1. Travel

Local Minnesota Food: Where to Find Local Minnesota Food in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Farmers Markets, Restaurants, Co-ops, Coffee, Maple Syrup, Treats from Minnesota

By

Looking for local Minnesota food in Minneapolis/St. Paul? Here's a guide to finding locally produced Minnesota food in Minneapolis and St. Paul, where to shop for local Minnesota food, where to dine on local Minnesota food, and where to find locally produced Minnesota treats, Minnesota maple syrup and Minnesota ice cream.

Local Minnesota Food at Minneapolis/St. Paul Farmer's Markets

Minneapolis' Lyndale Avenue farmer's market is open daily during the summer, and the three other farmer's markets in Minneapolis open at the weekend and select weekdays.

St. Paul has at least one farmer's market every day of the week at various locations in the city, and their flagship market in downtown St. Paul on Saturday and Sunday.

Most other cities in the Twin Cities metro area have their own farmer's market.

Minnesota farmer's markets sell locally grown Minnesota and Wisconsin produce, fruit, flowers, herbs, cheese, eggs, meat, deli items, honey, bread and baked goods.

Local Minnesota Food at Minneapolis/St. Paul Co-op Markets

Co-op markets are community owned grocery stores. Buying a membership to a co-op supports the co-op, offers various member discounts, and enables you to participate in the running of the store with a vote on major decisions.

All co-ops are open to everyone, it's not necessary to be a member to shop at any of the 12 co-ops in the Twin Cities.

Co-ops are known for their support of local farmers and producers, particularly those with ethical or organic farming practices. To maintain a full range of products, co-ops sell items sourced from around the world, but for a product that can be made in Minnesota, a co-op will likely have the Minnesota version.

CSA - Community Supported Agriculture from Minnesota Farms

Buying a CSA is a share in the produce from a local farm. Many local organic farms sell shares early in the year, then during the growing and harvest season, divide their produce between the CSA holders. Some CSAs deliver a box of fresh, seasonal produce to the doorstep, some deliver to a central location to be picked up. CSAs usually deliver weekly, usually beginning in June. What you'll receive depends on the weather, the growing conditions, and what's in season right now, but it will be almost as fresh as can be, and a very convenient way to get your fruits and vegetables.

Minnesota Coffee

Uh, Minnesota coffee? No, we don't grow it here, but we do roast it. Many local coffee companies source ethically grown beans, follow fair trade practices, and have regard for the wellbeing of the coffee farmers.

Minneapolis' most well known coffee company is Peace Coffee, whose organic coffee and coffee beans are widely available in local coffee shops and markets.

CityKid Java roasts coffee beans in Minneapolis, and give 100% of their profits from their organic, fair trade coffee to programs that help at-risk kids in Minnesota.

Coffee and Tea, Ltd. is a family-owned business roasting coffee from over 60 countries in their tiny store in Minneapolis' Linden Hills. They have the widest range of organic and fair trade beans in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Maple Syrup

Minnesota doesn't have the concentration of maple trees that other more famous maple producing regions have, but it does have the perfect climate for maple syrup. During the maple syrup season, a few weeks in March, there are classes and events for collecting maple syrup in woods and nature centers around the Twin Cities.

And, Minnesota maple syrup is for sale year-round at co-ops and specialty food stores.

Local Minnesota Ice Cream

Minnesota and the cheeseheads next door in Wisconsin produce a sizable percentage of America's dairy products, and local ice cream parlors eagerly use that milk and cream. Local Minnesota blueberries, raspberries, and the aforementioned maple syrup make the most delicious Minnesota treats.

Izzy's Ice Cream is the Twin Cities's best known, available at Izzy's St. Paul store, and local markets and co-ops. The Pumphouse Creamery in Minneapolis loves to use local ingredients, organic milk and cream, and creates seasonal flavors using whichever berry is in season.

Local Minnesota Food at Minneapolis/St. Paul Restaurants

Most independent restaurants in the Twin Cities, and just about every restaurant in the more fashionable parts of Minneapolis and St. Paul, use local ingredients to a greater or lesser degree.

Breakfast places like the Bad Waitress use local eggs, Ecopolitan vegan restaurant uses local produce wherever they can, and Common Roots Cafe tailors their menu to what's in season.

More restaurants using local Minnesota produce and ingredients...

Minnesota Turkeys for a Local Thanksgiving Dinner

Local Minnesota farms rear turkeys for a locally produced Thanksgiving or holiday meal, and there are many options for ethically raised and organic birds. A co-op or old fashioned, family-run butcher is a great place to find local turkeys, as well as many other kinds of local, and organic meat.

Foraging for Food in Minnesota - Morels Mushrooms and More

The woods of Minnesota are full of edible plants, berries and mushrooms - if you know what to look for, and where to look. Wild blueberries and morel mushrooms are the most well known, but there are over 200 species of edible plants growing wild in Minnesota. Knowing exactly what is safe to eat is critical, beginners should always go harvesting with an expert in identifying edible wild plants.

The Minnesota Mycological Society holds identification workshops during the mushroom growing season, open to anyone who joins the MMS for $20.

Wisconsin-based Sam Thayer, author of the popular book Forager's Harvest runs wild food classes and workshops in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the summer months.

Pick-Your-Own Local Minnesota Foods

Local Minnesota apples are wonderful and several pick-your-own apple farms are open from late September until early in the new year. The same farms usually grow pumpkins for Halloween since the seasons neatly coincide.

Berry farms are also popular in summer. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries all grow happily in Minnesota and many local berry farms love to have you and your family come and pick them.

Not edible, but Minnesota grown none the less: cut-your-own Christmas tree farms around the Twin Cities let you decorate for the holidays with a locally grown tree.

The Jucy Lucy. Or Juicy Lucy.

No list of local Minneapolis food would be complete without the Jucy Lucy, or Juicy Lucy, the inside-out cheese burger of south Minneapolis. Invented sometime in the 1950s by either Matt's Bar or the 5-8 Club, both claim the honor, it's a burger with the ground beef formed around the cheese before cooking. Matt's Bar has the Jucy Lucy, the 5-8 Club serves the Juicy Lucy.

The process results in the cheese attaining lava-like temperature and if you tuck in too soon, the molten cheese squirts out when eaten. The risk of scalding your mouth or face presumably adds to the flavor.

The unofficial burger of Minneapolis makes great bar food, and many bars and burger restaurants serve their own version of the Ju(i)cy Lucy. Or, you can make your own.

  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Minneapolis / St. Paul
  4. Food & Drink
  5. Local Minnesota Food - Local Food in Minneapolis/St. Paul from Minnesota

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.