Duluth Dinner Destinations

Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers.

Joy’s Picks

This is my adopted hometown, even though I’ve never lived there. With its slate rock shores, majestic views, and small town feel, I adore Duluth.

  • Lake Avenue Cafe: Head to this Canal Park gem for brunch packed with locally sourced ingredients prepared with subtle sophistication. There’s also an incredible, local-leaning bar program featuring Duluth’s Vikre gin.
  • Northern Waters Smokehaus: Whether served at the original shop in the DeWitt Seitz Marketplace or the new restaurant in the Mount Royal Shopping Center, these tenderly smoked meats are ethereal. Get the sitka sushi: a salmon sandwich that will change your life.

Check out more of Joy’s Duluth picks on our TC Taste blog.

bent paddle brewing
Photo courtesy of Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

Jason’s Picks

Duluth is a rarity in Minnesota, a truly fantastic getaway within a couple hours of the Twin Cities. Great music, great food, and incredible views of a (real!) lake.

  • Va Bene Caffe: Beautiful pastas and paninis, but the Italian gelato and sorbet is the real reason to stop here—owner Mary Kay Berarducci makes all 12 rotating flavors. Located just east of downtown, the cafe’s view of Lake Superior is spectacular.
  • Bent Paddle Brewing Co.: The beer scene in Duluth has really exploded, and the quality at Bent Paddle is first rate. Favorite brews include the 14º ESB Amber and Bent Hop IPA. Enjoy them in the cozy (and popular) taproom and take a tour to see them being made.