Charles Barkley, Here Are Some Legit Restaurant Recs

Charles didn’t ask, ”What’s your favorite barbecue place 45 minutes from Target Center?” This is where he is actually likely to ”bring his a**.”

Photo by Kevin Kramer

Where should Charles Barkley eat? It is the question we’ve been having so much fun with since Sunday night, since Charles inaccurately said he hadn’t been to Minnesota in 20 years (he was here for the NCAA Final Four just a couple years ago), and since Anthony Edwards so charmingly uttered, “Bring ya ass.”

So where should Charles bring his behind? This is a different question than the one many of you have been responding to. Charles didn’t ask, “What’s the best restaurant in Minnesota?” Nor did he ask, “What’s your favorite barbecue restaurant 45 minutes away from Target Center?” 

This is the crux of giving a recommendation: It’s not about you. It’s about the recipient. He’s probably not going to St. Paul. I doubt he’ll be straying that far from downtown/North Loop. (Update: He has already eaten at Manny’s!)

My initial reaction on X was: “Minneapolis Food Critic: Chuck needs to go to Manny’s, Dario, Porzana, Spoon & Stable, and Diane’s Place for breakfast.” I still think that’s a pretty good list. With a couple days to think—and with literally every Minnesota restaurant listed somewhere or in some Facebook or Instagram or X thread—here’s a more detailed guide:


I assume Chuck is staying at Four Seasons Minneapolis, where he’ll certainly enjoy a great meal at Mara. Here are some places near the NBA on TNT headquarters worth visiting for Chuck:


Manny’s (check!): Baller steakhouse with a great chef, Jason Smith.

Murray’s: Local icon with great family ownership and legacy of having a Sid Hartman booth.

P.S. Steak: Slightly more under-the-radar and upscale experience.

Porzana: North Loop trendy for good reason

J.D. Hoyt’s: Classic, casual, supper-club vibes

Band Box Diner: On the edge of downtown, old greasy-spoon energy.


Monte Carlo: Dry rub wing kings.

Runyon’s: Wet sauce wing kings.


Gai Noi: Great views on the third floor, incredible food from Ann Ahmed.

Sanjusan: I love this place (also tremendous pizza).

Spoon & Stable: Gavin Kaysen and Andrew Zimmern’s company feeds the Wolves athletes. It would make a ton of sense to visit Spoon & Stable.

Mara: Top-notch vibes and food.


Black Sheep Coal Fired: North Loop—I just went and it’s still great. Get the fennel sausage.


Dario: Hottest place in the North Loop. Pasta as art, punk rock attitude, kinda like Chuck’s.

Bar La Grassa: Issac Becker still getting it done.


Fhima’s/Maison Margaux: Eli Fhima hung with Charles last time he was in town.

Billy Sushi: A favorite of athletes and Alex Rodriguez for great sushi.

Lotus: Athletes always end up at the Lotus, on Loring Park. Great family-owned Vietnamese spot.



Get Down Coffee Shop: Go visit entrepreneur Houston White, who is trying to create a middle-class Camdentown neighborhood.

Diane’s Place: Get a taste of Hmong flavors from one of our most acclaimed chefs in Northeast.

Revival: Get some fried chicken.

Pimento: How about some Tommee Beevas Jamaican food?

So, what real advice would you give for Chuck? Drop it in the comments!