BIRCHWOOD CAFE

An ever-changing parade of beautifully crafted, seasonally conscious soups, always prepared with vegetarians and vegans in mind. Order the value-concious combo, which pairs a cup of soup with a half-sandwich or a half-salad for $7.

3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., 612-722-4474, www.birchwoodcafe.com

CHENG HENG

Pull your taste buds out of their winter slumber with lively Cambodian flavors: beef curry soup with coconut milk, peanuts and kaffir lime or a wonderfully sour combination of squash, pineapple and tomato.

448 W. University Av., St. Paul,

651-222-5577

CROSSROADS DELICATESSEN

All the Jewish classics are here, including matzo ball soup (substitute kreplach for matzo balls) and a cabbage borscht based on an unbeatable recipe shared by a devoted customer, Dr. Stuart Borken.

2795 Hedberg Dr., Minnetonka,

952-546-6595,

www.crossroadsdelicatessen.com

NGON VIETNAMESE BISTRO

Seriously fabulous pho, made with a flavor-packed broth and prepared a half-dozen ways, including ribeye, oxtail and meatball. Prepare to ask for a to-go carton.

799 W. University Av., St. Paul,

651-222-3301, www.ngonbistro.com

TANPOPO NOODLE SHOP

The specialty of the house: beautiful meals in a bowl made with a steaming combination of soba or udon noodles and brimming with shrimp, chicken, mushrooms, tofu or beef.

308 Prince St. St Paul, 651-209-6527,

www.tanpoporestaurant.com

RICK NELSON