It’s that time of year, where families flood Nicollet Mall in dowtown Minneapolis on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for the Holidazzle parade. And far too many of them are lined up at Chipotle. So I put together some of my top spots for families to eat within walking distance of the parade.
Since it starts at 6:30 p.m., it’s best to get here early, eat, watch the parade, then get a hot cocoa and head home.
Here are some of my top downtown recommendations for families:
Hell’s Kitchen: First of all, what kid won’t be excited to go to a restaurant named Hell’s Kitchen? Second, it’s dark, crazy décor will be fascinating to your little ones. Third, it’s a really big restaurant. Fourth, breakfast for dinner. Kids love that. Don’t miss the lemon ricotta pancakes—they’re on the kids menu for $4.95. They’ve got a Cornmeal Pancake ($2.75) topped with berries, and a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich with the best peanut butter I’ve ever had ($4.75). For the adults, I love these same items, and the Mahnomin Porridge is great.
They use Stonebridge Beef—which is the same grass-fed beef I buy from farmer Mike in Long Prairie, Minnesota. I’ve eaten the grass the cows eat (it’s delicious), so you can’t go wrong with Today’s Minnesota Meat—something created for that day. It’s $25, but you’re downtown, and it’s delicious.
Hell’s Kitchen also has a great bar, which is key for a night out with your kids. It’s key for a night out with my kids, at least.
80 9th St. S.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
The Depot Tavern: You’ll take a little walk to get to The Depot, the newish restaurant right by First Avenue, but it’s a great place to bring a couple kids—from little ones to teens. No kids menu here, but plenty of food for kids, and a friendly staff.
I loved the Diamond Dog when I was there—it’s a ¼ pound all-beef dog, wrapped with bacon, deep-fried, and served on a pretzel bun ($8). Perfect for kids.
The small bites have lots of friendly options too: the Cayenne Cheese Curds ($7) are kid favorites (they’re not that spicy), and the chicken-fried steak fingers would also delight your little guys and gals. Think about a sampler—three half portions of any appetizer, for just $12.
They’ve got grilled cheese (with apple and honey!) for $8.50, as well as the classic for $5.50., and a bacon-pepperjack version if your kid likes some spice ($7.50).
Lots of salads and soups too (the smoked brisket chili is really nice).
The Depot Tavern
17 North 7th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Stay tuned for a few more of my favorites—like Holidazzle, I run multiple weeks.