The best spots in St. Peter

David EideOpinion Columnist

As the semester gets rolling, I’ve found myself thinking about all of the fun places that I could potentially visit when I want to get off campus for a change.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the neat places on campus to spend time, but the campus isn’t very big and at a certain point I just need to stretch my legs and see new stuff.  Luckily, there’s a wealth of options in St. Peter and beyond for those interested in having a good time, seeing cool stuff, and maybe even having a tasty bite to eat.  

I’ll start off this little odyssey by discussing some potential locations to visit in St. Peter itself.  First off, there’s a lot of great restaurants to visit down the hill if Caf food just doesn’t satisfy you anymore.  

One of my favorite places to eat in St. Peter is the Third Street Tavern.  I have yet to try an item off their menu that I disliked; even stuff I usually avoid, I found myself liking quite a bit at Third Street.  In particular, I’d recommend their mac and cheese as well as their ribs, as they are just shockingly good in my opinion.  However, Third Street does have a bit of a downside in that it’s very pricey to eat at, so I wouldn’t recommend visiting every week especially- considering college students aren’t well known for their deep pockets.

If you’re looking for a cheaper place to dine out, give Patrick’s a try.  This sports bar has the stylings of an Irish style pub which can make for a fun experience on a game night.  Plus, it’s much cheaper than Third Street although unfortunately, the menu has been a bit more limited than it used to be in recent years. That being said, I definitely still like most stuff on their menu.

Another restaurant I quite enjoy in St. Peter is El Agave, located on the northern side of town.  This Mexican restaurant is one of the few places in town where you can get food outside of the standard “American” fare.  I’ve got nothing against burgers or corn dogs but when I need something with a little spice to it, I’ll go to El Agave.  Another good place to get some good spicy food is the China Town restaurant down on Main Street.  I’m a big fan of Chinese food in general and I think that China Town is a pretty good example of the style. They have pretty big portions (always a plus with Chinese food) along with some great flavors.  For Chinese food, there’s also Great Wall, however I haven’t had their food enough to really be able to speak to it, so I’ll leave that up to you.

In a discussion of food options in St. Peter, I would be remiss to not to mention our beloved St. Peter Food Co-Op.  The Co-Op has a great variety of organic and healthy foods to pick from, they have fresh vegetables, fancy designer pops, and all other manner of products.  On top of all that, they also have a deli where you can order from a sizable menu of sandwiches or burritos. Personally, my favorite sandwich is the BBQ pulled pork.  I’ll just come out and say it, the Co-Op is pretty great all around and it’s definitely one of my favorite places to get food in St. Peter even when considering all of the other establishments previously discussed.

Of course, there’s more to do in St. Peter besides eating at various different restaurants. There’s also a lot of interesting retail stores to explore.  If you’re interested in picking up some cheap clothes, there’s no better place than Finders Keepers Thrift.  There’s actually a lot more besides clothes at thrift stores, as I’ve found a lot of interesting and seemingly rare books at thrift stores so if you’re into that kind of thing I’d further recommend Finders Keepers.  If you’re more interested in novelty decorations or are just interested in repping Gustavus’ Swedish heritage in your dorm, then I’d take a look at Swedish Kontur Imports.  This Main Street business has a lot of fun little knick-knacks and decorations, including Swedish-made clothing, Nordic candies, and plenty of gnomes.  Finally, if you’re interested in picking up a plant for your dorm room, head over to the Traverse Des Sioux Garden Center located on the northern side of town.  They have an incredible selection of plants to choose from, and they sell a lot of gardening tools to help you out if you’re just starting to take care of a plant. 

As you can see, there are plenty of places to go if you want to get away from campus for a while and this list isn’t even half of it.  There are a lot more restaurants and stores to explore in St. Peter that I didn’t even mention.  There are also a lot of nearby parks and historical sites if that’s the type of thing you enjoy as well.  Even if all that doesn’t sate your appetite for exploration, we’re only a couple miles away from Mankato which is a much bigger city with all the amenities that come with it.  Hopefully this list helps you out if you find yourself bored of campus and in need of a little vacation.