Passam Agha of Minneapolis sipped some tea at the Filfillah Restaurant, which features Middle Eastern food.

Richard Sennott,

The Dragon House Restuarant is a fixture on Central Ave in Columbia Heights. Chop Suey is one of the popular standards.

Feed Loader,

Pooja Grocers offers over 50 different kids of black tea.

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Images of Ganesh line the shelves at Pooja Grocers. Ganesh is a elephant-headed Hindu god of wisdom and problem solving who is the son of Shiva and Parvati and is represented as a potbellied man with an elephant’s head

Feed Loader,

The Dragon House Restuarant is a fixture on Central Ave in Columbia Heights. This this dragon holds a lantern in the main restaurant.

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The Filfillah Restaurant features Middle Eastern food and this falafel plateof 6 falafel, hummus, salad and tabouli is fairly typical .

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Columbia Heights offers a place for every palate

  • Article by: Sarah Barchus
  • Star Tribune
  • March 25, 2014 - 3:00 PM


It’s less than 4 square miles, but Columbia Heights offers community members and commuters a world of tastes.

Ethnic grocery stores and restaurants line Central Avenue and allow hungry passersby to satisfy their appetites for a variety of cuisines in a matter of blocks.

Columbia Heights has long been home to immigrant communities, but it wasn’t always this diverse. Primarily Polish, Slavic and German families used to reside in the area, said Anoka County Commissioner Jim Kordiak, son of legendary community member Al Kordiak.

“My world, the same community, is a different place today,” said Kordiak, who has alternated living in Columbia Heights and the city of Ramsey. A lot of the old businesses he remembers from growing up, like the Five and Dime, have been replaced by diverse eateries and shops as other ethnic groups moved into the city, taking advantage of the ready and affordable housing, he said.

A trip down Central Avenue, the main thoroughfare, reflects the diversity, and can make anyone’s taste buds well-traveled.


Sarah Barchus is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.


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