Minne-RoadTrip: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner in Owatonna

This Minne-RoadTrip series of posts is sponsored by Visit Owatonna, Visit Faribault and Visiting Northfield

This week I took the Owatonna-Faribault-Northfield Minne-RoadTrip.

The Owatonna,  Faribault and Northfield’s Convention & Visitors Bureaus graciously hosted me on a road trip to explore their communities.

While Jake and I are grateful to have lived in four Midwestern states within the past six years, Minnesota will always be home. We worked really hard to circle our way back home and so I’m honored to promote travel within Minnesota.

I’ve lived in the Twin Cities for much of my life and haven’t spent much time in these cities. All three are located less than an hour from Minneapolis and St. Paul. In addition to all of the food and perfect fall weather, I loved spending time with passionate historians. This trip reminded how little I actually know about my home state.

When Jake and I drove between Mason City, IA and the Twin Cities we didn’t explore the cities along I-35 because the dive was so short.

Over the next few months, I’ll share pieces of my road trip with you. Here’s part one: Everything I ate in Owatonna. 

Central Park Coffee

This independent coffee shop located along a main street in the downtown district is a popular community gathering spot. Right now, it’s decked out for fall.

The menu board here is fantastic. As a former barista, I love the illustrations next to each coffee and espresso drink; latte, cappuccino, americana, customers will know exactly what they are ordering. Besides traditional coffee drinks, you’ll find a large selection of seasonal and specialty beverages, plus baked goods from Perfect Day Cakes located down the street.

And then there are the waffles.

My dining companion and Owatonna guide Katie of the CVB ordered one topped with lemon curd-blueberry version. I chose a savory ham and cream cheese waffle. The waffle itself is light and fluffy. On Waffle Wednesdays, each waffle is only $5.

Costas’ Candies & Restaurant

Upon entering Costas’, we were greeted by a woman carefully wrapping chocolates by hand in foil wrappers that glimmer like jewels. The first thing you’ll notice upon entering Costas’ is the candy counter by  the register. It holds many flavors of chocolate truffles and caramels, each prepared and wrapped by hand.

Costas’ also serves as a restaurant serving a concise menu of breakfast and lunch diner foods with a few Greek specialties. The original owner George Boosalis and his family owned and operated the business for three generations before selling it to the Schultz’s. The name “Costas'” comes from the original owner’s nephew Costa who traveled from Greece to help run the business.

Sandwiches and pitas come with your choice of fries, a cup of soup, potato salad, tossed salad, or cottage cheese. I polished off a gyro dressed with yogurt sauce, crunchy onions and tomato and as many fries as I could eat. The mountain of crinkle cut fries are served hot and crispy.

I took home a couple of gift bags of chocolate truffles and caramels for my family, skimming a couple off the top.

Pupuseria La Paz

I had the most incredible $6 feast here of a tamale filled with meltingly tender pork and pupusa filled with cheese and loroco flower. When you order a pupusa, you can hear the chef slapping the masa dough into the flat cake.

The pupusas are filled with a delightfully tangy cheese that stings as you try to try to cut bites from cake. Topped with the crunchy cabbage slaw flecked with oregano (curtido) and homemade hot sauce, it’s one of the best combinations you’ll ever find, anywhere.

There is also a milder sauce available. The hot sauce is really good and really hot. 

The family in front of me ordered some shrimp dishes that caught my eye, one in a red sauce and the other, wrapped in bacon. Breakfast is served all day and menudo on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Places:

Central Park Coffee
113 North Cedar Ave
Owatonna, MN 55060
Phone: 507-451-4242

Costa’s Candies & Restaurant
112 North Cedar Avenue
Owatonna, MN 55060
Phone: 507.451.9050

Pupuseria La Paz
153 W Bridge Street
Owatonna, MN 55060
Phone: (507) 214-1236

Thanks to Katie of Visit Owatonna for taking the time to share the city with me on this chapter of my Minne-RoadTrip! 


  1. Chaoeng

    Sounds like I might have to make a road trip, myself! Thanks for the insight on these towns I always drive past.

    • Jeni

      I always drove past too when we lived in N. Iowa but I’m so grateful for the chance to explore. Lots of good food and nature parks.

  2. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

    Each place sounds delicious! I think next time I venture North I’ll have to stop for a ham and cream cheese waffle or a gyro!

    • Jeni

      I hope you get to stop there! We never stopped in the cities in-between North Iowa and MSP because the drive wasn’t too long, but I was always curious. This trip was so fun. Lots of wonderful places to stop or have a day trip!

  3. Beth Ann Chiles

    That waffle looks amazing! I love savory waffles as well as the sweet ones and it looks like this entire trip was filled with wonderful food! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jeni

      Yes! They had a lot of flavors. It was so much fun.

  4. Josh

    Hahaha consider me scooped… My in laws live in Owattona, but I’ve never been in any of these before. Hopefully next time!

    • Jeni

      I was wondering what your Owatonna connection was! Definitely stop at the pupuseria.

  5. Minnesota Prairie Roots

    Welcome back. I look forward to reading your posts from all three communities, especially mine, Faribault. I’m pretty familiar with all three cities and always find something interesting, some place to go, something to do in Owatonna, Faribault or Northfield. Each has its own personality, its own unique attractions, its own wonderful places to dine. Thanks for visiting these towns.

    • Jeni

      Thanks Audrey! I just included a link to your post about Faribault which I love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2024 Jeni Eats

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Visit Us
Follow Me