Every season comes with its own food cravings. Springtime always gets me hungry for my grandma’s rhubarb pie. In summer I crave a smokey burger off the grill. The fall has me as basic as they come, wanting anything pumpkin. But winter brings the strongest craving of all. That’s when my body tells me it’s ready for comfort, warmth, and nourishment. There’s only one thing that can satisfy that need:
While I love to have something simmering on the back of stove or in the crock pot, sometimes I just want someone else to do the cooking. Thankfully the Twin Cities are not short on amazing soup options! Here are some of my favorites. What about you? Tell us your secret spot for satisfying soup!
It’s Minnesota so I have to start with a Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice soup. The Hi-Lo Diner in South Minneapolis is the spot to go for this Minnesota classic. Just stepping into the tiny diner car on Lake Street feels warm and cozy before even trying a bite. While the Hi-Tops–savory toppings on their signature glazed donut–are always tempting, get a bowl of soup first, and then a glazed donut to share.
If you’re going to have beer cheese soup, you should have it from a Minneapolis establishment with a rich German heritage and its own fantastic housemade beer. Gluek’s is a great place to come for fun and live music with friends (ask me how I accidentally came on St Patrick’s Day when I was pregnant!) But my husband and I love to come for lunch when it is quieter. The space is beautiful and cozy, perfect for a soup lunch.
I’m sure every Jewish grandma has a Matzoh Ball soup that can’t be beat. But I don’t have a Jewish grandma, so I have to let someone else make me this amazing dumpling soup. Yum! has many locations, making it easy to find for a quick lunch.
We love this little restaurant in Longfellow for its creative grilled cheese sandwiches. Nothing goes better with a great grilled cheese than a great tomato basil soup and a restaurant with a great mission. All Square is a social justice-minded organization where the restaurant proceeds fund their fellowship. This great program provides formerly incarcerated people with full-time employment at All Square, a three-month entrepreneurship class, professional mentorship, and optional therapy.
Not only is Pho fun to say, but it’s also fun to eat! All that decorating the bowl with different toppings and slurping up noodles makes for a messy and delightful eating experience. The Twin Cities has an incredible variety of Vietnamese restaurants to find your favorite bowl of Pho, and Lotus (Minneapolis and Maple Grove) is a great option. The meatballs are juicy and the noodles are cooked to perfection. Also, you might find yourself humming the White Lotus theme song which is never bad.
When someone wants to meet for a work lunch, I always suggest Turtle Bread. Their list of soups is ever-changing and thankfully, every single one of them is amazing. Plus they serve it with a giant hunk of their amazing bread to make it the perfect meal. You’ll want to grab a loaf to take home, and probably one of those monster cookies, for the kids of course (just kidding you’re gonna eat that thing in the car!)
I have not yet had the opportunity to eat at Smack Shack but it’s a popular place for a work lunch for my husband. Each time he comes home to tell me he was there, we get in a fight. How dare he not include me! I still dream about the lobster bisque and clam “chowda” from a trip to Boston, and the Smack Shack is said to be the next best thing to getting on a plane to the east coast. Let’s hope my husband is reading this and gets the hint that he needs to BRING ME HOME A BOWL THE NEXT TIME HE DOESN’T INVITE ME!
A tasty bowl of ramen is what I crave when the slightest hint of a sick bug comes my way. The salty broth and the slurpy noodles are medicine for me. I had no idea until I grew up and tried an authentic bowl of Ramen how much better it could get! There is so much complexity and texture but with that same great salty warm bowl of nourishment. Ichiddo has many locations and options to feed your almost-but-not-quite-sick body this winter.