Cossetta Italian Market & Pizzeria St. Paul: A Must-See for Foodies

The view from the upstairs seating area at Cossetta Italian Market & Pizzeria.
Cossetta does brisk business, indeed. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Whenever you find yourself wandering around in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, near Kellogg Boulevard and 7th Street, be sure to stop in to Cossetta Italian Market & Pizzeria. You may have to stand in line for a while, but this fast casual restaurant is a local favorite that’s well worth the wait.

The staff are friendly and fast at Cossetta. The fantastic salads are assembled
right before your hungry eyes. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
The salads are so fresh and tempting, you’ll have a hard time choosing what to order.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.

In fact, whether you’re heading to any of St. Paul’s nearby museums, taking in a Minnesota Wild game, or just looking for a cool ‘hood to explore, Cossetta is a local must-see in my book. I was first introduced to Cossetta as a poor college student. The ziti was so good, I didn’t even care that I spent my last three dollars on it. To this day, it is not unusual for this Rollerbag Goddess to go out of her way when passing through the Twin Cities, just to get a taste of Cossetta.

Minnesota hockey fans wait patiently for salads and and hot food choices.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.

What makes it special? For one, it’s delicious food at an affordable price. Established in 1911, the atmosphere is historic and vibrant, but homey.

Thank you, Micheal and Irene. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

It’s the kind of place where you can just pop in and have a slice and a cannoli when you only have a few minutes to spare before a concert at the Xcel Energy Center.

Mmmm. Cossetta pizza. Photo by Charish Badzinski. 

These days, I’m partial to the salads. This is the amazing antipasto.
Photo by Charish Badzinski. 

My favorite aspect of this neighborhood nugget is the Italian Market, which carries imported hard-to-find goodies as well as Italian-style delicacies produced domestically.

This photo totally does not do the market justice. Trust me, it’s awesome.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Looking for caper berries? Fresh, giant balls of mozzarella? A selection of delectable olives? Imported chocolates? Home made pastas? Gigantic, marinated artichokes? Specialty oils? Fresh, thinly-sliced prosciutto? You got it!

The Italian Market at Cossetta. Photo by Charish Badzinski. 

Cossetta is going through some remodeling right now; don’t let that stop you. I am hopeful they will retain the restaurant’s inherent charm, and if history is any indication of their commitment to doing so, they will. For now, the restaurant and market are just as cozy and inviting as ever.

To find the right line, look for the sign! Photo by Charish Badzinski. 

Just make sure you get into the right food line: the pizza line is to the right and moves very fast, deli and hot foods are to the left.

What are your favorite neighborhood finds in the world? What makes them special? 

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Charish Badzinski is an explorer, foodie and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to individuals and organizations. 

Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb
Creative Commons License
Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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