Spoonriver Cafe

Twin Cities, Minnesota

3.3 / 10 votes

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Gourmet Dining

New vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurant next to the new Guthrie Theater in Downtown Minneapolis.
Sister restaurant to Cafe Brenda.

Added by veg girl on Aug 24 06 (last updated Dec 17 08)

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Spoonriver is a sufficiently swanky spot to get a drink or meal before a show at the Guthrie. If you're on a date I recommend it for its convenience.

Food-wise, however, Spoonriver falls short, mostly because of some ingredient errors and also because of a lack of value for your money. While the menu has about three vegan or veganizable dishes, and two vegan appetizers, nothing really stood out as being "must-have" or highly innovative. And given the high prices at Spoonriver the food and portion sizes really do not live up to their cost.

We shared the veg. special of the night, an eggplant-squash-chickpea "stew" over couscous ($17), as well as an udon mock duck salad with peanut dressing ($15). The eggplant chickpea stew was tasty, but could have been served hotter (in terms of temperature). It was basically an Indian curry, though in a small portion. The eggplant wasn't properly integrated into the dish and felt tacked-on and out-of-place; I think the dish would have been better if they dropped the eggplant and added tofu or mock duck/seitan to the curry itself.

The udon salad was also relatively tasty, but I think they used the wrong types of vegetables (why lettuce and radish, when bell peppers, carrots or Chinese broccoli would have been more appropriate?). The peanut sauce had good, subdued flavor and the mock duck was unusually fresh and "meaty," but for $15 this dish did not fulfill my expectations. At Noodles & Company you can get an extremely similar peanut sauce noodle dish, which is just as tasty, but one-and-a-half times the portion size, for $8.

The service was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable.

Also, the drinks were pretty good, too. I had a ginger cosmo ($10) which was an excellent, smooth mixture of cranberry nectar and vodka. While the cocktails are expensive the quality of ingredients and the unusual flavors justify the price.

In conclusion, Spoonriver has the outlines of a a great place, but the content of a mediocre one. If they dropped their prices by 20-30% and looked up some more sophisticated vegan offerings (take a gander at what Blossom, Horizons or Candle 79 offer) I'd come back.

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I've been here twice and had a great experience both times. The food is delicious although fairly small portions. Sitting outside was wonderful on a summer evening!

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Across from the new Guthrie Theatre.


Accepts Reservations

Wheelchair Accessible


$$ - average


  • Discover MasterCard Visa


  • American


  • Romantic



11:30am - 2pm;
5:30pm - 10pm
8am - 2pm;
5:30pm - 11pm
10am - 2pm;
5pm - 10pm

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