Hey, time for a quick recommendation for some culinary adventure; my favorite place for falafel in the Twin Cities!
When I attended the University of Minnesota, a few years back (getting to be nearly a decade, dammit), I spent most of my time over on the West Bank, where the history majors hang out, though I did take plenty of classes on the East Bank as well. However, I only once had a class at the St. Paul Campus, or as my mom calls it, the “Cow Campus.” It was one of my science classes, the Biology of the Plant Food System, and I took the campus connector over to this mini-campus, nestled in the hills of the St. Anthony Park area. It has a totally different feeling from the Minneapolis campus, but complementary, and one that reflects the differences between the Twin Cities as well. It just seems a lot cozier, a lot quieter, than the bustling Minneapolis campus, as much as I love its vibe, I am glad that I got to experience a little student life over there. So, the other day when I stopped by to crash the Found Footage Festival and ’90s Night at the St. Paul Student Center (whoa, nostalgia) it was only natural that I also stopped by best discovery I made here, Mim’s Cafe, my favorite falafel in Minnesota (even better than learning to grow my own soybeans).
In the months I shuttled to and from Minneapolis and St. Paul on the campus connector, I noticed one of the local neighborhood fixtures of the nearby community, Mim’s Cafe, a tiny hole in the wall middle eastern place on Cleveland, right across from the St. Paul campus. It took me a few months of passing by on the connector, late for next class over in Blegen Hall, saying, “wow, that looks good, I really should stop by for lunch next time” before I finally made it in. It was, if I recall, my first experience with the delicious world of falafel, and I could not have chosen a better place for this hot, crispy, crunchy street food. I quickly recommended Mim’s to the rest of my family and we have been making regular falafel runs ever since.
Over the years, they have slowly expanded from their original single room to several expansive dining rooms and a lovely outdoor seating area, great for a warm summer evening or brisk fall afternoon, watching students go bustle by and missing your college days. The friendly, quick service and a casual ambiance add to experience , attracting not only students and faculty but a lot of local community members as well; it’s great to stop in for take out or just hang out. In the growing falafel community in the Twin Cities, I still feel that Mim’s holds its own as some of the best falafel in the metro. Their fries are also, in my opinion, pretty far up there, too, hot, fresh, you watch as they are sliced and fried up right in front of you! The baba ganoush and hummus are also delicious, worthy of being craved after. In addition to these Middle Eastern staples including korma, schwarma, and chicken murash, they offer burritos and burgers as well, though to be honest, I have not tried these. The falafels always call out to me, though the veggie kebob wrap is delicious as well. As if all this was not enough, the prices are geared for student budgets too, always good for the wallet!
In all, I probably stop by at least on a monthly basis and would recommend this as a great place to grab some quick, cheap eats. My mouth is watering already. Sadly, they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, but they are open Monday through Friday 11:00 to 8:00.1435 N Cleveland Ave