Get your fill of udon or soba at Tanpopo, where steaming bowls of light, chewy noodles are not just affordable but a local favorite. For under $10 a bowl, the simple menu offers buckwheat (soba) or wheat (udon) noodles in a house-made kelp-and-soy-based Japanese broth, with a choice of toppings like tofu, shrimp tempura, wild mushroom, or beef. Or try the teishoku, a set meal of miso soup, rice, a small green salad, and main entrée choice of panko-breaded pork, broiled mackerel, or deep fried or cold tofu. The open warehouse space has a Zen-like feel to it, complete with exposed brick walls and wood floors that make for a soothing lunchtime atmosphere.
Tip: A near-perfect Saturday starts with buying yourself a colorful bouquet of flowers at the St. Paul Farmers’ Market, then walking across the street to Tanpopo for a leisurely lunch and cup of green tea or sake.