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Walking Tour Of Minnesota's Cathedral Hill Neighborhood

Cathedral Hill is one of St. Paul's oldest and most varied neighborhoods. From its days as the city's wealthiest district, to the rough and tumble period through the 1990s, to its renaissance that created the picturesque neighborhood of today, Cathedral Hill is a perfect blend of past and present, while continually looking to the future. Full of great places to eat and shop, beautiful, historic architecture and modern luxuries, it's the perfect neighborhood in which to spend the day. With so many options in the area, it's hard to know what to visit first, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

Bon Vie Bistro
(credit: Bon Vie Bistro)

Bon Vie Bistro
485 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 287-0112

Start your day with breakfast at Bon Vie Bistro. Housed in the same shop as Piece of Cake Bakery, you can find both amazing breakfast dishes, like the caramelized pineapple pancakes or bacon and Brussels sprout hash, and delectable pastries for breakfast and beyond. You can't go wrong picking up some cupcakes or cookies for later either. The cozy bistro is charming and comfortable, the food and coffee are truly delicious and the service is top notch. You know you've started your day the right way after a morning at Bon Vie. It's the perfect introduction to the neighborhood.

614 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 260-5340

Stop in to BlackBlue to find the finest in men's clothing and shoes, as well as an impressive array of bags, belts and other accessories. Crafting its creative designs from the leather, canvas, denim and wool to create long-lasting, durable clothing that only improves with age, BlackBlue is that unique store that defies the modern, throw-it-away mentality. The store even achieved celebrity status for its wears after dressing indie fan-favorite Bon Iver for his 2012 Grammy win. While BlackBlue specializes mostly in men's clothing, there is a selection for women as well. This store is not to be missed.

Related: Best Vintage Stores In Minnesota

Cheeky Monkey
(credit: Cheeky Monkey)

Cheeky Monkey
525 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-6066

This stylish restaurant serves brunch on the weekend (with mimosas for only $1.50), but during the week, it's all about the sandwiches. Try the cumin pork, made with slaw and fresh greens on a ciabatta roll, a world-class muffaletta or choose from dozens of others. Also open for dinner service, the casual and quick service, top-notch deli sandwiches, soups and salads make it the ideal place to stop for lunch during a tour of Cathedral Hill. If you want to stay awhile, kick back on the beautiful patio, or when the weather gets cooler, by the large fireplace.

Dr. Chocolate's Chocolate Chateau
579 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 379-3676

With an everything-chocolate retail store (including games like chocolate Monopoly, and plenty of gift options), mocha lattes, other coffee drinks and, of course, a selection of amazing single-wrapped or bulk chocolates, the Chateau is literally chocolate heaven. Gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and organic chocolate options ensure that there will be chocolate for everyone. With a new patio, featuring chocolate-inspired drinks, food options and a full bar, the chateau is a European-style haven in the middle of Saint Paul. It's easy to spend the entire afternoon at this one-of-a-kind shop.

Happy Gnome
(credit: Happy Gnome)

The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 287-2018

Featuring the strongest beer list in the city, with over 70 taps and more than 300 bottles, the Happy Gnome is the one beer bar you truly have to visit. Even if you're not much of a beer drinker, there will be something there for you. Broken up into accessible categories (lighter, hoppy, fruity, etc), the beer list will cater to anyone's tastes and the friendly and knowledgeable bartenders are sure to help you find that perfect brew. Also featuring memorable cocktails and food, and one of the best patios in the city, the Happy Gnome is a necessary stop for anyone visiting the neighborhood.

W. A. Frost
374 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-5715

This is a beautiful, intimate restaurant that can be credited with starting the neighborhood's renaissance, and still remains one of the most popular places in the city. Opening in 1975, W.A. Frost has been serving the best in American food for years, and it seems to only get better with age. While there are plenty of options for dinner along Selby, this is where you want to end up. For after-dinner cocktails, there are also plenty of options nearby, but the experienced bartenders ensure that you won't have to go anywhere else. While the weather is still warm, continue Selby Avenue's patio tradition here: Frost has arguably the best one on the block.

Related: Best Apple Orchards In Minnesota

Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.

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