I’ve had all summer to think about this.
My favorite farmers breakfast is from the big Minneapolis Farmers Market on Lyndale.
It consists of two things:
- Iced Vietnamese coffee with boba pearls from Rainbow Chinese ($5). If you are lucky enough, the owner may mix it up for you. It’s so flipping good I long for it all week.
- Spring rolls and/or egg rolls. There are no bad egg rolls at the MPLS farmers market. Rainbow sells big ones. GreenHearts (also listed as Vang Express) sells long, thin egg rolls and huge spring rolls. Their spring rolls are nearly twice as large as everyone else’s and cost only $3. They’re packed with shredded veggies. Sometimes you can choose from different meats or vegetarian ones. Last time they included some sliced chicken breast. Another vendor down the stall from Rainbow (I think it’s called Deelish) also sells egg rolls and spring rolls + coconut curry.
I haven’t visited the Minneapolis Farmers Market for years.
The reason why I didn’t visit often is because of the produce resellers (I just want to know I’m buying from local farmers), the flea market feel, and lack of hot food vendors.
Now it’s one of my favorite markets to shop – I’ve visited two weekends in a row.
There’s plenty of parking beneath the overpass on Lyndale. I arrive before 8:30 a.m. to avoid crowds.
You’ll still find some vendors that sell grocery store produce (just look for the tropical fruits!) but it’s pretty clear which vendors are local farmers. Compared to the smaller neighborhood farmers markets I usually shop at, the variety of produce and herbs is stunning. The prices are also incredibly affordable. Take advantage of buying a bag of bell peppers for about $6 at the farmers markets instead of paying $7 for a pepper at Whole Foods or a co-op.
Wandering around the stalls curiously gazing at all of the vegetables with an iced coffee in hand makes me feel closest to heaven.
Our summers are short but we never take them for granted.
As soon as it’s remotely comfortable enough to eat or drink something outside, restaurants set out their patios. You can find us here in our winter hats and sweatshirts until it snows.
Here are three patios in Minneapolis that we’ve enjoyed a meal at recently:
Birchwood Cafe has been serving organic, local, farm to table food before it was cool (1926 to be exact). In addition to operating the restaurant, Birchwood cultivates community by displaying local art and coordinating events like farm visits and monthly peace-building films.
My friend used to work here and spoke highly of how the owner made employees feel valued and provided health insurance and staff meals.
Weekend brunch is very popular. Be prepared for a wait if you arrive closer to lunch. It had been years since I’d last visited. We enjoyed our first summer meal on a patio here and everything was lovely.
On Saturday mornings I treat myself.
In the winters, I make bakery runs. In the summer, I visit farmers markets.
I love waking up early on Saturday mornings. Neither of us can sleep in anymore, anyway. I enjoy a cup of coffee, take the dog on a walk, and head to a farmers market during the opening hour.
My favorite low-key market near us is the Midtown Farmer Market in the Longfellow neighborhood. This year it’s located in the Moon Palace Books parking lot instead of the lot near the YMCA. I kinda love the vibe.
Within 24 hours I had consumed one of the best and worst veggie burgers of my life. It felt disorienting.
The low, a veggie burger from a speciality butcher shop, was fortunately followed by the high, ironically, also from a meat-centric place.
The Impossible Burger has taken over menus everywhere. To be honest I haven’t even tried one. Ever since I read that it “bleeds” I’ve avoided it. It’s also pricey and I’d rather just enjoy a house-made veggie burger than a meat substitute.
While I can’t say I’m a vegetarian, I’ve become more of a flexitarian. I typically eat more meatless meals than carnivorous. But, if someone offers me food, I’ll gratefully accept it either way. This means I’m seeking more veggie burgers than before.
The good veggie burgers are really, really and the bad ones are horrifically dismal. You never know what you’re gonna get when you order one.