Top 5 food stops on the Grand Rounds: Northeast
Next up is the Northeast byway district, which starts on the east side of the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Parkway, continuing to Stinson Blvd and ending at the Francis A. Gross golf course. It offers views of the train-switching yards and the downtown skyline as well as the open green of Columbia Park. Decidedly less popular then some of the other trails, Northeast is a worthwhile foray off the beaten path. Start at the river and ride southeast, keeping these favorite chow spots in mind.
3301 Central Ave NE
Just a block off the Grand Rounds and across the street from Columbia Park, this cozy place has waffles, organic fair trade coffee and from scratch soups and sandwiches. While the food is tasty, the real draw here is the atmosphere as owner Brigitte Biraud has fashioned a truly inviting space, both inside and out. Take your brunch quiche to a couch inside or out back to the expansive patio and dig in.
2. Deming Heights Park
St. Anthony Pkwy btw NE Polk St. and Fillmore St. NE
We hope you stocked up at Lily's because getting up this hill is the toughest climb of the entire Grand Rounds. However, the payoff is big, as this is the highest spot in Minneapolis (963 feet) and was acquired by the parks system because of the killer views. This is your picnic place in Northeast- lots of folks pay to get married here, but you can bring your meal and enjoy the park for free.
3. Amici's Pizza and Bistro
2851 Johnson St. NE
Head a few blocks south from St. Anthony Pkwy and Amici's can help you restore your carbs. The crispy pizzas and tempting pastas will give you the energy necesary to bike all day. Feel free to reward yourself with some Izzy's ice cream--just be sure you get there for lunch or dinner, as the bistro does close for a few hours between meals.
4. Village Pub
2720 Highway 88
Looking for a burger and beer combo while out on the trail? The Village Pub is for you. It's about four blocks away, but the football game is probably on and the barkeep will gladly pull you a Guinness or hook you up with a bottle of Lagunitas. There's a bocce court out back and a Bloody Mary bar on the weekend. While not for everyone, the Hot Dish knows that this is exactly the ticket for the sporty spices out there. You know who you are.
2512 Kenzie Terrace
As the path in Northeast winds to a close, mostly fast food joints populate the area. LouAnn's is a welcome exception, just off Stinson Blvd. With a sister restaurant downtown, this is nothing more than your basic diner with attentive waitresses, neighborhood regulars and daily specials. But that's the charm of the place. Drag your biking pals in here for milkshakes and silver dollar pancakes and get treated like a king before you finish up the path at Ridgway Drive.