Books and Snacks: Pair the Best Local Bookstore with the Ideal Lunch

The first thing I remember reading was an ad for free whistle lollipops on the back of a corncob box. When I was four, I had an excellent source of seven vitamins and minerals and absorbed the skim milk in front of me, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the “lollipop” in front of me. sound as good as it is taste. “It has oranges, grapes and strawberries.

Decades later, I’m still a sucker for gripping stories. Put a new grey wolf, coffee house or milkweed title in my hands and I might forget to eat for a day or two. Fortunately, quality food surrounds our beloved Twin Cities Bookstore.

Last month, regional chapters of Book Twitter and Food Twitter landed this tweet Sharing their favorite books and a punch or two from a local lunch – the idea is to grab something to read and just a great way to get through the day.

I’m still scrolling through my menchies for all the snacks and niche bookstores on offer, but I’ve gone ahead and experimented with some noteworthy combinations below.

Whenever you feel like telling Amazon and Grubhub to eat shit, consider these venues and other hyperlocal alternatives to feed your mind and body.

Subtext + African Deli

📚 On a quiet Friday morning, I walked into Subtext with a bag of old books. Owner Sue complimented my taste in reading material and offered credit in exchange. As I browsed cookbooks, essays, fiction and non-fiction, I sniffed out everyone in the store talking on the shelf. These people are very careful when making recommendations. I left with a load of books, including a cheerful novel about a girl and a bear struggling to survive in a winter at the end of the world. If you ask me, Subtext put São Paulo on the map.

🐔 Hello, Afro Deli is here for the first time. I arrived before the lunch crowd and had my sweet time on the TV menu on the wall. I ordered their chicken curry which they cooked with eggplant, bell pepper, carrot and garlic and served with Somali rice. As a garnish, a good one scoops the tzatziki on top, then adds thinly sliced ​​red onions and a generous dollop of bright green cilantro. This is a top meal. I ate it greedily, not stopping when I was full, but only when every grain of rice was in me. I hope to be back soon for their vegetarian stew.

Moon Palace + la alborada

📚 I almost feel bad shopping inside the Moon Palace instead of stepping on their lovely sunny yellow pickup window to buy another stack of books, but no one Actually The Moon Palace felt sad in her heart. For Pete’s sake, this is a palace on the moon. Amidst its purple walls and endless towering shelves, I paced and browsed covers of various colors. Injured when you turn your head sideways to look at the spine of a book, I do whatever it is called.when i found out upper story A love story by Richard Powers about a tree I tore up in early 2020, and I snatched two more from him and headed to the cashier. I don’t know of a bookstore that better reflects its community and neighbors.

🌯 Food writer and Heavy Table founder James Norton blessed the group chat with this contribution: La Alborada Market on Lake Street. You can’t argue with a sincere one like Norton. As I drove my dusty 2006 Grand Marquis through Lake and Hiawatha, I could almost taste the burritos I planned to eat. Cut in half and spread with fresh tortilla chips and colorful salsa, the burrito is filled with black beans, rice, tomato, onion, avocado, parmesan and veggies. Rinsing it down with half a liter of sweetened Mexican Fresca felt like an orgasm and determination in my belly.

paperback exchange + Broad’s Cucina

📚 Paperback Exchange dot com claims 150,000 bestsellers and out-of-print oddities. Without a place like a paperback exchange, a brick-and-mortar store would look and feel exactly like your basement. New and used books are stacked on the sternum on every surface. On the high shelf, a yellowed copy of Pioneer Press announced: “America sends the first man to the moon.” The place is a labyrinth, a tripping hazard, a charming return, and it smells faintly of vanilla .When I pry open an old Jim Harrison book Darva Emerging from the crowded row, a portal to another time and dimension opened, and I entered. Life is better here.

🥪 Broder’s Cucina Italiana is located on the corner of the 50th and Penn bookstores. In addition to the icy Coca-Cola and Kettle Chips, I also ordered their South Jersey Hodges because A) sandwiches are probably the easiest food you can handle with a book in hand and B) Genoese salami and capicola Ham speaks to me. What they said was, “Eat us.” As I settled down for a picnic lunch at Minnehaha Creek near Nicollet Ave., an elderly dog-walker offered to sell me drugs. High chili and hoagie sauce, which I politely declined.

half price book + Cecil’s Deli

📚 Workers at Half Price Books in Highland Park unionized in early 2022. This is awesome. So does their wide selection. Well-organized books occupy two floors and cover a variety of genres. Want to read all of the greatest baseball writing that Sports Illustrated published before 1991? Fuck Jeff Bezos.

❤️ Cecil’s Deli has been serving soup and sami in São Paulo since 1949. My favorite food is their grilled tuna sandwich. Another one of my favorites is their Leonardo da Vinci. They also have Roast Beef Reuben, if you believe it. Cecil’s Deli served lunch on my wedding day and if I had any comments they served my funeral. I want to dance on their checkered floors and colorful tile walls. Their email address remains May they never change anything.

Majesty and Quinn + Lala Homemade Ice Cream

📚 Some of you may have expected Magers & Quinn to rank higher. Here comes a curveball. Great from start to finish, the best time to visit M&Q is in the early evening, not lunchtime. Go in after dark, but don’t get too close to closing – you don’t want to be a jerk. Consider going with your partner or other romantic partner. As you browse, imagine owning a bookstore like this one. A guy with a coffee deal.

🍨 When the time is up, pay for their book and yours and go get a scoop of raspberry honey or fresh strawberries. A night like this can lead anywhere, but if you fall asleep with a book in your hand, consider it a win.

Barnes & Noble + Panda Express, Taco Bell Express, Mall of America Hooters

Hey you do you. Did you know you can buy Whistle Pops on Amazon?


I’m full, my bookshelf is bursting, and there’s more to go. Peruse the list below for several important changes to the topic, including some alternatives in several places already mentioned. If I’ve missed anything I shouldn’t have, please leave your great knowledge in the comments.

  • Birchbark Books + The Kenwood – A popular recommendation, Birchbark is a personal favorite for books and gifts. We probably have a very different list to discuss after my meal at The Kenwood.
  • Eat My Words + Mary Ellen’s Bistro
  • Milkweed Edition + Farmer’s Kitchen & Bar
  • Cream & Amber – Your one stop shop for books, critters and snacks!
  • Next Chapter + Em Que Viet or St Paul’s Cheese Shop
  • Boneshaker Books + Tracy’s
  • Black Garnet Book (Opening October 2022) + Noodle House
  • Book House + Twin Cities
  • Red Balloon + Latte
  • Disrespectful Bookworm + Electric Hot Plate
  • Once Upon a Time + Lujia Sandwich
  • Mayday + Red Sea
  • Subtext Book + Ruam Mit
  • Highland Café + Half Price Books
  • Magers & Quinn + Amazing Thailand

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