLOSE UP!”
Going on a cheese bender? Make sure to stop by Keg and Case and motor through O’Cheeze! I’m going to say the word again. Cheese! Mac and cheese with Dubliner cheddar, sharp cheddar, and American all beautifully melted together to make this masterpiece.
Clutch Brewing Company coming in like a star reliever with a cold one we needed to take load off. Not sure if that’s what an actual baseball pitchers does late in the game but they should!

The pictures above were just a very small sample of all the greatness at Keg and Case. Craft beer, some of the cheesiest mac and cheese in the Midwest, mushrooms maturing right before your eyes, beautiful artistic pottery, rich ice cream….That would have all been enough for one trip to Saint Paul right there under one roof. There’s plenty of BBQ, locally roasted coffee, gourmet sausages, candy…You need to just get there and spend the best chunk of your day there like we did! And always remember that there’s plenty more of Saint Paul to explore before the next market!

Can Can Wonderland

Imagine this handsome fella greeting you to Saint Paul. I don’t know if the Can Can has an official mascot but the Bionic Man could probably fit the bill. 755 Prior Ave North
That is the look of a kid that is in deep concentration. Did you do your homework, my son? No! Then its straight to the Can Can with you for a real education!
Yes, this has become a vintage arcade game. And that’s okay because we all become vintage someday. Good thing is that any Star Wars game is a great one.
Don’t ever say that you can’t get a workout when you head to the arcade.
The game that taught an entire generation how to dodge traffic like a pro. Welcome to the 1980s, Charlie!

Can Can Wonderland is a venue that lit up our afternoon! Fashioned from an old canning factory and turned into a retro gaming paradise and a retreat for the beer lovers. The ultimate playroom for generations upon generations. There is nothing better than seeing the games you grew up with still being enjoyed. I’ll raise a Minnesota craft beer to that! Let’s keep moving!

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

How’s this for filling out your afternoon between markets! The annual parade during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival shows all of us how you can be entertained no matter what the temperature is like outside.
We love locals and we love seeing them have a blast. This seasonal celebration brings in a crowd every year.
Shiny stuff! Saint Paul knows how to keep me paying attention while distracting me at the same time. That’s some skill right there!
You knew this was coming. It’s not a winter carnival without ice sculptures. The Minnesota winter way of life can yield some of the most amazing icy creation you’ll ever see.
You know there was at least one person who ran away from this one. On a side note, this pic was taken by my wife because I wouldn’t cross the street for an undisclosed reason. That’s a spider. That’s a big spider.
Saint Paul knows how to tackle winter! These musicians go sleeveless like tough offensive lineman because the cold weather isn’t going to get in the way of their talents on this day!

Mark your calendars right now! Yes, 2021 will be here before you know it and this is how you can celebrate the winter in a very fun way. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is a two weekend event that closes out January and welcomes in February in a unique way that this city cherishes. Tons of events, live music, and a fire breathing parade! That was a pleasure to write and I thank Saint Paul for the moment I just had. You ready for another market?

Cossetta’s Italian Market & Pizzeria

The Saint Paul welcoming party never ends and Cossetta’s is a staple that will hand you some of the tastiest bites you’ll have in the Twin Cities. 211 7th Street West
I was serious about getting handed a tasty bite. The Arrabiata sauce gave us spicy Italian kick in the palate while we shopped the market.
My favorite section in any market or grocery store and Cossetta’s has a perfect selection. The Italian universe of sausage right here in Saint Paul.
This little piggy did very well today. Thanks for being a sport about all this.
We all have that one friend who says they don’t really do sweets. That one friend will not be able to turn down something from this lineup when you visit this incredible facility.
Stromboli sold by the pound. That is truly a magnificent concept and we salute you Cossetta’s.
One latter of each please and keep’em coming!

Countless visitors to Saint Paul mingle with the locals at this very famous arena of incredible food. Cossetta’s Italian Market & Pizzeria has the recipe to liven up your weekend with a family atmosphere. Italian food always has a spiritual way to make you feel right at home and Cossetta’s has this specialty everywhere. Multiple levels of this market to see and discover with plenty of options to keep you there and enjoying every square foot of the market. We had our appetizers and now we need another iconic Saint Paul meal to finish up this afternoon of market hopping.

Mickey’s Dining Car

Two very hungry dudes who love breakfast anytime of day! Mickey’s is just the place for that, home skillets! Are we still calling people home skillet? We are now! 36 7th Street West
This is the pure beauty that I want to overlook when I arrive anywhere. Imagine if the Grand Canyon had this view. That would be nice.
The classics are mastered here at Mickey’s!
Give me gravy and you give me a grin. I am in the zone with this blog post!
This was shortly after receiving a zinger from the cook. And then he said, “Let’s get this guy his meal first. It’s the only way we’ll get him to stop talking.” Challenge accepted, my friend! It worked actually.

We let the locals guide us everywhere we go and Mickey’s Dining Car came up several times throughout the weekend. The busy breakfast hot spot was packed and our hot meals were piled high with some of the greatest hashbrowns we’ve found in our travels. The hardworking grill is partnered with a hardworking cook and a crew that hustles all day long to make your visit a memorable one every time. And they all know how to work a crowd with a sense of humor that I cherish. This was a good call, Saint Paul!

The look you have when you realize that you’ve only begun to see what Saint Paul has to offer. We saw a lot but we have SO MUCH MORE on our list for many trips in the future.

There will always be countless avenues to go down in Saint Paul and we were so pleased to discover a few for ourselves. This metro area can keep a family entertained in so many ways and they can do it during all four seasons. The winter is an exciting time to visit Saint Paul so imagine this city during the rest of the year. Get a jump on the rest of 2020 and get your own gallivant going to Saint Paul!

Be sure to click here and see our first night on the town with our grownup getaway in Saint Paul!

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