Crystal, MN is a suburb just west of Minneapolis. It doesn't have any big 'destination' draws, it is just a quiet residential community with tree-lined streets and easy access to Highway 100 and the city. Its location makes it very convenient to get to almost anywhere in the metro area.
Crystal Lake Township started about 1860 as a swath of land stretching all the way from Plymouth (Highway 169) to the Mississippi River. Minneapolis took part of it in 1887, then Robbinsdale took another chunk of the eastern side in 1893 and New Hope took much of the western side in 1936. The Village of Crystal, what remained in the middle after the squeezes from both sides, became a city in 1960. Crystal's houses are mostly 1950's and 1960's ramblers, with some 1 1/2 and 2-story homes as well.
Sweet Taste of Italy, located in an unassuming former Dairy Queen on 42nd Avenue North, is a delicious surprise on this stretch between Highway 100 and Douglas Drive. I have driven past it many times but never stopped until yesterday, after reading some glowing reviews. One reviewer said she used to live in the area and now drives about 20 miles to get a monthly fix of pizza and homemade spaghetti sauce to take home.
It doesn't look impressive from the street and the parking lot is pretty beat up, but the interior was neat and clean and the food was great… it was definitely worth the stop!!! We will be back, I have already been singing its praises!! We ordered garlic cheese bread and an alfredo pizza with sausage, pepperoni and pineapple to take to our grandson's soccer game… everyone was raving about it! I loved the sweet taste of the garlic cheese bread, made with homemade bread they not only bake but make every day. In fact, everything on the menu in this family owned restaurant is made from scratch every day! Their sandwiches also sound awesome.
Mostly a take-out stop, they also have some limited seating (think old-time DQ), but no public restrooms. Make it a destination to phone ahead and pick up some of the best homemade pizza I have ever eaten, or take some pasta home for dinner… I bet you will be hooked!