My Favorite Saint Paul Spots for Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment

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My Favorite Saint Paul Spots for Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment | Wit & Delight
Image via @shopidun on Instagram

While Saint Paul often gets overlooked when it comes to guides about the Twin Cities, I’m quite smitten with this city I call home, which is why I decided to put together a list of my favorite spots in the area. This list is for those who may be visiting our state’s humble capital and are looking for recommendations about which Saint Paul spots to frequent. It’s also for any locals who need a little push to make the most of the delights right outside their back door.

This is far from an exhaustive list, so please share your own favorite spots in the comments to help add further resources to this guide! Your contributions are always welcome and appreciated.

W.A.Frost

Dining


Image via W.A. Frost

This longtime dining spot is quintessential Saint Paul. Come for the patio, stay for the ambiance and the cocktails. 

Myriel

Dining


Image via @myrielmn on Instagram

The best meal I’ve had all year was thanks to Myriel’s chef Karyn Tomlinson and her passion for ingredients and storytelling through food.

Estelle

Dining


Image via @estellestp on Instagram

This is a great cozy date night spot that offers small plates and pasta, among other delicious bites.

Due Focacceria

Casual dining


Image via @due_focacceria on Instagram

I find myself thinking about their aperitivos and focaccia sandwiches way, way too often. They also do takeout which is perfect for impromptu gatherings. 

Foxy Falafel

Casual dining


Image via @foxyfalafel on Instagram

This spot is home to delicious Mediterranean fare that’s both healthy AND great for those who are vegan or gluten-free.

Shish

Casual dining


Image via @shishongrand on Instagram

This is another excellent casual eatery for authentic Mediterranean cuisine. They offer the best gyro in the city. Just trust me.

iPho by Saigon

Casual dining


Image via iPho by Saigon

When Joe and I want pho, this is our favorite place to get it in the cities. (Thank you for the recommendation almost ten years ago, Satchel!)

Rose Street Patisserie

Casual dining and pastries


Image via @rosestreetpatisserie on Instagram

The pastries here are great and so is the savory menu. I often come here to buy a few loaves of bread for the week (and to freeze for future enjoyment).

Marc Heu

Pastries and desserts


Image via @marcheuparis on Instagram

A friend of mine brought these pastries over once and I couldn’t stop thinking about them afterward. If you are craving a little slice of France or want to spoil someone (or yourself) with butter and sugar, this is your spot. 

Nina’s Coffee Café

Coffee shop


Image via @ninascoffeecafe on Instagram

This coffee shop is a Saint Paul institution. I come here to write and people watch. 

Waldmann Brewery

Brewery


Image via @waldmannbrewery on Instagram

This brewery has a great ambiance and is in a very bikeable location.

Cossetta

Italian market for dining and specialty groceries


Image via @cossettas on Instagram

I love the restaurant portion of Cossetta but as a home cook, I especially appreciate the abundance of specialty Italian goods at this Saint Paul institution. They have the best pizza dough and mozzarella cheese—once you taste it the first time you will go out of your way to pick it up in the future. I also often grab a plate of cookies to have on hand if we’re throwing together an impromptu gathering. And this is a great stop for food-related gifts as well!

St. Paul Meat Shop

Meat shop, specialty groceries, and deli sandwiches


Image via @stpaulmeatshop on Instagram

The knowledgeable staff will help you with just about anything you need related to meat, and you can also pick up special grocery items like lard, bone broth, and fresh pasta while you’re there.

St. Paul Cheese Shop

Cheese shop and deli


Image via St. Paul Cheese Shop

This cheese shop has a smaller footprint than others but there’s really good stuff here. The sandwich menu alone is worth the trip.

Solo Vino Bottle Shop

Wine shop


Image via Solo Vino Bottle Shop

This shop carries a wide selection of traditional wines from across the globe, along with some natural and organic selections for those of us who are looking for something off the beaten path. 

Hmong Village Shopping Center

Market with dining, shopping, and groceries


Image via Hmong Village Shopping Center

This is a bustling indoor market with vendors offering a wide range of fresh grocery items and goods. I highly recommend making it an afternoon of shopping and taking the time to explore!

Idun

Women’s clothing and accessories


Image via @shopidun on Instagram

This beautifully curated shop carries unique pieces for your forever wardrobe.

BlackBlue

Men’s clothing and accessories


Image via @shopblackblue on Instagram

A shop that carries high-quality menswear that will last a lifetime.

Heimie’s Haberdashery

Men’s clothing, bespoke suits, barbershop


Image via Heimie’s

This Saint Paul institution provides high-end men’s clothing, bespoke suits, and a barbershop to boot. 

Mother

Plant shop


Image via @shopmother on Instagram

This plant shop carries an incredible selection of cacti (and some select tropical plants) with everything you need to bring a little of the Southwest to your Northern home. 

Subtext

Bookstore


Image via @subtextbooks on Instagram

If you’re looking for an independent bookstore in our city this is the place to go!

West Saint Paul Antiques

Antiques


This antique store is one of my favorites. It has accessible prices and three levels to explore!

Anthony Scornavacco Antiques

Antiques


Image via Anthony Scornavacco Antiques

This high-end antique shop is located in historic downtown Saint Paul and is well worth a stop if you’re in the market for a specific piece (or simply want to browse).

European Christmas Market

Outdoor winter market


Image via @europeanchristmasmarket on Instagram

This outdoor market is a must-visit for getting a jump on holiday shopping along with a hefty dose of Christmas cheer. It is quaint and adorable and very Saint Paul. 

Hidden Falls

Hiking


Image via Visit Saint Paul

A Hidden Falls trek makes for a beautiful short hike. Walk down to the falls and continue as far as you’d like along the river. It’s gorgeous in the winter too!

James J. Hill House

Historic Tour


Image via James J. Hill House

A stroll down Summit Ave. in Cathedral Hill would set any Wit & Delight reader’s heart aflutter. Add a tour of the James J. Hill house and you’ll be transported to another time and era. I love to imagine the homes on Summit Ave. surrounded by the bluffs and trees that still stand today during the time when they were first constructed.

BY Kate Arends - November 24, 2021

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Carol Bruess
November 25, 2021 1:19 pm

As someone who lived in St. Paul for 24 years and did not want to leave: this post gives all the feels. St. Paul is ❤️! (And very livable, which is why we don’t want too many folks to know about it. Darn it, Kate. 😉)

Amanda
November 27, 2021 9:51 am

Love this list as a fellow Saint Paul person 🙂 Thanks!

November 29, 2021 11:11 am

Your list is wonderful! I lived in St. Paul for thirtysome years. I have lived elsewhere for eighteen years & I still miss St Paul! Thank you!

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