Farm-to-table has been the key restaurant buzzword for the last decade or two, and it’s a development we heartily applaud. Still, we can’t help but have nagging suspicions in the backs of our minds: just how local, from what kind of farm, and how long was the interval between farm and table. We have no such concerns about At Sara’s Table…: the gorgeous, ripe tomatoes (and fresh basil) from our Caprese salad one summer evening were picked that morning by our waitress in the garden across the street.

Homemade pies, like this lightly sweetened wedge of coarse-sugar-crowned raspberry-peach, are a highlight at Chester Creek Cafe.

What began as a mobile espresso shop about 25 years ago eventually evolved into the restaurant that, since 2002, has been known as the place in Duluth for wholesome, locally sourced and, most-importantly, delicious food, from breakfast-time through dinner. Obviously, not everything in the kitchen comes from the restaurant’s own garden but you can be sure everything has been carefully sourced.

The vegetarian Middle Eastern Plate, featuring tabbouleh, crunchy falafel, hummus, sharp feta, kalamata olives, tzatziki, and grilled pita, is hearty enough to win over the most dedicated carnivore.

There are bacon and eggs for breakfast, if that’s what you’re hankering for, but the Hippy Farm Breakfast (two basted eggs, sautéed veggie medley, garlic, Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses, sliced almonds, home fries, toast) or the Breakfast Salad (two medium boiled eggs, spinach, feta, avocado, bacon, cherry tomatoes, green goddess dressing) seem more in keeping with the spirit of the place.

The colorful Baja Fish Tacos are made with whitefish and sided by saffron rice.

Lunchtime, whether it’s a weekday or the weekend, is referred to as brunch around here, where the menu features items from both the breakfast and dinner menus. That dinner menu is wide-ranging: Thai curries, paella, and tandoori chicken are all currently featured. There are sandwiches and burgers (made with Davis Acres Ranch beef), and even a grilled six-cheese on multigrain sourdough. The Peasant Bowl begins with black beans, brown rice, Spanish sauce, and corn tortilla chips, which can be garnished with eggs, chorizo, salsa, guacamole, and/or sour cream.

Be sure to walk across the street to inspect the restaurant’s lush raised bed garden.

The founders of At Sara’s Table…, Barbara Neubert and Carla Blumberg, retired in 2011, leaving the restaurant in the very capable hands of Kirk Bratrud. They continue to donate to a broad swath of local organizations, from the Duluth Community Garden Program and the Duluth Public Library to the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault.

A gorgeous bed of chard in the restaurant garden

Alright, what about the obvious question? The crazy, cumbersome name? We asked our waitress the question she must have been asked a thousand times before, and she patiently explained it all to us, and yet… to be honest we still don’t quite understand why they didn’t just move forward with one name or the other. That’s not all. The restaurant moved into a space that was formerly known as Taran’s Market Place, a name which is still emblazoned across the top of the facade. It’s not until you approach on foot that the neon window signs announcing At Sara’s Table and Chester Creek Cafe come into easy view.

At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe is no hidden gem. It’s received glowing reviews from countless national food publications and TV shows.

1902 East 8th Street
Duluth MN 55812
At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe’s Website
At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe on Facebook

If you are paying them a visit for the first time, it helps to know that, from the road, the restaurant appears to be named Taran’s Market Place. Try to nab one of those outside tables along 19th Avenue, especially towards the back of the porch, which affords an awe-inspiring view of Lake Superior from high atop the hills overlooking Duluth.



BEST THING TO EAT: Fresh tomato and mozzarella salad