Discover food, art, music, and more
Travel the World in Saint Paul
Foreign-born residents make up nearly 20% of Saint Paul’s population, according to 2020 census data—making the capital city a unique melting pot of cultures from around the world. International culture is evident in the artwork on our buildings and in our museums, and you can hear it in the music at our festivals and taste it in the incredible restaurants and cafés sprinkled throughout town—the hardest part will be deciding where to go first.
Saint Paul is home to 100-plus nationally registered historic sites. One of the most culturally significant of these is Indian Mounds Regional Park (located on Saint Paul’s East Side), a sacred burial place for the region’s Native American tribes dating back between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago. It’s also worth a visit to the Minnesota History Center to learn more about the history of people who have made Minnesota their home in for centuries.
On Selby Avenue, you can’t miss the iconic Cathedral of Saint Paul, a 306.5-foot-tall Roman Catholic cathedral built in the early 1900s. Situated on the highest point of downtown Saint Paul, the beaux-arts architecture is modeled after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and is a testament to one of the nation’s premier houses of worship.
In the Payne-Phalen area, visit the China Friendship Garden to see the Xiang Jiang Pavilion and the Hmong Heritage Wall. The garden is part of a long-standing relationship between Saint Paul and its sister-city, Changsha, in China and serves as recognition for the contributions of the Chinese American community to the Twin Cities.
The Center for Irish Music in the Midway neighborhood inspires a love for Irish music and lifelong learning through adult and youth programming. Since the early 2000s, the music school has become Minnesota’s leading gathering place for artists, students, and community volunteers who are passionate about traditional Irish arts.
European influence abounds at the Germanic-American Institute on Summit Avenue, a cultural language and education center that also hosts monthly and annual events, both large and small, such as Stammtisch
and Christmas in Germany.
Try Minnesota’s first Turkish dining experience at Black Sea, featuring traditional Turkish and Mediterranean fare, or share dishes of savory African sambusa or kitfo (minced raw beef) at Bolé Ethiopian Cuisine. Sawatdee is a popular Lowertown locale for Thai food, and Urban Wok serves up global fusion meals drawing from flavors found in Latin America, Korea, Hawaii, India, Southeast Asia, and more.
Saint Paul is also home to the largest Hmong population of any U.S. city, which is reflected in the many businesses and events centered around this Southeast Asian community. At Hmong Village Shopping Center, peruse authentic goods and try popular traditional dishes, such as papaya salad, pho, boba tea, and khaub poob (a curry noodle dish).
Each neighborhood of Saint Paul is vibrant and unique, with its own storied history, art, and cuisine. Seventh Street is often referred to as the Intertribal Cultural Corridor, a business and community space honoring the Indigenous Dakota people and the many immigrants who have made this area their home. The street is lined with restaurants, supermarkets, and murals that reflect cultures from Latin America, South America, Asia, and many more homelands around the world.
Along this street, try more than 50 flavors of popsicles and ice cream at La Michoacana Purepecha, or fill up on pastries and Salvadorian dishes at El Guanaco Bakery Y Cafe. For even more authentic El Salvadorian food, head to Mañana Restaurant and see the mural dedicated to Rosario Diaz, the owner and founder of this beloved restaurant and champion of her culture’s culinary traditions.
The Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods—between Lexington Parkway and Dale Street—is home to the acclaimed Penumbra Theatre, which highlights the African American experience through the performing arts. Written by renowned author Langston Hughes, “Black Nativity” comes to the stage in the month of December. Book lovers should swing by Black Garnet Books, an indie bookstore that sells contemporary works by authors and illustrators of color.
While here, feast on Southern-style cooking and seafood at The Luscious Crab, or visit Taste of Rondo Bar & Grill, a local favorite, for authentic soul food. Frogtown is also home to a business and cultural district known as Little Mekong, which refers to the river that flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Near the Hmong Cultural Center, you’ll find many authentic restaurants and supermarkets, such as Cheng Heng, Thai Garden, and Little Szechuan Hot Pot, to name a few.
Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd W Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 259-3000 Downtown Website >
Cathedral of Saint Paul
239 Selby Ave St. Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 228-1766 Cathedral Hill Website >
301 Summit Avenue Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 222-7027 Cathedral Hill Website >
Changsha China Friendship Garden
1600 Phalen Dr Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106 (763) 913-4438 East Side Website >
Changsha China Friendship Garden1600 Phalen Dr
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106
Sawatdee Saint Paul
486 Robert Street St. Paul, Minnesota 55101 (651) 528-7106 Lowertown Website >
Bole Ethiopian Cuisine
490 N Syndicate St Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 (651) 917-9332 Midway Website >
Black Sea Restaurant
737 Snelling Ave N Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 (651) 917-8832 Midway Website >
209 4th St E Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101 (651) 299-0119 Lowertown Website >
Hmong Village Shopping Center
1001 Johnson Pkwy Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106 (651) 771-7886 East Side
Hmong Village Shopping Center1001 Johnson Pkwy
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106
El Guanaco Bakery Y Café
849 E 7th St St Paul, Minnesota 55106 (651) 776-3320 East Side Website >
Mañana Restaurant y Pupuseria
798 7th St E Saint Paul, 55106 (651) 793-8482 East Side
270 North Kent Street Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102 (651) 224-3180 Cathedral Hill Website >
Black Garnet Books
1319 University Ave W Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 Midway
Taste of Rondo
976 Concordia Ave Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 (651) 348-2615 Rondo Website >
Hmong Cultural Center
375 University Ave W, Suite 204 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55103 (651) 917-9937 Little Mekong Website >
Hmong Cultural Center375 University Ave W, Suite 204
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55103
Cheng Heng Restaurant
448 University Ave W Saint Paul, Minnesota 55103 (651) 222-5577 Little Mekong Website >
432 University Ave W Saint Paul, Minnesota 55103 (651) 368-9431 Midway
Little Szechuan Hot Pot
422 University Ave W Saint Paul, Minnesota 55103 (651) 222-1333 Little Mekong Website >