Local’s Guide: The 10 Best Soups in the Twin Cities

best soup in Minneapolis St. Paul

Look, it gets cold in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

And when that cold weather arrives, nothing hits the spot like a soul-warming bowl of soup.

Around the DTC headquarters, we even find ourselves giddy about the idea of “Soup Season” every fall – our own internal celebration about the weather cooling off and granting permission to reintroduce soup as a multiple-times-per-week tradition.

It’s no surprise then, that we’ve found tons of amazing places in town which have perfected the art of a hot bowl of soup.

From local wild rice to authentic Italian minnestrone, here are all of our picks for the best soups in the Twin Cities.

Map of the Best Soups in Minneapolis and St. Paul

For Cold & Flu-Fighting Chicken Noodle: Key’s Cafe

The first time I caught a cold as a college student, there was nothing I wanted more than homemade chicken noodle soup. A friend recommended trying the take-out chicken noodle from Keys Cafe, and since then, it’s been my go-to choice whenever I’m under the weather.

With 8 Twin Cities locations, you’re never far away from the comfort of a piping hot bowl.

If chicken noodle doesn’t scream cold and flu season, Keys also has a rotating selection of made-from-scratch soups available daily at each location.

  • Address: 8 Twin Cities Locations, including Forest Lake, Minneapolis, Roseville, St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Woodbury, and Hudson, Wisconsin
  • Website: Keys Cafe & Bakery

For Classic Tomato Basil: The Lowry

Monday and Tuesday at The Lowry in Uptown are synonymous with all-day breakfast and tomato basil soup. Rich, roasted tomato flavor and topped with a thick layer of melted cheese. Pair a cup with a grilled cheese or Cubano sandwich for lunch, or just order the full bowl for a hearty dinner.

Of course, if you happen to pop in the rest of the week, you’ll always find homemade chicken noodle soup and, on weekends, a decent lobster bisque.

  • Address: 2112 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405
  • Website: The Lowry

For Top-Notch Pho: Quang Restaurant

While we’ve already done a deep dive into the best places for pho in Minneapolis and St. Paul, it’s worth noting our Twin Cities Metro favorite for authentic pho is Quang Restaurant on Nicollet Avenue.

They’ve been serving up the family’s signature recipes for over 30 years on Eat Street and get our vote for one of the must-try soups in town.

For Award-Winning Chili: The Loon Cafe

You might be surprised, but chili competitions in Minnesota can get ruthless sometimes. Everyone likes the flavors and tastes a certain way–making it hard to find and recommend the best in town. That’s while we’ll leave the job to the “People’s Choice” and the team at The Loon Cafe.

Consistently voted the top chili destination, you’ll find not one but five different chili options on the menu here. Vegetarian, Dirty Pork Stew, and something called Pinto’s Diablo that has been featured in Gourmet magazine.

  • Address 1: Minneapolis: 500 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
  • Address 2: 426 St Peter St, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: The Loon Cafe

For the Seafood Chowder Fan: Smack Shack

best soup in Minneapolis St. Paul

While Smack Shack may have started serving lobster rolls and piping hot soup bowls out of a food truck, their recipe for perfectly prepped “Boston Clam Chowda” has never changed. Fresh clams, and extra salty bacon, served with a healthy side of crackers. It takes a lot for Midwestern clam chowder to stand up to its East Coast competitors, but we think the soups here hold their own.

The next time you’re stranded at MSP, stop at their airport location for a reminder of why clam chowder answers most of the world’s questions.

  • Address: Multiple Twin Cities Locations, including Bloomington, North Loop, and Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport
  • Website: Smack Shack

For Really Good Ramen: Kyatchi

Carefully crafting the perfect bowl of ramen is an art form. Balanced full-flavor broth, carefully prepared meats, housemade noodles, and the iconic soft-cooked egg. Not an easy task.

The Twin Cities has a surprisingly healthy selection of ramen spots up to the challenge, with more opening every year. While we’ve reviewed our 12 picks for ramen in Minneapolis & St. Paul, Kyatchi holds our heart as an all-around favorite. Their focus on providing a traditional ramen experience with locally sourced, sustainable ingredients steals the soup show.

  • Address 1: 3758 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409
  • Address 2: 308 E Prince St STE 140, St Paul, MN 5510
  • Website: Kyatchi

For a Hearty Minnesota Creamy Wild Rice: St. Paul Grill

Minnesota has more acres of natural wild rice than any other state in the country. It’s even our state grain. Only fitting then that if you’re looking for a genuinely authentic Minnesota dish, you will look for a creamy wild rice soup.

In the Twin Cities, no one does the iconic soup better than The St. Paul Grill. Located in the historic St. Paul Hotel in the heart of downtown, this original recipe has shown up on the burner for decades. Extra bacon, chunks of hearty vegetables, and a touch of dry sherry – the not-so-secret ingredient that makes this bowl shine.

  • Address:  350 Market Street, St. Paul, MN 55102
  • Website:  St Paul Grill

For Mind-Blowing Minestrone: Cossetta’s / Louis Ristorante

There are so many spots for really great Italian food in the Twin Cities; among them, Cossetta’s in the West 7th neighborhood of St. Paul. They also happen to have one of our favorite soups of all time.

The biggest challenge with minestrone is finding the perfect blend of salty, full-bodied tomato flavor without getting mushy vegetables. Cossetta’s aces this problem.

Try the deli-style service downstairs, or for a fun night on the patio, enjoy Louis Ristorante and the view of downtown. The minestrone is also available to-go, refrigerated, and frozen from the marketplace on the main floor.

  • Address:  211 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: Cossetta’s

For Unforgettable French Onion: Meritage

Scroll through the menu at Meritage in downtown St. Paul, and you’ll find something labeled Soupe à l’Oignon Grâtinée.  What’s that, you ask? Only the best freakin’ French onion soup you can find in Minnesota.

If you’ve ever set out to make classic French onion soup, you’ll know it takes hours of slow roasting, caramelizing, and stirring to create the perfect bowl. Meritage doesn’t stop there; they add a healthy dose of handmade croutons and then top the entire thing with a bubbling, melted layer of Gruyère and Emmentaler cheeses.


  • Address: 410 St Peter St, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website:  Meritage

For the Best “Soup of the Day” Selection: Cafe Latte

Sometimes I’m not seeking a specific soup but just want to walk up to a menu and know there’s a trustworthy option for the daily soup special. The lunch counter at Cafe Latte never disappoints, with a rotating selection of 5-8 different soups.

Of course, you’ll always find their signature chicken salsa chili and then some house favorites and seasonal options. Plus, there’s always the option to skip the salad and pair it with a slice of homemade cheesecake.

  • Address: 850 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
  • Website: Cafe Latte

P.S. – If you’re looking specifically for a hot bowl of broth, the Twin Cities also has an awesome ramen scene. Here’s our article about the best ramen in the Twin Cities and our guide to the best pho in the Twin Cities.

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