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Food & Drink

We Regret to Inform You That Parcelle—Minneapolis’s Answer to L.A.’s Fancy-Pants Erewhon—Is Good

Trendy and bustling, newish Parcelle has drummed up considerable social media buzz. Turns out the hype is justified.

Jay Boller

Our Minnesota asses must now discuss Erewhon Market.


Because new Minneapolis heath-food destination Parcelle is "the Erewhon of Minneapolis," reports the narrator of one TikTok post with 44K+ likes, "and we got their C.R.E.A.M. smoothie, which is kind of like the Hailey Bieber strawberry smoothie." She's not the only viral customer to arrive at that comparison, and Parcelle baristas are even leaning into the branding, according to yet another smoothie-hoisting Twin Cities TikToker.

For the uninitiated, Erewhon is a Hailey Bieber-collaborating, upscale, health-focused L.A. grocery store/cafe with 10 locations. It has been described as "the most culty grocer in L.A.," a "wellness mecca," and "America’s buzziest grocery store"—and that's all from the same article in The Cut. LAist called it the "unlikely hangout du jour for the young and beautiful in L.A.," while the New York Times deemed it the go-to spot for Hollywood's "healthiest and wealthiest" to shop. Its colorful smoothies and buffalo cauliflower beg to be posted on social media, and influencers have happily obliged.

The big difference between their Erewhon and our Parcelle, of course, is the fact that Parcelle—located inside the erstwhile New Bohemia Wurst & Bier House at 233 E. Hennepin Ave.—is a cafe without an attached grocery store. But that not-so-subtle distinction didn't stop our crack team of investigators from journeying there for a recent lunch, determined to judge all the Gen Z-generated hubbub for ourselves.

It's important to know that Racket's four co-owners/editors are not predisposed to enjoy places like Erewhon. We schedule work lunches for The Wienery, a hot-dog dive with a mascot that looks like this; we have a series called Best Budget Bites that will never, ever highlight a dish that breaks the $10 threshold.

With that in mind, so help us god... we really liked Parcelle!

It immediately becomes clear that, unlike at Erewhon, you won't find $21 smoothies and $16 sandwiches. At Parcelle, Minneapolis market forces demand that smoothies run (a still spendy) $12-$14 while sandwiches, burritos, and salads mostly hit the $13 mark. For generous portions at an "organic clean eating cafe"? You can't do much better than that. Making matters even more endearing: Locally launched owner Kamal Mohamed, the co-founder of Nashville Coop and nearby StepChld, seems like a great guy with an even better backstory.

All that would amount to a clean, organic hill of beans if the food stunk. Based on our visit, that's not at all the case. My $15 bento lunch—a seasonally rotating selections of mains and sides—arrived with a silky, tender, genuinely spice-loaded yellow chicken curry over couscous, plus nicely seasoned Brussel sprouts and thickly coated buffalo cauliflower.

My colleagues sampled three fresh, crunchy, and herby panini sandwiches—one caprese, one mushroom, one turkey—all featuring house-made spreads 'n' flatbreads. ("Simply great," Em declared of the caprese, noting that its size won't overwhelm.) The gratis cucumber water poured forth from a mammoth communal glass carafe. Refreshing!

As for those Instagramable smoothies, Em's Blueprint ($14) swirled like a blueberry constellation, all captivating blues and whites; it boasted milkshakey qualities, made dense and fatty with avocado and banana. Keith, god bless him, wasn't even aware his C.R.E.A.M. ($12) was a "dupe," as the kids say, of that famous Bieber varietal: collagen peptides, aloe, strawberry, banana, coconut milk, date, agave syrup. ("It was like an under-sweetened strawberry milkshake, nearly too thick to drink through a straw, but that's a small price to pay for glazed skin," our skincare inspo king reflected.)

Does it bring us any particular pleasure to recommend a buzzy, bougie smoothie/coffee/lunch establishment that preens with Apple Store opulence? Nope, not one bit. But critical facts are critical facts, and Parcelle excels as a semi-affordable (by today's standards, calm down) restaurant offering tasty, fresh, health-minded meals that won't leave you feeling incapacitated. You don't have to pay us anything, let alone Hailey Bieber bucks, to sing its well-earned praises.

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