Jason’s Picks for Dinner and a Show

Where to eat and drink near entertainment venues around the Twin Cities metro
Zen Box Izakaya near the Guthrie Theater offers a variety of bento boxes
Zen Box Izakaya near the Guthrie Theater offers a variety of bento boxes

Photo by Kevin Kramer

The nerves grow as the time gets closer: One group practicing their technique, another working on learning their lines, all in anticipation for that moment when the crowd is in their seats, the performance is about to begin. No, I’m not talking about actors or musicians or stage crews—I’m talking about restaurants. There are a lot of similarities between these experiences; think of the kitchen as backstage and the servers and bartenders as the performers. There’s a reason going out for “dinner and a show” is such a pleasing combination. Here, we’ve put together our favorite spots close to some of our favorite arts venues. This list is a tour de force—tips that will make you applaud again and again.


Hennepin Theatre District and First Avenue 

112 Eatery, 112 Third St., Minneapolis; 612-343-7696; 112eatery.com

801 Chophouse, 801 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-230-2467; 801chophouse.com

Barrio, 925 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-333-9953; barriotequila.com

The Butcher’s Tale, 1121 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-236-4075; butcherstale.com

Fhima’s, 40 S. Seventh St., Minneapolis; 612-353-4792; fhimasmpls.com

Murray’s famous Silver Butter Knife steak
Murray’s famous Silver Butter Knife steak


My choice: Murray’s

26 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis; 612-339-0909; murraysrestaurant.com

For three generations, the Murray family has been serving up the iconic Silver Butter Knife Steak, garlic toast, and those Szechuan green beans. The steak sandwich and burger is a great happy hour pre-theater move, or come back after the show and get the raspberry pie.

Guthrie Theater

Farmer’s Kitchen, 750 S. Second St., Suite 100, Minneapolis; 612-200-9434; farmerskitchenandbar.com

Spice & Tonic, 903 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-9020; spiceandtonic.net

Zen Box’s Calpico Chu-hai cocktail and Karaage Sando
Zen Box’s Calpico Chu-hai cocktail and Karaage Sando

Photo by Kevin Kramer

My choice: Zen Box Izakaya

602 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-332-3936; zenbox.com

Zen Box has the best ramen I’ve had in the Midwest. John Ng is obsessive about his broth and the depth of flavor, and it shows. Pork tonkatsu is my pick, but don’t sleep on the spicy karaage chicken sandwich, the grilled pork ribs, or the fried dumplings.

St. Paul

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts/Fitzgerald Theater/Palace Theatre

Cossetta Alimentari, 211 Seventh St. W., St. Paul; 651-222-3476; cossettas.com

Momento Restaurant + Bar, 360 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 651-467-0000; momento-stp.com

Parlour St. Paul, 267 W. Seventh St., St. Paul; 651-207-4433; parlourbar.com

Saint Dinette, 261 E. Fifth St., St. Paul; 651-800-1415; saintdinette.com

The St. Paul Grill, 350 Market St., St. Paul; 651-224-7455; stpaulgrill.com



My choice: Meritage

410 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 651-222-5670; meritage-stpaul.com

Meritage is always one of my top restaurants in the state with my favorite wine-by-the-glass selection. Belly up at the bar or grab a table in the Oyster Bar, get a cup of French onion soup and an order of fries, and you’re set. Or go all in and get the best chicken dish or cassoulet in town.


Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

Med Box Grill, 600 Market St. Suite 160, Chanhassen; 612-842-1350; medboxgrill.com

Tequila Butcher, 590 W. 79th St., Chanhassen; 952-934-6127; tequilabutcher.com

Ames Center in Burnsville

Jensen’s Cafe, 12750 Nicollet Ave. S., Burnsville; 952-808-0500; jensenscafe.com

Mediterranean Cruise Cafe, 12500 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville; 952-641-6222; medcruisecafe.com

Mystic Lake Casino in Shakopee

McCoys Copper Pint, 1710 Crossings Blvd., Shakopee; 952-456-8643; mccoyscopperpint.com

Mystic Steakhouse, inside Mystic Lake, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd. NW, Prior Lake; 952-496-7123; mysticlake.com

Pau Hana, 14435 State Hwy. 13, Savage; 952-447-1322; pauhanamn.com

Plate on Main, 16323 Main Ave. SE, Prior Lake; 952-440-5500; plateonmain.com

Brindisi Burger at Brindisi’s Pub
Brindisi Burger at Brindisi’s Pub


My choice: Brindisi’s Pub, inside Chanhassen Dinner Theatres 

501 W. 78th St., Chanhassen; 952-934-1520; chanhassendt.com/brindisispub.com

 If I’m going to CDT, I’m having dinner at the theater. Come on, the whole point is that it’s dinner and a show! The chicken is their famous item (with wild rice, naturally), but my secret tip is to hang out at the pub and get a $6 burger or prime rib on Saturdays. 

Greater Minnesota

Mayo Civic Center in Rochester

Chester’s Kitchen & Bar, 111 Broadway Ave. S., Suite 108, Rochester; 507-424-1211; chesterskb.com

Pescara, 150 S. Broadway Ave., Rochester; 507-280-6900; pescarafresh.com

Historic Arts and Theater (HART) District in Duluth

Hanabi Japanese Cuisine, 110 N. First Ave. W., Duluth; 218-464-4412; hanabimn.com

Va Bene, 734 E. Superior St., Duluth; 218-722-1518; vabenecaffe.com

Zeitgeist Restaurant & Bar, 222 E. Superior St., Duluth; 281-722-9100; zeitgeistarts.com