Places to eat in Minneapolis

  • Sawatdee
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  • Sawatdee
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Most Viewed Restaurants in Minneapolis

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    Broder's Pasta Bar: Un po' di Italia

    by goodfish Updated Jul 9, 2014

    This place has been around - and getting great reviews - for 20 years so I’ve no idea what took us so long. I chose it for my pasta-loving spouse’s birthday, and he’s still talking about it so one more for the “Go here!” list.

    The details:
    • Warm, casual, trattoria-like dining room that’s lively without the din drowning out conversation: yay for that!

    • Menu includes appetizers, a few salads, and several dozen from-scratch pasta, risotto and gnocchi selections, some which change seasonally. Our choices:

    Lightly battered snap peas with homemade lemon and chive oil
    Risotto with fresh peas, fennel sausage, grilled artichokes and parmigiano
    Pasta with greens, roasted chicken, almonds, asparagus and prosciutto with balsamic vinegar and mascarpone
    Flourless chocolate cake and crème anglaise
    Cheesecake with raspberry coulis
    All were winners (!!!) including the basket of chewy Italian loaf and fresh, crispy flatbread.

    • Good and affordable wine list; by the glass, 1/2 and full bottle

    • Very friendly and attentive waitstaff; no “attitude”!

    The only downside is that they do not take reservations so waits can be long; kill time on the pretty patio (small-plate menu; no pasta) or at Terzo, their wine bar just a couple of doors away. Parking is also limited so be prepared to find a spot on the street. No time to waste? They have a nice deli, Broder’s Cucina Italiana, right across the street for grabbing all sorts of goodies to go or noshing at a small scattering of tables.

    I'm not including a per-person price as tabs can swing widely depending on number of courses and beverage choices/amounts. See the website for menu, prices and hours:

    http://broders.com/pasta-bar/

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    Travail Kitchen & Amusements & The Rookery: Fun, funky, fabulous food

    by goodfish Updated Jun 23, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    NOTE: Travail is open again at its new, bigger-and-better Robbinsdale location. Travail still stars its tasting menu, and The Rookery is an attached cocktail bar with some crazy-creative drinks, ala carte micro plates and tasting sampler of its own. We haven't gotten to the new digs yet but the kids in the kitchen are still getting rave reviews. Will update photos when we've managed to get in the door.

    Travail: a painful or laborious effort

    Our experience here was anything but: probably the best meal I’ve had in the Minneapolis area. That should come as no surprise from an outfit that was Bon Appetite’s 4th place winner of Best New Restaurants in 2011, and a semi-finalist for a 2012 James Beard Award. Even better, it’s completely unpretentious: come as you are. The dining area is narrow, plain, crowded, noisy and you will most likely be seated at a long communal table, at the bar or elbow-to-elbow at a clutter of smaller tables. No tablecloths, fine china, crystal, bow-tied waitstaff or other nonsense: it’s all about the food - and that’s where the laborious piece comes in.

    Travail’s genius is in the art of small-plate dining. Eclectic, unlikely, surprising combinations of flavors, textures and color, each one beautifully presented, are whipped up by a young and energetic staff in an open kitchen. The 10-course tasting menu - which is really more like 13 to 15 courses with some freebies thrown in - will keep you busy for several hours, and a nice beer and wine list help cheerfully endure a long wait for seats. Nope, they don’t take reservations and the line forms a good hour before they unlock the doors. If you’re lucky you can snag a couple of barstools in the back of the room but if not you'll be standing around outside: bring a book. Going on a weeknight or at a later hour on the weekends can get your name on the blackboard - and a plate in front of you - a little faster.

    Picky eaters, lovers of quiet, romantic meals, budget diners, all-you-can-eat types and children: not your kind of place.

    Everyone else: well worth the drive to this otherwise unremarkable suburb.

    Closed Mondays, Sundays and for occasional private events

    https://www.facebook.com/Travailkitchen

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-rookery-robbinsdale

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/travail-kitchen-and-amusements-robbinsdale

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    Twin Cities Gastrotrucks: Meals on Wheels

    by goodfish Updated Jan 28, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lovers of street food, rejoice!

    In 2010 the city of Minneapolis finally got over itself and gave a thumbs-up for the first street-vending permits issued since pushcarts were banned in 1895. The movement promptly exploded with St. Paul and many of the suburbs following suit, and the fleet of mobile kitchens has been so successful that they’ve driven hordes of urban lunchers out of skyway fast-food joints and corporate cafeterias, and some downtown restaurants out of business. They’ve also been a boon for our recent storm of microbreweries whose taprooms aren't licensed for food; rotating schedules of gastrotrucks serve up great eats to soak up equally great brews.

    There’s even a food truck fest!
    http://mnfoodtruckfair.com

    Vietnamese, Cajun, Mexican, Japanese, Indian, African, Italian, Middle Eastern…there’s every sort of ethnicity you can think of as well as burgers, wings, dogs, pizza, cupcakes and other hand-held staples. Some of the trucks go into hibernation during the colder months but others stay on the road all winter long; grab some takeway for a picnic in your hotel room or a downtown food court if it’s too chilly on the street.

    Find out more about our gastrotrucks at any of these websites:

    http://mspfoodtrucks.com/minneapolis-food-trucks/

    http://www.citypages.com/microsites/food-truck-map/

    http://heavytable.com/minneapolis-st-paul-street-food-truck-directory/

    Oh, and bring cash ‘cause not all of them take credit cards.

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    Pig Ate My Pizza: Oink!

    by goodfish Written Oct 15, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is another eclectic, open-kitchen, food-theater concept by the folks who own Travail down the street (it’s in their former location) but with a pork-and-pie theme. Pizzas of the porcine ilk may include Cider Ham Rules, Ray Charles (pork belly, BBQ sauce, gouda and peaches), Piggy (4 kinds of pork), BLT, Green Eggs and Ham, and/or the ever-popular pepperoni with special creations rotating in and out on a whim. Not big on pig? Margarita, cheese, seafood, veggie and other pies are on the board for non-carnivors.

    Crusts under any of these creations range from buttery brioche (Piggy) to cracker (cheese) with a couple in between, and there’s a short list of appetizers to keep you happy while you wait. Highly recommended is the tasting menu for two or four: a choice of one pie for each diner plus courses of little, creatively plated apps and desserts fore and aft.

    It’s loud, busy and crowded, and they don’t take reservations ‘cause they don’t have to. Be at the door before the opening hour or be prepared for waits up to several hours. Going later at night can help avoid the longest queues too. Much of the seating is "community style" so there's a good chance you'll be elbow-to-elbow with other diners.

    There's a cheese pizza for kids, a decent wine and beer list, and pies may be ordered for take-out. I'm not noting price as that'll vary depending on how many courses you order; see their Facebook page for some snaps of the menu board. Very casual.

    Favorite Dish: The tasting option: you never know what crazy little plates are going to come out of the kitchen on any given night.

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    Bombay Bistro South: Great Indian Food Buffet

    by nxlink Updated Mar 27, 2013

    The Bombay Bistro South Indian is located at 820 Marquette Ave near Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. There is a daily lunch buffet which offers enormous value for the price of $11 (this was in 2010).
    A variety of spicy and mild entres are available with great soups and appetizers. I am a lover of Indian cusine and at this price, the buffet was an outstanding value.

    Buffet hours:
    M-F 11Am to 2PM
    S-Sun 12 - 3PM

    phone number is 612-312-2800

    Favorite Dish: Chicken Vindaloo. So hot and so rich with all the spice of South Indian cooking.

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    Uptown Eats/combined tips

    by goodfish Updated Mar 25, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You won't go hungry (or thirsty) in Uptown. Not a chance. Penny-pinching to upscale, ethnic to American, there's something for every taste and budget. There's too many to list so I'm picturing just a few of the more popular options, and covered a couple more - Stella's and Sushi Tango - in separate tips. Yum.

    See the the attached website for a complete list and a map for locating them.

    One word of warning: Uptown traffic is intense and parking can be a headache. Calhoun Square (corner of Hennepin and Lake) has a pay ramp and if you're willing to walk, you can park free on the side streets a few blocks off the main hub. Calhoun Square is home to a number of restaurants - Chiang Mai Tai, Cafeteria, Famous Dave's and Sushi Tango among them - so the ramp is convenient if choosing one of those options.

    Great ribs, live blues Thai this? Uptown, Minneapolis Skybar is on the roof
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    McCormick and Schmick's: Best downtown Happy Apps!

    by goodfish Updated Mar 25, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I don't usually recommend chain outfits but we've consistently had great food here. It's all about seafood: lots and lots of it. We come here for special-occasion meals in the restaurant or for appetizers in the bar when we don't want to blow the budget. I haven't done lunch here but it's big with the downtown professional crowd. The dinner menu is pricey but everything we've had here has justified what we've paid for it so we've walked away full and happy. Yep, they have steaks for turf versus surf lovers too.

    The REAL hot items here are $3.00 - $6.00 weekday Happy Hour appetizers. They have a rotating list of them including 1/2 pound cheeseburgers, buffalo wings, quesadillas, fish tacos, etc. that are yours for a $3.00 - $6.00 apiece with a drink order. To wash those down, domestic and craft beers, well drinks, wine and select cocktails are attractively priced at $4.00 - $7.00 as well. You may have to fight the after-work crowd for a seat, and hours/prices could change so check the website beforehand.

    These pictures are terrible (will replace one of these days) but the interior is cozy with some intimate snugs, lively bar, and casual outdoor seating along Nicollet Mall during the warmer months. Price depends on menu (lunch, dinner, happy hour).

    Favorite Dish: My favorite: Atlantic salmon stuffed with blue crab, shrimp and brie. Yum.

    Bar: McCormick and Schmick's, Mpls Snug: McCormick and Schmick's, Mpls McCormick and Schmick's, Mpls
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    Victory 44: small feats

    by goodfish Written Mar 24, 2013

    This is another excellent little-plate venue for adventurous palettes. Like Travail in nearby Robbinsdale, it’s a low-key, open-kitchen concept whose star performers are the tasting menus for two. Each include a set menu of 9 courses to please carnivores or vegetarians (or you can do a 50/50 mix of both) and each round is a perfect little work of art: almost too pretty to eat. Some offerings rotate in and out depending on the season or whim of the chefs, and all are available in a la carte sizes if a long, leisurely evening (or the tasting menu price tag) isn’t for you.

    But this is a great night out for several hours of fun food theater and lingering over glasses of wine or craft beers. During the day one of the sunny dining rooms serves as a coffee bar with a nice breakfast menu and free wifi (for building VT pages?) and there is a bar and outdoor patio for alfresco nibbling during the summer months. Looking for a bargain? Perfect Burgers are half price every day from 5:00 - 5:44 PM.

    I'm not noting an average price as that can swing widely depending on what courses - or how many - you order.

    Closed on Mondays, and the kitchen is closed daily from 3:00 - 5:00. VERY busy: come right at the opening dinner hour (5:00) or make reservations. See the website for hours, directions and other details. NOTE: it’s tempting to sit in the bar/open kitchen to watch the chefs at work but this room becomes very crowded/noisy with people waiting for tables so any of the other dining area are better choices.

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    Bona's Vietnamese Cuisine: Nice Vietnamese food and atmosphere!

    by shrimp56 Updated Feb 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The decor is very modern Asian -- very pleasant indeed! Our server was from Saigon originally and could only talk about the traffic there!
    .
    Look in the back of the menu for the Vietnamese specialties such a Pho. [The pictured dish was listed as a "Mi", but looked like a Pho to me, except for the skinny rather than fat noodles.

    Favorite Dish: We both had noodle dishes that were varied in texture and quite tasty. The prices were reasonable. It isn't the best Vietnamese food I have ever had, but it had nice shrimp and fresh crunchy stuff in it!

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    Zelos: Elegant, quirky & delicious!

    by shrimp56 Updated Feb 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We just walked in on an early Thursday evening and were fortunate enough to get a booth at this very trendy and unusual place. The decor was dark, romantic, but with strange fish shaped lights and lovely glass-beaded lamps on the tables. The service was upper level, but not stuffy -- in fact our server was delightful:) There was outside seating on the mall.

    Favorite Dish: The best value on the menu is the wall-eye sesame-crusted cakes -- $8.50 US as an appetizer. [pictured] My companion had a mushroom lasagna -- I had a lovely flatbfread pizza. The dessert pictured is their famous bundini, a chocolate flourless cake.

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    Basil's: Watch the water fall down ...

    by shrimp56 Updated Feb 26, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Basil's is in the Marquette Hotel on the Nicollet Mall and overlooks the IDS Crystal Court. Diners on the "terrace" have a great view of the water falling DOWN.

    Favorite Dish: Ate here on the last trip and I have to say the the food was disappointing. Enormous portions and very oily sandwiches. The best part was the bread basket and the view of the IDS Crystal Court

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    Staccato **CLOSED**: Italian that sings:) **CLOSED**

    by shrimp56 Updated Feb 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The restaurant's name is appropriate given its location just across the street from Orchestra Hall!
    .
    The decor is spare, modern and attractive. It is a very pleasant and reasonable place to dine even if you aren't attending the concert:)

    Favorite Dish: I had a pizza Margherita -- I don't normally like calamari, but these were excellent [I tried my sons:)]

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    Sample Room: Lovely neighborhood restaurant in NE Minneapolis

    by yooperprof Updated Jan 16, 2013

    The Minneapolis restaurant scene has really blossomed in the last decade. Now you can find interesting, well-prepared, and chef-inspired food in virtually every neighborhood. The Sample Room is a great neighborhood bistro in NE Minneapolis, a few mile north of downtown. It's adjacent to a park, and has a lovely patio as well. What a treat it would be to have this as your neighborhood pub!

    An Exemplary Sample a home away from home
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    French Meadow Bakery & Cafe: Cows that speak French - and bakers, too!

    by yooperprof Written Jan 16, 2013

    "French Meadow" is a wonderful bakery and cafe in Midtown Minneapolis, on S. Lyndale. They are probably best known for decadent desserts and hearty breads, but the cafe is also deservedly famous for wholesome, organic, thoughtful meals that are must more than merely wholesome, organic, and thoughtful. Open since 1985, French Meadow is rightly proud of having been the first certified organic bakery in the USA; but they are also proud of terrific flavors and wonderful textures in their meals.

    the cows speak French here Lovely salmon (though the sauce is too red I think just dessert
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    Uncommon Grounds: House Coffee in Uptown

    by yooperprof Updated Jan 16, 2013

    Intimate and quiet, Uncommon Grounds is a good place to go after seeing a film at the nearby Uptown Cinema. It's located in a converted Victorian house. A lot of teas here as well.

    Open till midnight on weeknights, 1 am on Friday and Saturday.

    Homey atmosphere with good java Cozy corners
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