2013 Best Place for Ingesting: Aster Cafe

aster-patio1I am excited to announce Aster Cafe as the 2013 Best Place for Ingesting with 35% of the vote. Last year it was crowned Best Restaurant for a First Date by City Pages for its food, proximity to the river and St. Anthony Main Theatre, and year-round romantic atmosphere. To that list, I’ll add the cocktail menu (a hot toddy’s excellent in winter), Saturday brunch which features live bluegrass, and a great patio for people watching.

The three runners-up all deserve mention. I’ll admit, I have not yet been to the Minneapolis location of Izzy’s Ice Cream (30% of the vote), but I imagine its location adjacent to Gold Medal Park in Downtown East is lovely. I have been to the Saint Paul shop near the intersection of Cleveland and Marshall in the Merriam Park neighborhood many times. Bike lanes on Marshall, racks right outside the shop and outdoor seating make a trip over for Salted Caramel ice cream a breeze. Don’t forget the topper Izzy Scoop!

The patio at Stub & Herbs (10% of the vote) is a great spot to unwind near the University of Minnesota’s East Bank. Two daily happy hours plus different specials every day mean a deal can be found whenever it is patio weather, service is friendly and the location will soon be accessible on the Green Line!

I voted for Salut Bar Americain (6 2/3% of the vote), located in the heart of Saint Paul’s Grand Avenue shopping and entertainment district. Salut has my favorite summer patio and a versatile menu that works on a budget or with money to spend.

All of the aforementioned locales have vibrant surroundings, multimodal accessibility, and dog-friendly patios in common, and all are worthy of a visit.

Note that eleven other places were written in for this category. Use the comments to reveal those or add other great places for ingesting in Minnesota!

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