Wander Minnesota: Dining Al Fresco in St. Paul

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Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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Last week, we took a look at places to dine al fresco in Minneapolis. Now it’s St. Paul’s turn. Here are a few great spots to check out while the weather is still so obliging.

Long-time favorite W.A. Frost has a gorgeous patio behind the venerable restaurant, shaded by beautiful trees and very much a respite from the world. When the weather is nice, get there early—it’s very popular.

Or you could just go across the street to Moscow on the Hill. The Russian restaurant on Cathedral Hill boasts not only a lovely patio, but an extensive Russian food menu and, for the brave, horseradish-infused vodka.

Not far from either is the Happy Gnome, which has a cozy backyard patio, not to mention an extensive craft beer list (76 taps) and more than 250 whiskeys. Just down the street is the Cheeky Monkey Deli, with its own relaxing off-street patio where you can enjoy the deli’s casual but tasty menu. Also on Selby is La Grolla, a local favorite offering lots of homemade Italian goodness and a patio with plenty of vegetation to admire.

Sometimes a rooftop is more appealing than a patio. Downtown St. Paul has two good options for that: long-time St. Paul fixture Cossetta’s recently added rooftop dining by the name of Louis Ristorante to its empire, complete with gorgeous views over the treetops. If you’re more in the mood for something Irish, The Liffey offers a full range of Irish treats as well as spectacular views of St. Paul’s skyline.

You could definitely do a lot worse than making a visit to Burger Moe’s, not far from the Xcel Energy Center. Its brightly colored patio will lift your spirits on the gloomiest of days.

The Day By Day Cafe is open only for breakfast and lunch, but has a beautiful two-tiered patio complete with koi pond. And Lake Harriet has Bread & Pickle, which has three “seasonal” menus for the summer months and uses organic products when possible.

A visit to St. Anthony’s brings you to Muffuletta, a neighborhood stalwart with a long-time commitment to its cozy outdoor patio, complete with delectable, upscale comfort food.

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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