View Full Version : Recommendations for the Twin Cities?

09-19-2012, 05:11 PM
My lovely lady and I are headed up for a family gathering. It's been a while since I've been to Minneapolis. Any recommendations for restaurants or anything else that shouldn't be missed???

09-19-2012, 06:26 PM
Everything is relative to what you enjoy. I always rent a boat at Paul's landing on Lake Minnetonka and go Nortthern Pike fishing. Ok not always. I have fished through and ice hole in the winter there too. Enjoy your trip.

09-19-2012, 11:48 PM
The Vikings are building a team. Have faith.

09-20-2012, 12:54 AM
Easy with the vikings!... :nono: he, he, he!

Ill try to help! There are some fantastic places to eat in the twin cities:

Superb pairing in a cozy setting:
Tilia (I love this place) :happymug: This place haunts my culinary dreams! Its my favorite!
Alma (superb food!)

Very good burguers:
Bruguer Jones (Try their blue burguer? I dont remember the name).
Blue door pub (Their juicy bluicys are to die for!) :cool2:

Comfort food:
Brasa (Very good, organic, pleasing!)
Kramarczuks (Eastern european delight!) :yammer:

Sushi and japanese
Masu (Very good ramen
Zen Box Izakaya (Bar and japanese tapas!)

South East Asian

Broders Cuccina
Cossettas (Good pizza and ingredients!)

Rosa Mexicano (try their mole enchiladas)
Masa (Mexican Fusion)
El Burrito mercado (St Paul.)
Lake Street

Last but not least.. there is a very good restaurant in St. Paul that is actually an Oyster bar.. its called Maritage and its owned by a couple that happen to be chefs... well anyway.. they are having an oyster festival on the 30th. of Sept. and if you happen to be in town I highly suggest you try to get in.. here is the site... I cant say enough good things about this place. Its consistently rated among the top ten.


I could go on and on.... This is a start

Very good reference, take a look:

Take a look at the insider eats!

Go to

Highly suggest you go to the MIA (Minneapolis institute of arts) their art galleries are one some of the best in the country and the Walker (Moder art).

The lakes are always a huge attraction, wether it be Calhoun, lake Minnetonka or any other of the many lakes that the cities have.. You can take a day trip to Duluth.

Good source!


Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions!! :wink:

09-20-2012, 01:16 AM
Forgot to mention that another Day trip that is worth while is Stillwater...

There are a lot of nice antique shops, eateries and even its own winery. Its on the border with Wisconsin with spectacular views of the River St. Croix. Try Leos, a cool burger and malt shop with half a century of tradition! :doublethumbsup:

mr drinky
09-20-2012, 03:32 AM
Are you from Minneapolis Customfan?? Dang, you put together a good list.

I would add. My number one place to eat right now is The Bachelor Farmer. Bon Appetit just listed it in their top 10 new restaurants in the country, and it is really, really good. You can also hit the Marvel Bar, which is a sort of speakeasy underneath the restaurant. The head bar tender studied under one of the great Japanese master mixologists. Try the Oliveto drink.

One that wasn't mentioned was Piccolo. I just went there a couple of weeks ago, and it is one of my favorites. If you are into small bites with a lot of flavor, take a look at their menu.

You can't go wrong with 112 Eatery and Bar LaGrassa. 112 is right across the street from Safron, and Haute Dish is also good and in the same area.

For wine bars, Toast, does a really good job and they have some excellent flat breads.

I agree with Customfan that Meritage, Alma, and Tilia are all worth it. Vincent and Heidi's are in that same category too IMO. Alma was one of my most impressive meals in the last year.

A new one that I have been wanting to try is Travail. If you go there, let me know how it is ;) There is also the Butcher and Boar right on Hennepin. It is about 6 months old and very good (and open late). They have interesting sausages.

For seafood, Sea Change, is supposed to be good. I used to eat there and wasn't impressed, but I think they have had a new chef for the last couple of years and it has been getting good press.

Lastly, if you are traveling through MSP airport, concourse G has a lot better fare than it used to. The same company that put in the finer dining options at JFK and a few other airports just redid a concourse at the airport.


P.S. If I were to choose two, I would go with Bachelor Farmer and Alma. That is just my opinion.

09-20-2012, 10:56 AM
I concur with the above and only add one addition - My favorite Chinese Restaurant ever:
If you are a fan of chinese food, there is a restaurant off of the U of M campus in a spot called Dinkytown that has the best sesame chicken I have ever had in my life. They are also well known for their seafood dishes and I really love the Szechuan Lobster. I have been known to go out of my way by two hours on my way to our cabin in northern wisconsin to hit it.

If you are looking upscale - there is the 112 cafe which is run by James Beard award winner Isaac Becker. I have only been there once but it was quite good.

I haven't lived there for over 16 years, so I only get an occasional trip to the cities.

mr drinky
09-20-2012, 11:05 AM
The 112 cafe which is run by James Beard award winner Isaac Becker. I have only been there once but it was quite good.

The the tagliatelle with foie gras meatballs....mmmmmmmhhhhh. One of my favorite dishes in MSP.


09-20-2012, 11:31 AM
Downtown Stillwater is a nice place to go for the day- lotsa history and antiquing but some catering to yuppies and Packer Cheesheads. :D

Get some comfort food- I'd suggest a sandwich and some beer cheese soup upstairs here:

And back to MPLS-

Catch an offbeat movie next door and then eat at great old neighborhood Mexi restaurant:


09-20-2012, 09:45 PM
Mr dinky... You hit all the ones that I missed! Very good eats you chose.. My favorites as well.. :tooth:

Have you tried the pizza at black sheep? And sandwiches at bewitched? Very close to Bar la Grassa.... Some fantastic eateries developing in that area..

We should start a msp eats blog! :laugh:

09-23-2012, 05:21 AM
Been 12 years since I lived there.

Back then Aquavit had a place downtown, and my college roommate knew one of the bartenders...so if we tipped well, we ate for free.

One night the FoH and GM came out to say hello, which we took as a sign that we just got this poor girl fired and better make a run for it.

They took up seats on either side of us and proceeded to point out that it is always nice to have a younger crowd at a high priced restaurant, and so long as we can both pull of wearing ties it lended a bit of hipster cred. They bought us a round of drinks....didn't know we'd never paid before.... and let us enjoy our meal.

Of course now Marcus Samuelsson has long slid away from his strict nordic style, and the MN location is long closed. My advice however is always the same...go where you know someone....I wouldn't scam a meal at my age, but remembering it is like a placebo, even if I don't get special treatment where friends tend bar or work line.... thinking makes it so.

09-24-2012, 03:35 PM
It was a good weekend, but all the family activities planned for us didn't allow any time to get out and spend any time on our own. We thought we might get at least an evening free, but it didn't work out. We had a nice time to be sure. It was great to actually feel some autumn weather and see some colors on the trees. We're considering a solo trip where we can enjoy some time in the cities. So, thanks for all the advice. I hope to get a chance to use it sometime soon.

mr drinky
02-15-2013, 10:57 PM
I'm going to resurrect this thread. Minneapolis is really booming with restaurants it seems. I just ate at Borough tonight (been opened around 7 weeks).It was the last date night before the next bunchkin (i.e., kid) comes along. It really was quite tasty. The restaurant is right across the street from Bar La Grassa and has a similar feel. The food is in between the finesse of Piccolo/Travail and small dish sort of bistro fare like Bar La Grassa.

And I am also going to throw in a big shout out to Chuckles' place, Pat's Tap. I have only eaten there once, but I crave that hamburger most days of my life. That's a good thing. Chuckles has this super special cheese thing that makes a burger better than anything.

Heldentenor needs to start hitting the rounds :)


02-15-2013, 11:04 PM
I just went to Saffron and 112 Eatery, both with superb results. If you really want some good pairings and good food, Alma on University Ave. is the way to go.

Bar la Grassa is very good as well, so is Tilia and The Bachelor Farmer... Yes, I agree with you, the Twin Cities is really coming up in the world when it comes to top notch cuisine!

St Paul has a couple of jewels as well, like Meritage...

It just gets a tad Chilly every now and then!


02-15-2013, 11:23 PM
Thanks for bumping this, Karring, and for waiting until after Valentine's Day to do it so that I didn't go bankrupt.

The only places I would add that Customfan and Karring didn't mention are The Happy Gnome in St. Paul and Cafe Maude over by me in Loring Park. If you go to the Gnome, go on off-peak hours, as it draws a crowd--but the food is delicious and quite affordable. Maude is traditional French with the occasional innovative twist.

As for Pat's Tap, Charlie, I'm coming your way next week!

02-15-2013, 11:43 PM
I think visiting chuckles at Pat's Tap is a good idea!

Thanks for the recommendations Heldenator... St. Paul has some good places.

Just read an article with the coolest pizza and there are some good joints!

Lola Pizzeria
Black sheep (Very good stuff and on the same sidewalk as Bar La grasssa)
Mozza Mia (They have a take on deep dish Chicago style that is quite good)
Pizza Nea

Oh.. And has anyone gone to Bewitched? Their in house made pastrami is a life changing experience.

And don't get me started on coffee shops!

Rustica (Their bread rocks!)
Spyhouse cafe
Bullrun Cofee
Dogwood Coffee

Im hungry! :clown:

02-16-2013, 12:02 AM
You guys have to check out Burch. It is opening on Tues and is Isaac Becker's (112, Bar La Grassa) new spot. Same developer that did Bar La Grassa and Butcher and the Boar. My spies have been giving great reports.

02-16-2013, 12:02 AM
Social House is home to Sushi by Terry.

mr drinky
02-16-2013, 12:14 AM
You guys have to check out Burch. It is opening on Tues and is Isaac Becker's (112, Bar La Grassa) new spot. Same developer that did Bar La Grassa and Butcher and the Boar. My spies have been giving great reports.

Very interesting tip, thanks. And I needs me some good sushi, I really don't know where to get it in the the twin cities. I usually go out of state for that.


02-16-2013, 12:44 AM
Damn, and Burch is only ten minutes' walk from my house.

mr drinky
03-02-2013, 12:44 AM
Anyone try Fika at the Swedish Institute?


03-02-2013, 01:11 AM
Nope, but Ive heard some very good things about it... I want to remember.. I think there was an article on the MSPMag a couple of issues ago where they mentioned Fica and were praising Scandinavian cuisine in the TC.

Have to try that one out! Thanks for reminding me!

mr drinky
03-02-2013, 02:39 PM
So I was going to go to the Food and Wine Experience at Target Field and also try Fika -- BUT the effen babysitter was a no show. No call, no email, no show.

Btw, Rotie Cellars is going to be at the F&W Experience event. The southern rhone white that I brought to the MSP gathering was from this maker. They are one of the best in Walla Walla IMO.


03-02-2013, 04:57 PM
I will be at the show tomorrow. Good excuse for attendees to get day-drunk. The event is a pain in the a$$ for me but everyone with a drink in there hand usually seems to have a great time. Plus the beer vendors use modeling agencies for their staffing which never hurts. :bigeek:

Had a white rhone at Burch on wed night. I will have to track down Rotie Cellars and trade food for drinks. Burch was fantastic BTW. Much more Germanic/Eastern Euro inspired than I ever would have guessed. Bone Marrow Dumplings....mmmmm.

03-02-2013, 05:18 PM
Dropped in to Charlie's place two weeks ago. The house made "cheez-its" (don't know what else to call them), gougeres, harissa chicken sandwich, and loaded grilled cheese all exceeded expectations. Those long cut potato chips are also the real deal. Will be back. Often.

mr drinky
03-02-2013, 06:33 PM
The best Washington State wine producers there are probably Rotie, Long Shadows, Dunham, Northstar, Basel, and Dusted Valley.


03-06-2013, 06:03 PM
Looks like I may be headed up to the Cities for a few days for a work project. I will definitely be hitting a few of these spots along with trying to meet up with Chuckles. I will let you all know if the project gets approved. Tentatively it is scheduled for the week of March 18th. Hope this works out, it has been a while since I have been up there.