Now more than two years into my nomadic journey as a full-time RVer traveling around the country, I sometimes find myself missing the gnome collection that I’ve been growing since my teenage years. There aren’t a whole lot of places to decorate with gnomes when your home is 33 feet long by eight feet wide, so the bulk of my collection is locked up in a storage unit. I’m sure they’re doing okay, but I’ll admit that I worry about them from time to time.
Although I don’t have the pleasure of spending time with as many gnomes as I’d like to these days, I make up for that by visiting gnome-themed places around the country! My latest gnometastic adventure was to a restaurant called The Happy Gnome in St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s easy to name a restaurant after gnomes because it’s clever, but this local spot really embraces its love of gnomes in the décor and overall theme.
The Happy Gnome has been in business for over 10 years and focuses on fresh and seasonal cuisine with local ingredients and a creative flair. The restaurant also has about 90 craft beers on tap, as well as a whiskey list with over 250 selections. I’m a pescatarian and my husband loves all-things-meat, but The Happy Gnome gave us the best of both worlds with an ahi tuna noodle bowl for me and a sirloin steak for him. Better yet, The Happy Gnome’s outdoor patio is dog-friendly, so our pup, Monkey, got to enjoy this gnome adventure right alongside us!
In addition to the delicious food, excellent selection of Belgian beer, and relaxing patio atmosphere, what I really loved about The Happy Gnome is how many gnomes call this restaurant home. Gnomes were everywhere you looked – from the menu to the glassware, the beer taps, in the windowsills, and sitting around the fireplace. My only complaint was that they didn’t have any merchandise available for sale, because I would have loved buying a souvenir from this awesome place.
So, if you ever find yourself in Minnesota, do yourself a favor and stop by The Happy Gnome. Your taste buds will thank you, and you’ll meet lots of little gnome friends to make your meal special. Unfortunately, the restaurant didn’t have any gnome friends that I could take along with me on my journey, but it made ME a happy gnome to be surrounded by such friendly faces.
Located in the Cathedral Hill Neighborhood at 498 Selby Avenue in St. Paul, The Happy Gnome is open on Sundays from 10am to midnight, Mondays through Thursdays from 11am to midnight, and Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 1am.