2 Special St. Paul Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants

In the quirky corners of St. Paul, where flavor reigns and pretension takes a backseat, two hidden gems await your taste buds. These hole-in-the-wall wonders defy the norms of fancy dining, offering a delicious escape from the mundane. Prepare for a culinary joyride as we uncover the gastronomic secrets (oops, we said it) of these unassuming joints, where laughter is as abundant as the flavor. It’s time to ditch the mainstream and embark on a journey through St. Paul’s offbeat culinary landscape.

Brunson’s Pub: 1 of 2 St. Paul Hole-in-the-wall restaurants

In the heart of St. Paul, where flavor meets familiarity, Brunson’s Pub emerges as a quirky culinary haven. Nestled in the East Side, this unassuming pub invites patrons to indulge in a gastronomic journey with a side of humor. Whether you’re a regular or a first-timer, Brunson’s promises an experience that transcends typical pub fare.

Location: 956 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130

Food Highlights

  • House-made Chips with Onion and Dill Dip: A flavorful prelude that sets the stage for the feast to come.
  • Braised Beef Sandwich with Potato Salad: A star on the menu, featuring tender braised beef tucked between slices of perfection.
  • Maple Soy Chicken Wings: A delightful twist on a classic, with the richness of chicken thigh stealing the show.


Brunson’s embraces you like a cozy dive bar where everybody knows your name, minus the beer norm – it’s an East Side Cheers with a twist. The snug interior and the lively patio adorned with greenery create an ambiance that feels like a well-loved secret. The regulars, the banter, and the nod from the bartender make Brunson’s more than a pub; it’s a culinary retreat where comfort meets charisma.

Whether you’re sipping on the best dirty martini in town, savoring the Banh Mi, or munching on the unparalleled cheese curds, Brunson’s Pub leaves a lasting impression. From scratch cocktails to culinary creations, the pub’s commitment to quality shines through. So, whether you’re seeking a laid-back happy hour or a flavorful dinner, make your way to Brunson’s – where every visit is a toast to good times and great flavors. Cheers to St. Paul’s hidden gem!

Demera: 2 of 2 St. Paul Hole-in-the-wall restaurants

Demera, a hidden Ethiopian gem in St. Paul, Minnesota, beckons diners with an Ethiopian feast that transcends the ordinary. The journey through these exotic flavors is not only a treat for the taste buds but also a cultural exploration. For those seeking a break from the ordinary, Demera stands as a beacon of East African culinary excellence. 

Location: 823 W University Ave Saint Paul, MN 55104

Food Highlights

  • Meat Combination Platter: A carnivore’s delight, offering a tantalizing mix of flavorful meat selections.
  • Injera Bread: A fermented grain delicacy, a must-try despite potential post-dinner carb contemplations.
  • Vegetarian Combo: A colorful array of dishes, including standout green beans, collard greens, and a mysterious yet delicious red creation.


Demera’s ambiance radiates warmth, a mellow and unpretentious setting where the focus is on the food and camaraderie. A family-run establishment with instrumental background music, it provides a space for both intimate meals and lively conversations. Whether you’re a solo diner engaged in conversation with the owners or part of a group relishing the flavors, Demera’s atmosphere adds an authentic touch to the culinary journey.