Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers.
It’s easy to imagine White Bear Lake in its resort days; Mark Twain included it in his book Life on the Mississippi. Today it’s home to 24,000 people, and a surprisingly flourishing food scene.
Pizzeria Pezzo: I’m an unabashed Chicago-style deep-dish pizza lover (Lou Malnati’s is the best), and Pizzeria Pezzo is number one in Minnesota. The sauce is chunky and not too sweet, the hand-stretched crust is golden brown, and the fennel sausage on The Wrigley has enough flavor to keep the whole thing in balance.
Cup and Cone: For more than 40 years, it’s been impossible to leave this tiny walk-up ice cream parlor without a smile. The prices are astonishingly low: kiddie cones are 47 cents! Three generations of Johnstones have owned this gift to the community.
PHOTO BY TJ TURNER
White Bear Lake is a charming little town a stone’s throw from the Twin Cities with a collective of shops and eateries just perfect for strolling.
Acqua: This lovely Italian restaurant serves meals made from fresh, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients that are as stunning as its lake views.
Red Lantern Sushi: Sushi aficionados rave about the quality of the fish at this nondescript gem. And the cozy interior is especially conducive to a romantic date night.
Old Meets New in White Bear Lake: The revitalized downtown balances trendy city life with laid-back lake culture