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Sidewalk Snacking


Courtesy of Smack Shack

Summer in Minnesota is synonymous with two things: road construction, and the perfect weather for time spent outside. Better yet, time spent outside enjoying a drink with a mouth-watering dish in front of you. We’ve done the homework so you don’t have to and rounded up some of the best outdoor dining the Twin Cities has to offer. All that is left to do is get out and enjoy.



From under-the-sea favorites to lip-smacking ramen, you will get scrumptious fare while you bask in the sun and soak up the atmosphere.

Smack Shack

Another graduate from the fleet of food trucks lining downtown Minneapolis’ streets every summer has its brick-and-mortar location in the evolving North Loop, and is here to appease Twin Cities residents’ appetite for fresh lobster and seafood. Known for their lobster rolls and po’boys loaded with fried shrimp, blue crab and more, this sidewalk-side cafe brings the East Coast lobster boil to you. 

603 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-259-7288, smack-shack.com

The Local 

You would be hard pressed to find a place that stays truer to its roots than here. This Irish pub features an 80-foot bar with a hand-carved back bar, and numerous nooks and crannies for your whole party to squeeze in. Grab a seat outside in one of their many brightly colored patio chairs along Nicollet Mall, and order Irish favorites like fish and chips or sausages and mash to go with a bit of Jameson Irish Whiskey (they sell more than anywhere else in the world).

931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-904-1000, the-local.com

The Freehouse

This part restaurant, part brewery believes in friendly competition and serves their brew side-by-side their competitor’s, so the real winners are always your taste buds. Their food menu is as unique as their decor—think industrial warehouse meets modern kitchen—with everything from steak n pierogies and seafood mac and cheese to bison tartare and cheese curds on the menu. Their outdoor experience is accented with tall trees and colorful flowers.

701 N. Washington Ave. Ste. 101, Minneapolis, 612-339-7011, freehousempls.com

Harriet Brasserie

Finding a place to call home in historic Fire House 28 in beautiful Linden Hills, this international bistro adds to a list that is already burning hotter than a skillet of popular dining destinations in the neighborhood. Swing by to taste their simple, fresh, seasonally inspired and locally grown cuisine with French, Brazilian and Midwest influences, or just to relax on their patio and soak up the charm. 

2724 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis, 612-354-2197, lakeharrietbrasserie.com 

Ramen Kazama

We know what you are thinking, and, no, these aren’t the microwavable noodles from your dorm room days. This ramen-centric spot has quickly stolen the stomachs of Twin Cities’ residents, and Bon Appetit magazine already featured the restaurant as one of the best places in the country to get a drool-worthy bowl of ramen. The outdoor vibe is as simple as the menu itself. Order Kimchi for starters, and follow it up with Shoyu “Old School” ramen to see what everyone’s palate is already talking about. 

3400 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-353-6160, ramenkazama.com 


Eat More:

Worthy Waterfronts to Whet Your Appetite

Relaxing Rooftop Dining

Palatable Patios

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rfischer@mnmo.com

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