It’s a Grand Avenue in St. Paul

October 27, 2006 at 4:46 pm 3 comments

If you can tear yourself away from the Mall of America, you’ll find an enjoyable shopping area in St. Paul that I’d missed on all my previous visits to the Twin Cities — Grand Avenue. Fact is, I never even looked at St. Paul. But I’m glad I did on my recent trip.

Like St. Louis Park, 50th and France, Uptown and other Minneapolis shopping areas, Grand Avenue is a street of delightful shops, cafes and restaurants. Seems like Twin Cities’ folks enjoy strolling down an avenue rather than going to a mall.

Grand Avenue stretches from the Mississippi River to downtown St. Paul. It covers about 25 blocks and is easy to find — just check for directions on

I think the biggest surprise on Grand Avenue was Restoration Hardware, a store I’ve only seen in malls. That tells me Grand Avenue gets a lot of foot traffic from shoppers. In fact, I saw at least two designer stores — Susan Metzger and Sorrayah Studios. But others have unique fashions, one-of-a-kind gift items, sophisticated footwear and art. Visit Hot Mama, Shu Global Footwear and Bibelot for starters. But don’t miss the Patagonia store, Irish on Grand (Irish products) or Quince. If you appreciate natural fiber fabrics, visit Treadle Yard Goods.

Grocery stores are even interesting on Grand. Whole Foods Market, Penzey’s Spice Shop and my all-time favorite, Kowalski’s Grand Market (it’s way more than a grocery store — it’s a delightfuol place to shop).

We stopped for coffe and something sweet at Bread & Chocolate, but didn’t have time for a meal. Too bad, because I really wanted to try Dixie’s — which features genuine southern cooking. Next time, for sure. But you’ll have close to 3 dozen cafe, coffeshop, bakery and restaurant choices on Grand Avenue.

NEXT: Milwaukee’s Third Ward

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Entry filed under: St.Paul.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 2. Bill  |  November 3, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    Unfortunately, Grand Ave is also slowly succumbing to the national chains that you can find at any strip mall in the United States.

  • 3. Kathy Brost  |  November 6, 2006 at 11:02 am

    I love Stillwater as was stated above. It reminds me of Door County, WI. Very quaint!

    As far as Twin Cities, I love it. I especially love the bus system which is so easy. You can go online at and plug in where you are located, and where you need to go, and it will plan the route for you. Very nice. On my recent trip I didn’t rent a car. I took the Tram from the airport to the Metrodome and then the bus from Metrodome to U of M-Twin Cities where my daughter attends. We were on busses all day and hit uptown, down town and all around town. It was a blast!

    Love the blog!


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