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International Marketplace

Map & Directions 217 Como Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55103
  • No Parking


City Pages' Description

If you've eaten your fill of saucy chicken wings—those slathered with Buffalo sauce, ghost peppers, barbecue, or teriyaki—look to the east to shift the way you think about this humble meat. The Hmong International Marketplace is St. Paul's best spot for the American-born to experience culture shock. The string of warehouses, tents, and open-air stalls feels like it's straight out of Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City, as vendors sell every manner of traditional costume, smiling Buddha statues, tiger balm, and sandals. Curious Caucasians may be as scarce as spoken English, but newcomers to the food court need only two things: a fistful of dollars and a finger to point. Look for the Hmong stuffed chicken wings, which pack the deboned appendages with vermicelli noodles, ground pork, cilantro, and green onion before they're broiled. The skin on these wing/egg roll hybrids crackles so spectacularly that you'll never miss the sauce.

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Tips from foursquare

  • Heavy Table on 07/11/10

    Try Coco's Island's cabbage rolls: the steamed cabbage leaves and their pale stuffing may look bland and unexciting, but the flavor and texture are surprisingly compelling.

  • Travel Channel on 01/23/12

    When Andrew Zimmern visited, General Manager Ying Xiong gave Andrew a tour of this local market, and helped him prepare a lunch using Hmong specialties.

  • Heavy Table on 07/11/10

    Get the green mango from Mr. Papaya Kitchen, a dish which fires off its sour, spicy, salty, and bitter notes with the ferocity of Jimi Hendrix.

  • Diane Y. on 04/02/10

    Try the fresh papaya salad from coco's island.

  • Amanda on 12/27/12

    On Mpls St Paul's list of Insider Eats for the most underrated culinary resource in the state

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