My foodie tribute to North Minneapolis

My heart goes out to those affected by last evening’s storm.

North Minneapolis is close to my heart.  During my first year after college, I was an intern at Redeemer Center for Life, located in the Harrison Neighborhood.  Last year, I lived with two lovely ladies in a home near Theadore Wirth Park and I continue to consider the Redeemer Lutheran Church community part of my family.

Please enjoy this tribute to my favorite places to eat in, or near North Minneapolis.

Cuppa Java
400 Penn Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Last year, I survived for a year without Internet or television.  Therefore, Cuppa Java was my home away from home.  There is a dearth of coffee shops in North Minneapolis and Cuppa Java was conveniently located when I needed to look up directions, check email, pay bills, and register for class.  My favorite sandwich is the Grilled Hawaiian, $6.25.  This simple grilled sandwich is made with fluffy white bread, provolone, ham, and pineapple tidbits. Especially delicious when doused with the bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce, located by the coffee creamer and napkins.

For a stretch, I was also addicted to their breakfast bagel sandwich, $3.75, made with a toasted bagel, scrambled egg, and ham or bacon.  Also delicious when doused with Frank’s Hot Sauce.

Milda’s Cafe
1720 Glenwood Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405

My old office was located in the same building as Milda’s Cafe.  Milda’s is a cozy restaurant offering affordable comfort food.  Bustling with business from breakfast until around 3 p.m., Milda’s serves a diverse clientele ranging from residents of the surrounding neighborhoods to downtown business people.  My favorite menu items at Milda’s include freshly-baked cinnamon rolls with butter, fried crispy catfish (served with a little cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce),  and beef pasties.  Milda’s pasty is a large pastry stuffed with vegetables and pot roasty beef, served with a side of brown gravy.

JC’s Barbecue
2117 W. Broadway Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55411

I haven’t read anything about JC’s lately and assume it’s still open?  Last year, I randomly strolled into JC’s, after reading about it on Chowhound, and ordered rib tips.  I received a generous portion of rib tips covered in what tasted like hand-cut french fries.  The rib tips were tender and covered in a well-balanced barbecue sauce.  Although I only ate at JC’s once, I was struck by the barbecue sauce because it’s flavor balance was smooth and not too sweet.

Fire ‘N’ Ice
2220 W. Broadway Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Fire ‘N’ Ice opened right before I moved to Bloomington.  The opening of this restaurant was particularly memorable because of the pure lack of restaurants in North Minneapolis.  I know there was a lot of dislike for Fire ‘N’ Ice on Chowhound, but my old roommate and I tried it last summer.  Having no prior experience with “authentic” Philly Cheese steaks and the like, I will personally contribute that I really enjoyed my cheese steak.  It was a soft, greasy, goopy, meaty, mayonnaisey mess and I liked it that way.  I was thrilled that freshly fried okra was offered as a side and it was accompanied by Frank’s Hot Sauce.

I also liked the sugary and tart frozen strawberry lemonade slushie that I redeemed with a token given to me when I ordered my sandwich.  The “ice” was garnished with an orange slice and wrapped in plastic wrap.  The service was friendly.  I haven’t eaten at Fire ‘N’ Ice since, but wouldn’t turn down an invitation to return.

Close but not quite

The Teahouse
88 Nathan Lane
Plymouth, MN 55441

The Teahouse was our go-to location for Chinese food when we didn’t feel like driving to Evergreen.  I have never been disappointed by the Szechuan fish fillets, tofu and cabbage in a spicy broth.

Emily’s Lebanese Deli
641 NE University Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Emily’s represented my gateway into Northeast Minneapolis, greeting me after I drove over the Plymouth bridge.  I am fond of Emily’s lemony tabbouli, a half pint of which seems to be automatically included with every order, savory meat pies, $2.50, filled with lamb and sliced almonds, and kibby burgers, $6.25.  Jake likes their garlic salad dressing, which I used to bring him occasionally.

May disaster relief occur quickly and may we find ways to uplift those affected by the storm as able.


  1. Morchella

    You forgot El-Amin’s Fish House on Penn and Broadway! Where else can you get a bean pie and Hush Puppies? …not to mention broiled fish by the pound?

  2. Jen


    Thanks for the comment! I haven’t tried El-Amin’s but you have inspired me to try them soon.

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