Campus Comfort Food
Nothing beats a good, hot meal on a chilly day. As fall is upon us and winter approaches, the search for the best comfort food on campus begins. Comfort food is any meal that brings back feelings of nostalgia or a feeling of well-being and warmth. When I think of comfort food, I think of big plates, lots of carbs, and something that will satisfy my never-ending stomach.
Whatever comfort food means to you, there are a plethora of options at our reach. Here are my top four, can’t-miss comfort food spots just steps away from the UMN campus.
Serving Vietnamese and Chinese food, this local, family-owned restaurant is a Dinkytown hidden gem. With only 10 or so tables, the quaint atmosphere makes you feel right at home. The walls are decorated with hand-painted canvases done by Camdi herself, in which the proceeds are donated to local charities. Not only does it serve Chinese and Vietnamese classics, it also has an extensive vegan and vegetarian menu. My personal favorites include their crispy cream cheese wontons and the delicious beef pho. With the wide menu options and a friendly price point, Camdi is essential for a hot bowl of noodle soup on a chilly day.
Al’s is a Dinkytown classic with a big and well-deserved reputation. If you haven’t been, Al’s has everything you’d want and more as far as breakfast food goes. With a 14-seat bar counter and not much room for anything else, Al’s is something all UMN students must experience at least once. Stop by for a fat stack of blueberry walnut pancakes, a bacon waffle, or a good ol’ breakfast scramble. Oh, and their corned beef hash is what dreams are made of.
Potter’s Pasties and Pies
This takeout and delivery spot is located in the Como neighborhood just north of the U. Potter’s specializes in English meat pies sure to fill you up. Their menu includes a variety of meats (I love the chicken!) as well as a vegetarian pasty and specialty drinks. Potter’s also has a food truck you can catch parked around campus, typically during weekday lunches. If you happen to spot one, be sure to stop by for an easily portable comfort food option.
The Finnish Bistro
Spend a lot of time on the St. Paul campus or just looking for an adventure? The Finnish Bistro is the spot for you. Located on Como Ave, this cute cafe is only a few blocks away from the St. Paul student center. Menu highlights include giant quiches, unique homemade soups, and a full-service coffee bar. Stick to the classics like chicken wild rice soup, or try something new like their reindeer and potato quiche. The Finnish Bistro has a large menu with unique options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. So next time you find yourself in St. Paul, grab an amazing iced chai or a bowl of soup, and spend some time studying in this cozy cafe!
Whether you want a giant bowl of noodle soup or a hearty meat pie, the U is surrounded by delicious restaurants with all types of comfort food. No matter where you are on campus, you’ll always be steps away from some delicious options for a cold day.