Go around the globe via your plate.
Take a trip around the world by visiting these local spots, serving up cultural cuisine from Chinese and Japanese fare to Italian, Mexican, Cajun and Hawaiian eats.
Poke (pronounced “poh-kay”) is a traditional Hawaiian dish made from diced raw fish, and Chicago’s Aloha Poke was introduced to Woodbury in 2018. The City Place Market location dons the signature wall of bobbling hula dolls from Hawaii and features the signature favorite dish—the Crunch Bowl, filled with jalapenos, cucumbers, scallions, edamame, tobiko (fish roe) and tempura fried onions (the “crunch”), topped with spicy aioli and Samurai sauces. Customers looking for something else can customize their bowls, beginning with a base of greens, brown or white rice, poke and any or all of 12 ingredients and seven sauces. 245 Radio Drive, Unit K; 651.200.4696
It started as a prepared meal service, but now it’s turned into one of Woodbury’s most beloved restaurants. Angela Verrastro began Angelina’s Kitchen in 2012, and the Italian eatery creates a family-focused environment, complete with Verrastro’s grandmother’s (named Angelina, the restaurant’s namesake) recipes. Classic Italian favorites like lasagna and bruschetta don the menu, and the eggplant Parmesan is a bestseller, along with the chicken soup, served with orzo pasta. Read more about Angelina’s Kitchen on page 24. 2170 Eagle Creek Lane; 651.998.0474
Lake Elmo Inn
Deemed a “special occasion destination,” the Lake Elmo Inn offers homecooked meals, Sunday brunches and an extravagant holiday menu that entices travelers from all over the region. Brunch is offered all year and features ice sculptures and white tablecloths. Christmastime calls for a surge of decorations and delectable meals, such as duck risotto. 3442 Lake Elmo Ave. N., Lake Elmo; 651.777.8495
Longtime Woodbury residents Jackie Chang and Wanyi Tong set out to bring true Asian fare to Woodbury, and they’ve done so by opening Little Chopstix in 2015. The restaurant serves up made-to-order traditional Cantonese cuisine, using combinations of salt, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and scallions. Tong recommends the Singapore mei fun, a combination of shrimp, pork and chicken stir fried with skinny rice noodles in a curry sauce, and the beef chow fun. 580 Woodbury Drive Suite 200; 651.797.4133
Machete Cocina Mexicana
An addition to the Los Ocampos family, Machete Cocina Mexicana takes Mexican fare to a higher level. The restaurant has perfected family recipes, serving delicious food right alongside tequila and mezcal—but it’s known for alcohol-free drinks, as well. The from-scratch margaritas, piña coladas and daiquiris are popular sans booze. The creamy house-made horchata, a milky, nut-based drink, is another booze-free favorite. 803 Bielenberg Drive; 651.478.7511
One of the first Japanese-style ramen restaurants in the Twin Cities, Ramen Station’s décor and menu are heavily influenced by Japanese culture. The restaurant features a 30-foot long table, where diners sit community-style. The ramen cooks in bone broth and simmers for eight hours. From takoyaki, a fried octopus ball, to tonkatsu, ramen with braised pork, egg and vegetables, Ramen Station is serving up delicious and authentic cuisine. 1960 Donegal Drive Suite 15; 651.731.7888
Sencha Tea Bar
Skip your typical mocha and head to Sencha Tea Bar to indulge in bubble tea—a popular Asian specialty drink. Bubble tea comes in a variety of flavors and can be made with any type of bubbles, also known as tiny pearls of tapioca or jelly. Mix and match your pearls for a diverse drink, or stick with tried-and-true favorites like the taro shake or royal tea latte. 783 Radio Drive; 651.788.9759
Viet Cajun & Noodles
Unique fusion restaurants are popping up all over the place, and Woodbury has its own not-so-secret gem—Viet Cajun & Noodles. Owner Steven Tonthat got inspiration for the Vietnamese-Cajun blend from his cousin in Houston, who taught him the recipes. Viet Cajun blends traditional southern-style shrimp boil with colorful pieces of corn on the cob, red potatoes and seafood, and, instead of Louisiana Cajun, it’s infused with Vietnamese spices. The made-from-scratch menu features traditional Vietnamese vermicelli dishes, rice plates, egg and spring rolls, and signature pho (pronounced “fuh”) soup, served alongside crawfish, crab legs, lobster or jump shrimp with fresh-drawn garlic butter sauce. 437 Commerce Drive Suite 100; 651.683.2172
One of Woodbury’s newest grocers is United Noodles—one of Minnesota’s largest Asian grocery stores. The Woodbury location opened just over a year ago and has focused on filling the void of Asian foods in the community. United Noodles stocks fresh produce, seasoning, sauces, condiments, cookware, dishware, sake sets and woks. There’s also a freezer section filled with seafood, wagyu beef and lamb and more. For dessert, how about mochi ice cream or red bean and green tea ice cream? The grocer also sells fully prepared grab-and-go meals. 7730 Hudson Road Suite 60; 612.721.6677