Winter Activities

The Best Comfort Foods for Cold Days in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot

November 9, 2021

From pho to cheese-stuffed burgers and everything in between, warm up with these delicious foods that are perfect for a cold wintry day.


Ward off a chilly morning with decadent bread pudding French toast from Good Day CafĂ©. Their homemade bread pudding is made from their caramel, pecan and cinnamon rolls, egg custard with cream, maple flavoring, Grand Marnier and Amaretto, then topped with fresh berries and strawberry cream cheese. Their dishes are guaranteed to warm you up!

banana churro waffle

At Hope Breakfast Bar, where breakfast is served all day long, try a sweet treat like their German chocolate pancakes or banana churro waffle or go for something savory like the bacon tacos with both pork belly and chopped bacon or the bourbon smoked salmon toast. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing that 3% of sales goes to help the local community.

an array of donuts and cupcakes

If you’re looking for an on-the-go option, pick up pastries from one of our local bakers. Angel Food Bakery & Donut Bar specializes in raised donuts with flavorful toppings, plus scones, croissants, muffins and cakes. Funner Brothers Donut Company is known for their giant raised donut holes and homestyle cookies. Honey & Rye Bakehouse offers an array of artisan breads – monkey bread, banana bread, pumpkin bread, coffee cake – as well as scones, croissants, and cookies. Gluten free? Hold The Wheat is small takeaway bakery and coffee shop specializing in gluten-free cakes, pies, cookies and kindness. At Nelson’s, you’ll find fresh baked pastries, brownies and bars, plus PaPa Q’s BBQ serving up breakfast sandwiches and burritos!


Nothing’s better than a bowl of piping hot soup on a snowy day. Warm up with a bowl of homemade chicken soup from yum! kitchen & bakery. The menu also includes a gumbo, chicken chili and other seasonal specials.

Wonton soup, a standard of Chinese cuisine, is typically made from seasoned chicken broth (or pork) and filled with wontons, the Asian equivalent of ravioli or tortellini. You’ll find tasty versions at JuYuan Chinese Restaurant and Super Moon Buffet. Or try a delightful Thai variation at Nong’s Thai Cuisine made with pork or mock duck.

Pho is a Vietnamese soup made with broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat, and it’s perfect for taking the edge off winter days. Some of the best pho can be found at Wok in the Park and Sichaun Restaurant.

braised duck ramen at Lat14

Another cozy option? Order a bowel of ramen, a Japanese noodle soup, from one of these spots. The signature dishes at Lat14 include the creamy Tom Yum ramen and braised duck ramen.


The Juicy Lucy is truly a Minnesota specialty. Created in the 50’s, it’s a hamburger that’s stuffed with cheese on the inside. You can find it on the menu at Schullers Tavern. Their version of this classic features a hand-formed ½ lb. burger stuffed with double the cheese, either American or pepper jack, served on a grilled Kaiser roll. Just be sure to take your first bite carefully – the molten cheese in the middle is piping hot!

Craving even more cheese? Bunny’s Bar & Grill offers a grilled cheese sandwich served on sourdough bread that’s a triple decker treat, oozing with melted American, Swiss and cheddar. Go ahead and splurge by adding bacon and tomatoes.


It’s hard to beat the nostalgia and comfort of a chicken pot pie. Hazelwood Food + Drink serves theirs in a wood-fired clay pot with carrots, sweet onion, celery, peas and a savory, flaky crust. JJ’s Clubhouse offers house-made chicken pot pie as one of their favorite dishes. The Local, meanwhile, offers a chicken pub pie made with roasted chicken, tarragon cream sauce and seasonal vegetables. The pot roast with braised beef and mashed potatoes is another classic.

Heat up your taste buds with a spicy order of jambalaya at Yard House. Choose linguine or rice covered with blackened shrimp, andouille sausage, crawfish, chicken, peppers and a Cajun cream sauce. At The Loop, their version includes a breaded chicken breast over rice topped with shrimp, andouille sausage and spicy pepper-tomato sauce. It’s guaranteed to warm you from the inside out.

Fried green tomatoes, collard greens, hush puppies, grits and fried chicken – these southern classics are synonymous with comfort food and Revival serves up generous portions of these traditional recipes. For a slightly more modern take, head to The Block, where you’ll find broasted chicken served with mashed potatoes and gravy and a side of honey cornbread. Or try Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill and their signature smoked rotisserie chicken or the smokehouse BBQ spare ribs.


If the cold weather has you craving carbs, treat yourself to some Italian-style pasta. D’Amico & Sons offers fresh-made dishes such as lasagna bolognese made with Calabrese sausage, fettucine alfredo and, of course, spaghetti and meatballs. At Parkway Pizza, order the house specialty Supreme, which features penne noodles loaded with red sauce, then layered with pepperoni, onions, green peppers, green olives, and mushrooms, topped with mozzarella cheese and meatballs. Not into meat? Order the vegan version!

mac and cheese

And finally, for the poster child of comfort foods — a gooey bowl of mac and cheese — head to the Park Tavern for their Tavern Mac & Cheese with a toasted breadcrumb crust. Try the Q’-Mac with BBQ beef, the Cajun Mac with shrimp and sausage or the Buffalo Chicken Mac with buffalo chicken and blue cheese.

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