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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

Dinkytown Restaurant Guide: Taste your way through a college town staple

Where to grab pizza by the slice, vegan dumplings, pancakes and more.
Image by Mary Ellen Ritter

It’s no secret that Minneapolis is home to an ever-evolving, lively restaurant scene — and you don’t have to stray far from campus for a taste of it. Whether you’re seeking an escape from the monotony of dining hall fare or searching for something more sufficient than last night’s leftovers, the Dinkytown restaurant scene likely has what you’re looking for. A&E put together a compilation of the area’s various restaurants to guide you on those days you just can’t make up your mind when it comes to figuring out what to eat.

If you’ve ever walked along Fifth St SE, there’s a solid chance you’ve caught wind of the smells wafting from the kitchen of Kbop Korean Bistro. Kbop serves classics like bulgogi, bibimbap and japchae in a fast-casual atmosphere.

Wander into Wally’s Falafel Hummus & Bakery for a plethora of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern options. The falafel sandwich rings in at under $7 and makes for a relatively cheap, fulfilling meal.
If you’re an early riser or equipped with a decent amount of patience in the morning, make your way to Al’s Breakfast and snag a seat at the 14-stool counter for a specialty omelette or a stack of blueberry pancakes. It’s even Guy Fieri-approved, so you know it’ll be worth your wait. For the mornings that you just can’t wait for breakfast, pop into Tony’s Diner for a healthy dose of that classic greasy-spoon diner fare we all know and love.

Searching for something sweet to sip? Chatime, Tiger Sugar and Kung Fu Tea each offer their own selection of tea and coffee drinks to sip on. Don’t miss the Avocado Chocolate Shake at Avocadish, either.

If you make it to Kung Fu Tea, consider sticking around to eat at Le Pot Chinese Hotpot. Hot pot is in and of itself an experience — one that entails sticking an assortment of vegetables, meat or noodles into a pot of boiling broth in order to cook and consume them. Le Pot’s unsung hero is its sauce station, offering a variety of ingredients like crushed garlic and sesame oil to mix and match that make it a condiment lover’s dream. Head to Tasty Pot down the street for a similar experience.

Although you might be familiar with its interior in the context of its coffee shop status, Gray’s has an eclectic lunch and dinner menu worth browsing, alongside a weekend brunch. Try the Llapingachos (Ecuadorian cheese-filled potato cakes) if you’re trying to switch things up.

Banh-mi on the brain? Banh Appetit should be your go-to. You can grab one at Pho Mai as well, but you’re better off opting for a big bowl of their pho accompanied by a Cafe Sua Da (Vietnamese iced coffee).

As the days grow colder, consider tucking into a pasty (a traditional Cornish pasty with a savory filling, mind you) from Land’s End Pasty Company. These hefty little pockets of dough, potatoes and (sometimes) meat pack a hefty punch.

Shuang Cheng Restaurant is a Dinkytown staple, cranking out Cantonese-style Chinese food on a daily basis. While the menu is packed with options, the restaurant’s real gem is their lunch specials, a rotation of over thirty options that offer large portions at a solid price.

Struggling to find decent plant-based options? Look no further than Camdi, a family-owned Chinese and Vietnamese fusion restaurant that’s been in the area for over 35 years. Their separate vegan menu offers everything from Steamed or Fried Vegan Dumplings to Vegan Hot and Spicy Mock Duck.

If pizza’s on your mind, try one of the funky-flavored slices like Southern Gentleman (cajun chicken, mashed potatoes, bacon and cheddar cheese) or Guacamole Burrito (black beans, rice, guacamole, sour cream and cheddar cheese) from Mesa Pizza. Down the street, Frank & Andrea offers their own selection of slices along with cheesesteaks. Pro-tip: order via Doordash and snag an order of mini donuts for a State Fair-esque delight.

Feeling something fresh? Head to JJ’s Poke for a full customizable, build-your-own poke bowl. Opt for a sushiritto from The Cove if you’re looking for a way to switch up your typical poke order.

For the fast-casual folks, check out the following: Crisp & Green for crisp, green salads; cult-classic Raising Cane’s for crispy chicken tenders and that frustratingly delectable Cane’s sauce; Bonchon for Korean fried chicken; Jimmy John’s for freaky-fast subs; DP Dough for a doughy, cheesy calzone; Potbelly Sandwich Shop for a mediocre sandwich fix; Qdoba for a burrito-bowl and queso that won’t cost extra.

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