Foodie finds


Your favorite independent restaurant to get a healthful meal, co-op grocery store or natural food store, deli, and MWP staff picks: favorite place for sushi, vegetarian soup, and bakery.

Favorite independent restaurant to get a healthful meal
Birchwood Cafe
3311 E. 25th St., Minneapolis, 612-722-4474
This neighborhood restaurant in the heart of Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood draws raves from both vegetarian grrls and their carnivore sisters. Along with veggie specialties there’s always a meaty dish or two available. The simple, elegant fare matches the spare but cozy surroundings, and as a reminder that healthful eating can be fun, desserts include key lime pie (every day), and the Sunday brunch selections are … ooh la la!
You also eat healthfully at Cafe Brenda, French Meadow Bakery & Café and Trotter’s Cafe.

Favorite co-op grocery store or natural food store
Mississippi Market
1810 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, 651-690-0507
622 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-310-9499
Want fresh? Want green? Want healthful? When you do, you swing by Mississippi Market. Its two St. Paul locations make it easy for you to hit while out and about running your errands. And you’re not alone in your love of the store. Nearly 7,000 members support the market’s mission, which is to bring high-quality, sustainably produced foods to within your easy reach. You’ll even find organic body-care lines!

Wedge Community Co-op
2105 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-871-3993
From their humble beginnings in a basement 34 years ago to their upscale digs and related small businesses today, the Wedge hasn’t forgotten what’s important to you: a mission-driven cooperative with high-quality products at fair prices. Add their commitment to service to some of the metro’s most gorgeous, healthy food, and throw in Wedge-exclusive jewelry, clothes and other products, and it’s easy to see why this is your fave Minneapolis co-op.
You also eat green from the Seward Co-op Grocery and Deli, Whole Foods Markets, Eastside Food Co-operative and Hampden Park Co-op.

Favorite deli
Cecil’s Delicatessen, Bakery & Restaurant
651 Cleveland Ave. S., St. Paul
When you’ve got a hankering for thick, satisfying foods, you head on over to Cecil’s. The breakfast portions could sustain you for a day and the lunch-time sandwiches will tide you over till dawn. It’s a decidedly local place, full of historic, ethnic charm. If you need kosher meats, you can get them here. Never been? Grab a friend and check it out!
You also nosh at the Wedge Community Co-op, Byerly’s, Kowalski’s Market and Surdyk’s deli.

MWP staff picks:
Favorite place for sushi:
1510 Como Ave. S.E., Minneapolis
This tiny Japanese bistro may be hard to spot, but don’t let that deter you-it’s worth the search. In addition to its many sushi offerings (like Rainbow and Flying Caterpillar), Obento-ya also serves tasty bento boxes that are great for a quick lunch. It may still be in its inaugural year, but this adorable and affordable sushi spot has already found its way into our hearts (and tummies).

Favorite vegetarian soup:
Keys Cafe’s tomato bisque
6 metro locations
While one MWP staffer swears that Keys’ tomato bisque is the best vegetarian soup on the planet, another says “Forget vegetarian-it’s the best soup PERIOD.” We won’t involve you in our petty squabbles; suffice to say, we’re hooked on this creamy, tangy, rich nirvana-in-a-bowl. Whether it’s a cold winter day or a warm summer one, this satisfying soup in always in season.

MWP staff pick:
Favorite bakery:
Roseville Bakery
1147 Larpenteur Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-489-1714
This is the kind of old-fashioned neighborhood bakery you stopped by on Saturday mornings when you were a kid to ogle the jelly-filled, sugar-coated bismarks, frosting-topped long johns and crispy elephant ears. Tasty birthday cakes are a cinch to order, and just try to resist the warm-from-the-oven raisin bread.