The Twin Cities has the best restaurants – this is coming from a well-traveled local who has a lot of experience eating out. From impeccable Italian to crazy-good Japanese, the Minneapolis & Saint Paul restaurant scene has it all. The locals all know that Minneapolis is one of the best restaurant towns in the nation.
So why not the rest of the world?!
Each neighborhood in the Twin Cities offers a different type of cuisine. In Northeast Minneapolis, you’ll find funky and unique spots. On Eat Street, you can find Pho and a German Bierhaus. In South Minneapolis, you’ll find the infamous Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar and the Midtown Global Market. And don’t even get me started on St. Paul and the ‘burbs!
We’ve compiled the best restaurants in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and the Metro Area so you don’t have to guess. Add these to your list and let us know what you think!
Table of Contents
- Best Restaurants in Northeast Minneapolis
- 1. Young Joni
- 2. Sample Room
- 3. Best Tiki Bar in Minneapolis: Psycho Suzi’s
- 4. Betty Danger’s
- 5. Hai Hai
- 6. Emily’s Lebanese Deli
- 7. Jax Café
- Best Restaurants in Downtown Minneapolis
- 8. 112 Eatery
- 9. Best Japanese Restaurant in Downtown Minneapolis: Zen Box Izakaya
- 10. Owamni by the Sioux Chef
- 11. Best Happy Hour in Downtown Minneapolis: Constantine
- 12. Monello
- Best Restaurants in the North Loop
- 13. Best Italian Food in the North Loop: Bar la Grassa
- 14. Spoon and Stable
- 15. Best Patio in the North Loop: Monte Carlo
- 16. Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Minneapolis: Demi
- 17. Borough & Parlour Bar
- 18. Billy Sushi
- 19. San Jusan
- Best Restaurants in South Minneapolis
- 20. Hi-Lo Diner
- 21. Boludo
- 22. Midtown Global Market
- 23. Pizzeria Lola
- 24. Best Japanese Food in South Minneapolis: Kyatchi
- 25. Okome House
- 26. Bungalow Club
- 27. St. Genevieve
- 28. Revival
- 29. Best Fried Chicken in Minneapolis: Bull’s Horn
- 30. Broders’ Pasta Bar
- 31. Tenant
- 32. Martina
- 33. Hola Arepa
- 34. Best Jucy Lucy: Matt’s Bar
- 35. All Square
- 36. Italian Eatery
- 37. Best Juicy Lucy: 5-8 Club
- Best Restaurants in Uptown
- 38. Barbette
- 39. Best Dinosaur Tacos in Minneapolis: Sooki & Mimi
- 40. The Lowry
- 41. The Lynhall
- 41. World Street Kitchen
- Best Restaurants on Eat Street
- 43. Pimento Jamaican Kitchen & Rum Bar
- 44. Black Sheep Pizza
- 45. Best Vietnamese Food in Minneapolis: Pho 79
- Best Restaurants in Dinkytown/St. Anthony
- 46. Restaurant Alma
- 47. Aster Café
- 48. Wilde Café
- 49 Nicollet Island Inn
- 50. The Sonder Shaker
- Best Restaurants in Saint Paul
- 51. Meritage
- 52. W.A. Frost & Co.
- 53. Saint Dinette
- 54. Parajito
- 55. Mancini’s
- 56. Editor’s Choice: The Gnome
- 57. Bread & Chocolate/Café Latte
- 58. Kalsada
- 59. Tori
- 60. Hamburguesas el Gordo
- 61. Best Vegan Restaurant in Saint Paul: J. Selby’s
- Best Restaurants Outside Minneapolis, MN
- 62. Best Restaurant Overall: Travail Kitchen & Amusements
- 63. Kai’s Sushi & Grill, Minnetonka
- 64. Benedict’s, Wayzata
- What are the best restaurants in Minneapolis for takeout?
- What are the coolest restaurants in Minneapolis, MN?
- What is Minnesota’s most popular restaurant?
Best Restaurants in Northeast Minneapolis
Northeast Minneapolis is known to be artsy and weird, and the restaurants also fit this description. From a fancy pizza restaurant to a tiki rum bar, there is a niche restaurant for every member of your crew.
1. Young Joni
The spot for fancy pizza and good wine. Young Joni is next door to Dangerous Man and Chef Ann Kim does not disappoint. Book a table here far in advance, they book up fast.
Young Joni is not your typical pizza restaurant, here you will find unique pizzas like the Amatriciana, complete with guanciale, pancetta, pecorino, cream, garlic, red onion, and chili, and our personal favorite La Parisienne, complete with crispy prosciutto, two kinds of cheese, brown butter and caramelized onion with mustard seed.
In the back is a secret bar, you can order a few types of pizzas there but you’re really there for the cocktails.
2. Sample Room
A local haunt, the Sample Room offers small sharing plates and wine flights. Even Anthony Bourdain visited and enjoyed the Sample Room.
Call ahead on weekend nights to get on the list, or walk in and sit at the bar. They offer small sharing plates as well as entre portions. Try one of the great wine flights, perfect for a girls night or date night!
While you’re there order the cheese curds, bison, and duck. If the fried chicken is on the menu, order that too. Trust me.
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3. Best Tiki Bar in Minneapolis: Psycho Suzi’s
One of the most unique restaurants in the Twin Cities is Psycho Suzi’s. A tiki bar with outstanding pizza, cheese curds, and fun drinks. Add some shag carpeting and a killer patio and you have everything that you need. Be careful with the cocktails, they are fun and taste really, really good, but they are very strong!
This is a great rum bar for a sunny summer day. Try the one-eyed Willy cocktail, it’s good and powerful. You won’t need reservations for the bar/patio, walking up might be a wait but it won’t be too long.
4. Betty Danger’s
The sister location to Psycho Suzi’s, Betty Danger’s is just as zany and ideal for a wild night out!
Step back into a florescent 1950s café at Betty Danger’s, complete with a hot pink Ferris wheel. The Ferris wheel only costs a few dollars, and you can bring your cocktail with you.
The cocktail menu at Betty Danger’s is ever-changing. And you can get some unique sights of the downtown Minneapolis skyline while enjoying a cocktail on the Ferris wheel.
5. Hai Hai
One of two creative restaurants by Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai is a crazy good blend of Vietnamese street foods and modern cocktails. The dishes here are sure to surprise!
Try the crispy rice salad, the turmeric & dill fish, and the Balinese cauliflower. Our favorite drinks on the menu are the lychee slushy and the death by coconut.
6. Emily’s Lebanese Deli
Lebanese food is hard to come by, but not in Northeast Minneapolis. Here you will find Emily’s Lebanese Deli, a staple for traditional Lebanese fare. You can stop in for a casual meal, or take away. They also offer take and bake versions of staples such as spinach pies.
My family has been coming here since they opened in the 1970s and they still hold up to their roots!
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7. Jax Café
Jax Café opened in the 1930s and has kept its popularity ever since. Here you can enjoy scallops, steak, and lobster. Try a classic cocktail with the daily special and ask the server for their recommendation.
The patio is great for summer, and the indoor dining is great for viewing the historic bar’s stained glass windows.
Best Restaurants in Downtown Minneapolis
Downtown Minneapolis is a destination for true foodies from across the country. In just a short 20-minute ride from MSP airport, you can enjoy a city full of different flavors! Whether you live here or are in town for work, there are a lot of great restaurants to try.
8. 112 Eatery
Many people overlook the tiny sign on a street near Washington Ave Minneapolis that says 112 Eatery. This secret hideaway tucked in the warehouse district has a fine menu of pasta and vegetable dishes, as well as classic Continental European fare.
Start with the 112 steak tartare or Provençal frog legs, then move to the scallops with oyster mushrooms. Another favorite of ours is the pan-fried gnocchi. Ask the staff for a wine recommendation to complete your meal.
We recommend making a reservation here, we have never tried walking in, but it is a small restaurant so the tables are usually full.
9. Best Japanese Restaurant in Downtown Minneapolis: Zen Box Izakaya
Washington Ave, Minneapolis has a lot of great spots, but the top of the list is Zen Box Izakaya. This traditional-style Japanese restaurant cannot be beaten. We thought that after we visited Japan we wouldn’t like Zen Box Izakaya as much, but we were wrong. Their menu and preparation are as close as you can get to Japan itself.
The ramen? Outstanding, simply cannot be beat (and we are ramen pros). The age gyoza is a perfect starter to any meal. The salmon sashimi is perfectly sliced to melt in your mouth. The curry dishes are so flavorful, and the bento boxes are fun to share.
They also have a great sake and Japanese beer list. Come if you can, they take walkups at the bar!
10. Owamni by the Sioux Chef
Located near the Stone Arch Bridge, Owamni by the Sioux Chef Sean Sherman is newer to the Twin Cities dining scene, but incredibly unique and worth a visit.
The Sioux Chef created a Native American menu entirely made from decolonized foods. That means no dairy or processed sugars. Any eggs used are duck or turkey – no chicken eggs here! All the menu items are based on ingredients that would have been present prior to European colonization.
With this, patrons get to enjoy traditional meals based on local ingredients like wild rice, squash, and bison.
11. Best Happy Hour in Downtown Minneapolis: Constantine
One of the most underrated spots in Downtown Minneapolis, the basement bar below Monello, Constantine, has the best happy hour, and the best bar food.
And the staff are phenomenal.
Here you will find the epic happy hour and a burger that matches Parlour Bar. Their tater tots are pretty great too. Really, all their bar food is great!
The cocktail bar is straight out of the 1920s, and the dim lighting décor is the perfect recuse from the busy streets above. This is a great place to come before a show at the Minnesota Orchestra or the convention center.
Monello, right above Constantine, has a great Italian menu, and if you follow their social media pages, you’ll find some pretty cool popup options too.
The “Dirty Sam” sandwich makes its rounds every so often, and we usually drive to pick it up whenever it does. Like “honey, grab your coat and the baby, NOW”, sort of energy. It’s a damned good sandwich.
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Best Restaurants in the North Loop
The North Loop is an old warehouse district turned into a millennial playground. Some of the best restaurants in Minneapolis are located here, and the list keeps on growing. Get dressed in your best Instagram-worthy outfit and hit these top restaurants.
13. Best Italian Food in the North Loop: Bar la Grassa
There are a few great Italian restaurants in Minneapolis, but this one takes the cake. Bar La Grassa (or BLG as the locals say) offers a sharing-style of pasta and traditional Italian dishes.
Their pasta can be ordered in small or regular portions, which makes it great for family-style sharing. Try the soft eggs and lobster bruschetta or the rabbit ragu. The arancini is to die for, and the wine list is outstanding. The Bar la Grassa menu changes frequently so you can always try something new!
Book reservations in advance, they take walking but the wait can sometimes be a few hours. It is worth it though! You could walk to Parlour Bar and grab a cocktail while you wait for your table.
14. Spoon and Stable
One of the most well-known fine dining restaurants in Minneapolis is Spoon and Stable. The dining room is modern and clean, and the dinner options are fantastic.
Try the creamed spinach with cheese curds, or the duck. The menu changes frequently so there is always something new to experience. The wine menu is also fantastic, as well as the ever-changing cocktail selection.
If you can’t snag a table (reservations are hard to come by on the weekends), you can sit at the bar and still have the same menu. On Saturday nights at 10 pm, you can come in for the secret ramen. There is only one option, and limited amounts so you need to get there early and put the secret ramen order in quickly to experience whatever is new that week!
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15. Best Patio in the North Loop: Monte Carlo
A North Loop staple, Monte Carlo is like stepping back into time. Antique wallpaper, a gilded bar, and strong cocktails. Monte Carlo has an awesome patio in the summer. It feels like you are in Europe!
The best things on the menu are the chicken wings, fried chicken, and steak sandwiches. Their shaken martinis come with a sidecar, so you really get two martinis in one!
16. Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Minneapolis: Demi
Owned by the Gavin Kaysen, the chef of Spoon and Stable, Demi is true fine dining. It is similar to Next restaurant in Chicago.
They offer a chef’s tasting menu that changes frequently and you can add on wine tastings as well. Demi is expensive, but people rave about the experience.
17. Borough & Parlour Bar
The best burger in Minneapolis is arguably found in the tiny basement bar of Borough, called Parlour Bar. The Parlour burger is insane, I can’t even describe it – with gooey cheese and two light patties rich with flavor, you really can’t go wrong.
Borough is a fancier dining room complete with modern dishes and great cocktails. Borough is a great spot for larger groups.
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18. Billy Sushi
Billy Sushi is another great spot to try in the North Loop. With their fun cocktails and extensive sushi menu, you really can’t go wrong. The best thing on the menu at Billy Sushi is the bluefin tuna. They have many slices available, all are fantastic.
You’ll need to book a table in advance, if you’re lucky they might have a seat but reservations are the best way to go.
19. San Jusan
One of my favorite chefs in Minneapolis created San Jusan. It used to be Kado no Mise which was a fantastic upscale sushi restaurant. Today, San Jusan is a phenomenal Japanese, Italian fusion restaurant.
From sumptuous sushi to creative pizzas, San Jusan is pleasantly surprising for every bite. And upstairs is a crazy good whiskey bar, Gori Gori Peku, complete with all the best Japanese whiskeys.
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Best Restaurants in South Minneapolis
South Minneapolis is home to eat street which is filled with restaurants from all ethnic backgrounds. South Minneapolis is also home to a lot of great neighborhood restaurants that people overlook. Whether you’re looking for a Parisian vibe or a dive bar with great burgers, this neighborhood has it all.
20. Hi-Lo Diner
An old retired train car turned into a diner with great breakfast foods and boozy milkshakes. This is a great Minneapolis restaurant with a lot of options. Try their donut masterpeices or a traditional eggs benedict with lox.
A pastry chef turned pizza maker created this phenomenal Argentinian pizza restaurant in South Minneapolis. The pizzas are incredible – the crust is soft but crunchy, and dusted with crunchy salt. Try the pera pizza and don’t forget to try the empanadas too!
22. Midtown Global Market
If you can’t decide what you want to eat stop by the Midtown Global Market. It has small, independent food stands from every culture and shops with crafts made by real people to highlight their cultures. There’s even the East Lake Brewery where you can bring food from the market to accompany a yummy beer flight.
Some of the food stands are Indigenous Food Lab, Andy’s Garage, Safari Express, and Soul To Soul Smoke House (helloooo soul food!). With so much to try, the Midtown Global Market will keep you coming back for more.
23. Pizzeria Lola
Pizzeria Lola is known for their Korean-inspired wood-fired pizzas and international wine selection. They have traditional pizzas and unique, inventive pizzas that have a bit of everything.
Try the pea and burrata starter and the Boise pizza at Pizzeria Lola. If you want the true Korean-inspired pizza, try the Lazy Zaza complete with kimchi and Korean sausage.
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24. Best Japanese Food in South Minneapolis: Kyatchi
Kyatchi, on Nicollet Avenue, is one of the best restaurants in Minneapolis. The chef was hired from Japan by the Twins Organization and the restaurant has a fun mix of Japanese and ball-park fare.
The sushi and sashimi are unreal, and the ramen is fantastic. The unique menu items are hot dogs with a Japanese twist like the Yakisoba Dog. Our go-to order is miso soup, vegetarian Kara-age, and a mix of sashimi and ramen. Try the snow crab if you can.
The cocktail menu also offers a black sesame cocktail…perfection.
25. Okome House
A neighborhood favorite, Okome House is operated by the same expert chef as Kyatchi. Okome House is a great takeout option and is perfect to sit on the patio for some sushi rolls on the weekends.
They have a super fun Japanese market with snacks and ramen imported from Japan. Our go-to order here is the cauliflower kara-age, salmon sushi roll, and the tori (chicken) don which is like a rice bowl with all the best fillings. The avocado don is also a personal favorite, it has a nice hint of spice!
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26. Bungalow Club
One of our favorite Minneapolis restaurants is located on East Lake Street. The Bungalow Club has a luscious patio with ivy draped over wrought iron chairs. The dining room decor feels like a modern home with simple comforts.
The food is fresh and fantastic. Homemade pasta, local ingredients, and a great bar menu are why the Bungalow Club is one of the best restaurants in Minneapolis.
Our go-to order changes with the season, but we always have the arancini! Try this pasta dish of the moment and you won’t be disappointed. They also have meal kits to go!
27. St. Genevieve
Looking for a touch of Paris? You’ll find it at St. Genevieve. One of the very few French restaurants in the Twin Cities, Saint Genevieve offers a tasting menu that changes with the seasons.
Try the Randy Alexander, a twist on the brandy alexander but without the ice cream, don’t worry; it still somehow tastes like there is ice cream! They have a range of French beers and wines too.
Stop by when the weather is good, the French doors are open and the petit patio is quite charming!
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Arguably the top fried chicken restaurant in Minneapolis, Revival has grown from one to three restaurants in the Twin Cities.
They have fried chicken and a great fried chicken sandwich I order reflexively. The Minneapolis location is still the staple, so book a reservation or expect a seat at the bar.
29. Best Fried Chicken in Minneapolis: Bull’s Horn
Dill pickle fried chicken, yep. So good, so crisp and so clean.
This Minnesota dive bar turned into a low-key outstanding restaurant with fantastic fried chicken and burgers. They also have some great cheese curds! We live nearby and always come by for dinner when we pass by.
Come for the meat raffle and pull tabs, stay for the friendly staff and good food.
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30. Broders’ Pasta Bar
Broders’ Pasta Bar is an Italian restaurant near Lake Harriet. They have amazing homemade pasta and a wine list that is hard to beat.
The traditional Italian fare changes frequently, but the menu always boasts handmade pasta and slow-cooked risotto filled with seasonal vegetables and local meats. We always get the burrata and bucatini. The cacio e Pepe is also a great classic choice!
Tenant is a smaller restaurant with a constantly changing chef’s course menu. The menu usually contains handmade fresh pasta, a slow-cooked soup, and local meats.
You can also order a wine pairing with the tasting, or order a la carte. We’ve visited a few times for the New Year’s Eve dinner, and it was spectacular – we can’t wait to go back!
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Martina is a newer to the list of best Minneapolis restaurants, but it is worth the hype. We went for brunch for some outdoor dining on their patio and were very happy!
The brunch menu has smoked salmon and burrata and a king crab omelet. For dinner, enjoy the avocado bruschetta, empanadas, and potato gnocchi. We can guarantee that you will enjoy everything on the menu here!
33. Hola Arepa
There are a few generic Latin restaurants and some Mexican restaurants on this list, but Hola Arepa is a Venezuelan-style style restaurant. It has to make the cut because it’s so darned good.
Another restaurant by chef Christina Nguyen, Hola Arepa has fun and an Instagram-worth dining room complete with creative cocktails and yummy stuffed arepas. Try the vegetarian black bean and sweet potato arepas and the chips and salsas.
The parking situation is a drag, but the patio and dining room are well decorated and fun. You’ll feel like you’re on vacation.
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34. Best Jucy Lucy: Matt’s Bar
Matt’s Bar is an infamous spot. It’s rumored that they created the Jucy Lucy/Juicy Lucy (the debate over the spelling is a whole thing). The Lucy is a Minnesota favorite; a cheeseburger, where the cheese is stuffed INSIDE the patty. They’re amazing. Even former President Barack Obama enjoyed one here.
Matt’s Bar is a total dive bar with really good eats to match its traditional Minnesota flair. They share a friendly (if ever-so-slightly savage) rivalry with the 5-8 Club. As far as the spelling and origins of the burger are concerned, Matt’s Bar says; “Remember, if it is spelled correctly, you are eating a shameless rip-off!”
35. All Square
If you are looking for the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich look no further. All Square is near Minnehaha Falls and worth a visit.
They have a ton of different grilled cheese options with unique combos. It is fast-casual but has a very modern interior. And it’s all for a good cause – criminal justice reform. All Square is a nonprofit that helps provide jobs to previously incarcerated persons.
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36. Italian Eatery
One of our favorites, Italian Eatery on Cedar Avenue is a fun Italian restaurant near Lake Nokomis. This is an excellent spot for traditional Italian fare with creative cocktails (virgin too) and a great wine list. They have a small patio and a fast-casual spot next door (Un Dito) with snacks and drinks if you need to wait for a table.
Everything on the menu is fantastic. We usually order the gnocchi, mushroom cappelletti, and baked garganelli. The burrata & prosciutto appetizer is great too (but skip the ricotta).
37. Best Juicy Lucy: 5-8 Club
Looking to try another Juicy Lucy/Jucy Lucy?
Hop down to the dive bar 5-8 Club nearby the airport. The 5-8 Club has cheese curds, burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese, and chicken fingers. Everything you need for a happy Midwesterner!
Let’s be honest though, you came for that cheese-stuffed hamburger, as do we, basically every single time. Leaning into the rivalry with Matt’s bar, the 5-8 Club’s motto is “If it’s spelled right, It’s done right!”
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Best Restaurants in Uptown
Hip, young Uptown is filled with unique and artsy restaurants and bars. This walkable area hosts some of the best restaurants in Minneapolis. This is also a great area for nightlife and fun things to do any day of the week.
If you are looking for a great brunch or dinner spot with classic French inspiration, this is the place for you. From classic tartare to onion soup, the menu is filled with excellent selections
For brunch, try the truffle scrambled eggs or the vegetable hash with smoked onion broth. For dinner, try the escargot and steak frites.
39. Best Dinosaur Tacos in Minneapolis: Sooki & Mimi
A fun restaurant perfect for Uptown. Sooki & Mimi serves tacos in dinosaur-shaped holders. But don’t let the fun handhelds fool you, the fare is utterly outstanding!
Try the smoked trout dip (everything bagel seasoning included) and the duck breast. The tacos are also some of the best in the Twin Cities!
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40. The Lowry
A great spot for weekend brunch, the Lowry offers all-day breakfast and diner-style food with a twist. Oysters, eggs, and burgers, the Lowry has it all.
Try the killer banana waffle for breakfast, or the truffle burger for dinner. The options at the Lowry are literally endless! I have nothing but good things to say, as they have nothing but good things to eat.
41. The Lynhall
If you need another perfect spot for weekend brunch look no further. The Lynhall has fresh-made bread and pastries and an excellent brunch menu. They also have a location in pinky-up Edina.
The Lynhall offers a traditional French-style breakfast called the bundle, complete with a coffee, mimosa, and an entrée. If you order a la carte, try the duck confit omelet or the smashed new potatoes. Whatever you do, get the bread basket.
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41. World Street Kitchen
One of Uptown’s top restaurants is the World Street Kitchen. This restaurant has visitors from all over the Twin Cities. World Street Kitchen started as a food truck and became so popular that it opened a restaurant.
Stop in to try Bangkok burritos, rice bowls, and sandwiches (including a sensational fried chicken sandwich) inspired by different locations all across the world (hence the name World Street Kitchen). There is truly something for everyone here!
If you’ve still got room, next door is the Milk Jam Creamery, complete with boozy milkshakes and fun ice cream flavors. Add some chocolate chips for an ultimate bite. It’s the perfect spot for dessert!
Best Restaurants on Eat Street
Eat Street is a stretch of ethnic foods from all over the world along Nicollet Avenue in between Uptown and downtown Minneapolis. It’s called Eat Street for a reason. Make this place a priority!
43. Pimento Jamaican Kitchen & Rum Bar
Looking for some Caribbean fare on a snowy day? Pimento Jamaican Kitchen & Rum Bar has you covered. Stop in for some Kingston-style jerk chicken and slow-roasted jerk pork.
The Pimento Jamaican Kitchen also hosts a lot of events and concerts. Watch their social media to see what is coming up next.
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44. Black Sheep Pizza
Thin and crispy wood-fired pizza nearby the Minneapolis Institute of Art. We come to Black Sheep Pizza all the time for their classic cheese pizza.
They also have a lot of different types of pizzas (and you can make your own). You’ll find craft beers on tap and a good selection of cocktail and virgin cocktails.
They also have a location in Saint Paul if you’re in that neck of the woods.
45. Best Vietnamese Food in Minneapolis: Pho 79
Pho 79 doesn’t look like much from the outside, or the inside really, but the food is fantastic. It’s good, authentic “no-frills” Vietnamese fare, with a photo-menu book you can page through for ages. This is the stuff in movies. THIS is the place your hero eats.
Try the Pho and the marinated chicken. Try everything, really. You can dine in or take it to go. Depending on what time you go you might have to wait a while for a table but it is well worth the wait.
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Best Restaurants in Dinkytown/St. Anthony
When locals hear Dinkytown they think of the University of Minnesota. High numbers of college students doesn’t usually mean great food – normally it’s cheap junk to help soak up alcohol – but in Minneapolis it does. Right outside you’ll find Prospect Park and several great spots to dine.
46. Restaurant Alma
Located in the boutique Hotel Alma, Restaurant Alma has two options for its diners. The bar located as you enter offers a simplified a la carte menu and great cocktails. Sometimes they offer themed menus!
The more upscale Restaurant Alma dining area offers a chef’s tasting menu with an option to pair the perfect wine. They also have great cocktails like our go-to favorite, the gold fashioned. They also have a small patio for sunny days.
47. Aster Café
Located right on the boardwalk in St. Anthony Main, Aster Cafe is an excellent spot for foodies. Stop by for weekend brunch or for dinner. They have a medieval-inspired interior that has candles hung on their dark oak bar and wooden tables and chairs. On weekend nights they often have live bands, there is usually a cover but just a few dollars.
The patio at Aster Café is amazing when the weather is nice. Pull up a chair and enjoy drinks and excellent food while looking at the Minneapolis skyline.
48. Wilde Café
Located in St. Anthony Main, the Wilde Café is known for its Gouda hashbrowns and boozy brunch. They have an extensive menu with options for every picky eater. They are open for dinner too but brunch is where it’s at.
You won’t need a reservation, but if you have a larger group that would be better. After brunch, you can enjoy a stroll on the boardwalk.
49 Nicollet Island Inn
If you want to step back in time to enjoy classic cocktails and traditional dinners with a twist, have dinner at the Nicollet Island Inn. This historic boutique hotel has an impeccable restaurant with an extensive wine list. And around the corner from the restaurant is a historic bar.
You’ll want a reservation if you are with a larger group and call ahead anyways. The bar will always have space.
After your meal, take a walk along Nicollet Island. It has a crazy history and just across the bridge is St. Anthony Main.
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50. The Sonder Shaker
This new-age restaurant offers craft cocktails and American-style dishes. Some of their top dishes are the crab salad and their wagyu burger. This is a great dinner option for fancy eaters and date nights!
Best Restaurants in Saint Paul
If you venture to the other half of the Twin Cities, you can find a lot of great restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets. The restaurants here are certainly a counter to the town’s unofficial motto; “Keep Saint Paul Boring”.
Arguably the best French restaurant in the Twin Cities, Meritage offers an extensive wine list and Parisian fare. They have fresh oysters delivered daily and the best French fries in town.
Stop by early for their happy hour, or enjoy a wonderful full dinner. Try the steak frites, duck, and mini tuna tacos. Order a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and you will go home happy!
52. W.A. Frost & Co.
Voted the best patio in St. Paul, W.A. Frost & Co. is a homage to the golden era of St. Paul. Its underground speakeasy is the perfect spot for a warm cocktail on a snowy day while its ivy-lined patio is the perfect place for a glass of champagne when the sun is out.
Their dinner menu is superb. Order the seared polenta and lemon pasta, it is to die for! They also have brunch. We recommend getting a reservation although they can usually accommodate small walk-in groups.
53. Saint Dinette
Saint Dinette was one of our go-to take-out orders during COVID lockdown and is now one of our favorite St. Paul restaurants to visit. They are open for brunch and dinner and have a wide variety of menu items from a bologna sandwich to scallops.
Dress up nicely and order the caviar, or opt for the nachos. Both are excellent in their own right. We almost always get the burger.
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The next restaurant on the list is Parajito, a top spot for fancy tacos and queso. Their menu has all sorts of different types of tacos with some of their most popular being the shrimp tacos and the lengua (that’s beef tongue).
Parajito is a great spot for a dinner before hitting the bars on West Seventh before a concert or Minnesota Wild game.
Mancini’s is the absolute essence of old-age bootlegging St. Paul. The wine is cheap and the food is hearty. Come by for some fried ravioli and a prime-cut steak.
The ambiance of the bar area room is vintage and cozy. They often have live music and events. Around the corner, you’ll find the dining room which is always busy and filled with groups celebrating anniversaries and graduations.
Check out the photos on the walls. You’ll find a lot of famous people who visited the Twin Cities and enjoyed an awesome dinner at Mancini’s.
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56. Editor’s Choice: The Gnome
The Gnome is home to Minnesota bar food and comfort dishes. Here you will find poutine, cheese curds, giant braided pretzels, and a killer grilled cheese. It’s on Selby, just a hop off historic Grand Avenue and near the Cathedral.
This is a great spot for a cozy afternoon or dinner. The beer list is extensive and the food options warm the soul and wow the palate. It gets busy during happy hour and dinner, but otherwise, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a seat. They also have a huge patio when the weather is nice.
Try the Beef & Bone Marrow Pot Pie. It is to die for.
57. Bread & Chocolate/Café Latte
Technically not a restaurant – but two!
Bread & Chocolate on Grand Avenue is worth a mention for their pastries, cookies, and coffee. They also have paninis and salads available to enjoy in the café or to go. Try the Florentine croissant and the chocolate chip cookie, you will instantly smile! The staff are always lovely.
Accross the street is their sister restaurant Café Latte which has a larger menu with pasta dishes, soup, salads, and sandwiches. Oh and pies and cakes, a lot of excellent pies and cakes. Like, arguably the best pies and cakes in the city pies and cakes.
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It’s authentic modern Filipino, but make it your brunch and have a blast. And your dinner too, a really, really good dinner – make a reservation or call ahead if you can. At Kalsada you can try all sorts of different dishes that you can’t find anywhere else.
For brunch or breakfast try the authentic Ube pancakes, made from purple yams. It’s authentic, super good, (and makes you look like you support the Minnesota Vikings – GO VIKES). For dinner, try the crispy milkfish and the sizzling chicken sisig.
One of the coolest and most innovative ramen joints in the Twin Cities, Tori Ramen is one of our favorite hangout spots for feisty pho and ramen dishes.
A short hop from Mancini’s on West Seventh, you can enjoy tantalizing bowls of firey goodness in a super-cool rail car setting. All of their dishes are fully customizable to suit all diets and tastes and the staff are great!
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60. Hamburguesas el Gordo
Home to decadent Mexican-style hamburgers and tip-top tacos Hamburguesas el Gordo actually lives in the original spot Tori Ramen used to inhabit before moving to West Seventh.
If you’re a fan of Mexican-American fast food or think yourself a burger aficionado, look no further. Their burgers are packed with flavor, the fries are simply heaven and they also do an Impossible meat taco that will blow your socks off.
61. Best Vegan Restaurant in Saint Paul: J. Selby’s
Just around the corner from the meat lover’s paradise that is Hamburguesas el Gordo, you’ll find another food Nirvana; only this one is meat-free!
A few years ago, I would have never touched anything marketing itself as vegan. J. Selby’s changed that. With an incredible menu of vegan takes on American classics, you can find exciting salads and mouthwatering burgers and sandwiches that will convert any carnivore!
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Best Restaurants Outside Minneapolis, MN
Well, Saint Paul got me thinking…
There are a lot of great restaurants in the Twin Cities. Minneapolis has a boatload, and St. Paul has a plethora, but the suburbs have some great spots too! These are just a few of our favorites.
62. Best Restaurant Overall: Travail Kitchen & Amusements
Travail is still in the Twin Cities and located in Robbinsdale, just North of Downtown Minneapolis. Here you will find a creative tasting menu with surprises around every corner. Each dinner serves 11 to 14 courses, some are small bites others are main dishes. There is always a dessert.
One time we came and the centerpiece looked like a bunch of rocks and moss, but it turned out to be our dessert! You need to reserve a ticket in advance, it is a little spendy but it is worth every penny.
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63. Kai’s Sushi & Grill, Minnetonka
Located in the western suburb of Minnetonka, Kai’s Sushi & Grill has a lot of items on the menu and pretty amazing ramen. There is always someone picking up take out and every table will fill up by 7 pm so go early.
Try the ramen and a sushi roll. Order a side of gyoza and garlic edamame. Kai’s may be in a strip mall but the quality of the food is superb!
64. Benedict’s, Wayzata
Looking for an awesome salmon benedict with light and crispy hashbrowns and a frozen daiquiri? Well here is the spot for you.
When we lived in Wayzata we went to Benedict’s nearly every Saturday morning. They have a great menu full of Instagram-worthy dishes that taste as good as they luck. And the staff is amazing. It gets very busy from 10-2 so come early or after, or grab a seat at the circle bar.
What are the best restaurants in Minneapolis for takeout?
Some popular takeout restaurants are Pho 79, Black Sheep Pizza, and Bull’s Horn. For a complete list check out our article on the best takeout restaurants here.
What are the coolest restaurants in Minneapolis, MN?
Hai Hai, Hola Arepa, Travail, and Betty Danger’s. Each of these restaurants has a completely unique vibe that you can’t find anywhere else. You’ll feel like you stepped into a vacation.
What is Minnesota’s most popular restaurant?
Minnesota’s most popular restaurant is Matt’s Bar for its Jucy Lucy. There is a never-ending debate as to who created the first Juicy Lucy/Jucy Lucy: Matt’s Bar or 5-8 Club. Try them both and pick a winner. Realistically though, you’ll be the real winner for getting to eat two amazing burgers!
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