Top 75 Restaurants

Greetings! Are you . . . everyone? If so, you’ve come to the right place: There is something for everyone on Minnesota Monthly magazine's list of Minnesota's top 75 restaurants. The restaurants are presented alphabetically, and you can filter the results by what you’re seeking, whether it’s outdoor seating, an unusual wine list, or a regional cuisine. This required a few judgment calls on our part. Many of these spots serve beer and cocktails, for instance, but clicking the “Beer” or “Cocktails” button below brings up restaurants with offerings we think are especially ambitious or noteworthy.

Please note this list is updated annually, so make sure to contact these locations ahead of your visit for the latest hours and details.

Researched and Written by Minnesota Monthly Editorial Team

Photograph above by Bailey Garrot

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: 6Smith

Photo 6Smith

6Smith

294 Grove Lane E.,
Wayzata
6smith.com
952-698-7900

The culinary and mixology teams at 6Smith bring finesse to this Wayzata lakeside spot, where an expansive menu is matched by the number of available seats. Their team of craftsmen source and prepare heritage products from responsible people dedicated to sustainability, integrity, and quality, making it easy to see why 6Smith was voted one of the best outdoor dining spots on Lake Minnetonka. The menu includes steak in cuts from flatiron to filet mignon, seafood (including lobster), burgers, and more.


75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Abang Yoli

Photo Kevin Kramer

Abang Yoli

501 30th Ave. SE.,
Minneapolis

3749 Nicollet Ave.,
Minneapolis
abangyoli.com
612-886-1022

A passion project that has lingered in the back of chef Jamie Yoo's head for years, Abang Yoli is built around childhood memories and the many ways food brought his family together when he was growing up in Seoul and Seattle. The menu celebrates the values and cultures of both Eastern and Southeastern Asian cuisines while providing a thoughtful approach to the modern diet. The breakthrough hit has been Korean fried chicken served with house-made pickles, kimchi slaw, and a spicy gochujang or sesame ginger garlic sauce.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: All Saints

Photo Jason DeRusha

All Saints

222 Hennepin Ave. E.,
Minneapolis
allsaintsmpls.com
612-259-7507

Sipping a Gibson, snacking on salt-and-pepper mushrooms, talking with a friend—this is city living at its finest in one of Minneapolis’ best finer-dining restaurants. This is full service with sophisticated flavors, and the main room is under the direction of Kim Tong. Along with delectable vegetable dishes—from charred cucumbers with whipped ricotta and Calabrian chilies to the addictively crispy salt-and-pepper mushrooms to the eggplant with tonnato and shishito peppers—find nicely cooked pork chops as well as juicy short ribs.

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50 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Alma

Photo Alma

Alma

528 University Ave. SE.,
Minneapolis
almampls.com
612-379-4909

There’s a reason Alma has spent nearly two decades in the upper echelon of our restaurant community, with a reputation for great service, food with integrity, and one of the best wine experiences in the Upper Midwest. Clearly, there’s a great staff, but this is the restaurant (and cafe, and hotel) that Alex Roberts built. It’s open for dinner only, and customers can anticipate a nationally recognized, seasonal tasting menu with gluten-free and vegan options upon request.

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50 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: The Copper Hen Cakery + Kitchen

Photo Andale Taqueria & Mercado

Andale Taqueria & Mercado

It’s cheap, it’s flavorful, and you don’t even have to eat beef tongue or pork stomach if you don’t want to (although you really should try the stomach tacos; they are truly fantastic). The counter-service menu is enormous. The burritos make Chipotle look like a Weight Watchers outpost, and one of the tortas (a Mexican sandwich) comes with breaded steak, chorizo, ham, and, I kid you not, sliced hot dogs. But the tacos are what really make Andale special. Since they’re all around $3, you can and should mix and match to find your favorite.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Bar La Grassa

Photo Bar La Grassa

Bar La Grassa

800 Washington Ave. N.,
Minneapolis
barlagrassa.com
612-333-3837

James Beard Award winner Isaac Becker is at the helm of this hip Italian restaurant, which serves antipasti, bruschetta, steak, and pasta. The wine list feels endless, with reds and whites perfect to pair with any of the authentic dishes. Don’t forget to save room for dessert either. From the salted caramel crespelle to the rosemary olive oil cake and the gjetost cheesecake, there is something for every level of sweet tooth.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Billy Sushi

Photo Billy Sushi

Billy Sushi

This is where the beautiful people dine on the edge of downtown and the North Loop. Billy Sushi feels like it should be in Miami, with its bumpin’ music and vibrant bar. But it’s not just a scene; Billy Tserenbat’s sushi is top tier. He brings in the highest-quality fish, and you can taste the freshness. The salmon is richer, the bluefin tuna meatier, and the yellow tail much silkier. The rolls are designed for Minnesotans, with an abundance of toppings and sauces—but the nigiri and sashimi are where it’s at for me. Come for the show, come back for the quality.

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75 Best Restaurants in Atlanta: Black Sheep Pizza

Photo Black Sheep Pizza

Black Sheep Pizza

2550 Nicollet Ave. S.,
&
600 Washington Ave. N.,
Minneapolis
blacksheeppizza.com
612-342-2625

Coal-fired pizza wasn’t really a thing in Minnesota until Black Sheep arrived on the scene, first in the North Loop and now on Eat Street. As simple as cheese and sauce or as extravagant as oyster mushrooms with smoked mozzarella, rosemary, and garlic, these are perfect pizzas for unique taste buds. And it’s the pizza I think about the most: a superb fennel sausage on a deeply flavorful, coal-fired dough. The first bite is crunchy, then chewy, then the sauce and cheese arrive. Mmmmm.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Boludo

Photo Ashley Sullivan

Boludo

1519 Como Ave. SE.,
&
2935 Girard Ave. S.,
Minneapolis
boludo.com
612-584-4152

Topping many pizza lovers’ “Best of Minnesota” lists, Boludo brings it, with an oblong-shaped personal pie that gives the perfect chew, crispy crust, and a heavy dose of sea salt. Facundo De Fraia first made his name with empanadas, the original Hot Pocket. He brings the flair of a chef who has worked with some of the best in town. Try the Puerro (leeks and gorgonzola), Espinaca (spinach and fresnos), or the ham and cheese empanadas for a true delight.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Brasa

Photo Brasa

Brasa

600 Hennepin Ave. E.,
&
812 46th St. W.,
Minneapolis

777 Grand Ave.,
St. Paul
brasa.us
612-379-3030

If my wife let me marry her again, I’d want Brasa to cater the food, and we’d toast with their signature green sauce. Chef Alex Roberts created Brasa for his kids—but it’s a delight for us all, thanks to slow-roasted meats from ethical Minnesota farms, plus Caribbean-inspired sides with a chef’s flair. Order the smoked beef with sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauce, slow-roasted pork, yams, andouille sausage, collards with smoked chicken, yucca with citrus, and creamed spinach with jalapeño.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Brunson’s Pub

Photo Brunson's Pub

Brunson’s Pub

A hidden gem on St. Paul’s Payne Avenue, Eastsiders know that Brunson’s Pub is the ideal hang. Meant to embody the neighborhood friendliness and work ethic the area is known for, Brunson’s serves a menu of items that hint at the many cultures of the neighborhood. It has a surprisingly large patio framed by tall ivy-colored walls, with some of the best sandwiches in St. Paul. A perfect burger and a pulled-bacon BLT, with a fried egg and avocado, are my favorites. You also won’t leave thirsty: Brunson’s has 20 craft beer taps along with cocktails from its longtime bartender-slash-owner.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: The Bungalow Club

Photo The Bungalow Club

The Bungalow Club

Build your own four-course Italian meal at this sophisticated spot created by one of the top pasta chefs in our region. Chef Andrew Kraft makes pasta by hand, and he’s obsessive about the details and passionate about flavors. I might choose the bright, acidic octopus-and-fennel dish to start, followed by the whole-wheat maltagliati pasta with artichokes, and finish with the juicy, crispy cornflake-crusted chicken. You’ll be super full, and the price range is reasonable for those three courses.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Brunson’s Pub

Photo Butcher & The Boar

Butcher & The Boar

901 Third St. N., Suite 195,
Minneapolis
butcherandtheboarmpls.com
612-886-1769

From day one, this concept has been popular: a modern steakhouse with incredible sausages and meats. The smell inside is an unmistakable combination of wood fire, steak, bourbon, and money. It’s not inexpensive, but the value and quality are fantastic. That Fred Flintstone-style smoked beef long rib with the spicy, sweet, sticky tabasco-molasses glaze could feed six for $56. The stuffed jalapeños take on a Thai flavor, thanks to a peanut-butter cream cheese, golden raisins, and shavings of cotija cheese.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: The Butcher's Tale

Photo Kevin Kramer

The Butcher’s Tale

1121 Hennepin Ave.,
Minneapolis
butcherstale.com
612-886-1769

Operating as an alternative steakhouse, Butcher’s Table serves New York strip steak, ribeye, and hanger steaks on the regular menu, along with a rotating menu of steak specials. Butcher’s table is fun, over-the-top, and delicious. Some fan favorites include the smoked jalapeños, stuffed with peanut butter and topped with a golden raisin marmalade; the forearm-size, sweet-and-spicy, molasses-smothered beef long rib; and the perfect sausages. The bourbon-heavy cocktail list may be the best. The classic Manhattan and old fashioned, with the restaurant’s own 120-proof, single-barrel Knob Creek, is the move at this huge bar.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Cafe Latte

Photo Cafe Latte

Cafe Latte

This cafeteria-style eatery offers salads, soups, great cakes and desserts, plus pizza and a wine bar—the ideal place to meet friends or unwind at the end of the day, offering gourmet pizzas to pair with 30-plus wines by the glass. Cafe Latte doesn’t get enough credit for its soups, offering six different types made from scratch daily with natural, healthy ingredients. The chicken salsa chili is my favorite. Beyond the delicious delicacies, they’re a leader in sustainable dining, composting their food and paper waste and committing to recycle as much as possible.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Centro

Photo Centro

Centro

1414 Quincy St. NE.,
&
2412 Nicollet Ave.,
Minneapolis

750 Cleveland Ave. S.,
St. Paul
centrompls.com
612-345-5527

Tacos, margaritas, beer-battered fish, braised beef tacos, and good times: Centro is the brainchild of industry vet and owner Jami Olson. We love the nachos tray and the underrated Centro salad. Always dreaming up new ideas, Centro launched a burger concept as well as a a delivery-slash-cloud kitchen called Hippo Pockets, dedicated to a riff on a certain national fast-food chain’s crunchy-wrap-thingy. It comes in several flavors: The original is like a beef taco, and other takes include the cheeseburger royale, the chicken bacon ranch, the Philly, the pepperoni, the chicken and waffles, plus a breakfast pocket and a s’mores dessert pocket.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Chip’s Clubhouse

Photo Chip's Clubhouse

Chip’s Clubhouse

272 Snelling Ave. S.,
St. Paul
visitchips.com
651-330-1617

Sometimes you walk into a restaurant and it just feels right. Maybe it’s the lighting, the decor, the bar, or the people working there. At Chip’s, it’s the total package. It feels right. I’m obsessed with fried pickled vegetables as a bar snack, and so they had me at fried giardiniera. The menu is all over the place. I mean, normally I’d say it’s crazy-town to have a burger, shrimp cocktail, and pasta on one menu. But here it all works so well.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Churchill St.

Photo Jason DeRusha

Churchill St.

4606 Churchill St.,
Shoreview
churchillst.com
612-466-2596

A north suburban resident wanted a city-caliber restaurant closer to home, so Carly Gatzlaff opened it herself in Shoreview. The salads are beautifully arranged on a plate instead of in a bowl—sort of a flat lay for your kale Caeser or Tuscan with apple and fennel. Try their sandwiches or the Wisconsin cheddar fondue with focaccia, a fried potato stick, broccoli, and apple slices. There’s also a small market with some of the soups they create at Churchill St., along with Sweet Science Ice Cream, Milkjam, Red Table Meats, and other high-end options.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Clancey’s Meats

Photo Clancey’s Meats

Clancey’s Meats

3804 Grand Ave. S.,
Minneapolis
clanceysmeats.com
612-926-0222

This neighborhood butcher shop is stocked with locally raised meats and a case filled with a rotating selection of sausages, pickles, charcuterie, and more. Some must-order items: The roast beef sandwich piles blush-pink roast beef on a crusty baguette and dresses it with roasted and pickled peppers, coarse-ground mustard, mayo, a judicious swipe of horseradish, and a splash of red wine vinegar.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Colita

Photo Kevin Kramer

Colita

5400 Penn Ave. S.,
Minneapolis
colitampls.com
612-886-1606

Artfully designed Tex-Oaxacan plates are a consistent delight at Daniel del Prado’s south Minneapolis outpost, Colita. Tex-Oaxacan? A mash-up of smoked meats and Mexican cuisine that focuses on regional varieties of mole, a complicated sauce combining 20 to 30 ground-up ingredients, including toasted chili peppers, tomatoes, chocolate, nuts, cinnamon, and clove. There are some showstoppers worth indulging in. The Kansas City Pork Ribs have a perfect smoke ring, with ideal acidic counterpoints in the form of pickled cucumbers and red onions. You also can’t go wrong with the cacio e pepe stacked tostadas, which combine three cheeses (melted and shaved) topped with a heavy dose of black pepper.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Demi

Photo Kevin Kramer

Demi

212 Second St. N., Suite 100,
Minneapolis
demimpls.com
612-404-1123

If Minnesota had Michelin-starred restaurants, this would be a lock for at least two stars. One of the finest tasting-menu experiences the Twin Cities can offer, Demi is helmed by the James Beard-winning Gavin Kaysen. This is a New York-, San Francisco-, Toyko-style, high-end, somewhat exclusive experience, seating about 20 people. Thus, you have to reserve well in advance. These dishes highlight Minnesota’s best ingredients as well as high-quality ones from around the world. The magic is in the combination of culinary precision and a service style that is inclusive, welcoming, and not-at-all stuffy.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Demi

Photo El Sazon

El Sazon

Inside BP, 1815 Diffley Road,
Eagan
elsazonmn.com
763-276-0654

Don’t let the location fool you. Inside this Eagan gas station, an amazing couple opened this taco shop. Stop in for some of the most authentic dishes in the metro. One of the owners, Cristian, is a Guatemala native who focuses on Latin cuisine, although he also incorporates other cultures and flavors from around the world in his dishes. El Sazon’s team is small but mighty, based on family, with the goal to help young minds develop a passion for cooking and the principle that anything you set your mind to is possible.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Estelle

Photo Kevin Kramer

Estelle

1806 St. Clair Ave.,
St. Paul
estellestp.com
651-330-9648

The service makes you smile, and the food keeps you thinking about it long after the leftovers are gone. Estelle, in St. Paul’s Mac-Groveland neighborhood, has a menu that feels like a backpacking journey through the most delicious parts of southern Europe. Sit in the separate, narrow bar, and you’re visiting Spain. The dining room is another trek, where Italian and Portuguese influences enter the conversation. Chef Jason Hansen’s version of rigatoni is bathed in a roasted red pepper sauce with extremely flavorful and bright fennel sausage and his green jalapeño-pesto radiatore.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Fhima’s

Photo Jason DeRusha

Fhima’s

40 Seventh St. S.,
Minneapolis
fhimasmpls.com
612-353-4792

Fhima’s finally gives us a reason to go into downtown Minneapolis just to eat. With arguably the best cocktails downtown, get something on fire: the Old Fashioned, the Smoke in Her Eyes, the Make It Bun Dem (a riff on a daiquiri). The food cannot be slept on either. There’s amazing bread from the mother dough that chef David Fhima brought from France, which dates back 100 years to his grandmother. African, Spanish, French, Italian influences are also all over the menu. Get these items: togarashi tempura frog legs, gnocchi with rabbit and gorgonzola cream, organic spring chicken, and lamb tagine.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Gai Noi

Photo Gai Noi

Gai Noi

1610 Harmon Place,
Minneapolis
gainoimpls.com

This is the modern version of what a casual restaurant should be. Chef Ann Ahmed has created a restaurant where you want to order everything, share everything, and linger in the lush Loring Park surroundings. Sticky rice, jeow dips, green curries, and funky papaya salads bring the spice, the sweetness, and the richness of Ahmed’s family legacy.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: The Grocer's Table

Photo Jason DeRusha

The Grocer's Table

It’s the refined yet laid-back spot this Lake Minnetonka community has been desperate for. Everything is elevated beyond expectation at Lindsay Pohlad’s café-slash-bakery-slash-restaurant. The Market sandwich is piled a mile high with salami, ham, and a sharp slice of cheddar, with a dollop of pickled vegetable giardiniera to cut right through the fat. I loved the Hot Smoked Salmon Reuben. There are so many little touches to it: the smoked bacon, the crunch from sauerkraut, the creamy remoulade on tasty caraway onion rye bread. The chocolate chip cookie has also reached legendary status in the western suburbs.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Gus Gus

Photo Kevin Kramer

Gus Gus

128 Cleveland Ave. N.,
St. Paul
gusgusmn.com
651-645-4128

Gus Gus is all gussied up in St. Paul, and it’s as delicious as it is charming. You’re going to want to start with a Jell-O shot—fancy, naturally made with bitter orange, Aperol, and bubbles, and dusted in gold. The $7 whimsy sets the stage for an absolutely delightful menu, built around small plates. There’s a reason food industry people love this place: big flavor, great seafood, and lots of small plates designed for sharing.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Hai Hai

Photo Hai Hai

Hai Hai

2121 University Ave. NE.,
Minneapolis
haihaimpls.com
612-223-8640

Huge flavors, bold cocktails—Hai Hai is a brightly colored celebration of a restaurant, and it’s hard to go wrong with James Beard Award finalist Christina Nguyen’s homage to Southeast Asian street food. Try the beef laab lettuce wraps. The crispy rice salad with red curry flavor, cucumber, and ginger hits every flavor note imaginable. And the fried potatoes are a revelation with fried garlic and shallots, plus a celery relish and tofu sauce. There’s so much attention to detail and technique here.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Handsome Hog

Photo Tj Turner

Handsome Hog

173 Western Ave. N.,
St. Paul
handsomehog.com
651-219-4013

Justin Sutherland is a nationally famous chef, but before he became a TV star, he opened Handsome Hog. While he announced in early January he plans to leave the restaurant, his mark is unmistakable. There’s sublime Southern flavor here, with quality barbecue and whiskey and terrific sauces. You can’t miss with the Combo #5: fried chicken, brisket, smoked chicken, ribs, and pulled pork. Don’t skip the whole roasted cauliflower either. Yes, it’s an entire head served in one piece, topped with a smoked sea salt and bourbon gastrique that provides sweet and spicy caramelization.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Hola Arepa

Photo Hola Arepa

Hola Arepa

3501 Nicollet Ave.,
Minneapolis
holaarepa.com
612-345-5583

From food truck to mainstay of south Minneapolis, Hola Arepa gets credit for bringing this Venezuelan sandwich to the mainstream in Minnesota. An arepa is a flat, round, unleavened patty made of cornmeal, which is cooked and stuffed with all kinds of meats, cheeses, and garnishes. Hola Arepa grills theirs until they are slightly browned and crunchy on the outside and tender and soft on the inside. Then, they split and stuff the cornmeal patties with locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, like slow-roasted Fischer Farms pork, shredded Kadejan chicken, Thousand Hills braised beef, and co-op partners’ warehouse produce.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Hyacinth Restaurant

Photos Charlie Awards and Hyacinth St. Paul

Hyacinth Restaurant

Abraham Gessesse is continuing the tradition of Hyacinth, he’s the new chef/owner taking over from Rikki Giambruno, the founder of this forward-thinking Italian restaurant in St. Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood. Here, modest ingredients are key. The celery salad is a great example of how to make a really dynamic dish out of really ordinary ingredients. The menu is tight and changes with the seasons, but pasta is Hyacinth's specialty, a taste of Northern Italy in the heart of St. Paul.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Jax Cafe

Photo Jax Cafe

Jax Cafe

1928 University Ave. NE.,
Minneapolis
jaxcafe.com
612-789-7297

Classics are classics for a reason. Want to celebrate Mom’s birthday, a kid’s graduation, or your anniversary? Go to Jax Cafe. Generations of Minnesotans have saved the restaurant’s signature “Happy 30th Birthday” or “Congratulations on Your New Job” embossed matchbooks. When it comes to food, you’re going to get the prime rib. You have to. It’s perfect. Tender, juicy, seasoned just right. The real reason to come, though, is the service, the tradition, and the underrated, gorgeous patio where you can net a rainbow trout and they’ll grill it up for dinner.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Joan's in the Park

Photo Joan's in the Park

Joan's in the Park

What happens when a local couple who met working in a steakhouse buy an old pizza place and convert it into a fine dining restaurant, without buying new kitchen equipment? You get innovation and creativity! Joan's in the Park cooks almost everything on a deck pizza oven. Susan Dunlop is the chef, and Joan Schmitt runs the wine list and greets you at the door. This hyper-local, seasonal, four-course tasting menu comes with a fabulous patio too.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Jax Cafe

Photo Kaiseki Furukawa

Kaiseki Furukawa

33 First Ave. N.,
Minneapolis
kadonomise.com
612-338-1515

One of the only true Japanese Kaiseki restaurants outside of the coasts, Kaiseki Furukawa is a temple to the art form. Ten-course dinners are all selected by chef Shigeyuki Furukawa. Nowhere else will you find dishes like bluefin tataki with cucumber, bitter melon, myoga, or dobinmushi soup with fish and mushrooms. Kaiseki does an incredible job pairing the best of traditional Japanese cooking with local ingredients, such as a beautiful dashi broth with eel and Minnesota zucchini or a rice course with ginger and homemade pickles.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Jax Cafe

Photo Jason DeRusha

Khâluna

4000 Lyndale Ave. S.,
Minneapolis
khaluna.com
612-345-5199

What a stunner of a room! Khâluna is absolutely gorgeous. The old Harriet’s Inn at 40th and Lyndale has been gutted and is all air and calm and light—a breathtaking backdrop for the lively, bright colors and bold flavors of chef Ann Ahmed’s cooking. The food is vintage Ahmed: It’s anchored in traditional Thai and Vietnamese flavors (banana blossoms, spicy rice powders, Thai chilis, coconut milk, lots of fish sauce) and then amped up, a result of her time living in California. These are not flavors for the timid, and these dishes are practically begging to be photographed.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Kim’s

Photo Roy Son

Kim’s

1432 31st St. W.,
Minneapolis
kimsmpls.com
612-540-2554

In November 2023, chef Ann Kim closed her Sooki & Mimi concept to focus on the Korean American cuisine she grew up eating. The execution is exquisite. The crunchy mung-bean pancakes are deeply flavorful yet perfectly comforting. Her Ham ’N’ Cheese “sammie” has Big Mac addictiveness. A heated stone bowl crisps the bibimbap’s bottommost rice. And the banchan, which are small, seasonal side dishes, blend tradition and inspiration.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: The Lexington

Photo The Lexington

The Lexington

1096 Grand Ave.,
St. Paul
thelexmn.com
651-289-4990

This is the best New York strip steak in the Twin Cities, alongside the bar where the St. Paul political powerbrokers and their staff can often be seen talking over an old fashioned. The Lexington grills all the steaks and chops over Minnesota hardwood, giving a smoky, slightly sweet hint to the tender, decadent meat. Smoked chicken pot pie is another iconic dish at this beautiful Grand Avenue spot.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Lolito Cantina

Photo Lolito Cantina

Lolito Cantina

Lolito Cantina presents the exciting, bold flavors of southern Mexico cuisine focused on the regions of the Yucatan, Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Puebla. This cantina homes in on what’s fresh, local, and sustainable. Naturally, it has a variety of tacos, quesadillas, and burrito bowls, and its entrees include avocado chicken, pork chops al pastor, and red and green roast fish. You won’t go thirsty either. Lolito’s bar program focuses on top-notch tequilas, mezcals, Mexican beers, and arid-climate wines. Their wildly popular margaritas are some of the best around too.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Lolito Cantina

Photo Jason DeRusha

Lolo American

233 Main St. S.,
Stillwater

175 Second St. S.,
Hudson, Wis.

The MSP Airport:
Terminal 1, Concourse F
loloamericankitchen.com
651-342-2461

One of the key restaurants responsible for Stillwater’s emergence as a food destination, Lolo American takes bar food and elevates it with a top-notch cocktail scene. Fried Brussels sprouts have fish sauce, the fries come with smoked sea salt, and the chicken wings get some cardamom and a Thai chili glaze. The LoLo Burger is a blend of short ribs and brisket, pattied up thicker than the trendiest burgers right now and topped with bacon, a sneakily spicy ghost pepperjack cheese, and balsamic.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Manny's Steakhouse

Photo Manny's Steakhouse

Manny's Steakhouse

Manny’s stature as one of the great steakhouses has long been settled, but they earn their reputation every day, with every guest they serve. A ground zero for carnivores, this upscale, always-bustling dining destination features huge portions of dry-aged beef, porterhouse, and New York strip. Whether you’re enjoying a ribeye in the dining room or a bourbon in the bar, discover the pleasures of life at the top of the food chain.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Mara

Photo Kevin Kramer

Mara

245 Hennepin Ave.,
Minneapolis
mararestaurantandbar.com
612-895-5709

From the moment you walk in, you’ll feel a different level of service. And then you’ll discover how the restaurant itself dazzles. Chef Gavin Kaysen and his team loosely describe the food at Mara as Mediterranean. You’ll adore the homemade pita that comes with impossibly creamy hummus, and you won’t want to miss out on scooping up the silky, rich, za’atar-spiced labneh with vadouvan curry cauliflower and lavash bread.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Mario's

Photo Jason DeRusha

Mario's

232 Cleveland Ave. N.,
St. Paul
mariosstp.com
651-207-5252

Can a sandwich bread be transcendent? At a modest St. Paul sandwich shop, it certainly is. Evan Vranian toured sandwich shops in New York to home in on the perfect Italian white sesame seed bread. It’s crispy outside, airy inside, and dense enough to hold up a series of impressive sandwiches. The turkey-slash-broccolini is a winner; spicy giardiniera punctuates the classic Italian combo of mortadella, soppressata, and salami. Vranian also crafts a glorious pan pizza dough with just enough crunch and a red sauce with just enough zip.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Martina

Photo Martina

Martina

Italy and Argentina meet in beautiful ways at this Linden Hills seafood spot. Don’t miss the spicy tuna tiradito, a South American take on raw fish. The meatiness came balanced with the brightness of lime, a pop of Fresno chili spice, and the explosive red color of hibiscus. Their fusilli, served with an extremely tender lamb shoulder, will take you on a delightful flavor journey. A hint of mint follows each bite of earthy tomato pasta, then turmeric reveals itself in the lamb. My favorite side dish has to be the charred cucumber, scorched on the open-fire grill, then tossed in chili oil and fish sauce and topped with feta.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Marty’s Deli

Photo Jimmy Eagle

Marty’s Deli

400 Lowry Ave. NE.,
Minneapolis
martysdeli.com
612-886-3952

Two indisputable facts: We don’t have enough truly great sandwich shops in the Twin Cities, and we don’t eat enough things on focaccia. Marty’s Deli capably takes care of both. In the early stages of the pandemic, Marty’s—named for founder and sandwich maven Martha Polacek—started operating out of the Bar Brava kitchen in Minneapolis, gaining a following thanks to Polacek’s creative sandwich combos and delightful house-made focaccia, perfect for breakfast or lunch.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Meritage

Photo Meritage

Meritage

The best French brasserie in the Upper Midwest, whether you’re in the full-service restaurant or hanging out in the casual oyster bar with a glass of carefully selected French wine, Meritage is what any restaurant should be. It boasts attentive service, deceptively complex dishes like cassoulet, and the best roasted chicken in town. The Kobashi oysters were incredible, meaty goodness. The Chef Creek has a gorgeous shell and beautiful flavor, and the Peacock Cove is a salty dream straight from the sea. The whole experience is perfection, laid-back yet polished.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: The Monte Carlo

Photo The Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo

219 Third Ave. N.,
Minneapolis
montecarlomn.com
612-333-5900

Rooted in tradition, Monte Carlo has been here since 1906. This landmark Minneapolis establishment offers classic American dishes, from steaks to seafood to their famous dry-rubbed chicken wings (a must). Get a Monte Manhattan or an old fashioned from the copper-topped bar. It’s also one of the few places in the state serving liver and onions, if that’s your thing. Excellent outdoor patio and some nice private spaces too.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Mr. Paul’s Supper Club

Photo Terry Brennan

Mr. Paul’s Supper Club

Mr. Paul’s Supper Club has an electric New Orleans sensibility. It’s loud. It’s unpredictable. And it’s so much fun you can’t wait to come back. The food is a wild blend of Cajun and Creole classics with Minnesotan supper club favorites. Get a sirloin steak or a filet mignon—because you’re in Edina, after all. Looking for something lighter? It would be easy to assemble a meal to share just from the appetizers. On paper, pairing the relish tray with a platter of chicken-fried Boudin balls might seem strange, but trust me. This Cajun treat is made up of rice, pork, and cheese, served with a punchy remoulade sauce.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Mucci’s

Photo Tj Turner

Mucci’s

Mucci’s is a delight, with great ingredients and incredible technique, plus highly talented chefs sourcing inspiration from owner Tim Niver’s Italian mother. The fried-dough Montanara pizzas are a favorite. Try the Camilla, with fried chicken and peppadew peppers. The lasagna is amazing too. And the hangover kale is another classic—pancetta, garlic, chilies, pecorino, lemon. Sit at the chef’s bar, where you can watch the amazing food as it comes out of this tiny St. Paul kitchen.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Myriel

Photo Jason DeRusha

Myriel

470 Cleveland Ave. S.,
St. Paul
myrielmn.com
651-340-3568

The technique and flavors are world-class at chef Karyn Tomlinson’s Myriel in St. Paul. You can feel her connection with farmers and producers; her food truly showcases the ingredients. The full tasting menu has drawn a lot of critical acclaim, for good reason, but Myriel is also a neighborhood restaurant, with a robust a la carte menu that is fresh, seasonal, and executed to perfection. The room itself is soft and delicate, just like the food. The menu often changes, but when we went, we marveled at the chilled zucchini soup, with pine oil that tasted like it came right out of the garden, and the jet-black vinegar caramel with precisely seared duck medallions.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Nico’s Tacos

Photo Nico's Tacos

Nico’s Tacos

2516 Hennepin Ave. S.,
Minneapolis

2260 Como Ave.,
St. Paul
nicostacobar.com
612-345-7688

Chef Alejandro Victoria brings recipes from his homeland in Michoacan to your plate. After studying business and the culinary arts in college, and after working for many years in the biz, Victoria decided it was time to cultivate his family recipes while highlighting the extensive street food culture Mexico is known for. Start with a flight of house-made salsas and one of the not-so-standard margaritas, flavored with raspberry, cucumber, or spicy chile de arbol.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: The Nook

Photo The Nook

The Nook

492 Hamline Ave. S.,
St. Paul
crnook.com
612-345-7688

With an old-school vibe complete with a bowling alley, the Nook is the home of the Paul Molitor burger, which has achieved icon status. This is a Juicy Lucy-style burger featuring a perfectly seasoned, ground-chuck patty stuffed with pepper jack cheese. It’s always served with some of Minnesota’s best, fresh-cut fries, which the Nook blanches overnight in a water-and-vinegar mix to take out some of the starch. That makes them crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Oro by Nixta

Photo Kevin Kramer

ORO BY Nixta

1222 Second St. NE,
Minneapolis
nixtampls.com
612-345-7688

Oro by Nixta presents modern, creative, fine-dining Mexican in a casual environment from chef Gustavo Romero. Nixtamalized corn tortillas are the base for glorious seasonal tacos, and creative moles and salsas provide depth and flavor from one of the most talented Latino chefs in Minnesota.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Owamni

Photo Kevin Kramer

Owamni

420 First St. S.,
Minneapolis
owamni.com
612-444-1846

Chef Sean Sherman and his then-partner Dana Thompson achieved something that had never been done before: a restaurant that connects non-colonized ingredients with the culinary techniques and upscale dining expectations of today. That commitment to Indigenous ingredients means no beef, chicken, or pork; no dairy, no wheat flour, no cane sugar. It also means something out of our culinary comfort zone—but take that first bite, and you’ll think only in terms of what it is: delicious.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Parlour

Photo Parlour

Parlour

730 Washington Ave. N.,
Minneapolis

267 Seventh St. W.,
St. Paul

and other locations throughout the Twin Cities, such as Target Center, U.S. Bank Stadium, and Huntington Bank Stadium
parlourbar.com
612-354-3135

The Parlour burger has reached icon status in the state—the originator of the double smash burger trend that so many top chefs have tried to duplicate on their menus. That’s chuck, ribeye, and brisket, caramelized and crispy and drenched in white American cheese. The Minneapolis restaurant is also known for its innovative craft cocktail list, and the St. Paul location functions as a standalone restaurant with a great brisket grilled cheese and a couple of diner-style egg dishes.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Petite León

Photo Neil Bertucci

Petite León

3800 Nicollet Ave.,
Minneapolis
petiteleonmpls.com
612-208-1247

Chef Jorge Guzmán’s style of cooking is distinctly his. His finesse with food came from boyhood observations in his grandmother’s kitchen in Merida, Yucatan. He draws from French, Spanish, African, and Middle Eastern traditions, among others. The menu changes often, but it combines familiar dishes (Caesar salad, a cheeseburger) and dishes where Guzmán’s creative talents are on full display. If there’s pollo al carbon, get it!

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Porzana

Photo Kevin Kramer

Porzana

200 First St. N.,
Minneapolis
porzanampls.com
612-489-6174

Daniel del Prado takes the inspiration and format he created when he opened Burch Steak and infuses it with his Argentinian heritage. Yes, there is great steak, perfectly cooked to temperature, often giving you the choice of 6-ounce or 12-ounce. But there’s also so much more, from a great beef tartare to homemade pastas so richly sauced you’ll be licking the bowl clean. There’s also a terrific wine list with rarely seen selections from South America, plus gorgeous cocktails and beautiful desserts that make Porzana special.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: P.S. Steak

Photo Kevin Kramer

P.S. Steak

510 Groveland Ave.,
Minneapolis
psmpls.com
612-886-1620

The newest entry in a crowded steakhouse scene in Minnesota, P.S. Steak elevates the genre. The room is elegant and masculine, the kitchen is staffed with high-end fine-dining veterans, and the service is warm and smart. The Denver-cut steak made its Twin Cities debut here, modestly priced and intensely marbled. The sides are unique too. Instead of the hashbrown potatoes, do the cheesy, whipped aligot, a combination of fondue and mashed potatoes.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Punch Pizza

Photo Punch Pizza

Punch Pizza

Highland Park, Eden Prairie, Lake Street,
Northeast Minneapolis, Wayzata,
Grand Avenue, Woodbury, Vadnais Heights,
Eagan, Roseville, and Apple Valley
punchpizza.com
612-223-7200

Punch Pizza has been slow and methodical spreading throughout the Twin Cities, because the ownership didn’t want to cheapen the quality by growing too quickly. They’ve succeeded. The perfect example of Neapolitan pizza, each Punch pie has dough so good you’d eat it without any toppings. It’s cooked for 90 seconds in a 900-degree oven, with top-notch ingredients. Choose one of the classic pies, like the Margherita, the Napoli, or the Borgata, or build your own. You can also order gluten-free crust. The salads are as craveable as the pies, and the Punch salad with prosciutto and pine nuts is a favorite.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Quang

Photo Quang

Quang

A new generation leads one of the original Vietnamese restaurants in Minneapolis, and Quang is carrying on a tradition. The pho is top-tier: deep, rich broth, with fresh and juicy meats. And the energy here is high. Try the restaurant’s Pho Tai Bo Vien, featuring fresh-sliced beef and meatballs. Or go beyond the pho menu to explore a rich selection of platters, like com ga xao and com suong (grilled pork chops).

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Red Cow

Photo Danielle Gernes

Red Cow

Minneapolis, St. Paul, North Loop, Uptown, and Rochester
redcowmn.com
612-238-0050

Today, Red Cow seems so obvious, but a decade ago the idea of pairing high-quality wine, cocktails, and beer with elevated burgers seemed ridiculous. Would people spend more to go to a full-service version of Smashburger? Aren’t there enough places for burgers? Answer: Yes, we’d pay more for that 60/40 burger, and no, there are never enough places for burgers. Red Cow has become a cool date spot, a family-dinner standby, and a busy brunch destination. A location recently opened in Wayzata too.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Red Wagon Pizza

Photo Jason DeRusha

Red Wagon Pizza

5416 Penn Ave. S.,
Minneapolis
redwagon-mpls.com
612-259-7147

From modest roots as a farmers market brick-oven pizza maker, Pete and Jaquie Campbell have become pizza-making powerhouses. They are nationally famous thanks to appearances on Guy Fieri’s TV shows and also regionally exceptional. The eponymous Red Wagon Pizza sings with sopressata and sausage, and the banh mi delights with soy-glazed pulled pork and ginger-pickled carrots. But it’s more than a pizza place: There’s a great wine and beer list, and surprisingly good pasta makes this one of my favorite restaurants in town.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Revival

Photo Jason DeRusha

Revival

4537 Nicollet Ave.,
Minneapolis

8028 Minnetonka Blvd.,
St. Louis Park

525 Selby Ave.,
St. Paul
revivalrestaurants.com
651-340-2355

Thomas Boemer's Southern fried chicken was on the front edge of a poultry-palooza in local restaurants, and today there are few foods I crave more—impossibly juicy, perfectly crispy. Some like the fire of the “Nashville Hot,” but I prefer the flavor of the O.G. Boemer is a legit barbecue chef, as well as a chicken savant, so savor the brisket, burnt ends, and pork ribs too. Don’t sleep on the double smash burger either.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Saint Dinette

Photo Jason DeRusha

Saint Dinette

It’s challenging to go to Saint Dinette and not order the legendary cheeseburger. If you must, get it as an appetizer, cut it into small pieces, and share it. Same with the bologna sandwich, which is a showstopper. But we urge you to explore, because the rest of this menu is truly top-notch. Seasonal flavors punctuate top-tier pastas. There’s one of my favorite steak tartares in town. And the service is always friendly. Saint Dinette evokes a cafe in Montreal, right by the Mississippi River in good ol’ St. Paul.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Sanjusan

Photo Sanjusan

Sanjusan

Sanjusan is one of my sneaky-favorite restaurants in town, with flavors you wouldn’t ever think work together but do. Japanese meets Italian. Think burrata with nori and ginger, squid ink seafood pappardelle, the Isaac Becker pizza with raw tuna on a spicy tomato base. Chef Peter Thillen doesn’t get a lot of headlines, but given his delicate and creative hand in the kitchen, he deserves them.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Sidebar at Sonora Grill

Photo Jason DeRusha

Sonora Grill

3300 Lake St. E.,
or
1414 Nicollet Ave.,
Minneapolis
sonorampls.com
612-351-4030

Sonora Grill is pumping out incredibly delicious food, with virtually everything made from scratch, including the salsas and sauces. I’m in love with their eggplant fries, originally just served inside the bocadillos (sandwiches). They’re thick-cut and coated with a thick batter. Incredible. I can’t bring myself to say I want a “Caramelo,” so I just call them tacos. And they’re so good. The tongue tacos are among the best I’ve ever had—tender, and topped with chipotle salsa, cilantro, and onion. The pork guajillo has a spicy salsa verde, and the shrimp taco is killer, with a red tempura batter, cilantro aioli, and cabbage.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Spoon & Stable

Photo Spoon & Stable

Spoon & Stable

One of the best fine-dining locations in the Twin Cities, Spoon and Stable is focused on the seasonality of the Midwest and the roots of the local culture. Food & Wine and James Beard winner Gavin Kaysen created this spot, offering French-American dishes like roasted steelhead trout, wild nettle gnocchi, and dry-aged duck breast. There is also a lengthy list of delectable American and New World wines, with over 100 glasses to choose from.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: StepCHLD

Photo Kevin Kramer

StepCHLD

24 University Ave. NE., Suite 100,
Minneapolis
stepchld.com
612-354-7409

The menu at Stepchld (no “i”) has Ethiopian flavors, Indian bread with Middle Eastern spices, Argentinian shrimp and grits, and a massive short rib with an African glaze. And all this cooking has happened with a couple fryers and a flat-top griddle in the narrow space that used to be the northeast Minneapolis burger and brew spot JL Beers. The Twin Cities burger brigade is buzzing over the Cooper Burger, a double smash burger that is both juicy and crispy. It’s messy with sharp, melty, white American from Philadelphia-based Cooper Cheese and chipotle mayo on a potato bun. Get it, cut it, share it, and save room for the entrees.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Surly Beer Hall

Photo Surly Beer Hall

Surly Beer Hall

520 Malcolm Ave. SE.,
Minneapolis
surlybrewing.com
763-999-4040

Pre-party any occasion in the incredible Surly Beer Hall with a Furious or, if you’re lucky, the spicy Surly Hell, and then explore a truly remarkable menu serving high-quality food at high volume. The farro grain bowl is one of my top 50 dishes in the Twin Cities. That’s so silly, I know, but the nutty grain paired with smoked salmon, crunchy pepitas, and a vibrant vinaigrette gets me every time. The hog frites are decadent. Upstairs, the New Haven-style thin-crust pizza is charred—not burned—and totally top-notch.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Taqueria y Birrieria Las Cuatro Milpas

Photo Taqueria y Birrieria Las Cuatro Milpas

Taqueria y Birrieria Las Cuatro Milpas

One of my favorite places to order dip-ready “red tacos” in the Twin Cities is Taqueria y Birrieria Las Cuatro Milpas. Outside, you’ll find a private parking lot. Inside, you’ll feel the welcoming atmosphere, see the large menu, and taste authentic Mexican cuisine. The tacos, burritos, and tostadas all come with high-quality flavors and meats. But be sure to try the famous Birrieria, a dish of stewed meat seasoned with chili pepper. It’s in the name after all!

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Tilia

Photo Tilia

Tilia

2726 43rd St. W.,
Minneapolis
tiliampls.com
612-354-2806

Always evolving, chef Steven Brown’s neighborhood restaurant is entering a new, more mature chapter. Tilia is always packed in Linden Hills for its fish taco torta and the delicious cheeseburger, but, now open mainly dinner hours, Tilia is leaning into the talent of its kitchen with a seasonal endive salad, seafood lemongrass pomodoro, and a gorgeous pork coppa steak. One of the first restaurants to showcase craft beer from around the country, Tilia is among the few not to go to all Minnesota beers. It strives to be the best neighborhood restaurant in town, drawing inspiration from all over the world.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Travail

Photo Travail

Travail

4134 Hubbard Ave. N.,
Robbinsdale
travailkitchen.com
763-535-1131

Travail’s chefs are also the servers, preparing famously elaborate tasting menus with tableside culinary antics and curated beverage pairings inspired by French cooking techniques and seasonal local ingredients. The multicourse fine dining is wild and crazy, and a chef’s table in the middle of the kitchen means a whole new experience for some diners. If you’re looking for something more casual, the Travail Collective also includes Nouvelle Brewing and Dream Creamery.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Union Hmong Kitchen

Photo Jason DeRusha

Union Hmong Kitchen

Chef Yia Vang tells a distinctive story of Hmong food and is so often in the mix when the nation’s top food awards come around. Union Hmong Kitchen serves the food Vang loves to eat: incredible course-ground Hmong sausages, sticky purple rice, and amazing sauces, like Kua Txob (a hot pepper sauce) and Krunchy Chili Oil. With casual counter service, Union Hmong Kitchen has a presence in the North Loop’s Graze food hall and in a standalone restaurant at Lyndale and Lake. And look for it in local sports stadiums.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: World Street Kitchen

Photo World Street Kitchen

World Street Kitchen

2743 Lyndale Ave. S.,
Minneapolis
eatwsk.com
612-424-8855

It’s everything the modern diner wants: high-quality food and innovative flavors, served quickly at competitive price ranges. And what should you eat? I love the red curry chicken burrito; it’s got great heat without being overwhelmingly spicy—and, seriously, it could feed two people. I just about died (literally and figuratively) from another favorite: the MFC Biscuit Sandwich. Lightly battered fried chicken breast drenched in Moroccan spices, the flavors here are insane and intense—not spicy but smoky. There’s also a spicy feta spread on top, a carrot-and-preserved-lemon salad, and a delicious white cheddar biscuit they make in the kitchen.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Young Joni

Photo Young Joni

Young Joni

165 13th Ave. NE.,
Minneapolis
youngjoni.com
612-345-5719

The hype over chef Ann Kim’s Young Joni, a follow-up to her incredibly successful Pizzeria Lola, has been almost as hot as that copper pizza oven in the center of this new northeast Minneapolis eatery. Walk outside, enter through the alley, and start the night with a signature cocktail in the speakeasy. There are great pizzas, globally inspired share plates, craft cocktails, and a sexy, sophisticated ambiance. Not that you couldn’t bring the kids, but you’d be more inclined to get a babysitter.

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75 Best Restaurants in Minnesota: Zen Box Izakaya

Photo Kevin Kramer

Zen Box Izakaya

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

Choose from-scratch Japanese comfort food, featuring shareable small plates and, of course, ramen. The menu says “must try” next to the tuna poke dish, and it lives up to the billing. The beautiful, bright-red tuna with a hint of sesame oil, served with radish sprouts and sesame seeds on a bed of greens, is simple perfection. In the summer months, take your meal outside and sit on the patio.

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