Top 10 takeout restaurants in the Twin Cities

Categories: Top 10

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Vincent Marcinelli
Takeout doesn't have to mean the usual pepperoni. Find out where you can get this dish to go.
See also:
Top 10 Indian restaurants in the Twin Cities
Top 10 farmers markets in the Twin Cities
Top 10 street eats in the Twin Cities

There's no shame in not wanting to cook. With a frantic pace of life, it's hard to carve out the time and energy to hit the grocery store and slog through the dirty dish aftermath every single night. Think outside the pizza box and try a few of our favorites for dinner on the go. Grab a few dishes and head out for a late summer picnic evening, or hunker down on the couch. We understand, either way.

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Sara Rice
Tofu Don from Fuji Ya

10. Fuji-ya

We realize that ceremony and presentation are half the magic of a sushi dinner, but the fine folks at Fuji-Ya know that sometimes we just can't make that much magic happen. Accordingly, they have perfected the art of assembling whatever maki, nigiri, or donburi you might have your heart set on, and having it packed and ready to go precisely at the hour you request. You can take your prize down to the lake, over to the St. Croix, or home, where you can arrange it just so on one of the seldom-used platters you got for your wedding, uncork your own value-priced prosecco, and pretend your coffee table is the center of your own private tatami room. (465 Wabasha St., St. Paul; 651.310.0111. Fuji-Ya website)

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Szechuan Spice
Szechuan Spice chicken with double chili pepper

There's Chinese takeout, and then there's Chinese takeout. Since its opening in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood in 2010, Szechuan Spice has been receiving rave reviews from critics and patrons. With portions the size of placemats and spice levels that will warm a polar plunge participant, this isn't your typical chicken lo mein and beef with broccoli Chinese restaurant, though both are on the menu. We recommend the chicken with double chili pepper (eat it with a water faucet nearby), the candy-sweet General Tao's tofu, and the bright, seductive, revelatory cold noodles. Takeout is prompt, and the portion sizes are almost always good for multiple meals. The restaurant's location at the bustling intersection of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street makes it convenient to most of south Minneapolis, and its small parking lot makes it easy to swoop in, grab your food, and go. Put this one on speed dial. (3016 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.353.4281. Szechuan Spice website)

Ed Neaton
Easy ordering at Cossetta's

For anyone whose cubicles and dashboards often double as dining tables, a carryout meal from this longstanding St. Paul lunch hub offers loads more home-style comfort than its stir-fried or tortilla-wrapped counterparts. Granted, the average Atkins disciple would likely run screaming at the sight of Cossetta's carbo-licious mostaccioli or scrumptious pasta salads, but even those folks can find an array of straight-up sausages and deli cheeses to fall back on. And if true on-the-go eating means foregoing the use of utensils altogether, there's always Cossetta's pizza by the slice, served hot and hefty with toothsome crust and a zingy sauce to rival anything this side of lower Manhattan. Occasionally daunting queues at the counter are a small price to pay for takeout as dependably tasty as this. (211 W. Seventh St., St. Paul; 651.222.3476. Cossetta website)

Forget Chinese, pizza, and all the other staples of takeout. Because whether you're too busy, too broke, or too shirtless to dine in at a restaurant, the last thing you want from your takeout is be reminded that you're having takeout. So here's what you tired, hungry masses do: Pull a few blocks off 35W to Marla's and order the kind of food you associate not with being in a hurry but with being on vacation: jerk chicken, saltfish, callaloo, plantains--the comfort food of the Caribbean islands. Grab a Jamaican Ting soda to wash it all down. You'll start relaxing even as you wait, what with the classic reggae on the stereo and the breezy charm of your hosts. Rest assured that Marla--the sister of local island-cooking icon Harry Singh--will spice the dishes enough to recharge you for another few hours of work. Though for at least a little while, as you chow down in your Ford Focus, you'll forget what needs doing and perhaps even where you are. (3761 Bloomington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.724.3088. Marla's Caribbean Cuisine website)

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Speedy panninis at Surdyk's

The problem with the grab-and-go meal options is that it's often the end of the day and likely you've got the hangries -- that special awful mood combination of hungry and angry. This is the danger zone and the worst place to be making food decisions. This is how people end up eating hastily made, squished up, grease laden sandwiches filled with the residual hate and regret from the worker stuck assembling them. That's not nourishment. Instead, slide into the market inside Surdyk's and request a couple of cheese samples. The friendly staff is quick to oblige. Grab a little hunk of cheese, some of their incredible olives, and a baguette for an appetizer before digging into the entrees and sandwiches. Check out their website to find out the daily deli selection, where they even add a wine pairing suggestion to the featured entrée. And if a little bottle of something fell into the dinnertime basket, would that really be so bad? (303 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.379.3232. Surdyk's website)

Location Info


Midtown Global Market

920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: General

Brasa Premium Rotisserie

600 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Heartland Restaurant and Farm Direct Market

289 E. 5th St., St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

Lucia's Restaurant and Wine Bar

1432 W. 31st St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Little Szechuan

422 University Ave. W., St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant


303 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Marla's Caribbean Cuisine

3761 Bloomington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Cossetta Italian Market & Pizzeria

211 W. Seventh St., St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

Szechuan Spice

3016 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant


465 Wabasha St., St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

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