It’s hard to pinpoint just what exactly makes Grand Avenue such a hotbed of good times in St. Paul.
Some might say it’s all the great shops lining the street’s 3 miles of charming block after charming block. Others might throw decide it’s merely an overflow of all that history, just one block over.
But ask us foodie bloggers, and we know the real answer.
It’s that Grand Avenue boasts one of the best collections of restaurants… not just St. Paul, but across the entire Twin Cities.
Better yet, not only does the landmark street boast such a great selection of restaurants by number, but our favorite strip also brings the variety, too.
From mouth-watering local sandwiches to international fare that will have you feeling half-way across the world, here’s our picks for the 14 best restaurants on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. (Organized by what you’re the mood for, because that’s what really matters when the hunger hits!)
PS – Don’t miss our companion guide, The 14 Best Shops on Grand Avenue!
- Best Pizza on Grand Avenue: Punch Pizza
- Best Sushi & Japanese on Grand Ave: Saji-Ya
- Best Award Winning Restaurant on Grand Ave: Hyacinth
- Best Nepalese & Tibetan Food: Everest on Grand
- Best Indian Food: India House
- Best Mediterranean Food on Grand: Shish Mediterranean Grill
- Best Seafood: Grand Catch
- Our Favorite Sandwich: Iron Ranger
- Best Desserts: Cafe Latte
- The Fanciest Restaurant on Grand: The Lexington
- Best Fish Fry: Tavern on Grand
- Best Bar Food: Billy’s on Grand
- Most Popular Ice Cream Shop: Grand Ole Creamery
- Most unique Ice Cream: Treats
- Best Vietnamese Food: eM Que Viet
Best Pizza on Grand Avenue: Punch Pizza
Punch Pizza is a hugely popular local chain, famous for their delicious thin-crust, wood-fired, authentic Neapolitan style pizza. Speaking of which, you know that authentic claim is legit, as Punch is one of the only places around that allows you to top your pizza creation with Mozzerella Di Bufala cheese. (That’s Mozzerrella cheese made directly from the milk of Italian Mediterranean Buffalo! Talk about dedication!) The result is a cheesy, always fantastic thin crust pizza.
- Address: 769 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Punch Pizza
Best Sushi & Japanese on Grand Ave: Saji-Ya
I always get a little nervous whenever a sushi spot leans heavily on the teppanyaki side. (It’s usually a sign that the sushi is subpar.) Not so here. Saji Ya is a legit Japanese restaurant, located right on Grand Avenue. The spot boasts all the usual Nigiri Sushi you’d expect to see, not to mention a solid collection of traditional Japanese dishes.
- Address: 695 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Saji-Ya
Best Award Winning Restaurant on Grand Ave: Hyacinth
Hyacinth just so happens to be Grand Avenue’s only James Beard Award winning restaurant. After our first visit here, we were singing the praises too. In the quaint, tiny location, Hyacinth’s talented chefs whip up some of the city’s most amazing pasta dishes. You can read our full Hyacinth review here.
- Address: 790 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Hyacinth
Best Nepalese & Tibetan Food: Everest on Grand
Everest on Grand boasts “The Tallest Taste” and after taking one bite of those legendary momos, it’s easy to see why. This authentic spot for a unique blend of Nepalese, Tibetan, and North Indian flavors is hugely popular with the neighborhood. From Noodles to Momos to authentic curries, Everest on Grand is always a good choice.
- Address: 1278 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Everest on Grand
Best Indian Food: India House
India house has been a Grand Avenue staple for years, and that’s because they serve some truly incredible authentic Indian food. We judge an Indian place by their Chicken Makhani (butter chicken) and Naan bread, and India House knocks it out of the park for both of those.
- Address: 758 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: India House
Best Mediterranean Food on Grand: Shish Mediterranean Grill
Located on the western edge of Grand Avenue, near Macalester College, this counter-service spot is one of the best restaurants in St. Paul, let alone on Grand Avenue. There’s just so much done right here. The hummus and pita is exactly as silky smooth as you’d hope, the Gyro & Chicken Schawarma is as sinfully delicious as your dreams, and even the Falafel Burger is one of the greatest bites around. Not to mention, we’ve had some seasonal soups here that totally blew us away, and the Turkish Coffee is a must-sip. Shish is a legend in our eyes, and one of the easiest additions to this list.
- Address: 1668 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Shish
Best Seafood: Grand Catch
Grand Catch made a splash in the local seafood scene when local celebrity chef Sameh Wadi announced plans to open a new Asian-Cajun seafood joint. Located on the west side of Grand Avenue near Maclester College, the funky seafood shop was an immediate hit thanks to their legendary seafood boils, fantastic fish (and even chicken!) sandwiches, and fun cocktail menu.
- Address: 1672 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Grand Catch
Our Favorite Sandwich: Iron Ranger
Iron Ranger is a cool little craft pub that we had to include for one simple reason: The Classic Porketta sandwich. This ‘ode to yesteryear’s Minnesota iron range workers should really become some sort of unofficial sandwich for our state. It features slow-cooked shredded porketta and tangy giardineira peppers, all smothered in a mess of melty provolone cheese. It’s the closest thing Minnesota has to our own take on a Philly cheesesteak, and it’s absolutely incredible.
- Address: 1085 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Iron Ranger
Best Desserts: Cafe Latte
Anyone who’s ever seen a line out the door of this corner cafeteria on any given night might wonder what all the commotion is about, but take one look at the dessert counter and you’ll know why. Lit underneath the warm glow of counter lighting, you’ll find the city’s most extensive collection of cakes around. And yes, they’re all as delicious as they look…
- Address: 850 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Cafe Latte
The Fanciest Restaurant on Grand: The Lexington
If you’re looking for an upscale dinner, The Lexington on Grand is as upscale as it gets. Established in 1935, this absolutely stunning indoor space features mahogany wood-paneling that will take you back to the turn of the century, with bright, sophisticated modern touches like their Chef’s Dining Room – a room with a window to the renown kitchen!
- Address: 1096 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: The Lexington
Best Fish Fry: Tavern on Grand
Fried fish and Minnesota go together like… oh, fried fish in Minnesota! Tavern on Grand is a dive bar on the eastern end of Grand Avenue with a “watering hole” vibe and a menu that’s packed with walleye options. (Minnesota’s state fish)
- Address: 656 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Tavern on Grand
Best Bar Food: Billy’s on Grand
Billy’s on Grand has long been a favorite option for those looking for a sportbar on Grand Avenue. The spot recently got a total revilatization when the head chef from The Happy Gnome, one of the most popular restaurants in all of St. Paul, decided to join the team. Now, Billy’s on Grand has that same sportsbar atmosphere, plus a fantastic menu filled with well-designed takes on all the classic bar food options.
- Address: 857 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Billy’s on Grand
Most Popular Ice Cream Shop: Grand Ole Creamery
Grand Ole Creamery is a classic ice cream shop that takes you back to another era. The quaint location on Grand Avenue is known for its lengthy selection or ever-changing ice cream flavors, not to mention a line wrapped around the block when the weather is nice! It’s a crowd that’s even included President Obama!
- Address: 750 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Grand Ole Creamery
Most unique Ice Cream: Treats
If Grand Ole Creamery above is the classic ice cream shop, Treats is the funky young up and comer. Step inside this new spot on Grand Avenue, and you’ll not only notice the ice cream choices, but also the wall of cereal behind them. That’s because treats is known for blending that cereal into their ice cream flavors, right on the spot! Froot Loops ice cream, made fresh to order? Yes, please!
- Address: 770 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Treats
Best Vietnamese Food: eM Que Viet
Que Viet, the iconic Minneapolis Vietnamese restaurant and State Fair favorite, recently brought their legendary Egg Rolls to Grand Avenue! Em Que Viet promises to be the younger, sassier version of the old favorite. We visited on opening week, and loved every single bite! This is an awesome addition to the neighborhood! You can read our full eM Que Viet review here.
- Address: 1332 Grand Ave, St. Paul, MN, 55105
- Website: eM Que Viet