For those looking for something to eat that’s made with a little more TLC than what comes from the commissaries of the biggest suppliers, the organic food movement has been gaining steam since the 1970s, and is now commonplace in the restaurant world. But that doesn’t mean all organic eats are created equal. Some places do it better than others. For a great meal done the organic way, these restaurants are the most delicious and dedicated in Minnesota.
3311 E. 25th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
The Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis boasts a wonderful myriad of groceries and eateries, and one of the finest places among them is Birchwood Café. Sit inside, or when the weather permits, outside to enjoy the nearby garden for brunch, lunch or dinner. The dedication to organic, local and sustainable ingredients is only outmatched by the dedication to unique and interesting flavors and concepts. Everyone seems to have a favorite, be it the savory waffle, turkey burger or to-die-for slice of pie.
2610 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
If you’re hungry, but not looking to sit down for a long dinner, French Meadow is here for you. The menu is short and sweet, and everything is organic. And you can enjoy a bold beer or glass of wine along with it. Counter service makes your meal quick and easy, but still a great place to meet friends or co-workers. Casual, but still stylish, both the Grand Avenue location and the Nicollet location will leave your cravings for organic, health-minded but still delicious eats completely satisfied. And then there are the baked goods…
528 University Ave. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Whether you’re eating from the multi-course tasting menus or just sampling something a la carte, Restaurant Alma’s carefully constructed menu is stocked full of locally sourced, organic ingredients. Alex Roberts opened this restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis in 1999, long before the local, organic craze had swept into the Twin Cities. Alma is still considered the gold standard, and is always worth a visit, and revisit, as the menu changes every six to eight weeks.
The Buttered Tin
237 7th St. E.
St. Paul, MN 55101
Lowertown’s continuing ascension into food district is bolstered by The Buttered Tin’s continuing success. This place does it right. Breakfast and lunch are served until 3 p.m. daily, and you can eat easy knowing that the ingredients are as high-quality that a restaurant this close to the St. Paul Farmers’ Market is expected to have. Eat light, with salads, soups and sandwiches, or stuff yourself full with the daily hot dish or other larger plates. The sleek take on a modern diner makes everyone feel welcome, and you certainly don’t have to sacrifice the sweet and savory brunch goodness just because it has better-than-average ingredients.
2409 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Have you ever eaten at a “raw” restaurant? For the restaurant most dedicated to fresh ingredients, clean eating and all-around goodness of body and soul, Ecopolitan is it. Fresh juices and smoothies are a great quick snack, but if you’re hungry, you can get everything from ravioli, to mac and cheese, to falafel done with completely raw ingredients. While it might not be grandma’s mac and cheese, it still hits the spot and you’ll feel much healthier afterward. Easy to miss in the Uptown bustle, Ecopolitan has been open since 2001, teaching Minnesotans about healthy living and feeding them as well.
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.