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A Foodie’s Guide to Conscientious Culinary Cravings at CleanMed

Mill City Farmers Market, a year-round farmers market dedicated to providing healthy, local food for Minneapolis and the surrounding community (Jason Riedy/flickr)

by Thresa Pattee & Iqbal Mian

This year, leaders in sustainable health care gather at CleanMed in the vibrant city of Minneapolis. Attendees will experience three days of inspirational speakers, engaging learning sessions and peer-to-peer networking focused on solving the important health and sustainability issues of our time. Amongst the many topics explored at CleanMed is the sourcing and serving of healthy, local, and sustainably-produced foods. In addition to food for thought, CleanMed is opportunity to explore the burgeoning food culture of Minneapolis.

Within walking distance of the venue are a multitude of co-ops, food trucks, restaurants, breweries and farmers markets sure to satisfy every craving from early morning coffee, to healthy snacks and regional and exotic cuisine.

Read on for a personal guided tour by Minneapolis-based foodie and Member Engagement Manager Iqbal Mian as he shares the best local food finds.


The Wedge Co-op near Franklin and Lyndale Avenues in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Tony Webster/Flickr)

The Wedge Community Co-op

I love coming to the Wedge. They have over 40 locations and the one on Lyndale is a gem. This co-op boosts sustainability through a variety of ways. There’s a dashboard of community metrics and impact (e.g. the mileage traveled of produce, number of farmers engaged, the monthly count of new members, etc.) I visit here at least twice a week to get seasonal produce or to grab a quick healthy snack like the creamy basil tomato soup which is sold in two size containers (small and large). I prefer the large! Check out their story and options, or read their 2016 sustainability report on their website.


Have you heard of Eat Street? It’s a 17-block neighborhood with over 50 eating options. Just outside of downtown within walking distance of the Minneapolis Conference Center, Eat Street is a fun and convenient destination sure to satisfy any taste preference.

Signs along Nicollete Avenue designating a 17 blocks of restaurants and eateries (Mary/Flickr) / Map of Eat Street destinations from Twin Cities Eater
Calamari at Stella’s Fishmarket / Fish Tacos at Muddy Waters / Grilled Cheese at GYST (Iqbal Mian)

Are you a fan of pho? Check out this Thrillest article for a top choice for some of the best options Minneapolis has to offer. If you’re craving a hip atmosphere for happy hour, try Muddy Waters for fare from pizza to sliders, Moto-i for sake and house-made steamed buns, or Stella’s Fish Market for rooftop dining. I’m never bored of variety of sweet and savory that this area has to offer.

Pho — a traditional eastern dish with noodles in a broth / Sushi burrito roll at SotaRol (Iqbal Mian)

Food Trucks

I’m a foodie. I’m especially a food truck foodie and the scene in Twin Cities always leaves me craving more. You’ll find these gourmet restaurants on wheels packing all sorts of locally sourced foods.

Check out this comprehensive list from Roaming Hunger for daily updated locations of food trucks in the city and see what tickles your tastebuds.

One favorite is the Curious Goat, which partners with Minnesota farmers to supply fresh produce and meats. Don’t miss their traditional Midwestern cheese curds, consisting of fresh cheese curds dredged in flour and fried (no really, you need to eat this).

Curious Goad food truck menu / Cheese curds (Curious Goat/ Facebook)

If you’re looking for something that’s strictly up the sustainability avenue, check out the Moral Omnivore whose menu will make you feel good from “bacon to beets.” And there is no shortage of food truck menus featuring vegetarian or vegan options.

Food truck fare from the Smack Shack (Iqubal Mian)

Eco-Friendly Coffee

Uptown and the Whittier neighborhood south of downtown have some nice sustainability-conscious coffee shops. Head just off of Lyndale Ave. or Hennepin Ave. if you’re looking for something outside of the ordinary. Spyhouse Coffee or Bob’s Java Hut provide great ambience for getting work done while sipping your cup of joe. Common Roots Cafe is well known for their organic options and serves coffee all day in addition to happy hour prices on beverages after you finish your work.


Being a Wisconsin native, I can comfortably say that the Twin Cities knows what they are doing with beer. Straight to the tap, breweries here have taken over by force and by demand. These venues have formed their own cultures and aren’t short of fun activities with games like bean bag toss or trivia.

Breweries in Minneapolis offer good beer and so much more (Iqbal Mian)

Within downtown, visit Lakes and Legend Brewery, Modist Brewery, Fulton Brewing Company or if you’re participating in the Harvest for Change Dinner, you’ll be a stone’s throw away from Indeed Brewery. Don’t be surprised to find these places packed before and after a Twins game. Many of these breweries have sustainability as core values and do charitable giving back to the community from revenues. For the greater list and map, check out “The Essential Guide to Twin Cities Taprooms” from the The Twin Cities Eater.

Whether served in a trendy eatery or within hospital walls, local, sustainably-produced ingredients support the creation of a food system which nourish both people and the planet. CleanMed attendees will have the opportunity to not only learn about and share successes of integrating healthy, eco-friendly ingredients and tasty meals into health care food service, but will also sample and share delicious sustainably-produced food during conference events.

While visiting the Exhibitors Hall be sure to check out the cooking demo by CleanMed sponsor Food Service Partners, on preparing delicious and climate-friendly recipes

Those attending the Harvest for Change dinner (May 17 at 6pm at the Solar Arts Center) will relax and restore while sharing a bountiful meal of local and sustainably produced vegetables and grains, complemented by locally-raised bison, grass-fed beef and organic chicken.

Whether breaking bread with peers at one of CleanMed’s food-themed events or striking out to experience the tastes of Minneapolis be sure to bring your appetite for local sustainable fare.

Interactive map of all of the venues described in this guide.

Groceries and Markets


Coffee Shops


Harvest for Change Dinner

If you haven’t done so already, register today at www.cleanmed.org!