When you have friends and/or relatives come to visit- people who are not from the area, it's nice to have an idea on some "out to eat" places lined up. Restaurants that have some unique foods that they can't necessarily get where they live.

I have always loved going out to eat.  You don't have to cook, you don't have the clean-up, and it's fun to try new things. It's also great when you can go to a restaurant that isn't a national chain, and is unique to the area.

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There are some great restaurants around the St. Cloud area that are great, and highly recommended to some people who may not have had the chance to try these prior to coming to the area.but these are the ones that stick out right now.

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CAFE RENAISSANCE located in Waite Park across from Fleet Farm.  This restaurant is one of those "hidden gems" that exist here.  Great food, unique dishes and the amibiance is inviting.

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ANTONS located in the same area as the restaurant above.  Right across from Fleet Farm in Waite Park.  People have been going here for quite a few years.  Everyone talks about the popovers, but they do have an extensive menu with meat and seafood dishes.  Plus you have a great view of the Sauk River.

Bello Cucina, photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

BELLO CUCINA located on Minnesota Street in St. Joseph.  Been voted best Italian Restaurant for 5 years in a row.  This is a great restaurant with something for everyone.  Whether you want seafood, pasta, a salad, flatbreads, they have it all.  And great wine too.

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MC's DUGOUT This one is located downtown St. Cloud right on 5th Avenue.  For years people could go here for a bite to eat and expect normal "bar food".  If you haven't been to MCs in a minute, you need to.  They have changed up their menu and it's definitely a far cry from "normal bar food".  The atmosphere that you're used to is still there, but the food is different, and great!

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WHITE HORSE located downtown on St. Germain. If you like spicy food, or if your guests do, this restaurant has some great options for that.  But of course they do have other options as well.  The atmosphere gives you the feeling of being in a warehouse district in a much larger town.

Old Capital Tavern, photo by WJON.com's Chrissy Gaetke

OLD CAPITAL TAVERN located in Sauk Rapids.  They have some unique menu options and is a great place to stop for a quick lunch or dinner. Also a very extensive beer selection.

JACK & JIM'S in Duelm.  If you happen to live outside of St. Cloud this is a nice option to bring guests to with their salad bar, and family favorites. Jack and Jim's still has that "country feel" that's great for families.

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COYOTE MOON located outside of the city limits of St. Cloud East near hwy 23.  Huge salad bar with lots of options and an extensive menu.  Delicious sea food options too.  And, while you're there, take in a round of golf on Territory Golf Course.

Facebook.com Jules Bistro

JULES BISTRO located on St. Germain St. downtown, St. Cloud.  Jules recenty expanded their space which was really helpful since it was always packed.  It's understandable because of all the delicious options on their menu.  The coffee options and dessert options as well as the appetizers are so good.  And I didn't even get to the entree menu.  Definitely bring out of town guests to Jules.

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TAQUERIA LA CAMPECHANA If you or your guests are craving some authentic Mexican food, this is the place to go.  There are some other really good Mexican restaurants around the area, but this one has been the most authentic that I've experienced.

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