Iconic Eats

Top dining destinations for life’s most memorable occasions, 25 years and counting

A table full of food, including fries, burgers and nachos.

photo by kevin kramer

Restaurants that stand against the ever-changing tides of new tastes wind their way into the fabric of shared community history. These treasured rooms are where we remember prom dates, stops between weddings and receptions, destinations at the end of road trips, and where we return with family and friends to celebrate the special warmth of Minnesota hospitality. Whether refusing to eat the last mammoth Beijing-style wing at Monte Carlo in Minneapolis, insisting on eating the tiny triangle corner piece of a Sammy’s sausage pizza in Duluth, or swinging through Gordy’s in Cloquet for a burger and malt on the way to the cabin, life in our fair state wouldn’t be the same without these time-honored supper clubs and restaurants, which have served some truly memorable meals over the past 25 years and counting.

A steak and baked potato on a plate at Mancini's in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Classic Steakhouses

A table full of different food from around the world.

Classic Flavors From Around the World

Mickey's Dining Car in St. Paul, Minneapolis.

Classic Diners

Inside The Local in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Classic Bars

A Jucy Lucy from Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Classic Burger Joints

Jason and Joy’s Top 10 Classics

Minnesota Monthly food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers rank their favorite dining establishments of at least 25 years in the state.


Jax Cafe – Minneapolis

Prime rib with crispy hashbrowns

Dan’s Bar & Grill – New Trier

Stuffed cream cheese wonton burger, topped with sweet chili sauce

Holy Land – Minneapolis

The gyro is the classic, but get the stuffed grape leaves with the best hummus in town

Mancini’s – St. Paul

Lobster tail and sirloin combination

Monte Carlo – Minneapolis

Liver and onions—trust me! And a Manhattan.

Broders’ Cucina – Minneapolis

Chicken parmigiana sandwich with a slice of pizza on the side.  

Cossetta – St. Paul

House-made Italian sausage and peppers with red sauce and the Cossetta Salad with crispy prosciutto

Market Bar-B-Que – Minneapolis

Barbecue chicken, slow roasted in a brick pit

Val’s Rapid Service – St. Cloud

Double cheeseburger, add bacon with French fries

El Burrito Mercado – St. Paul

Mole poblano in the restaurant, sopes platter at the express


Sammy’s Pizza – Duluth

Sausage pizza

Dusty’s Bar – Minneapolis

Dago with onions, peppers, and cheese

Monte Carlo – Minneapolis

Wings and a dirty martini

Gordy’s Hi-Hat – Cloquet

Cheeseburger and a chocolate malt

Mickey’s – St. Paul

America’s Favorite All-Day Meal, eggs over easy, sourdough toast, sausage links

Manicini’s – St. Paul

Steak and garlic bread

Uncle Loui’s Cafe – Duluth

Greek omelet with gyro meat and feta with a mammoth pancake on the side

Cecil’s – St. Paul

Matzo-ball chicken soup

Moscow n the Hill – St. Paul

Pelmeni, a shot of vodka, and a gherkin

Pickwick – Duluth

French dip