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Best MSG Free Restaurants In The Twin Cities

March 1, 2011 9:11 PM

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WOK in the Park

MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a flavor enhancer used in many of the foods we eat today. I always thought added MSG was no big deal. It wasn’t until a close family member was diagnosed with an allergy derived from the food additive, which some neurologists label a neurotoxin.

The next time you’re out, ask your server if the chefs are able to prepare meals “MSG free.” I’ve learned many restaurants carry a powder form and can be eliminated all together. If you are on a quest to eat healthier and you’ve done your research on how MSG affects you, check out these restaurants (in no particular order).

wok in the park Best MSG Free Restaurants In The Twin Cities


WOK In The Park

3005 Utah Avenue
St. Louis Park, MN 55432

This Asian and French inspired menu is 100 percent “pure love.” In other words, the meals include zero MSG. If you are a fan of garlic, ginger, lemon and locally-grown produce, prepare to make WOK in the Park your new default for a favorite restaurant. You’ll be tweeting about it later, I promise.

citizen cafe Best MSG Free Restaurants In The Twin Cities


Citizen Café

2403 East 38th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Website | Directory

Everywhere we go, the word “organic” is used synonymously with hip, forward-thinking and a healthy way of life. Citizen Café, located in south Minneapolis, uses no MSG in its meals. On its breakfast menu, I recommend the Buttermilk stack — for you big eaters — paired with the Sake Bacon Mary. This café will have you saying OMG and definitely not MSG.

zpizza Best MSG Free Restaurants In The Twin Cities



1607 County Road C
Roseville, MN 55113

Website | Directory

Holy Napoli! This is the name of one of its great fresh pizzas, which includes: garlic, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil — one of my personal favorites. Zpizza also offers pasta, salad and sandwich options (the Z-Tuna sandwich is awesome). I am a big eater and with that said, you won’t leave hungry, in fact, you may need a to-go box.

classic saigon Best MSG Free Restaurants In The Twin Cities


Classic Saigon Restaurant

3902 Cedar Grove Parkway
Eagan, MN 56446
Website | Directory

Lately, I have become a huge fan of Vietnamese food. Many authentic dishes include mint, basil and lemongrass combined with fruit, veggies and soy sauce. I’ve finally found a restaurant that serves my new-found-love without MSG. I tried the steamed shrimp with ginger and loved it.

jasons deli Best MSG Free Restaurants In The Twin Cities


Jason’s Deli

11995 Singletree Lane
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Website | Directory

Am I the only one who has a hard time finding a cost-effective and health-conscious deli? Seriously. If you are like me, health is a large factor when choosing a place to eat out. MSG- and vegetarian-friendly is the name of the game at Jason’s Deli. If you are on-the-go or need a delivery, add this restaurant to your places to try. Your mom will be proud of you.

naviyas Best MSG Free Restaurants In The Twin Cities


Naviya’s Thai Brasserie

2812 43rd Street West
Minneapolis, MN 55410

If you are looking to find a new place to meet up with friends and want them to realize how creative and classy you are, check this place out. Naviya’s trendy atmosphere combined with its classic menu will allow you to relax and enjoy uninterrupted conversation. I recommend the Pad Thai with chicken — amazing.

-Justin Reis is a WCCO intern studying broadcast journalism at the University of Minnesota. His passion for finding the “best” in the Twin Cities is inspired by his role as a group fitness instructor and interests ranging from “anything artistic” to “anything social.” Please leave a comment on what you think of his recommendations.

View Comments
  • Lorna Johnston

    How about some restaurants in the western suburbs? I love to eat out but don’t particularly like driving downtown. Thanks!

    • tom

      eden prairie and st louis park aren’t western?

  • We

    How about a list of all the restaurants with Yummy MSG for all of us MSG lovers!!

    • MSG Free

      Keep enjoying it We. By all definistions it is a neurotoxin and once certain levels are achieved in your body you will pay.

      • us

        get a life M S G is awesome and delicious and GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!

      • Susan

        have a mechanical obstruction in my stomach, pay in awful pain if I eat MSG,
        MSG is flavor enhancer, even makes food taste better in your mouth. Good food does not need MSG

    • MSG

      MSG lovers are ignorant and deserve the toxiin

      • O

        You need to get your facts straight about MSG it is great!

  • No MSG = migraine free

    People don’t realize how much MSG is in our food. I suffer from migraines triggered by MSG. It took years to find out where they came from, but after carefully scrutinizing my diet, I realized MSG was the cause all along. After eliminating it all together, I rarely get migraines anymore. Most scratch kitchens are safe, but beware of any chicken stock, artificial cheese powder (like cheetos and doritos) or ranch dressing. Also read organic labels carefully. MSG has many disguise names like autolyzed yeast extract. I thought I would miss things like TGI Fridays or Applebees, but I don’t! I only eat good food now and I’m much healthier. Anything with MSG is probably something you shouldn’t eat anyway. Sometimes I REALLY miss ranch – but the migraine is NEVER worth it!

    • A

      I have hear this MSG=migrane thing, Interesting. I have heard that Most Asian restaraunts use MSG. Seems to be a traditional Asian ingredient.

    • richard

      That’s right!
      Big difference without MSG

  • Gary

    The term ‘Natural Flavor’ can also have MSG.

  • Frenchy

    Shouldn’t this be marked with “Advertisement”??

  • Al

    If you really miss ranch, marzettis has just come out with a great all natural one called “simply dressed” that you by in the fresh produce department! I found it at Cub.

    • No MSG = migraine free

      Thanks! I will try it!
      Annie’s Cowgirl Organic Ranch is out there too but it’s just not the same.
      Thank you!

      • chris

        I was ill for almost 2 years with migraines. I changeed my diet and try to eat as natural as possible also take a magnesium supplement. I have not had a Migraine in 6th months and proably wont ever again! Deffenetly take magnesium after about 3 months of building up it will help or cure your migraines as well as eating right.

  • Judy

    I also found out MSG was one of the culprits causing my migraines. I don’t eat out that much but when I do, I always ask or before I go, I check online and see if they say anything on their website. I’ve tried the Marzetti’s dressings and they are indeed, MSG-free and taste great.

  • Them

    You forgot WOK THE DOG on University Ave. in St. Paul. Don’t forget in St. Paul you are Hmong friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mdt

    Had Classic Saigon just last night! Great place to eat, but it seems that people just don’t know about it. Glad to see it mentioned here!

  • cschwies

    I too have issues with MSG, except I get like a severe head cold when I have larger amounts of MSG. Green Mill only has 2 things that have MSG in them. Ask your server for sure.

  • Realist04

    Wok in the Park is the BEST Asian restaurant in the Twin cities! Worth the Trip from ANYWHERE!

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