Sole Cafe

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Image for Dave Rolsky

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The online menu suggests their menu is vegan-friendly, but the service suggests otherwise. Last time I went I was brought something with animal products in it and the waitress tried repeatedly to convince me to eat it. When I refused she told me they'd charge me for it if I wanted something else (though she eventually backed down).

The other staff are much better, but between the horribly rude waitress and their general cluelessness about what veg food is, I wouldn't recommend coming here.

Image for conde.kedar

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The website for Sole Cafe suggests it is vegan-friendly and, more importantly, that the joint actually knows what vegan means. This is a rarity with Korean food, which typically is loaded with fish or meat broths even in otherwise seemingly vegetarian/vegan dishes.

During our visit, it was clear from the outset that our waitress didn't understand the term/concept of veganism, but she did understand "no meat." While this isn't the same as vegan per se, I think it did the trick. I've since learned that some servers are better than others in this area, so I guess we had the bad luck to have the server who's less knowledgeable on the terminology front.

We started off with an order of fried dumplings ($7) which were pretty tasty, though I think they're just a frozen variety that you can find at Asian groceries (Korea Restaurant in Stadium Village has the exact same dumplings).

For our main course we got a "tofu dolsot bibimbop" ($13) which was a stone bowl filled with a few vegetables, cellophane noodles, and exactly two smallish pieces of tofu. The dish comes out sizzling and you're then supposed to mix in some hot sauce on your own. The kitchen made a mistake and the dish came out with a big fried egg on top of it, which they then apologized for, and removed.

The dish was okay, but not great. I think it skimped on the vegetables and having only two pieces of tofu seemed ridiculous. Also, the food just seemed really basic.

It came with small dishes on the side (kimchee, bean sprouts, etc.) which were unusual; we're still not sure that the kimchee was vegan or vegetarian, but the other ones tasted all right.

Sole Cafe is an okay Korean joint but not particularly great for vegans or vegetarians, sadly.

Image for kim_s-y

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The one true Korean place in the Twin Cities that makes many of their noodle and soup dishes meat free, seafood free, and fish free, and adds tofu upon request without any questions. By far my favorite Korean restaurant simply because everything is so delicious and made with local ingredients when possible, and totally homemade. The kimchi is the best! Check out their website: or become a fan at

Image for Sholly

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Atmosphere: 4.0
A little small, but definitely quaint, clean, and very homey. The decor was very classically Korean cafe.

Service: 5.0
The service was excellent. Admittedly, when we went there it wasn't very busy, but the chef/owner came out multiple times to make sure we had what we wanted, asked us if the food was good, et cetera. Both she and our server were both extremely sweet and very willing to change the dishes around when we told them we didn't eat any meat, fish, or eggs (which can be an anomaly in Korean restaurants). They even made sure that the side dishes they brought out were all ones we could eat.

Food: 5.0
The food was excellent. Between the two of us, we had the korean pancake, the bibimbop, and the doenjang jigae (spicy tofu stew). The doenjang jigae was probably the best -- very spicy and well flavored. The vegetables in the bibimbop and the side dishes were extremely fresh and crisp.

All in all, the best Korean restaurant I've been to in awhile.

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