The just-opened Green Line isn’t just a $957 million between-the-downtowns people-mover. With dozens of restaurants along its 11-mile route, think of the Twin Cities’ second light-rail line as a pathway to culinary adventure. Here’s a station-by-station guide.
The Seven Corners street scene is anchored by two of the city’s liveliest sidewalk patios. At Town Hall Brewery (1430 Washington Av. S., Mpls., 612-339-8696, townhallbrewery.com), brewer Michael Hoops and his crew make the most of their recently expanded operation as they craft a distinctive selection of seasonal and regularly featured beers. Meanwhile, Republic (221 Cedar Av. S., 612-338-6146, republicmn.com) boasts a discerning 40-plus roster of ales, stouts, ciders and pilsners culled from local, regional and international brewers.
Diners have until Aug. 29 to check out the Campus Club (300 Washington Av. SE., Mpls., 612-626-7788, www.campusclubumn.org). During the quiet summer months, the members-only association on Coffman Union’s fourth floor opens its doors to the general public during happy hour, weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. Two incentives: the terrace’s thrilling views, and dollar-off snacks and libations.
Those unfamiliar with the campus may also be unaware of the University of Minnesota Farmers Market (Church Street pedestrian mall, www.umn.edu). The modest but highly browsible collection of Minnesota and Wisconsin growers — including the well-stocked stand sponsored by the U’s own Cornercopia Student Organic Farm — convenes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 8.
A forest of construction cranes points to the vitality of this campus commercial district, where chains dominate. Still, a handful of remarkable indies stand out, including a name that will spark happy memories for longtime Twin Cities diners: Abdul’s Afandy (614 Washington Av. SE., Mpls., 612-872-0523). In its latest no-frills incarnation, owner Mohammed Ahmad is running a to-go joint, a big-portions/low-prices destination for those in search of shawarma, hummus, falafel, baklava and other traditional favorites.
At vegan- and gluten-free-friendly Foxy Falafel (791 Raymond Av., St. Paul, 651-888-2255,
foxyfalafel.com), chef/owner Erica Strait cleverly flips falafel expectations, calling upon garden-fresh and often organic ingredients and making unexpected additions (beets, curry spices) into the basic chickpea formula. The chicken shawarma is exceptional, as is the ground turkey gyro. Skip the side dishes (stuffed grape leaves, tangy pickles, smoky baba ghanoush, creamy hummus) at your peril.