A few steps from the Cedar-Riverside intersection, Dilla’s Ethiopian Restaurant gets high marks for its authenticity, the combination platters and affordability. They offer lots of vegetarian and vegan-approved dishes and stage buffets on Thursdays and Sundays for $11. Lucky Dragon draws a crowd of regulars, hooked on the lovingly prepared Vietnamese dishes, giant servings, low prices and affection for the owners. Top notch southwestern Indian food is available at Malabari Kitchen, including biriyani (mixed rice dish), seafood and HOT curry. A student ID will get you a 10 percent discount.
The grab-n-go, hole-in-the-wall Mediterranean Deli serves delicious, inexpensive items like falafel, sambusas, lamb gyros and a few West African dishes. The Red Sea was the first Ethiopian (with Eritrean influences) restaurant in Minneapolis. Their vegetarian options are universally adored as is their generous, 4-9 p.m. daily happy hour. They have a full bar that transforms into a nightclub and live-music venue in the evening, featuring reggae, R&B, soul, hip-hop and more.
Occupying a coveted spot at the Cedar Riverside nexus intersection of Cedar and Riverside Avenues, Acadia Café has been a socially-minded, neighborhood-active café/restaurant/pub/music presence for decades. Their sandwiches and burgers hit the mark and they maintain a great craft beer selection.
The Cabooze attracts music artists ranging from up-and-coming, buzz-worthy acts to groups on nostalgia tours to those that aren’t quite ready for an arena show, but almost.
Part Wolf doubles as a lively soccer (futbol) viewing spot and live music venue. It’s on the small side but the patio draws in the crowds in summer and there’s even a bocce ball league. A full listing of the innumerable unique coffee shop hangouts in the area would require a whole separate website. Just know you won’t need to search long for a spot to sit down and relax.