Top 10 foods and drinks to indulge in this winter

Kopplin's hot chocolate (credit A.J. Olmscheid).jpg
A.J. Olmscheid

Oh, the weather outside. It's not yet frightful, but it's no longer completely delightful. But we hardy folk are not deterred by winter temps. We're smart enough to recognize that coziness is a limited-season indulgence too, one we prefer to partake in with fantastic food and boozy beverages. 

Thus we've compiled a list that gives you something to look forward to, with our top 10 favorite winter foods and drinks.

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10. The Winter Carnival at the St. Paul Grill 
We're not talking about the annual festival where it's socially acceptable to wield a chainsaw in public and tell everyone you're a Vulcan. No, we're talking about the sweet and boozy after-dinner drink at the St. Paul Grill inside the historic St. Paul Hotel. Class up your winter drinking with this rich 50/50 blend of strong coffee and fancy hot cocoa spiked with Bailey's Irish Cream and Tia Maria, a coffee-flavored Jamaican rum-based liqueur. Even if you bail on attending the carnival, we promise you'll feel very festive indeed. 

Sasha Landskov
9. Ramen at Zen Box Izakaya
Pick a ramen. Any ramen. There is no wrong way to go when you're trying to choose a bowl that contains every conceivable element of deliciousness. Fragrant, steamy broth? Yes. Woody and weird seasoned bamboo? Of course. A freakin' marinated soft-boiled egg? Put it on the side of everything you plan to eat from now until you die. And that's all before we even get to the noodles and meat. It's a square meal in a round bowl and it will make you feel ready to conquer any snow bank or difficult winter parking situation.

8. Anything "Marla's Hot" at Marla's Caribbean Cuisine
Apologies for getting so literal with the idea of warming up, but winter really is the ideal time to get whisked away by some super spicy Caribbean food. In the summer months the thought of getting eating Marla's Doubles, though always delicious, is just too much to bear but come December we're begging for something other than shoveling the front walk to get our internal temperature up. Whether it's oxtail brown down, jerk chicken, channa and potato roti, or the impressive whole salted cod fish with ackee, venture out of your spice comfort zone and dare to order it "Marla's Hot." It's like sleeping in a sauna after a long soak in a sriracha bath. Have fun.

David McCrindle
7. Sausage Roll from Potter's Pasties
It's available all-year round, but this crumbly, meaty, ultra-buttery pie from Potter's Pasties truck or brick-and-mortar location in Minneapolis is really best enjoyed in the colder months, when our bodies need the extra sausage calories to keep us going. It's little more than crust and softly spiced ground pork, but you'll feel like heaven holding this whole meal in your hot little hand. 

B FRESH Photography
6. Latkes and Sufganiyot at Rye Deli 
Fewer and fewer places are offering latkes to go around the Twin Cities, and though there is nothing wrong with making your own, it's nice to know that a couple of Jewish delis will still make them up right nice to bring to your Hanukkah dinner party. Rye's thin and crispy potato pancakes are delicious with sour cream and house-made apple compote. For a few short weeks Rye also fries up batches of traditional Sufganiyot a.k.a jelly doughnuts.

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