Twin Cities Restaurant Guide


Important announcement: we love to eat!

And we’re back atcha with a detailed list of all our favorite places to eat in the Twin Cities.

Whether you are visiting, new here, or a long-time resident who panics every time you actually get a night out and then can only think of the same two restaurants to go to…well, we have some food finds for you.

Like, amazing places you can go and people will deliver food and drinks to you and you absolutely don’t have to have anything to do with making them. Sure, we’re predominantly a recipe blog over here, but now we want to tell you (ask you? kindly demand?) to go ahead and check every single one of these establishments off your list because the Twin Cities has a pretty amazing restaurant scene.

This list has been a team effort – we’re not saying we have a dedicated Slack channel where all we do is tell each other where to go and what to eat but also, OF COURSE WE DO. So here’s a little round-up from all of us of these must-eat spots.

From coffee to dinner, this post lists our collective favorites for:

Is this a professional food critic’s list of the top restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul? No.

Is this a list of some of OUR favorite places? The ones that we know and love, that have our hearts, that recognize our faces because we frequent them so much? Yes!

Bless you, hungry eater in Minneapolis / St. Paul! We hope you find just what you’re looking for.


For Coffee-Ish Drinks

Penny’s Coffee

If we could permanently reside on the outdoor patio at Penny’s downtown (pictured above), we would. Tons of seating options, a grassy hill to relax on, and GLORIOUS SHADE. Sweet, sweet shade for those hot summer days.

What we order: Penny’s Cold Brew, Matcha or Golden Latte, a delicious sweet or savory crepe, and whatever beautiful pastry we see in the case.

100 Washington Ave S Minneapolis

Nina’s Coffee

Situated smack dab on Cathedral Hill in St. Paul, you can enjoy your coffee inside the beautiful library-esque Nina’s, sit outside on the sidewalk on a sunny Sunday morning, or take your jolt to go and walk around one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the Twin Cities.

What we order: Coffee coffee coffee! Latte, capuccino, Americano, espresso, whatever sounds good and makes us feel most like F. Scott Fitzgerald.

165 Western Ave N, St Paul

Sencha Tea Bar

“Want anything from Sencha?” is a very common and very important question around here. For bubble tea, tea lattes, and iced teas, this is the spot.

What we order: FOR SURE the Royal Tea Latte (hot or iced, with or without bubbles)

1692 Grand Ave, St Paul (more locations in Minneapolis)


For Drinky-Drinks

Snack Bar

Come for the drinks, stay for the snacks. Or come for the snacks, stay for the drinks? The booths are cozy, the vibe is 10/10, and you can always sneak over to Bar La Grassa across the hall when you need second dinner.

What we order: For drinks, Burch Old Fashioned or a glass of red from their beautiful wine list. For snacks, Charred Leeks, Pickled Cauliflower Salad, Schupfnudeln, and PIZZA.

800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis

Indeed Brewing Company and Taproom

So many great local breweries here in the Twin Cities but Indeed is a treat. Amazing craft beers, a beautiful patio area, and if you’re lucky (and you usually are), the Revival food truck is right around the corner.

(Also, their community-driven charitable initiative, Indeed We Can, is another excellent reason to get over there on any given Wednesday night.)

What we order: Flavorwave IPA, Pistachio Cream Ale, or the Mexican Honey Light.

711 NE 15th Ave, Minneapolis

Volstead’s Emporium

This super fun secret bar is gorgeously designed like a prohibition-era speakeasy with a tricky-to-find, hidden entrance and all. Beautiful ambience, truly excellent craft cocktails, and if you happen to get there when the house-made french onion dip is on the menu, you are in for a TREAT.

What we order: (the menu changes often but…) El Cucuy, Volstead’s Old Fashioned, New Romance

711 W Lake St, Minneapolis

Norseman Distillery

The drinks at Norseman are WILD. But in the best way. Also there’s a food truck right out front that has amazing tacos and really what more could you ever want?

What we order: Their menu changes often, so whatever funky new seasonal drink they’ve come up with is always gonna be good!

451 Taft St NE, Minneapolis

Martina

If you like your drink to not only taste good but look beautiful too, then this is your spot. The bar is small but that just means you’ll feel like a VIP.

What we order: G&T, Selene, or Martina Old Fashioned

4312 S Upton Ave, Minneapolis


For Breakfast and Brunch

A person holding a sandwich on a plate with a small salad.

French Meadow

Out of everywhere else for brunching in the Twin Cities, this is our go-to spot where we could almost just say “I’ll have the usual.” The usual being a giant breakfast burrito the size of your head.

What we order: Breakfast Burrito, Zone Omelette, or Cajun Hashbrowns – Tempeh Rueben if you’re there for lunch

1662 Grand Ave, St Paul (another location in Minneapolis)

Alma Cafe

Honestly, being at ALMA just makes you feel good. There’s a coursed dinner on the restaurant side that’s delicious, but the cafe side is airy, casual, and has breakfast all day.

What we order: Corner Store Breakfast Sandwich, Sunshine Helps Breakfast Sandwich (add bacon!), Blueberry Smoothie, House Fresh Ricotta and Toast, Bibb Lettuce Salad, and the Saffron Rice and Chickpeas.

528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis

Colossal Cafe

If you ask someone if they’ve ever been to Colossal they’ll usually just scream “THE BISCUITS!!!” and that’s all that really needs to be said.

What we order: Roasted Pork Shoulder Burrito Bowl, or Breakfast Sandwiches (on a biscuit! duh!)

2315 Como Ave, St Paul (more locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul)

Hi-Lo Diner

Modern, fun food meets an actual 1957 diner. Plus a charming patio for the better-weather days. The menu is part classic and lovable, part zany and weird and really ridiculous. The best of both worlds!

What we order: Gary Cooper (fried chicken on a donut? you can’t make this up), Huevos Rancheros, or good ol’ Pancakes

4020 E Lake St, Minneapolis


Take-Out Favorites

A wooden table is filled with large plate of sushi with sauces and drinks.

Kyoto Sushi

Just a good, basic, strip mall, neighborhood sushi spot that will make all your dynamite roll dreams come true. Takeout is the reg for us, but contrary to everything you think, the in-house all-you-can-eat deal is actually kind of amazing.

What we order: Dynamite Roll, Kyoto Roll, Dragon Roll, and maybe Vegetable Tempura if you’re feeling greedy

2100 Snelling Ave, Roseville

St. Paul Bagelry

Nothing special on the inside, other than a fresh basket of the most delicious, most life-changing Everything Bagels that you will ever sink your teeth into.

What we order: Anything on an Everything Bagel

1702 Lexington Ave N, Roseville

India Palace

Annoying day at work. Broken heart. Speeding ticket. There is no bad-day-SOS situation that an India Palace curry with paneer naan can’t fix. This is the ultimate in comfort food.

What we order: Palak Aloo is honestly life changing – but also, Shahi Paneer, Vegetable Korma, Chicken Josh, Palak Paneer, and Paneer Naan

2570 Cleveland Ave N, St Paul (multiple locations in Twin Cities)

La Tapatia

Food truck turned restaurant so you know it’s gonna be good. You can pick and choose between tacos and nachos and burritos and more, but we’re partial to a good plate of Chorizo Nachos. Recently opened a new location with more seating which can also be cute for a night out!

What we order: Chorizo Nachos and Carnitas Tacos / Fish Tacos combo

2730 E Snelling Ser Dr Ste 200, Roseville

Pizza Luce

Dubbed “Minnesota’s Best Pizza” and we’d have to 100% agree. This is an INSTITUTION in the cities and also free delivery so get on that now.

What we order: Ruby Rae and a Super Greens Salad

1183 Selby Ave, St Paul (multiple locations in Twin Cities)

Spitz

If we counted up all our Bitesquad orders at the office over the past few years, approximately 95% of them would be from Spitz. This restaurant is not exclusive to the Twin Cities and we don’t care. It’s a winner.

What we order: Street Cart Fries, Street Cart Doner, or Doner Basket (with falafel or beef/lamb)

518 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis


For Casual Lunch and Dinner

Several dishes on a restaurant table.

Hola Arepa

Another legendary spot for our team (see here). A wide array of griddled arepas stuffed to the brim, cocktails that make you swoon, and some necessary yuca fries with the famous aioli verde. YUM.

What we order: Arepas! Duh. Specifically: Slow-Roasted Pork, Hola Hot Chicken, or Black Bean and Sweet Potato PLUS a side of yuca fries

3501 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis

J. Selby’s

Calling all vegans and non-vegans and people who just really like fun food! This one is a GAME-CHANGER. So much so that it inspired one of our favorite recipes on the blog.

What we order: Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (ALWAYS, and with extra ranch), Dirty Secret Burger, or Crunchwrap

169 Victoria St, St Paul

Revival

Southern food, here you come. When the craving for fried chicken, sweet tea, fried green tomatoes, and banana cream pie strikes… this is the place. The St. Paul location is our hot spot.

What we order: Fried Chicken, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Banana Cream Pie

525 Selby Ave St. Paul (more locations in Twin Cities)

Nico’s Tacos

If you want to sit on a cute patio and eat a la carte tacos and drink margaritas with your BFFs, go here now. And by now we mean Tuesday because buy-two-get-one-free-tacos.

What we order: Barbacoa, Chipotle Camaron, or Carnitas Tacos (with a side of any of the amazing salsas)

2516 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis (location in St. Paul as well)

The Market at Malcolm Yards

A super hip food hall hosting 9 different kitchens all bringing small and unique menus to the table. You could grab food all from one place or, do what we love to do, and bounce around to try several things! It’s so hard to choose! Oh, and it’s also a very fun spot for drinks with a self-pour tap wall featuring delicious beers, wines and ciders.

What we order: Burger and ice cream at Bebe Zito, Korean Chicken Sandwich and the Cauliflower at Abang Yoli, Chicken Momos at Momo Dosa.

Tori Ramen

Our favorite ramen in all the Twin Cities. Beautiful, complex, and yet somehow effortlessly casual. A serious game-changer.

What we order: Bali Bali Ramen

603 7th St W, St Paul, MN

The Nook

Looking for the famous Juicy Lucy? Here you go! Yes, you could go to any of the amazing spots that serve it but we’re partial to the fries – er, the vibe – at the Nook (complete with vintage bowling alley downstairs).

What we order: Juicy Nookie or the Paul Molitor

492 Hamline Ave S, St Paul

World Street Kitchen

Food truck turned restaurant, resulting in counter-service fusion food at its finest. Everything is a little mind-twisty, hugely flavorful, and extremely delicious.

What we order: Bangkok Burrito or Yum Yum Rice Bowl

2743 Lyndale Ave S #5, Minneapolis

The Gnome Craft Pub

Small menu, large beer list, cozy bar for winter, and great patio for summer. Stop in the more proper restaurant for a fancy steak or lobster mac and cheese, or opt for the bar-side for poutine and wings.

What we order: Giant pretzel, Gnome Burger and the fries – oh my goodness, THE FRIES

498 Selby Ave, St Paul

Chimborazo

This gem over in Northeast serving up traditional food from Ecuador is truly not to be missed! (But you *could* miss it while driving past because it is humble little guy!) The rich coconutty sauce in the encocado is seriously drinkable and you don’t want to leave this place without the patacones (fried green plantains). We don’t dream about them every night, but most.

What we order: Churrasco, Llampingachos Con Chorizo, Shrimp Encocado, Patacones Con Queso

2851 NE Central Ave, Minneapolis

Anchor Fish & Chips

Really, truly, hands-down the best fish & chips in the Cities. FIGHT US. Just kidding, please don’t. Just eat deliciously light, crisp-battered, perfectly salty fish & chips! Since this is the real authentic Irish deal, you’ll have to ask for tartar sauce, but do not skip.

What we order: Fish & Chips, (but also sometimes a Meat Pastie!)

302 13th Ave Northeast, Minneapolis

Hai Hai

Another amazing ambience and food extravaganza from the folks behind Hola. This brightly colored oasis is full of delicious craft cocktails and fresh, bold and zippy dishes inspired by Southeast Asian street food. Order everything, is that too much? The patio is also tops!

What we order: Spring Rolls, Crispy Salt & Pepper Tofu, Beef Laab Lettuce Wraps, Hanoi Sticky Rice, and Balinese Chicken Thigh.

2121 University Ave NE, Minneapolis

Boludo

They say they are bringing “a taste of Buenos Aires to Minneapolis” and WHOO-BOY, do they deliver! The pizza is unlike anything you’ve ever had and the Argentinian empanadas will not let you down. Are you going to also grab some churro donuts and flan? Listen, you’re going to be mad if you don’t.

What we order: Empanadas! (the Carne, Pollo, and Humita ones are faves). The Campo, Peras, and Sarandano pizzas.

8 W. 38th St., Minneapolis


For Date Night

A restaurant with outdoor seating in a garden with lights.

WA Frost

Real talk: this is the best patio in all of the Twin Cities. THERE. We said it. Tucked into a charming and lush corner of old Saint Paul with the best cheese boards in town.

What we order: Charcuterie/cheese plates and of any their seafood dishes.

374 Selby Ave, St Paul

Bar La Grassa

If we had to pick one spot to say “YOU HAVE TO GO HERE” it would be Bar La Grassa. Best pastas, best wine list, best cozy date-night atmosphere. Just, honestly, best everything.

What we order: Charred Red Onion and Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Gnocchi with Cauliflower and Orange (A MUST), Pappardelle with Veal Ragu, Mushroom & Taleggio Agnolotti, Crab Ravioli.

800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis

Estelle

A Saint Paul neighborhood favorite. Pasta, tapas, housemade desserts, the coziest bar, unique and delicious cocktails… Estelle’s got it all.

What we order: Patatas bravas, the pasta with jalapeño pesto, the silky sausage rigatoni, the cheeseburger, Star Bar for dessert, and any of their specialty cocktails.

1806 St Clair Ave, St Paul

Pajarito

A refined Mexican bistro on a neighborhood corner. Kind of hip, kind of mod, kind of moody and intense? But in the most delicious and romantic way.

What we order: Queso Fundido, Elote Style Brussels Sprouts, Birria.

605 7th St W, St Paul

Young Joni

If its long list of reservations doesn’t already tell you that it’s good, then you’ll just have to take our word for it when we say this: Korean. BBQ. Pizza.

What we order: The Cauliflower, Bibim Grain Bowl, and Korean BBQ Pizza, and Tavern Pie.

165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis

Broders’ Pasta Bar

This sweet little family-owned pasta bar in South Minneapolis is and Italian gem. The pasta is always perfect, the sauces are drinkable and the wine menu has everything you need. Everything about it feels special.

What we order: Olive Ripiene, Burrata, Bucatini al Mascarpone e Ruccola, Fettucini con Gamberi, Spaghetti Bolognese, and Lemon Chicken Risotto

5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis

Mucci’s

A teeny-tiny little pasta joint with a small and thoroughly excellent menu. Adorable patio for summer and fall, and cozy tables inside for the colder months. House-made pastas, creative appetizers, and a classic Italian hand-me-down recipe for that Mucci’s red sauce… so yes, you’ll want to eat everything.

What we order: Lasagna, Bucatini (POY version here), Chicken Parm, and for surely the Hangover Kale with a hunk of focaccia for dipping.

5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis


Food In The North Suburbs

Oliver’s

A spacious, airy, and Joanna-Gainesy looking space that is supremely comfortable and ideal for long catching-up conversations. Try not to get mesmerized by watching pizzas come in and out of the woodstone fire oven.

What we order: the Oliver’s salad (POY version here!), the loaded tots, the corn dip, the burgers or fried chicken sandwiches, OR the scrambler and breakfast tacos for brunch.

159 Grass Lake Pl, Shoreview

Churchill Street

A little taste of the city food scene up here in the suburbs. Loaded with modern charm. Amazing pastries and creative, unique, fun lunch and dinner dishes.

What we order: Arancini, Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Churchill Burger, OR the Old Fashioned donut for morning times.

4606 Churchill St, Shoreview

Taste of Scandinavia

Absolute essential brunch experience for anyone living in the north suburbs. Less of a magazine vibe and more of a neighborhood bakery feel brimming with tried-and-true Scandinavian favorites.

What we order: Swedish Pancakes, Swedish Sausage Scrambler, Breakfast Croissant, Bacon Avocado Lefse Wrap, and of course, Swedish Meatballs (the best anywhere).

845 Village Center Dr, North Oaks

Tavern Grill

Kind of like a local-chain, upscale, grown-up Applebees – meaning this as a true compliment. Great place for happy hour or an outdoor dinner on their twinkle-lighty patio.

What we order: Buffalo Chicken Salad, Tavern Style Burger, Crab Artichoke Dip, and absolutely do not skip the waffle fries with the seasoned sour cream or – in true Midwestern form – one of their many varieties of housemade ranch.

3561 Lexington Ave N, Arden Hills

Namaste

A nearly-weekly takeout order for us in the colder months especially. The actual definition of comfort food. So lovely to have such amazing Indian food in our little Minnesotan suburb!

What we order: Chicken Tikka Masala, Palak Paneer or Palak Aloo, Paneer Shahi Korma, and the “Bread Basket” aka a sampler platter of all the varieties hot, steamy naan.

3673 Lexington Ave N Suite L, Arden Hills

Winkin Rooster

AKA Doug’s Place! Perfect little lunch stop with sandwiches as big as your whole head.

What we order: The California (ordering Lindsay-style will get you the aioli instead of the mayo, which is a winning swap), and the “Bjorkie” Reuben will get you a less meat, more kraut reuben that is very very yum.

3600 Lexington Ave. N, Shoreview


Do you have a favorite that’s NOT on our list? Leave it in the comments and tell us what to order. Pinky promise we will keep hunting down your good recommendations (and updating the list as necessary)!



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