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Northfield gems

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Now that you have moved in at St. Olaf College, keep in mind that you have a second home apart from the Hill: the city of Northfield. While it may seem small, do not let its size fool you. Northfield has many great restaurants, stores and activities to make these four years memorable.

From the Defeat of Jesse James Days, where the town celebrates its famous overthrow of the infamous bank robber Jesse James, to Winter Walk, where the stores on Division Street stay open late and decorate for Christmas, we are confident that Northfield will win you over. To help you navigate its many restaurant options, we have compiled a list of classic Northfield favorites and hidden gems.

Hogan Bros. Acoustic Cafe: For chili that makes your mouth water and hoagies that you will surely dream of during your summers away from Northfield, look no further than Hogan Bros.

In addition to delicious sandwiches, complete with Hogan Bros. secret special sauce, the downtown restaurant boasts a cozy small-town atmosphere. You’re sure to see friends working behind the counter or out to lunch on a Saturday afternoon.

Tandem Bagels: While Minnesota may not be known for its bagels, our great state is certainly not devoid of the delicacies. Tandem Bagels has only been in business in Northfield for two years, but the shop has already built a loyal consumer base. Why? It serves bagels that are really, really good.

Whether you are in the mood for a plain bagel with plain cream cheese or a Dagwood-style bagel sandwich, you will find something to love at Tandem Bagels.

CakeWalk: Relatively new to the area, CakeWalk offers yummy cupcakes, cakes and desserts. These aren’t your typical cupcake flavors, though. In addition to some classic flavors, CakeWalk is known for some unique ones as well. Some of the more adventurous flavors include blueberry pancake, campfire and vanilla latte.

The shop also switches up the flavors it offers, so every time you visit is a new adventure. If you plan on snagging a bite for dessert, however, make sure you check the hours beforehand; CakeWalk closes relatively early in the evening. It closes at 6 p.m. during the week and 4 p.m. on Saturday, and is closed on Sunday.

The Tavern of Northfield: The Tavern serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is a popular destination not only for students, but also for families who come to visit. Known for tasty seasoned Tavern potatoes and affordable breakfasts, the restaurant is famous among Northfield residents, college students and visitors alike. A visit to Northfield just would not be complete without a trip to the Tavern. Another hint: check out the Tavern’s spinach and artichoke dip.

El Triunfo: Don’t let this little building located away from the main street downtown deter you. Students who have eaten there swear by its authentic Mexican food.

El Triunfo offers the freshest and tastiest not to mention cheapest Mexican food in the area. Check it out; you’ll fall in love with the food.

Chapati: The best thing about Chapati is its all-you-can-eat lunch buffet which includes, most importantly, all-you-can-eat naan.

Located on Division Street, the restaurant features mainly northern Indian cuisine. It is a great spot for a birthday dinner with friends or a special outing when family members come to visit Northfield.

Carleton: We all know that Carleton is across the river, though we don’t usually think of it as a viable dinner spot. You can actually eat one meal a week at Carleton, though, with your St. Olaf meal plan. Why would you want to cross to the other side, you might ask?

Well, one reason Oles make the trek is for Carleton’s soft serve ice cream machine, a draw for many missing this sweet treat in our own Caf. While Carleton’s campus food does not boast a ranking as high as St. Olaf’s does, but a visit two one of Carleton’s two cafeterias is sure to provide you with a fun change of pace – and some good pizza to boot.

Now you know the secrets to the eateries in Northfield. Have fun exploring and tasting!

dipietro@stolaf.edu