Wander Minnesota: Al Fresco In St. Paul

Last week I did a roundup of great places in Minneapolis to visit for enjoying our all-too-short outdoor-dining season. Never fear — St. Paul has plenty of spots to stop, relax, eat and imbibe as well. Next week I’ll take a look at the suburbs, so weigh in — where are the great outdoor dining spots outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul?

The grand standard for outdoor dining in St. Paul is probably W.A. Frost. The lovely patio behind the restaurant (which is romantic and charming on the inside as well) is a great place to enjoy a sunny day, as well as some excellent food.

The patio at The Happy Gnome is a bit more casual, but no less enjoyable. A new outdoor fireplace promises to lengthen the al fresco season, and there’s live jazz on Sundays.

Forepaugh’s has a small but beautiful rooftop patio, where you can take advantage of the cozy view to enjoy Forepaugh’s reinvented menu.

Across the street from the Xcel Center is the jolly Liffey Irish Pub, with a rooftop dining area designed to look as if you really were in Ireland. Don’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day.

Head over to the District Del Sol for some Mexican food at Boca Chica, with an outdoor patio that pairs very well with its hearty menu.

Punch Pizza in Highland Park offers patio dining, certainly a soothing way to enjoy their oh-so-good pizzas and salads. And perhaps a glass of wine.

Over in St. Anthony Park, stop by Muffuletta for a meal prepared with an emphasis on locally sourced foods, then stop around the corner and browse the books at Micawber’s, the neighborhood’s fine independent bookstore.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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