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Eden Prairie Center is about to get three new places to eat and drink, and they're not your usual mall food court fare.

Joining a classic lineup that includes Subway, Dairy Queen and Auntie Anne's, the new spots will offer gluten-free fast food, Italian coffee, ramen and do-it-yourself Japanese barbecue.

It's an "eclectic mix of new restaurants," said Nancy Litwin, Eden Prairie Center's general manager.

A bowl of soup from Ichiddo Ramen, coming soon to Eden Prairie Center.
A bowl of soup from Ichiddo Ramen, coming soon to Eden Prairie Center.


The new slate of locally based dining tenants mirrors a trend found in other malls across the metro. Mall of America has beefed up its local offerings in the last few years, while Rosedale Center assembled several big name chefs at its food hall Potluck, and the food court at Northtown Mall in Blaine has become an incubator for new ghost kitchens.

At Eden Prairie Center, the first to open mid-June is Cafe Viola, a kiosk on the lower level. Barista-made caffeine creations will be fueled exclusively by Lavazza beans. Plus, there will be tea, pastries and prepared foods to go.

Next, Where's the Flour? will open in the upper-level food court, relocating from its current home at Northtown Mall in Blaine. The celiac-safe restaurant focuses on fried fast food favorites, sans gluten. Cheese curds, fried chicken and dessert crêpes are on the menu.

The kitchen is undergoing a deep clean to remove any contaminants before a July 1 opening.

"There are a limited number of restaurants in the Twin Cities with celiac-safe kitchens and Where's the Flour? is one of very few that offers fried foods without the risk of wheat or grains that contain gluten present," said owner Jason Hofman. "Historically speaking, gluten-free food has been stereotyped as bland, but we've proven and will continue to prove our gluten-free food breaks that stereotype when we join the community at Eden Prairie Center."

Later this year, a dual concept restaurant will open in the mall's entertainment wing, near the AMC Theatre.

Gyu Mai Japanese BBQ will allow guests to grill their own meat and vegetables at their tables for a DIY yakiniku (grilled meat) experience.

The other portion will be home to a new Ichiddo Ramen, a local noodle shop that has been rapidly expanding in the Twin Cities' suburbs since first launching on Minneapolis' Eat Street — with more coming soon in a handful of other states.

"We're eager to introduce more Twin Cities residents to Japanese culture through our food," said Ichiddo Ramen founder Xu Bing Wang. "Eden Prairie Center's location is easily accessible to a number of surrounding communities and offers a wide array of amenities for guests, making it an ideal location to enhance our premium ramen experience."

In addition to its signature noodle soups, Ichiddo Ramen's counter will also serve gyoza, buns and other Japanese dishes.

Gyu Mai Japanese BBQ and Ichiddo Ramen are expected to open in December.

Eden Prairie Center, 8251 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie, 952-941-7650,