10 Green Line-accessible restaurants for when you’ve had one too many Cane’s Texas toasts

Take a ride on the light rail and hit up these cool bars and restaurants that are just a few minutes’ walk away from a Green Line station.

by James Schaak

Bored of Dinkytown’s somewhat limited array of bars and restaurants? Ever get an urge to get out there and become a tourist in the city you call home? Or are you just a foodie on a constant search for restaurant tips? No matter what, here are ten restaurants that everyone should check out.

The Liffey Irish Pub (Central Station)
Located near the Xcel Energy Center, this bustling Irish pub is a key fixture for Irish fare in St. Paul’s nightlife. Grabbing a burger and a beer here before attending the sub-cultural people-watching super event that is the Minnesota high school state hockey tournament is highly recommended.

Cossetta (Central Station)
A massive operation, this cafeteria-style Italian restaurant is a must for anyone looking to carbo-load. Offering pizza, lasagna and some killer salads, Cossetta is the kind of place you go when you need food quick, and a lot of it.

Cheng Heng Restaurant (Western Ave)
Minneapolis is a hub for southeast Asian food, but few places do it better than Cheng Heng. This Cambodian restaurant in St. Paul is a severely underrated spot, featurings a menu that is literally pages long with dozens of dishes to choose from, many of which bring the heat. The chive cakes and Mach Angkor are two patron favorites.

Marc Heu (Western Avenue)
Not necessarily a restaurant, but definitely a great place to order a croissant at the cash register, this French patisserie makes some of the best pastries in the area. Not only do they taste delicious, but they also look delicious. Every pastry comes wrapped in a bow-tied, Instagram-ready box — and the chocolate eclair is even sprinkled with gold flakes.

Ishita Ramen (Dale Street)
Right across the street from the Dale Street light rail station, Ishita Ramen is a great place to grab some authentic ramen, perhaps on the way back to campus from the nearby State Capitol. The staff are friendly and the relatively cheap food ensures you will get the most bang for your buck.

Fasika Restaurant (Snelling Avenue)
Ethiopian food is easily one of the best features of Minneapolis’ restaurant scene — and Fasika Restaurant is no exception. The injera, perhaps Ethiopian cuisine’s most unique export, is to die for, and a visit to this neighborhood staple provides any newcomer with a proper schooling on the delicacy that is East African spaghetti.

Penny’s Coffee (Government Plaza)
Located in the lobby of a 22-floor office building downtown, Penny’s is a great study spot. If the sterile modernism of office spaces entrances you or if you’re a Carlson-bro, pre-law type of student that wants to roleplay in your dream career, then definitely check out Penny’s. Be sure to get a crêpe in addition to your specialty latte.

Spyhouse Coffee (Government Plaza)
Another downtown Minneapolis study spot, Spyhouse offers dimmer lighting but cozier decorations than Penny’s all-window and corporate feel. The coffee is admittedly expensive but well worth it for anyone who loves exploring the gems of downtown Minneapolis’ urban landscape.

Cowboy Jack’s (Warehouse District / Hennepin)
Despite its reputation as a nightlife stomping ground in Minneapolis, Cowboy Jack’s is arguably more enjoyable during the daylight. During a Twins game, the rooftop is a great way to enjoy the excitable sports atmosphere without actually having to pay for a Target Field ticket.

Gay ‘90s (Warehouse District / Hennepin)
An absolute blast of a party, Gay ‘90s has been a staple of Minneapolis nightlife for decades. Freshmen should be sure to check out their 18+ foam party Fridays but that is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a giant dildo intended for photo ops, drag shows on the second floor, ripped go-go dancers in jockstraps, and much more to hold your attention.