Skip the drive-thru, park the car and step up to the counter at these recommended Twin Cities eateries.

The counter-service role model, Cafe Latte, has been making Grand Avenue diners happy for what feels like forever, thanks to an ever-changing selection of fresh salads and sandwiches, famous desserts and friendly service.

Pairings Food & Wine Market is all about choices: A vast array of salads, sandwiches, pizzas, entrees, cheeses, cured meats and desserts, plus an adjacent wine and beer store that caters to both diners and shoppers. There's also a great happy hour, 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays.

At Yum! Kitchen and Bakery, owner Patti Soskin and her aims-to-please crew specialize in inventive and reasonably priced comfort food, including one of the Twin Cities' best chicken salad sandwiches, superb fish and chips, a standard-setting chicken noodle soup and more. Don't leave without indulging in a slice of coconut cake