Growing up in the ‘burbs, it was typical for me to dream about living in the big city — a place with plenty of options, tons of new places and new trends just around the corner. It seemed the old standbys and staples grew weary over the years and I always wanted the bigger and better.
It wasn’t until I was older that I came to realize how amazing those “old standbys” truly were — and appreciate them for doing things their own way and doing them right. They’re the places where consistency rules all, providing excellent service comes naturally and tasty dishes are what keep people coming back for years — and even decades.
Living in Shoreview, Minn. for most of my childhood, I grew up frequenting a number of these great spots. Even revisiting them for this feature brought back loads of nostalgia and fond memories of family dining or a night out with high school friends.
I narrowed the list down to 10 of my favorite Shoreview-area spots. (But since Shoreview isn’t the biggest dining Mecca, I had to cheat just a little and cross a few other borders.) I hope you enjoy my trip down memory lane — and to the best spots around Shoreview — as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
And if you’re a Shoreview native — or frequenter — and have a favorite spot that’s not on the list, please leave a comment and let me know what you enjoy!
Kozlak’s Royal Oak Restaurant
4785 Hodgson Road | Shoreview, MN
The great thing about Kozlak’s is that no matter the occasion — a birthday, graduation dinner or even a wedding reception — you get the same warm feeling from the food and the employees. The dining room is a classy twist on a supper-club feel while the outdoor patio takes you away from the busy street to a peaceful haven.
3999 Rice St. | Shoreview, MN
I’m not going to lie, Jade House doesn’t look like much from the outside. But the food inside is probably some of the best Chinese I’ve had. It’s nothing fancy but simple, tasty Asian cuisine. The lemon chicken was definitely my “usual” and I’ve still struggled to find a place that does it better.
Lindey’s Prime Steak House
3600 Snelling Ave. N. | Arden Hills, MN
Lindey’s should almost make its motto, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This steak joint is celebrating 52 years of making classic, juicy steaks and sides the same way they did when they first opened. The menu is simple — but when you do something this good, there’s just no need for frills.
857 Village Center Drive | North Oaks, MN
I can’t even drive near this restaurant without stopping in or ordering out. This was the place to be in high school and not just because that’s where the “cool kids” hung out but because of the amazing food. It’s the home of the Panino and with a menu jam-packed full of these intensely delicious sandwiches to try, it never gets old. If you’re extra hungry, try the Panino fries and ask for a side of their homemade ranch.
Snuffy’s Malt Shop
1125 Larpenteur Ave. W. | St. Paul, MN
OK, I know this one is a bit outside of the Shoreview neighborhood but I just had to add it — if only because we spent nearly every weekend at this classic malt shop. Sure, it might’ve been because my friend had a crush on one of the waiters, but more so it was because of the delicious malts and food. While they’re known for their burgers, my staple here was always the classic, greasy grilled cheese. And of course, a large order of fries.
Cup And Cone
2126 4th St. | White Bear Lake, MN
It was always a sure sign that summer was near when this fabulous ice cream stand would open its doors. With its simple shack setting and good ol’ fashioned menu of ice cream goodies, this was a must on hot, weekend nights. And as corporate chain ice cream continues creeping towards $5 a scoop, Cup And Cone’s prices remain beyond cool.
Taste Of Scandinavia Bakery And Cafe
Taste Of Scandinavia’s Website
845 Village Center Drive | North Oaks, MN
My mother still frequents this bakery on an almost daily basis. And every time she does, I can expect to receive a 15-minute conversation purely on their scones. Whether it’s their amazing pastries, or their perfectly crumbly cookies, the Taste’s bakery is one of those places you just can’t resist stopping by — especially after getting a whiff of their latest oven goodness.
5959 Centerville Road | North Oaks, MN
Tria Restaurant joined our neighborhood right at the tail end of my high school career. Luckily, it was just in time for me to fall in love with its comforting, classic cuisine. The restaurant is immediately inviting from its perfectly sunny patio to its cozy indoor, romantic dining. The food is wonderful, whether you’re there for a elegant evening or a few drinks and apps with friends.
Ingredients Cafe and Take Away
4725 Highway 61 North | White Bear Lake, MN
When a place names itself “Ingredients,” you better believe they know how to use them. This cafe has an awesome conglomeration of flavors and menu options, from its succulent scallops to its not-to-be-messed-with shrimp diablo pasta.
Red Ginger China Bistro
Red Ginger’s Website
5999 Rice Creek Parkway | Shoreview, MN
Red Ginger has changed hands a few times over the years but its good, quality Chinese food never wavers. What separates Red Ginger from other Chinese spots, I think, is its excellent use of spice. Typical dishes are escalated as these flavors come together with savory sauces. Be sure to stop in to sample everything during the lunch buffet for just $6.50.
-Sara Boyd is a Web Producer at WCCO.com.