By Joy Summers, editor of Eater Minneapolis.
Discovering a new restaurant is a thrill for a food lover like me. I grew up in a family where we were discussing breakfast around the lunch table while simultaneously plotting which shops to visit to procure the best ingredients for dinner. We’re a little bit much, but it’s all about the thrill of the hunt and the immense satisfaction of a delicious meal. Roseville is a veritable treasure trove of small restaurants just waiting for discovering. Strip mall locations make for easy access, plenty of parking, welcome accessibility for those with mobility challenges, and so many harbor unique settings behind uniform facades.
Tucked into a quiet corner of an office structure is a dandy breakfast and lunch spot with a tantalizing pastry case and serene atmosphere. Grateful Table makes fresh soup, sandwich, and breakfast options with a full coffee bar and zippy wifi connections. The buttered layers of danish are worth planning a morning coffee break around. Plus, the warm, friendly service start every day off with a sunny dose of kindness. There’s a sweet corner of the cafe that also serves as a shop for local makers. It’s a nice place to browse for gifts for others, or maybe something handcrafted to bring home with you.
This new hot pot and pho restaurant at Har Mar has a beautifully remodeled interior with a sweet mural featuring a friendly little sloth chilling in some bamboo. Service is quick and friendly. After being seated at a table, it’s easy to select broth, add ins and noodle style. I’m a sucker for the tart, slow-build spicy Thai seasoned broth. Choice of meat (or tofu) arrives on a tray alongside several other dunkables: baby bok choy, tofu, tofu skin, enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts and more. The broth comes in a pot, tucked into a hole in the table, where you can control the cauldron’s temperature. Dunk, swish and slurp through all combinations of the mix ins for a deliciously fun and interactive dining experience.
This spot is the king-daddy locale for killer roast beef sandwiches. This restaurant has perfected the art of slow roasting beef to blushing perfection. During lunch, lines of patient fans will wait to order at the counter, stop by the big condiment bar to season up the meat just right, then dive in with a bite through the butter bun to the meaty payload. True Maverick’s fans will know that as incredible as the famous roast beef is, the ultra tender, monstrously juicy brisket is the dark horse beauty of the menu. It’s best to go with friends and share one of each variety for the full flavor experience.
Just off Lexington and Larpenteur is an eye catching Dairy Queen that’s been a summertime tradition for over 100 years. The Roseville Dairy Queen was the first opened in Minnesota and remains family-owned and stocked with those classic, cold treats. Order up classic Peanut Buster Parfaits, ice cream cakes, dip cones, splits, or one of the cacophony of Blizzard flavors. Wait until dusk sets in for the neon signs to light up – truly one of the prettiest businesses in the Twin Cities and just as sweet as childhood summer nostalgia can be.
The Original Malt Shop
The mall The Original Malt Shop is in is undergoing some major construction, but look past the fencing as it gets its facelift and see inside for a pile of childhood delights. Stepping inside, eaters are graced with jubilant candy cane colored walls, bright red booths, smiling faces and 50’s music. This is exactly what a malt shop should be and the rotation of happy customers shows that it’s become a family tradition. The kid-approved menu is burgers and fries and so, so many malt flavors. From mix ins to fancy drizzles like salted caramel, this is a total small town-style gem right in the heart of a bustling city.
View a full list of restaurants in Roseville here.