Going out to eat isn't always about cravings. Often enough, mealtimes dictate our choices, limiting restaurant possibilities. When circumstances narrow the options, let 10Best help. We'll direct you to the best Lunch restaurants in St. Paul and save you the hassle of calling around for business hours. 10Best readers find much to enjoy at Mama's Pizza thanks to its all-around good offerings. It's also hard to beat Carmelo's, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great Lunch.

10 Downtowner Woodfire Grill
Fire-grilled meats are the highlight at this appealing restaurant, whose menu is represented as "American with a Persian touch." The interior is rich with Oriental rugs, leather, dark woods, and an impressive, stacked stone fireplace that anchors the space. Steaks, lamb chops, pork loin, and swordfish are imparted an earthy, rustic quality, courtesy of the fire, as are gourmet pizzas. Other entrees include seafood puttanesca and Thai chicken pasta. An open kitchen and proximity to the Xcel Energy Center further recommend the well-received restaurant. The bar remains open until 1am on Friday and Saturday. (651-228-1221, 651-228-9500)

9 Mickey's Diner
Open around the clock! Mickey's Art Deco red and cream-colored diner is located in an old railroad dining car and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mickey's own special batter makes the waffles and buttermilk pancakes an extra special treat. Hearty eaters will enjoy their pancakes with the potatoes O'Brien. The omelets are another of Mickey's specialties. Of course, the burgers and fries aren't bad either. (651-222-5633, 651- 698-0259)

8 Egg and I
Eggs any way you like them are featured here, including terrific, well-stuffed omelets. Skillet breakfasts, French toast and waffles also appear on the menu. If you're up for a hearty meal, look for the kamikaze pancakes — buttermilk, multigrain, sourdough, or buckwheat pancakes topped with bananas, blueberries and nuts. Egg and I is a friendly, welcoming place to start your day! (651-647-1292)

7 Keys Café & Bakery
Family-owned and -operated, Keys offers hefty portions of comfort food. Pancakes are so big they don't quite fit on the plate, and epic melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls and caramel rolls (made once a day) tend to go "as fast as hotcakes." Breakfast is served all day long, much to the delight of regulars. This location is the original Keys Café & Bakery, but multiple locations can be found throughout the Twin Cities. (651-646-5756)

6 Cafe Latté
At Cafe Latté, fresh desserts and breads are placed at the beginning of the "cafeteria" line, promoting the yummy idea of starting a meal with dessert. Check out the caramel cashew truffle or the sinful chocolate turtle cake. Special latte creations include the Milky Way Latte and the Irish Cream Latte. Ciders are also featured, as seen in drinks like a Hot Cider Crème with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick. (651-224-5687)

5 St. Paul Grill
The most enviable tables at St. Paul Grill, one of the most popular restaurants in town, overlook Rice Park. Old World charm and elegance set the ambience, and traditional American cuisine is simply outstanding. Steaks and chops are prominent, bolstered by seafood, chicken, and pastas. Consider, for example, pan-seared scallops, parmesan horseradish-crusted halibut, chicken pot pie, or a 24-oz. aged porterhouse with rosemary-sage pesto. (651-224-7455)

4 M ST. Cafe
Defined by curves, sturdy columns, and dark-wood furniture, this pale-hued dining room presents a refined setting for morning meals and lunchtime powwows. Breakfast options range from frittatas and quesadillas to smoked salmon hash or a fried egg sandwich. Pancakes, waffles, French toast, and eggs Benedict also satisfy. The brunch bounty includes similar items but also features fresh fish, shrimp, pastries, salads, prime rib, soups, and desserts. Prominent at lunch are salads and sandwiches. (651-228-3855)

3 Bread & Chocolate
Sister restaurant of the popular Cafe Latte, Bread & Chocolate has a loyal group of regulars of its own. This Victoria Square bakery specializes in everything that tickles your fancy— crescent rolls, brownies, fudge and all sorts of cookies. For those who like to eat a little something more than dessert at mealtimes, Bread & Chocolate also serves several excellent specialty sandwiches. (651-228-1017, 651-224-5687)

2 Buca di Beppo
Buca di Beppo has a reputation for being one of the most entertaining Italian eateries in town. Inside, the decor borders on downright amusing, as does the waitstaff's Stooge-like behavior, as they yell across the restaurant and bark orders at patrons. The shtick is not an attempt to cover a weak menu either, because the family-style food comes in delicious heaps. Specialties include homemade pizzas, veal saltimbocca, and spicy chicken rigatoni. Southern Italian cuisine at its Twin City best! (651-772-4388)

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1 Dixie's on Grand
The Cajun-style cuisine served up at Dixie's has gained positive publicity in the St. Paul area. Here, you can feast on traditional Southern dishes like barbecue ribs, country-fried steak, collards and the like. If you're hungry, the Cajun pork chops are a "must-try," and you can try and sweet-talk your way into a side of fried okra to go along with them. After dinner, find your way over to the bar area. This is the place to find full-scale Southern cocktails, like a Cajun-style Bloody Mary. (651-222-7345)

Maps and Directions

Downtowner Woodfire Grill 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out, Wine Cellar
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$
Mickey's Diner 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Diner
Dining Options: Counter Seating, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Downtown
Egg and I 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Neighborhood: Midway
Keys Café & Bakery 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Diner
Dining Options: Catering, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cafe Latté 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Bakery, Continental, Vegetarian
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Grand Avenue
St. Paul Grill 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$$
M ST. Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Continental
Dining Options: Catering, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Downtown
Bread & Chocolate 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Bakery
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking
Neighborhood: Grand Avenue
Buca di Beppo 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Catering, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Italian
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$
Dixie's on Grand 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Cajun, Southern
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Catering, Group Friendly, Live Music, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Grand Avenue
COST: $$
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