I love football. I love the Super Bowl. I’m excited for the NFL’s epicenter to be located in Minneapolis.
I am thrilled to have Minneapolis have so many eyes on it, because we have some great things to offer the tourists and potential visitors/new residents.
There, that’s more like it.
Whether or not you are a fan of the reason why Minneapolis will be the talk of the sporting world (Super Bowl/NFL) for the next fortnight, you have to admit that this spotlight has the chance to shine on some great things.
For instance, maybe it’s a volunteer opportunity like the one I help out with… MN Special Hockey. Sports don’t have to be all about millionaires, concussions, criminal charges, ticket prices, and all that drama. The “love of the game” has never been so easy to see as it is in this league.
Or maybe visitors will see a vibrant culture (albeit rooted in winter festivities at this particular time of year) and see why Minnesota’s life expectancy trails only Hawaii. Those exploring the Twin Cities will see that there is plenty to do in the coldest of the months, and might just want to come back in the summer months to enjoy our bike trails, our golf courses, and the handful of lakes that are probably within walking distance of their vacation spot.
But what I am looking forward to most is showing off our VEGAN EATS! Minneapolis-St. Paul has had an explosion of vegan options in the last couple of years, and compared to its size, I think it rivals most other cities. I know it’s hard to beat the West Coast, and the large population hubs like NYC and Chicago have it all, but Minneapolis might be the Midwest’s Portland.
So here it is, the TOP TEN VEGAN PLACES TO VISIT while you are in town for the Super Bowl (or any vacation):
I promise I’m not trying to run into you on the streets, but this great place for breakfast (whether it is morning or night) will fill you up with simple classics. Want a scramble/hash? Got ya covered. Maybe a pancake? Done.
One of the newest places in town quickly capitalized on serving not only some of the only vegan crepes, but the BEST vegan crepes. Buy a savory crepe, get a sweet one for dessert, and maybe add a scoop or two of ice cream to it while you’re at it. It’s cold in Minnesota, so you might as well bulk up a little to keep warm.
Connected to First Avenue – the venue Prince made famous in Purple Rain, and a landmark that deserves your viewing – is a great little bar/greasy food spot. On their menu they have a few vegan options, the tacos and VBLT both containing meats from The Herbivorous Butcher, along with the newly added Impossible Burger (not quite on the menu yet, but ask for the “vegan Impossible Burger” and you shall receive).
Great pizza, some unique pairings/toppings, and a quirky atmosphere… with an even quirkier delivery service. The place has a nice line-up of vegan ‘zas and they are also plenty weird. Try the Paul Bunyan, which has wild rice as a topping (YUM!), or the Brooklyn Bee, which may not be on the physical menu, but the combination of the crushed red pepper and vegan honey makes this an instant favorite.
They’ve been the “it place” for donuts in Minneapolis for a little while now. Their vegan menu has all the classics along with some of their specialty donuts veganified. I’d recommend the Femme Fatale.
The theme of this list is “Eat Street has it all”. Another place that serves vegan options, but in another unique style. Harry Singh’s has some serious spice, so be warned. His Caribbean dishes are delicious and painful, but you probably wouldn’t want it any other way.
This one is a no-brainer. The first vegan butcher shop is famous world-wide. But since you are in town, you can try different non-meats and non-cheeses that the general internet public can’t buy online. Oh, and don’t forget to try the sandwiches made in house.
Looking for a quick Bahn Mi? Jasmine Deli is your place. Looking for a nice Vietnamese dinner? Jasmine 26 will do the trick. Separated by about a block, these two Vietnamese restaurants are basically siblings – one being the quick/basic deli and the other being the fancier evening destination. No matter what, they have you covered and at a more than reasonable price.
Tofu MocMuffin. You’ll thank me. I find myself craving this probably once a month or more. It’s just one of my favorite things from a place that has even more vegan options to discover. Hopefully they have their vegan cookies available, too. *drools while typing*
Yes, I added a grocery store to the list, but maybe you are staying in town for more than a weekend and plan on cooking some of your own stuff. The Wedge has you covered. Or maybe you just want a good selection of some pre-made foods, and want more of a variety than your typical Whole Foods selection. The Wedge has that, too. They even have some deli sandwiches, smoothies, and plenty of desserts to choose from. The Tempeh Tarragon cold salad is a personal favorite of mine, along with the Vegan Dream Bar or the Vegan Tollhouse Cookie.
***For those who are feeling lazy or don’t have transportation, use BiteSquad to get most of these places delivered to your door.***
(aka: St. Paul’s Best Vegan Spot)
From SoyClones (think DQ Blizzard, but with better flavors) to just about anything else you thought you had to “give up” when going vegan – corn dogs, wings (cauliflower), Big Mac (called the Dirty Secret), and so much more. J. Selby’s has crushed the scene and now St. Paul can claim the best vegan restaurant in Minnesota (I said it, THE ENTIRE STATE).
And if you are in town and have any other questions about your vegan options, let me know in the comments or talk to me on Twitter (@TonyV433).
Now let the festivities (and vegan feast) begin!
PS: If you want to buy some records check out the following:
- Hymie’s Vintage Records
- Electric Fetus
- Extreme Noise
- Mill City Sound
Treehouse Records– Closed, but worth the drive-by to pay respects.
- Agharta Records
- Flashlight Vinyl