Welcome to Como
Como (also called Como Park) is an unassuming neighborhood tucked away in St. Paul that has many desirable qualities for families. It's the home to Como Regional Park (with a golf course), Como Lake, and to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, he last of which is the pride of the city. Como is a comfortable middle-class nighborhood with a top-tier high school.
Then and Now
Lake Como was named for Como Lake in northern Italy after Charles Perry's parents who were from that area. He founded what is now Como in the mid-1840s, but the lake was named by Henry 'Broad Acres' McKenty, a real estate entrepreneur, who was a friend of the elder Perrys.
The concept of Como Park came to be in 1887, and the plans were elaborate. The first conceptual design was presented in 1889/1890 and was mostly finished by the end of 1892, and part of it was Como Park Drive and Hamm's Waterfall, which included a water grotto. The St. Paul City Railway service was extended to Como Park in 1893, and things continued to expand at a rapid pace after that.
Como is now a family-friendly neighborhood with plenty of things to do for everyone. It's solidly middle-class, and there are more home-owners than renters. It's a pretty diverse neighborhood as well.
Larpenteur Ave. W to the north, Dale St. N to the east, Maryland Ave. W/W Pierce Butler Rte. to the south, and Snelling Ave. to the west.
Langford Park Area, North of Maryland, South of Maryland, Midway, East Midway, South Como, Falcon Heights, Roseville.
Here are some crime statistics for Como.
Como Regional Park (1199 Midway Pkwy., 651-266-6400) is a breathtaking 450 acres of carefully-designed landscape that has served as a community recreational gathering place for over a hundred years. There are too many amenities to list, and many of them will be noted further on this page. However, some of them include 2.3 miles of paved trails, four ball fields, three fire rings, barbecue grills, and one large play area.
Café 99 (1552 Como Ave., 651-603-8899) is a warm and open Chinese restaurant that features both your favorite Chinese dishes such as shrimp in garlic sauce and more traditional fare such as hot spicy pork intestine and Hong Kong crispy fish ball. They serve dishes from 8 regions in China, and there is something for everyone here, even the pickiest palate.
Conny's Creamy Cone (1197 Dale St. N, 651-488-4150) is a seasonal neighborhood ice cream spot that provides window service when you need your ice cream to go. They have soft serve ice cream in 24+ flavors, plus flurries, floats, malts & shakes (and more!). They also have chili dogs and other non-frozen edibles, so be sure to check them out if you're in the neighborhood.
Cozy's Pub (1431 Lexington Pkwy. N, 651-529-1294) was opened in -2015 as a neighborhood hangout for the Como Golf Course crowd. The staff is friendly, and the food is fresh. They are known for their hamburgers and their eponymous Cozy fries. They added Coney dogs, sloppy Joes, and a steak sandwich to the menu this year.
Delicate Pizza & Gelato (1341 Pascal St., 651-756-8123) is a cozy and inviting neighborhood pizza joint that pairs a hot slice of pizza with a refreshing cold serving of gelato. They have patio seating in the summer, which is perfect for sipping a glass of wine while dining. Start with the drunken cheese bread and a glass of white, then have one of their innovative pizzas, such as the Thai Tofu Pizza or the Three of Life. A gelato or an Italian sour ball is a satisfactory ending to a delicious meal.
Gabe's By the Park (991 Lexington Ave., 651-646-3066) is an airy, bright, and woody restaurant & bar that serves a delicious array of fare, such as loaded Gouda fries, the classic Minnesotan walleye sandwich, and the mac and rib melt pizza. They also have a private room you can reserve, and they cater as well. Their catering menu includes bacon-wrapped shrimp skewers.
Nelson Cheese & Deli (1562 Como Ave., 651-647-1288) has been serving cheese and other fare to the Como area since 1980, but their dairy lineage goes back to the 1850s. They provide a wide array of services, including catering, box lunches, delivery, and takeout. In addition to the best cheeses available in the Upper Midwest, they have super subs, rollettes, and dessert trays.
Beloved Studios (1563 Como Ave., 651-255-3394) is a friendly neighborhood tattoo studio with several artists. They are committed to working with their clients in making their visions a reality in ink form. They provide every client with plenty of personal attention, and their goal is to produce the highest-quality work with which the client will be more than satisfied.
bibelot (2276 Como Ave., 651-646-5651) is a warm and cheerful novelty/gift shop in the next-door neighborhood, St. Anthony Park. They offer everything from jewelry to women's clothing to toys from your childhood and more. The next time you need a little pick-me-up for yourself or a gift for that picky person in your life, drop on in.
Scarborough Fair Boutique (2238 Carter Ave., 651-224-4182) is a friendly and charming boutique in nearby St. Anthony Park that has funky and original clothing, jewelry, and other accessories for women of all shapes, sizes, and spirits. Every client is given tons of personal attention, and you are guaranteed to walk out with a smile on your face.
Half Time Rec (1013 Front Ave., 651-488-8245) is a fun Irish bar that is known for its lively atmosphere as well as for being in the Grumpy Old Men movie. They have live music and bocce ball, and it's a great place to take out-of-towners who are looking for a fun night. They have traditional Irish fare such as corned beef sandwiches plus Irish-inspired dishes like Paddy Shack wings and the Paddy Shack burger.
Community Arts & Recreation
Cafesjian's Carousel (1245 Midway Pkwy., 651-489-4628) is a restored antique carousel that anyone of any age will enjoy riding. It is open and available for riding from May to September or October, depending on the weather. There is a little gift shop and dining area to the side.
Como Park & Conservatory (1225 Estabrook Dr., 651-487-8201) is full of fascinating animals and flowers, and it's a great place to take the family for a fun-filled day. Whether your interest runs to reptiles or mammals, annuals or perennials, you'll find plenty to look at here. But wait, there's more. They have attractions such as the giraffe feeding station, Cafesjian's Carousel, and Como Town, too. There are gifts shops, golf courses, and art, as well. There's so much to do, you'll have to visit more than once.
Como Park Golf Course (1431 Lexington Pkwy. N, 651-488-9673) is a course that will be a fair challenge for the average golfer. It is an 18-hole course and right next to the Como Zoo & Conservatory. It has golf leagues and golf lessons available, and they have gift cards available.
Como Town (1301 Midway Pkwy., 651-487-2121) is a part of Como Zoo & Conservatory and sits on a four-acre site adjacent to the zoo itself. Amusement rides have been offered there since 1949, and Como Town was created to carry on this tradition in 2005. It is a popular attraction, and roughly a million people visit it a year. In 2013. they added the Soaring Eagle, which is a zipline, which is their newest big addition. Of course, they have the classics as well--bumper cars, the tilt-a-whirl, and roller coasters. They also have plenty of fun activities for the children, such as Mondays are Fundays and Prince or Princess Dress-Up Wednesdays.
Japanese Garden (The Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden) (Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr., 651-487-8250) symbolizes the friendship and peace between St. Paul and its sister city in Japan, Nagasaki. The designer, Masami Matsuda, follows in the traditional Japanese design of using native plants to create this garden. Strolling through it will bring you a feeling of peace and calm as you observe the magnificent flora around you.
McMurray Fields (1155 Jessamine Ave. W, 651-558-2255) is the home of the Municipal Athletics' adult softball leagues, youth baseball leagues, and several soccer leagues. There are fields (soccer, baseball, softball, ice rinks, and more) for rental along with a sledding hill.
North Dale Recreation Center (1414 St. Albans St. N, 651-558-2329) has a ton of things to do for the entire family. S'more Fun (recreational childcare programming), educational programs, sports, after school programming, and much more. They have ice skating, field rentals, and space rentals as well. It's a nice community space, and it has classes such as Laughter Yoga, Baby Ballet, Busiest Bees Camp.
Northwest Como Recreation Center (1550 Hamline Ave. N, 651-298-5813) is a community rec center that provides plenty of family-friendly programming such as S'More Fun (recreational childcare programming), after school programming, athletics, educational programs and more. They offer classes such as the Artist Workshop Class, Taekwondo Youth, and Babysitting Training.
Oscar Johnson Arena (1039 De Courcy Circle, 651-643-3000) is a Ramsey County-operated ice rink that is a great time for the whole fun. If skating is your thing, check it out. It also provides a practice space for various nearby hockey teams.
Putt'er There (1300 Midway Pkwy., 612-619-1800) is an 18-hole mini-golf course that has been providing fun for the community for over fifty years. It is a family-owned and operated, and it's nestled in a plenty of lush flora. The club house is a colorfully-painted original streetcar from the Como-Harriet line. Enjoy the water traps and windmills as you make your way along this very fun course.
Chelsea Heights Elementary (1557 Huron St., 651-293-8790) nurtures the community of their students, tailoring their approach to each individual student. They have community volunteers who tutor and reads to the students, and the parents of the students are involved in planning events and raising funds for the school. They have a holistic approach to their instruction, believing that the best education isn't just academic. They are right next door to the Northwest Como Rec Center where parents can enroll their kids for after school activities.
Como Park Elementary School (780 Wheelock Pkwy. W, 651-293-8820) is located near the amazing Como Park, so they focus on nature within their education. They have an onsite planetarium, the only one in the district, and they partner with several environment-based organizations to the benefit of their students. They have specialists from STEM share their knowledge with the students, and the staff believes in building character and community. They serve grades K-5.
Como Park Language and Arts Preschool and Childcare Center (1503 Hamline Ave. N, 651-646-0310) believe that children thrive in a safe and nurturing environment. They aim to provide that environment and plenty of age-appropriate artistic endeavors to the children in their care. They provide stimulating activities every day to keep the children engaged in learning.
Como Park Senior High School (740 Rose Ave. W, 651-293-8800) believes that their students and staff are part of a community, and a diverse one at that. They have the strongest AP program of all the St. Paul Public Schools, and they offer the College in the Schools (CIS) program in which students can concurrently enroll in high school and college classes as well. They are strong in their curriculum as well as with their extracurricular activities. They serve grades 9-12.
Great River School (1326 Energy Park Dr., 651-305-2780) is a public charter school that serves students grades 1-12. They are accredited by the International Baccalaureate Program as a World School for their 11th and 12th grade program, and they are dedicated to tackling bullying by being a partner in the Peacemaker Minnesota network. They have plenty of extracurricular activities as well.
Hmong College Prep Academy (1515 Brewster St., 651-209-8002) is a charter school that believes an excellent education begins with roots in the community. They teach their students to look at themselves and how they fit in the global community, not just the local one. They want their students to take pride in their culture and to appreciate the myriad of cultures around them as well. Their goal is to produce well-rounded graduates who are strong in both academics and in other ways.
Metro Deaf School (1471 Brewster St., 651-224-3995 (voice), 651-964-1630 (videophone) ) is a private, free, charter school serving students who are deaf, grades pre-K-12. They provide a strong bilingual (English/ASL) education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. They opened in 1993 as a K-8 school, and in 2008, they merged with the Minnesota North Star Academy (MNSA), which was a high school who served a similar population. They focus on teaching their students communication skills so they (the students) can thrive in the world around them.
Minnesota Connections Academy (1350 Energy Ln., Suite 230, 651-523-0888) is a free, public online charter school that serves students in grades K-12. They believe in providing a curriculum that is personally tailored for each individual student, and they have teachers who are trained in online teaching. They plan field trips and social events in order to help their students connect with each other, which is how they build and maintain community. It is a good alternative to students who will flourish in a less-traditional educational setting.
Colleges & Universities
Metropolitan State University, Midway Center (1450 Energy Park Dr., 651-793-1300) is a public university with several campuses across the Twin Cities. It is an affordable option for students from diverse programs. They offer undergrad, graduate, and continuing education opportunities at all hours of the day, weekdays and the weekend, and online courses as well. They are involved in their community, and they encourage their students to be involved as well.