Haskell's is an long-time fixture for pub grub and spirits in Excelsior. It's loud, rowdy, casual, worn around the edges, and almost always busy. Burgers, sandwiches salads, appetizers at modest prices (for Excelsior) pull 'em in and keep 'em there until the wee hours. They claim to have a great view of the water but there are 2 other places even closer to the lake so it must be the food. Or something. Anyway, it's great fun with a group, the terrace is nice in the summer, and it's been there forever. Lunches are probably quieter than evenings, and they serve breakfast in the summer. See the website for hours/menu/etc. If you're looking for a quiet evening with your significant other, this is not your place.
Just for clarity, Haskell's is also a line of local local liquor stores (there is one connected to this location) so if needing directions ask for the BAR in Excelsior. Nobody ever calls it "Port of Excelsior" that I know of.
Favorite Dish: You go here because it's, well, Haskell's, for cryin' out loud. It's an Excelsior thing.
Dunn Bros. is a mostly local family of coffeehouses and this one is particularly nice: roomy, comfortable and a fireplace for warming frozen feet. That's a gotta-have in Minnesota! They roast daily for maximum freshness (smells great!!) and they also have good sandwiches, pastries and desserts. Nice patio outside, free wifi, and live music now and again. Small persons and dogs (patio only) welcome!
Maynard's is another of our Excelsior favorites for its very large (and busy!) patio on the water, and good, reasonable bar food. It's also a favorite with the Lake Minnetonka boating crowd as it you can park your party barge right outside. Casual and fun, people come in everything from ice-fishing flannel (winter) to swimsuit cover-ups and flip-flops (patio; summer) to sport coats. The interior is couple of nice notches above your standard bar with large windows, booths, tables and high-tops, and the waitstaff is cheerful, young and energetic. Great place. Family friendly.
Right next door to Bayside Grille (see my Nightlife tip), Maynard's is a little livelier and prices are a little lower. One word of warning: the parking lot can be a zoo on nice summer days so you may have to find a spot on the street, and valet service is offered in the evenings. Don't park in Bayview's gravel lot across the street as they'll have you towed if they catch you wandering next door to their competition.
Favorite Dish: Good bar food, entrees and cocktails by Lake Minnetonka
I'll admit that we haven't eaten here yet - only had a pint or two - but I'll revise this after we do. This is a very nice upscale Irish pub with about 16 beers on tap - including Guinness, Harp and Smithwick's - plus Irish whiskeys and a healthy wine list. The menu includes standard fare such as Fish 'n Chips and Shepherd's Pie along with appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, pasta and a meat/fish entrees. There are leather snugs for intimate dining, cozy seating in the lower level, and sidewalk tables in the summer. Family friendly and has a kid's menu, too. It sees generally good reviews so I wouldn't hesitate to give it a go.
Check the website for menu, pricing, hours, schedule of special events, and some nice shots of the interior. There's no parking area so you'll either have to hope for a place on the street or use one of the nearby public lots: look for signs on your way into town.