The Old Market Deli, where President Obama had lunch during his visit
to Cannon Falls in 2011, had temporarily closed in order to expand and
improve. They opened the doors last Friday, May 11th. On Thursday
evening the 10th, they had a private tasting to share the new menu – and
I was fortunate enough to be on the guest list.

The new menu at The Old Market Deli showed some resemblance to the old
menu. However, taking a closer look, this is quite a different menu to
what was essentially a sandwich shop, albeit a good one. Perhaps
equally as important, it differs from all Cannon Falls restaurants in
this way – they are using a lot of sustainable product, much of which is
produced locally.

At the tasting my dining partner enjoyed the turkey burger, made with
Ferndale turkey, which is raised free range & organic, and processed in
Cannon Falls. This was served with sweet potato fries, which are great!
I decided to give the bison burger a shot, also produced sustainably in
Minnesota, and it turned out to be full of flavor and substantial.
Further, it came with outstanding hand cut kettle chips. In looking
over the menu, there are many ingredients produced in the area – a
quality improvement with a nod toward the environment that I was not
expecting, but applaud. This is the sort of thing you want to see after
riding The Cannon Valley Trail.

On a second visit I tried the new Market Salad, which is made with some
locally grown produce, and a wonderful light dressing made in
partnership with The Cannon River Winery just a block away. And, you
guessed it, smoked turkey from The Ferndale Market. This was a very,
very good salad. And my friend had a burger – yes, the 15th (I believe)
restaurant within 10 miles of Cannon Falls that offers burgers on their
menu. However, this one is made with locally grown grass fed beef,
raised and processed sustainably by the Thousand Hills Cattle Company of
Cannon Falls.

The Deli offers some of their signature sandwiches from before, and the
salad offerings have expanded. In general, there is some of what was
there, plus a lot of new items and twists with a much stronger sense of
creativity behind the food at this new version of The Old Market Deli.

And a final comment, on both visits we enjoyed the patio, which is
charming. So far, however, they have not changed their hours – which
means this is an excellent option for breakfast or lunch, not dinner.
However, my next visit is probably going to be for appetizers and wine
in the afternoon. They now offer flat bread pizza, as well as a few
compelling appetizers. I highly recommend stopping by the newly
reopened and improved Deli!

Here is our original Old Market Deli review

I cannot say enough about this place. The deli was remodeled and opened a few years ago. The d?cor is right out of the 1920’s. The tin coved ceilings and the hexagon tiles with the name in it are just some of the fantastic period remodeling that went into the restaurant. The owner, Gary had a real vision of what he wanted, and he nailed it. The chairs and table are real wood but in a comfortable way with a substantial feel. The large deli counter is the feature of the place in that you obviously have to mosey on up to order but not in an intimidating way. If you have been to a place that is a bit out of the ordinary and found yourself wondering what do I do here, then this bit of info makes sense. The whole thing could be taken right from time square or a backstreet of Chicago. All he is missing is the accent and the grime (the place is immaculate!). Plenty of seating while you wait for them to bring your order to you.
Now for the food. Being as you have just stepped in from a Southern Minnesota small town street, you are expecting a certain cuisine even if the name deli is on the door. Well you are wrong. the honey mustard has a bite. You want some fresh avocado on that? No problem as they have it. Overall, I thought the menu was maybe a little too risky for small town tastes but I am clearly wrong as show up during a rush and you will have a hard time finding a table. They do daily soups and everything is customizable to taste so do not fear that you will be gastronomically pushed during your lunch hour if you don’t want to be.
Now for the best trip. Go during a sunny day and eat on the patio to the side of the building. We ate and watched the hummingbirds fly in and amongst the flowers. Totally delightful!
The Quill and Quilt uses the Old Market Deli for our days when someone wants to eat at an odd hour or some other special request. We have a deal with them where our guest can go over and order whatever they want and charge it back to us. This has proven very good for all involved as the Deli does a great breakfast with lots of options.

The Old Market Deli
331 Mill St W
Cannon Falls, MN 55009
(507) 263-8888