The 10 Best Restaurants In Lowertown, Minnesota

Photo of A. J. Samuels
9 February 2017

At the edge of downtown St Paul lies the neighborhood of Lowertown. This historic district is a growing cultural hub in Minnesota and is home to an array of trendy art galleries, cafes and dining establishments. As well as hosting the annual Saint Paul Art Crawl, Lowertown is also the setting of the greatly loved Saint Paul Farmer’s Market. We’ve found the ten hottest places to eat in the neighborhood for next time you’re in town.

© Shauna Liboon
© Chris Boonhoff 2011

Heartland Farm Direct Market + Restaurant

Market, Restaurant, American, $$$
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For fine food presented in an artistic manner, dinner at Heartland Farm Direct Market + Restaurant is an absolute must. Serving Midwest regional cuisine, the menu here changes nightly to reflect the chef’s creativity, imagination and seasonally fresh produce. Each night there are two fixed price menus to choose between as well as ample a la carte options for those looking to mix and match their own combination of dishes. Open Tuesday to Sunday each week for dinner only, reservations are highly recommended and can be made through the restaurant’s website as well as by phone. An example of a fixed price menu begins with a fried duck egg appetizer, Limousin beef roast entrée and finishes with an apple spice cake with caramel ice cream for dessert.


Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Wine Bar, American
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Barrio, Saint Paul
Barrio, Saint Paul | Courtesy Black Dog Cafe + Wine Bar
A Latin-inspired, tequila-loving restaurant in the hip neighborhood of Lowertown, Barrio is a must-visit restaurant for anyone with a passion for incredibly tasty Mexican fare. Each dish and cocktail is hand-crafted using only the finest and freshest ingredients. A fantastic choice of dining establishment for a romantic meal or for a catch-up with friends, every dinner should begin with a bowl of made-to-order guacamole served with homemade tortilla chips. Other unmissable dishes include the snapper ceviche, slow-cooked pork taco, wild mushroom enchilada and the Duroc pork rib chop.

Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar

Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Coffee, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Vegan, Cocktails, $$$
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A coffee shop by day and a wine bar by night, the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar offers its guests great drinks deals, affordable lunches and regular live music. Using organic, home-grown and locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, this eatery attracts the eco-conscious as well as wine aficionados and coffee addicts. On the menu is simple cafe-style fare such as chicken and cheese quesadillas, Cuban sandwiches and artisan pizzas with a choice of toppings. The wine menu changes regularly and there is an impressive selection of local, craft and international beers behind the bar too.

Christos Greek Restaurant

Restaurant, Greek, $$$
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Christos Greek Restaurant, 214 4th St E
Christos Greek Restaurant, 214 4th St E | Courtesy FACES Mears Park
One of the few European restaurants in St Paul, Christos Greek Restaurant is the place to go in the city for delectable mezzes, delicious pita sandwiches and moussaka. For an authentic taste of Greece order a selection of appetizers, including hummus, tzatziki, spicy pork sausage and saganaki. For the main course, order two or three dishes to experience a medley of flavors. The Gyros salad, dolmathes and ground beef moussaka are all popular choices. Full of locals come lunch or dinner, Christos Greek Restaurant also caters for parties and private dinners upon request.

FACES Mears Park

Restaurant, American, $$$
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FACES Mears Park, Lowertown
FACES Mears Park, Lowertown | © Courtesy Pazzaluna
Divided into a bistro, wine bar, bottle shop and bakery, FACES Mears Park is a one-stop eatery designed for experiencing the perfect fusion of American and international flavors. Combining modern and artisan culinary techniques, the chefs at FACES Mears Park have crafted a tempting menu full of exquisite dishes. Try the steak au poivre with hand-cut fries, the seafood and sausage paella, the lemon and lime scallop linguine, or the peanut sesame chicken for a meal to remember. Lighter fare is also available, perfect for a quick lunch, and includes tasty dishes such as salad Nicoise, Moroccan harira soup and pulled pot-roast sandwich.


Bar, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Pazzaluna Urban Italian Restaurant, Saint Paul
Pazzaluna Urban Italian Restaurant, Saint Paul | Courtesy Public Kitchen + Bar
An award-winning Italian restaurant, Pazzaluna aims to give each of its guests the true Italian dining experience. The restaurant has a warm and relaxing atmosphere and diners are encouraged to linger over dinner, indulging in a series of courses from antipasto to primo, secondo, dolce, coffee and amaro. Authenticity lies at the heart of the menu, enabling diners to enjoy dishes such as four cheese gnocchi, seafood capellini, saffron risotto and porcini crusted veal medallions with spinach and a roasted tomato butter sauce. As well as the ambient, mural-adorned dining room, Pazzaluna also features an energetic bar area with daily drinks and appetizer deals.

Public Kitchen + Bar

Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Situated within a beautiful, historic building, Public Kitchen + Bar is a sophisticated and elegant dining and bar space perfect for enjoying a sit-down meal or a late night cocktail. The lounge is intimate and warm featuring plush sofas and decadent fabrics, while the restaurant is kept simple and modern with a dark wooden theme and large curved windows. Relax in the lounge with a martini and a plate of bacon wrapped scallops or indulge in a fancy three course meal in the dining room for the full Public Kitchen experience. Fantastic appetizers include calamari tempura and three cheese fondue, followed by the lobster linguini and bone in beef short rib.

Tanpopo Noodle Shop

Bistro, Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
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Tanpopo Noodle Shop, Lowertown
Tanpopo Noodle Shop, Lowertown | Courtesy The Bulldog
A noodle shop to the Japanese is as natural as a bistro is to Americans, and Tanpopo Noodle Shop is Lowertown?s way of converting the masses to this healthy, delicious cuisine. All of the dishes on the menu are MSG free, made using authentic, homemade Japanese stock and wherever possible, organic and locally farmed ingredients. Diners can choose between a variety of tasty appetizers such as sushi rolls, vegetable tempura and roasted beet salad before moving on to the star of the meal – the noodle dish. Both udon and soba noodles are available with a choice of accompaniments and sauces, including tempura of onions, carrots, scallions and wild mushrooms.

The Bulldog

Pub, Restaurant, Bar, American, $$$
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The Bulldog Lowertown, Saint Paul
The Bulldog Lowertown, Saint Paul | Courtesy The Bulldog
Serving food until 1am every day, The Bulldog is the place to go for late night dining, great happy hours and tasty pub-style entrées. The menu here is simple but extensive, taking inspiration from across the world. Known for its 11 big screens, The Bulldog is a fantastic venue for sports fans and will even provide stadium-style snacks to really set the scene. Tuck into a Viennese beef hot-dog, mini corn-dog or Bavarian pretzel whilst watching the game. Alternatively, guests can enjoy a more food-focused dinner in the restaurant with a wide choice of sit-down dishes available such as beef pot roast, fish and chips and homemade meat loaf.

Trattoria da Vinci

Candlelit tables and antique stone fountains create the perfect atmosphere for romantic dinners at Trattoria da Vinci. A truly authentic Italian eatery, the menu covers every corner of Italy and has been crafted by a native Italian chef. Enabling locals to experience this internationally acclaimed cuisine without ever having to leave their hometown, each of the dishes available at Trattoria da Vinci have stayed true to traditional Italian cooking. The menu is short, simple and truly delicious. For the perfect meal, order the mixed seafood appetizer, the ravioli crimini and the sautéed jumbo shrimp in a cream and brandy sauce for main course. To complement the meal beautifully, order a bottle of Italian white wine or Prosecco for that extra special ?pop?.

Trattoria da Vinci, 400 N Sibley Street, Lowertown, St Paul, MN, USA,
+1 651 222 4050

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