Cold-smoked salmon is hard to beat. Originally starting in communities on the East Coast, Lox has spread all across the country to become a popular morning meal. Cold-smoked, the flavor of the salmon really shines. It’s the best way to have fish for breakfast, whether on the traditional bagel with cream cheese, onion, tomato and capers, or scrambled up with eggs. Try one of these local stores for the best lox in the Midwest.
651 S. Cleveland Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55116
Classic New York deli fare is served up in generous portions at this St. Paul institution. The no-frills restaurant has long served classic New York deli fare, and the market has everything you could want to take home. Regarded as the closest thing to the original East Coast delis you can find in Minnesota, Cecil’s thick lox fillets might just be the best on this list. But we’ll leave that for you to decide.
1500 W. 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Keeping it local (and sustainable, organic and hormone free) in St. Paul since 1979, you can go to Mississippi Market to find the very freshest and very best groceries around. The salmon is no exception. Smoked to perfection and ready to enjoy (perhaps with the bagels and cream cheese you also picked up from the market), it’s a savory, delectable treat. You can find the same quality of product at the store’s original location on Selby as the newer store on West 7th Street. Added bonus: The Mississippi Market is a co-op, and it has been consumer-run since its opening.
303 E. Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
The beloved Minneapolis wine shop and liquor store is best known for its eclectic spirits and fantastic cheese selections. You can expect the same quality of salmon as you do for all of the other Surdyk’s products, and you won’t be disappointed by any of the pre-made lox sandwiches or salads served at both the Northeast location and at the Surdyk’s outpost at the airport. While you can find the typical bagel and lox at the Bruegger’s across the street, Surdyk’s stands as the local, sustainable and overall better option to satisfy your craving.
Related: Best of Minnesota: Delis
1261 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
This local chain is a favorite for upscale groceries and lunch options. The popularity has led to the store’s expansion throughout the far corners of the metro area. Despite its far reach, however, Kowalski’s remains a solid neighborhood grocery store that provides high-quality products and a high standard of service. You can get cold-smoked salmon in a tray for a party, in sandwiches for a quick eat or packaged to take home and enjoy at your leisure. You won’t have to travel far to find the Kowalski’s closest to you, making your lox experience all the better.
2105 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Uptown’s eco-friendly, sustainably-focused market continues the Twin Cities’ positive trend of corporate-grocery alternatives. The co-op model has also been popular in the Twin Cities, like Mississippi Market, and the Wedge is another great example of how the “for us, by us” model can be truly successful. While you don’t have to be a member to pick up your lox or any other groceries, becoming a member offers fantastic benefits. The quality of product is undeniable (the fish typically comes straight from the fishermen), and supporting a positive source makes it taste even better.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.