Supporting Local Small Businesses: The Top Five Restaurants in Excelsior

Autumn Eversman, Staff Writer

According to Guy Fieri, “cooking is all about the people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people eat together.”

Food isn’t the only thing in common for people in Excelsior. Many people who live in the area have a deep love for their city, which includes the small businesses that thrive there. It certainly has the homey, small-town feeling mastered for tourists and locals alike. 

In the spirit of recognizing successful small businesses and encouraging people to eat local, I have decided to rank the top five restaurants in Excelsior to make it easier for people who have not been there, or want to try something new, to decide where to eat. 


Honorable Mentions: Haskell’s Port of Excelsior, Dunn Brothers Coffee, Adele’s Frozen Custard, Coalition, Yumi Japanese Restaurant & Bar, Bull & Wren


  1. Red Sauce Rebellion 

    Red Sauce Rebellion is an Italian restaurant. It is known for its wide variety of pastas, but it also serves delicious salads. It also has gluten-free pasta that is absolutely delicious and doesn’t taste gluten-free. It is impressive to look at the variety of pastas on the menu, which are all tasty and delicious. 

    It also has a cute and aesthetically pleasing outdoors seating area that is small and private; it is available for customers upon request. The only downside of Red Sauce Rebellion is that it may be a little difficult for people with dairy intolerances to eat there because of the limited non-dairy pastas; those with gluten allergies, however, can eat there with ease. 


  1. 318 Cafe

    Although 318 Cafe may have cafe in its name, its menu exceeds that of many cafes because of its delicious dinners and lunches. It is a cute, small restaurant with outdoor and indoor seating that is equally aesthetically pleasing. Indoors, there is a fireplace and sometimes a live band who plays at night. The outdoor seating allows someone to look down the street at Excelsior and relax. 

The food is no joke either. The salads are delicious and fresh–the two most important aspects of a salad. The chicken is delicious and moist. 


  1. Olive’s Fresh Pizza Bar Excelsior

One reason why Olive’s is so unique is because they manage to make pizza crust from cauliflower taste like a traditional pizza crust. They have many options for people with dietary restrictions, including gluten alternatives and vegan options. If the cauliflower option is a little out of a diner’s comfort zone, then there is an actual gluten-free crust option available as well. There is also a goat cheese option for those who are lactose intolerant. The food still tastes good with these dietary alternatives, which is a common struggle for those who have such restrictions. The ambiance of the restaurant is also amazing.


  1. Licks Unlimited

As far as famous local staples go, Licks Unlimited is as famous and local as it gets. It has been around as long as anyone I’ve ever spoken to can remember, and it has a wide variety of ice cream favors. On a hot day, sometimes the line there is as long as twenty feet. A wide variety of high quality ice cream is exactly what many people have in mind when thinking about their perfect ice cream store. 

“I like Licks,” Sophia Gilliam ‘23 said. “They have really good ice cream and it’s nice to go there on a nice hot summer day.”

Entering the shop is like entering a time machine at times because it looks just like how one would picture a small ice cream parlor from sixty years ago to look.


  1. Lagos Tacos

    Lagos Tacos was always bustling with many customers before COVID-19 shut down their businesses. Even after COVID-19, there has been a steady stream of cars coming in and out of its back parking lot to pick up food. Their tacos and burritos are delicious, and they have a wide selection. 

“Lagos tacos is my favorite restaurant,” Gilliam said. “I’ve had a great experience every time I’ve been there. Their food is really good, and they have great service.” 

Be sure to order the sweet corn cake as a side because it is the perfect way to end a perfect meal. 


Overall, there are many great restaurants in Excelsior, and it is hard to go wrong. It is always fun to explore the small lakeside town. MHS students should make their way over for the summer!