The Midtown Global Market: A community gem


Yasemin Isaacs

The Midtown Global Market is a culmination of different cultures in one building, creating a fun filled, diverse space, where everyone is welcome.

Yasemin Isaacs, Staff Writer

As you stroll into the Midtown Global Market, you are greeted with the smell of steamed corn, carnitas tacos, and Moroccan spices wafting through the air. Mexican papel picado banners hang low from the ceiling, and kids skip around, pulling their parents behind.

The market opened for business in 2006, and has been a diverse, community-oriented space ever since. The market features an assortment of restaurants, shops, and boutiques from around the world. Everything from the couscous and tagines of Moroccan flavors to old fashioned fries and malts at Al’s Garage, 45 businesses call the Midtown Global Market home. 

While the market sells just about anything you can think of, they are most famous for their food. This includes, but is not limited to, Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican, Hispanic, and Mediterranean cuisines. With so many options to choose from, what are some of the best places to visit? 

Let’s start with appetizers and smaller meals. If you are looking for a quick bite to eat, Tacocat is the place to go. They have a large assortment of tacos to choose from, including make your own, and specialty tacos which often cross traditional cultural lines. One of their best specialty tacos is called “The Outlaw” and is made with kimchi, which is Korean spicy cabbage. It also has roasted pork, pickled jalapeno apple slaw, and salsa verde. These diverse flavors blend together to create a tangy, spicy, concoction.

Yasemin Isaacs
Midtown Global Market restaurant Tacocat offers a wide range of authentic street tacos, including one of their specialty tacos, “The Outlaw.” It is made with kimchi, pickled jalapeño apple slaw, roasted pork, and salsa verde.

Tacocat will also deliver your tacos if you don’t feel like driving through the snow this winter. The best part is, all their deliveries are done by bike, even in the winter! Helping the planet and eating delicious tacos is a pretty good combination. 

Speaking of winter, on one of those cold snowy days, a great place to eat is Hot Indian. This little place is a restaurant specializing in Indian cuisine with a bit of a modern hispanic twist. They offer three options for your food vehicle, a rice bowl, taco, or their famous “indurrito.” 

Their “indurritos” are roti wrapped burritos filled with different Indian dishes like spinach and paneer, or tikka masala. They also serve tacos called Hi Flights, made with roti instead of a tortilla, which gives it its unique and delicious flavor. If you want a more health conscious option, you can order a scrumptious rice bowl with slaw and a wide array of meat or veggie dishes to choose from. 

If you’re not a spicy food type of person, you might want to try out La Loma. They serve a wide variety of freshly made Mexican tamales with meat, veggie, or sweet corn fillings. Their chicken tamale is especially good because it is tender, and seasoned to perfection. The combination of the texture of masa (corn dough) and the chicken is delicious! La Loma also serves breakfast and lunch, so come by any time! 

If you’re looking for sandwiches check out Manny’s Tortas. Manny’s is one of the most iconic places to get tortas (Mexican sandwiches) in the Twin Cities. They also have another location in Mercado Central on Lake Street closer to South, which can be more convenient for South students. Manny’s has tortas of all different kinds such as steak, turkey, chicken, and veggie. All of the homemade tortas have veggies, cheese and beans, making a yummy well balanced sandwich. 

Time for dessert, all the way from Sweden is Cafe Finspang. Named after the hometown of owners Maj-Britt Syse and Sibban Johnson, Cafe Finspang is quite a gem and gives off a warm homey feeling. The shop sells a variety of Swedish goods, collectables, candies, and desserts, including their hand-rolled chocolate truffles. 

One of their most iconic items is their homemade lefse. Lefse is a Norwegian crepe-like flatbread made from potatoes. It is slathered with butter and cinnamon sugar, then rolled up into a tasty treat. Besides their desserts, Cafe Finspang is a great place to get holiday gifts. “We sell a lot of socks, and t-shirts, Christmas is of course a busy time,” said co-owner Maj-Britt Syse. On your way out, stop at Cafe Finspang to get a sweet treat, a gift, or a piece of candy for a friend or loved one. 

No matter what you pick up at the Market, it is bound to be fun, delicious or both!