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Food & Drink

The 10 Best Liquor Stores in St. Paul

If you’re getting tipsy in the Saintly City, stop here first.


Love that Hamm’s Bear!

There’s no need to cross the river to Minneapolis or head to that big-box store in the ‘burbs. Here’s a quick guide to choosing the right St. Paul liquor store for your needs, whether you’re on the hunt for local craft, exotic imports, or a cheap buzz.

10. Liquor Barrel

301 E. Wheelock Pkwy., Payne-Phalen

I must disclose at the top that this is my regular liquor store. Nudged up against I-35E and East Wheelock Parkway, this Liquor Barrel location is relatively barebones. It has a fine selection of liquors and beers, some wine, and it’s lit like a Target bathroom. You’ll find some craft beers but mostly macro-brew varieties. The staff here is friendly as heck. I’ve seen them handle difficult customers with respect, and I’m always in and out of that store feeling like I had a pleasant interaction. Consistent and friendly—that’s a powerful combination.

9. Scott’s Wine & Spirits

1464 St. Clair Ave., Mac-Groveland

Scott’s has the kind of mix you’ll see at most liquor stores—the Budweisers and Smirnoffs, as well as common Minnesota offerings like Summit EPAs and some locally made spirits. The bounty of boxed wines really stands out at Scott's—and that's a good thing! Experts have been praising the packaging advantages of bagged 'n' boxed vino for years now, breaking from the stigma of thinking you're slumming it without bottles. If you’re wondering how many options there are in the expanding marketplace for stackable wine, Scott’s is the spot.

8. Blaize Liquor

137 Maryland Ave. W., North End

Blaize sits in a useful business complex, complete with a grocery store and Tin Cup’s Bar (which we hear is for sale). So you’ve got the draw of one-stop shopping for your all food and drink needs. Blaize is one of those liquor stores where you’ll sometimes find yourself squeezing sideways through a large drink display or stacks of beer cases. To me, that jam-packed inventory signals deals. You’re sure to find a sixer for not much more than a buck per beer.

7. Randolph Liquors

1325 Randolph Ave., Mac-Groveland 

Randolph Liquors is a tidy little store that’s a bit retro without being dingy. Think tasteful wood paneling. Though it has a smaller selection, Randolph likely has what you need, especially if you're looking for spirits. There’s plenty to choose from in the impressively stocked whiskey/scotch/bourbon section, and there's even a couple Old Rip Van Winkle varieties on display behind locked glass.

6. Solo Vino

517 Selby Ave., Cathedral Hill

If you’re a wine enthusiast, Solo Vino is a great local business to support; 90% of the inventory is imported wine, according to its website, and there's an emphasis on varietals from the Iberian Peninsula. The staff at Solo is knowledgeable and helpful—certainly if you want to talk in-depth about tannins, but also if you just want to give the appearance of making a thoughtful wine choice 15 minutes before a dinner party. 

5. Wine Thief & Ale Jail

1787 St. Clair Ave., Mac-Groveland

Look, the name is impossible to understand... maybe it simply reflects the shop being bifurcated into distinct beer and wine areas? This much is certain: The wine side has a ton of selection and they hold weekly tastings. In keeping with the theme, there is a “Wall of Steals” section for discount wines. Don’t come here for macrobrews; the beer side is dominated by craft and import beers. The Ale Jail also has a pretty solid section of N/A beers, seltzers, and my current favorite, hop water. We recommend Fulton's, which has an adorable lil droplet mascot.

4. Perrier Wines & Liquors

666 Grand Ave., Summit Hill

Don't let the satanic address scare ya away: This is a great little shop that packs an admirable selection of beers, liquors, and wines into its footprint. Perrier is the most well-rounded liquor store in this lineup, where you’re likely to find the right reasonably priced wine for a social gathering. The same seems to be true for its selection of liquors in the low-to-medium-price ranges. There are coolers of single beer cans for sale, from the tall Buds to squat Foster’s, as well as the ability to mix 'n' match your own six-pack.

3. Heritage Liquor

1347 Frost Ave., Maplewood

Yes, it’s technically located in Maplewood, but Heritage is just a couple blocks north of the Larpenteur Avenue border. And it’s a true hidden gem featuring a surprising variety of products plus an adjoining bakery. The beer selection is vast and unique, with all sorts of craft beers, imports, and one-off brews from across the country and beyond. It’s a prime spot to grab special edition beers, like a gigantic, $100 bottle of Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard, to name one example. There’s also a pretty decent selection of mixers, bitters, and other cocktail ingredients. If you’re biking up or down the Gateway Trail, stop by for a beer and a pastry to juice those energy reserves.

2. Morelli’s

535 Tedesco St., Payne-Phalen

Make sure you bring cash for your purchase at Morelli’s, a mainstay Payne Avenue establishment that almost always seems busy. While the grocery and deli options are awesome, including the "Meat Marvels" deals, we’re here for the booze. You'll find large cases of macrobrews, but Morelli’s feels more like a neighborhood grab 'n' go stop for all your evening's needs. The fridges offer a fun rotating selection of craft beers available in the smaller packs of four or six, or you can pluck a 12-pack from the stacks that line the aisles. Family owned since 1915 (!), Morelli’s has a competent selection of liquor and a pretty good range of wines, too.

1. Dabbler Depot

1545 7th St. W., West Seventh

Matt Kenevan, the man behind Beer Dabbler events, opened his similarly named liquor store in 2022. Just look for the giant donut statue out front. (There's a separate coffee/baked goods store on the premises and space for tastings.) The Dabbler Depot’s selections are expertly curated, with hard-to-find wines, liquors, and beers, a thoughtful array of Minnesota-made drinks, and a strong selection of THC bevs in the café area. I appreciate the cooler full of single beers for sale, which appeals to my indecisiveness. Of course, the pricing reflects the Depot's bespoke nature, as well as the living wages Kenevan insists on paying. If you’re the type of consumer who’s turned off by the same old options, this is the liquor store for you.

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