Lunch at Midtown Global Market serves a plate full of flavor


Located on the ground floor of the Midtown Exchange mixed-use building on Lake Street, the Midtown Global Market is the perfect place to visit during the Minnesota winter. It has wide aisles between stores, a large open space with chairs and tables in its center, and plenty of mouthwatering menu options to keep you warm and well fed.

We stopped by the market on a Sunday afternoon for a quick meal. The atmosphere is peaceful at the end of the weekend as visitors stroll through the shops or snack on their lunch. You can hear the sounds of great food sizzling and roasting in almost every corner, and the mixture of smells in the air makes you want to eat.

the Bar Arepa is a featured member of the market’s vast array of food options. Hailing from Caracas, Venezuela, Arepa chef and bar owner Soleil Ramirez packs a punch with a menu featuring both sweet and savory choices. Highlights include tostones – an appetizer of fried plantains topped with a signature sauce and cheese, cachapa – a sweet corn pancake with honey and cheese and, of course, arepas.

We tried an arepa with pulled pork overflowing with two warm white corn tortillas, topped with avocado, plantains, and Venezuelan cheese. Accompanied by a hot black coffee prepared by the house, the classic dish did not disappoint.

We couldn’t resist the urge to also have a very hot, fried chicken empanada, which also hit the mark. It was accompanied by a hot sauce capable of reducing the creaminess of the empanada, creating an almost perfect combination that melts in your mouth.

Located right next to Bar Arepa, Taqueria Los Ocampo offers recipes that their website says have been passed down from generation to generation. The included spices are sure to satisfy any cravings and every order is built from the ground up. The location at Midtown Global Market is their third, opened in 2006. The staff are dedicated to serving authentic Mexican cuisine made with fresh ingredients, and you can really know when you are eating their food.

The menu has a ton of customization options, but we went with tacos al pastor. Topped with cilantro, onions and radishes, the tacos were served with lime wedges, which really spiced up the dish. The tacos would be delicious anyway, but we highly recommend eating them hot, while the smell is still coming off and the tortillas are hot.

There’s also a combo option for tacos, which includes three tacos, one soda, and rice and beans. However, the tacos alone are very filling.

The staff at Taqueria Los Ocampo were extremely friendly and helped us choose what to order. Besides tacos, the store also serves a host of other dishes, including pozole and menudo, two traditional Mexican soups. They also have burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas.

As we walked around, we found ourselves right in front of Moroccan Flavors. Its cutlery and decor recall the city of Chefchaouen, in northern Morocco, famous for its landscape of buildings painted in cold blue tones. The restaurant is renowned not only for its various couscous and tagine dishes but also for the warmth with which customers are greeted. their website notes that the chef, Hassan Ziadi, created the restaurant in 2016 and works with his partner to serve customers the delicacies of Moroccan cuisine.

Chef Ziadi greeted us warmly as we browsed the menu. The menu features Moroccan sandwiches which are baguettes filled with choices of marinated chicken, ground beef and marinated shrimp, three different kinds of couscous and their beloved tagine with choices of beef, chicken, lamb shank, meatballs. of meat and vegetables.

After much deliberation, we opted for a chicken tagine. During the short wait for the food, we saw the chef effortlessly prepare the meal as the aroma wafted through the restaurant. Made with braised chicken and turmeric rice, it was topped with boiled carrots, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, chickpeas, candied lemon and olives. It was the perfect meal for a winter day in Minnesota – hot, tasty and served with love.

Photo of Gracie Ellsworth ’22

Moroccan Flavors also serves gluten-free and vegan options for tagine and couscous. If you’re with a large group, the “Tagine Family Meal” serves six and offers personalized options for tagine, salads, toppings, and starches.

The market has more to offer than fresh food. AT Llakta, visitors can purchase South American and Native-style textiles while Dar Medina offers handcrafted Moroccan rugs, jewelry and other home items. More than Leila’s brow art, you can even stop to pluck your eyebrows in a relaxing space with all-natural tools. The Market also has two grocery stores, Oasis market and delicatessen and the Product exchange. Oasis offers a wide range of East African and Middle Eastern groceries as well as fresh foods. Produce Exchange claims a line of specialty ingredients and a host of sweet treats to its name. We each got a serving of mochi for dessert.

The Market is also a crossroads for socialization. The atmosphere is saturated with laughter, half-finished conversations and greetings. With 45 companies spanning more than 22 cultures around the world, its 1.5 million annual patrons create and live a memorable experience.

While not our first visit to the Midtown Global Market, we left full of great food and energy from the bustling space. Until next time!


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