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89 Days

Where to grab a bowl of soup in the Twin Cities

Wild rice soup.
Wild rice soup.Flickr Creative Commons | Emily Carlin

by Darby Ottoson

December 02, 2022

Here in the cold dark expanse of Minnesota winter, soup szn is upon us. There’s something about soup — maybe the endless recipe possibilities, or the compatibility with a thermos — that makes delicious, liquidized food the cornerstone of chilly-weather cuisine. 

If you don’t feel up for standing over a simmering pot for hours, we’ve made a list of standout spots to get soup in the Twin Cities. 


Nestled into a nondescript building in old St. Paul, America’s first Kurdish restaurant serves some of the state’s best soup. Babanis’s Dowjic soup - made with chicken, yogurt, rice, basil and lemon - is tangy and beloved. Vegetarians don’t need to settle with the equally impressive lentil soup. 32 E Fillmore Ave., St. Paul


A few blocks down from Loring Park, Lotus serves a hearty House Phở, brimming with beef, meatball, seafood and chicken. Luckily, Phở lovers have lots of local options - Phở Hòa is a solid late night option and Eat Street’s family-operated Quang offers incredible vegan Phở. 113 W Grant St., Minneapolis; 2450 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 2719 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis

Hark! Cafe

Though relatively young, Hark! Cafe’s vegan and gluten-free offerings have a cult following and include a rotating soup selection made with locally sourced ingredients. 430 N 1st Ave. Ste 150, Minneapolis

Hard Times

This worker-owned co-op near Seward, is another good veg/vegan option — less sophisticated and more cozy than Hark. Post up with a cup of chickpea cauliflower soup, and enjoy the company of punks and college kids working at Radio K. 430 N 1st Ave. #150, Minneapolis

Hard Times Cafe
The employee-owned Hard Time Cafe near Cedar and Riverside avenues in Minneapolis Monday, July 21, 2014.
Jennifer Simonson/MPR News


Here you’ll find a Midwest delicacy, beer cheese soup. Made with Gluek Pilsner and served the traditional way, with popcorn and a giant soft pretzel on the side. Come for the soup, stay for live music Tuesday — Saturdays 9:30 p.m. to close. 16 N 6th St., Minneapolis

A bowl of soup with popcorn on the side against a white backdrop
A bowl of Gluek's Beer Cheese Soup.

Khao Hom Thai

Even with a multitude of great restaurants lining Central Ave, Khao Hom Thai stands out. The noodle soup is a simple and comforting thing to sip on a chilly day. 2411 NE Central Ave., Minneapolis

Kimchi Tofu House

As the name suggests, the specialty here is tofu soup of all varieties. The Tofu House — located on the edge of the University of Minnesota’s East Bank Campus — is small in size but bold in flavor, and their spicy dishes pack significant heat. 307 SE Oak St., Minneapolis


While the neighborhood around Kramarczuk's has undergone significant changes in the last decade, this deli persisted for well over 50 years — and for good reason. It slings homemade sausages and East European staples, such as Borshch — made from beef, pork, cabbage, carrots, and beets. 215 E Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

Kramarczuk's has been a staple in Northeast Minneapolis for decades.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Turtle Bread

Each day, Turtle Bread serves a fresh line-up, courtesy of their talented soup chef, Manuel. It usually includes a steamy chicken option like chicken tortilla, chicken mushroom, or chicken wild rice. But tomato basil reigns supreme and should be consumed with chunks of freshly baked bread. 4762 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis


Just a few blocks down from Turtle Bread on Chicago Ave, Heather’s has an ever-exciting rotation of three soups. Browse the online menu for the latest concoctions, such as bacon chipotle sweet potato or curry shrimp soup. 5201 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis

Cecil’s Deli

Another enduring local institution, Cecil’s, has been around since 1949 and is quite possibly the oldest deli in the state. The deli-bakery-market dishes out all sorts of delicious made-from-scratch comfort foods, including an incredible matzo ball and chicken soup. Even Prince kept some Cecil’s in the fridge. 651 Cleveland Ave. S, St. Paul

La Perla Tortilleria y Pozoleria 

Pop in for some pozole or menudo at La Perla, located within the sprawling Mercado Central on Lake Street. Leave some room for treats from the Panaderia as well. 1515 E Lake St. #101, Minneapolis

An indoor coffee shop scene featuring people drinking hot beverages
The Current's 89 Days of Winter brings together highlights of the season for music, entertainment, and more.
Alexis Politz for MPR

This feature is part of The Current’s 89 Days series, helping you enjoy the best of the season with weekly guides to events, entertainment, and recreation in the Twin Cities.

Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment
This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.