Heartland Restaurant interior
Photo: Heartland Restaurant

The Twin Cities are an incredible destination for foodies, offering an array of restaurants serving delicious eats that range from Midwestern and New American cuisine to Mediterranean, Swedish, Irish, Greek and Latin American dishes.

Stop by one of these cafes to relax while sightseeing, or plan a romantic dinner followed by an evening at the theater at one of these top restaurants in Minneapolis. Find more ideas: 25 Best Things to Do in Minneapolis.

»Heartland Restaurant & Wine Bar

Heartland Restaurant & Wine Bar


The award-winning Heartland Restaurant & Wine Bar brings phenomenal North American Midwest Regional cuisine to St. Paul featuring dishes created from organic and locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes every day depending on what is available seasonally.

Enjoy the Fauna or Flora three-course meal or try something like the chicken with cauliflower, snap peas, and basil cream. You also have the option of making a selection from the Burger Bar menu, which includes dishes such as the Polish Sausage Corndog or Bison-Mushroom Duxelles.

Chef Lenny Russo, winner of the James Beard Award, opened Heartland in 2002 with the help of his wife Mega Hoehn. Visit Heartland on East 5th Street in downtown St. Paul.

289 East 5th Street, St. Paul, 651-699-3536

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»Borough

Borough


The welcoming atmosphere at Borough will draw you in and make you never want to leave. The restaurant opened in 2013 and has been serving contemporary American cuisine ever since.

Stop in and try the Pappardelle or the Pan-Seared Scallops paired with just the right wine from Borough’s impressive wine list. Relax in the Parlour, a lower level bar where you can munch on yummy pub fare and sip handcrafted signature cocktails. Executive Chef Drew Yancey has control of the kitchen, while one of city’s best bartenders, Jesse Held, mans the Parlour.

Pastry Chef Karyn Tomlinson whips up spectacular, must-try sweets and desserts. You’ll find Borough in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Read more

730 North Washington Ave., Minneapolis, 612-354-3135

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»Blackbird

Blackbird

Blackbird is a cozy, casual corner restaurant that embraces a farm-to-fork philosophy, serving traditional American cuisine with Southern and Asian influences. Almost everything on the menu is made from scratch and uses seasonal ingredients.

They are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunches. Stop in and try the Catfish Po’Boy or the Chicken-Lemongrass Potstickers. They also have a nice selection of ciders, wines, beer, and sake. Blackbird is run by Front of the House Manager, Jeff Petrovitch, while Sous Chefs Yia Chang and Peter Lutz man the kitchen.

You’ll find this friendly place on the corner of Nicollet and 38th Street in downtown Minneapolis.

3800 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-823-4790

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»WSK (World Street Kitchen)

WSK (World Street Kitchen)


If you are in the mood for international street food with bold flavors, then you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to WSK (World Street Kitchen).

Try delicious plates such as the Bangkok Burrito or the MFC (Moroccan Fried Chicken) Biscuit Sandwich. Thirsty? They’ve got wine and beer available too! Co-owners and siblings Sameh and Saed Wadi opened the Uptown Minneapolis restaurant in 2012 after their food truck of the same name gained incredible popularity.

You can still find the WSK food truck on the streets of downtown Minneapolis during the warmer months.

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

Illinois Weekend Getaways Photo: WSK

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»Saffron Restaurant & Lounge

Saffron Restaurant & Lounge

Saffron Restaurant & Lounge serves creative, contemporary Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, featuring a menu with tasty weekly specials and whose contents depend on seasonally-available ingredients.

Enjoy truly amazing dishes like the Sautéed Parisian Gnocchi or the Lamb Shank. Enhance your dinner with one of their spectacular handcrafted cocktails like the Mezcal Manhattan or the seasonally available Sangria. Co-owners and siblings Sameh and Saed Wadi, owners of the World Street Kitchen and food truck, opened the Saffron Restaurant & Lounge in 2007.

You’ll find Saffron nestled between the Minneapolis North Loop neighborhood and the Warehouse District.

123 North 3rd St. Minneapolis, 612-746-5533

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»Top restaurants in Minneapolis: Sanctuary

Top restaurants in Minneapolis: Sanctuary


Sanctuary serves New American cuisine with Mediterranean and Japanese influences. Their menu changes regularly and the selection of dishes depends on the ingredients available during the current season.

Take in the elegant atmosphere as you dine on spectacular dishes such as the Pan-Seared Grouper or the Coffee-Crusted Black Angus Bone-In New York Steak. Don’t miss the dark chocolate tart for dessert! Sanctuary also has an impressive wine list and tasty signature cocktails such as the Bermuda Triangle.

Owners, Michael Kutscheid, Naomi Williamson, and Roger Kubicki brought on Marseille-born Executive Chef Patrick Atanalian to add a unique flair to the kitchen. You’ll find Sanctuary in the New Theater district of downtown Minneapolis.

903 Washington Ave. South, Minneapolis, 612-339-5058 Photo: Sanctuary

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»Sea Change Restaurant & Bar

Sea Change Restaurant & Bar


The Sea Change Restaurant & Bar focuses on sustainable seafood and only does business with fisheries that use environmentally responsible methods of gathering and farming seafood.

Come for dinner and order the exquisitely prepared Bouillabaisse. If you are not in the mood for fish, the kitchen can prepare a number of other dishes, including the ribeye with asparagus and mizuna. Restaurateur and James Beard Award winner Chef Tim McKee is the mastermind behind Sea Change Restaurant & Bar. Shea Design helped develop the restaurant’s green design, which matches their green menu.

Sea Change is located in the former Guthrie Theater Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. Read more

806 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, 612-225-6499

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»Emmett's Public House

Emmett's Public House


Emmett's Public House is a traditional Irish pub that serves savory Irish cuisine and offers a wide selection of whiskeys and both Irish and local beers.

It’s a friendly pub perfect for a happy hour meeting or for grabbing a bite to eat with friends. You won’t regret trying out this place, especially when you have delicious options like the Irish Mac and Cheese, the Claddagh Fries, or the 695 Brick-Pressed (Corned Beef) sandwich. If you enjoy traditional Irish pub ambiance, this is one of the best St. Paul restaurants to try.

You’ll find Emmett’s Public House on Grand Avenue right next to Dixie’s in downtown St. Paul.

695 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-225-8248

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»Himalayan Restaurant

Himalayan Restaurant


Himalayan Restaurant highlights the bold flavors and traditions of the Himalayan regions of Nepal, India, and Tibet, bringing an unforgettable dining experience to Minneapolis.

Take in the intimate atmosphere while you dine on incredible dishes such as the Biryani or the Bhata Aaloo (eggplant and potato in flavorful spices). Otherwise, you can try something from their Tandoori Oven like the Choyala (a meat dish cooked in Kathmandu-style herbs).

Naveen Shrestha and Pravin Shrestha opened the Himalayan Restaurant in 2008, and they just recently moved to their new location on East Lake Street in Minneapolis. They are open Tuesday through Sunday for a lunch buffet and dinner.

2910 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, 612-332-0880 Photo: Himalayan Restaurant

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»Top restaurants in Minneapolis: Corner Table

Top restaurants in Minneapolis: Corner Table


Revel in a night of elegance at Corner Table, a Minneapolis establishment with an ever-changing menu of delectable American fare made with regionally sourced, seasonally available ingredients.

Start off with the enticing golden beet soup before moving on to savory dishes like the Braised Pork Coppa Fresca. They also offer wine pairings and tempting five course meals. Husband-and-wife team Nick and Chenny Rancone opened the Corner Table in 2012 and have owned and operated it ever since with the help of Executive Chef Thomas Boemer.

You’ll find them in downtown Minneapolis, on the corner of Nicollet Avenue and 46th Street.

4537 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, 612-823-0011

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»Northbound Smokehouse Brew Pub

Northbound Smokehouse Brew Pub


The award-winning Northbound Smokehouse Brew Pub in Minneapolis is known for tasty smoked American pub fare in addition to their renowned craft beers. You can’t go wrong when you order any one of their delicious smoked dishes.

The 18-Hour Porketta Sandwich, the Smoked Wings, and the Northbound Burger are just a few examples. Wash it all down with one of their award-winning brews, which include both year-round and seasonal beers. Their Snownami beer won the 2014 World Beer Cup.

General Manager Amy Johnson, Head Chef Jason Foster, and Head Brewer Jamie Robinson are responsible for keeping Northbound running smoothly. Open since 2012, you’ll find them in downtown Minneapolis on East 38th Street.

2716 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, 612-208-1450

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»Top restaurants in Minneapolis: Fika Cafe

Top restaurants in Minneapolis: Fika Cafe


If you are in the mood for something different, you’ll want to check out Nordic-inspired Fika Café in Minneapolis. In Sweden, ‘fika’ is a daily break, traditionally involving coffee, treats, and socialization.

The café blends delicious regional ingredients with Nordic cuisine traditions to create phenomenal dishes like the Swedish Hot Dog, the Braised Chicken Smorgas, Meatballs or the Potato Sausage. Owner and Executive Chef John Krattenmaker opened the café in 2012 after many years of gaining experience in renowned restaurants throughout the Twin Cities area.

Enjoy views of the historic Turnblad Mansion while dining at Fika Café, located inside the Nelson Cultural Center at downtown Minneapolis’ American Swedish Institute. Read more

2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, 612-871-4907

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»Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar

Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar

You are in for a treat when you dine at the award-winning Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar. Order one of their 100% grass-fed beef New York steaks (sourced from Grass Run Farms) and you’ll be instantly transported to heaven.

Perhaps you’d prefer the Marlin Crudo or a fabulous pizza pie - the options are endless. They also have an impressive wine list as well as signature cocktails. Executive Chef and Owner Isaac Becker manages the establishment with the help of Executive Chef Daniel del Prado.

Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar is located in Uptown Minneapolis, right around the corner from the Graves 601 Hotel.

1933 Colfax Ave. South, Minneapolis, 612-843-1515

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»Nighthawks

Nighthawks

Nighthawks is one of the newest and hippest restaurants in Minneapolis. They have become incredibly well known for their post-modern rendition of America’s favorite diner foods.

Their menu offers five different kinds of hot dogs and other delicious options such as French Dip or Frito Pie. They’ve also got a number of beers, wines, and signature cocktails (like the Hopper) to quench your thirst. You might even want to stop in for weekend brunch. Chef and owner London Schoenefeld just opened Nighthawks in May 2015 and also owns HauteDish restaurant in Minneapolis.

Nighthawks Diner and Bar is located on Nicollet Avenue in the Kingfield neighborhood.

3753 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, 612-248-8111

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»Joan's in the Park

Joan's in the Park

For an intimate night highlighted by extraordinary, seasonal North American fare, you’ll want to check out St. Paul’s charming restaurant Joan’s in the Park.

Start your meal off with a delicious appetizer like the Calamari and Mussels before diving into tasty à la carte-style dishes such as the Roasted Beef Short Ribs or the Herbed Spaetzle.

Don’t forget to save room for dessert. Joan’s in the Park also offers an extensive wine list. Long-time friends and co-owners Joan Schmitt and Chef Susan Dunlop opened the restaurant in 2011.

Enjoy organic, farm fresh dishes at Joan’s in the Park, located in the heart of St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood.

631 Snelling Avenue South, Saint Paul, 651-690-3297

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»Tongue in Cheek

Tongue in Cheek

Tongue in Cheek restaurant serves fresh, sustainable new American cuisine in a sophisticated environment.

Come in for the ten-course tasting menu or try a dish from their daily menu like the Corn Risotto. Poached Eggs & Grits and other yummy breakfast foods are available during weekend brunches.

When Chef Leonard Anderson opened the place in 2014, he founded it on a principle that he feels strongly about: the restaurant is committed to exclusively using animal products that are raised or caught in a humane and sustainable manner. You’ll find Tongue in Cheek in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood in St Paul’s East Side.

989 Payne Ave., St. Paul, 651-888-6148 Photo: Tongue in Cheek

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»Cook

Cook


Cook is an American-style diner open for breakfast, lunch, and Wednesday night dinners. Its menu features classic American diner fare as well as Korean fusion dishes – all made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Incredible breakfast dishes like the Breakfast Nachos or Bread Pudding French Toast are sure to impress. Coming in for lunch? Try the Bi Bim Bop or the Spicy Korean Burger.

You’ll also want to try their amazing cinnamon rolls. Owner Eddie Wu is a St. Paul native and former US Marine with many years of experience in the fine dining industry. You’ll find cozy, friendly Cook in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood of St. Paul’s East Side.

1124 Payne Ave, Saint Paul, 651-756-1787 Photo: Cook

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»Colossal Cafe

Colossal Cafe

Colossal Café is a charming neighborhood café serving New American cuisine for breakfast and lunch at two locations in St. Paul.

Their fabulous dishes are made from the very best seasonal ingredients. Stop in and try the Roasted Vegetables Omelet and Feta or the Spiced Turkey Breast Sandwich. Although Colossal Café was originally opened in Minneapolis (and that location is still open today) in 2005, the Tinucci family purchased it in 2010 and has maintained its timeless traditions.

Visit them at either of their St. Paul locations – one on the corner of Grand and Hamline and the other on Como Avenue in the former St. Anthony Park Clinic.

1340 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-414-0543; 2315 Como Ave., St. Paul, 651-797-4027 Photo: Colossal Cafe

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»Black Sheep Pizza

Black Sheep Pizza


Black Sheep Pizza is known for serving some of the best pizza in the Twin Cities area. All the dishes at this coal-burning pizza restaurant are made with the freshest ingredients. You can choose your own toppings or try a signature pizza like the Meatball, Ricotta, and Garlic Pizza or a thick crust Sicilian.

They also have fresh salads, appetizers, wine, and beer to complete your meal. Black Sheep Pizza is run by a husband-and-wife team, Jordan Smith and Colleen Doran. Black Sheep Pizza is Minnesota’s first coal-fired pizzeria, and has locations in both cities. Read more

North Loop, 600 Washington Ave N., Minneapolis, 612-342-2625; 512 N. Robert St., St. Paul, 651-227-4337; Eat Street, 2550 Nicollet Ave S., Minneapolis, 612-886-1233 Photo: Black Sheep Pizza

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»Christos

Christos

Christos is the place in the Twin Cities for award-winning, first-rate Greek cuisine. Stop in and try the Octopodi appetizer before moving on to delectable specialties like the Mousaka, Shrimp Myconos, or the Spanakopita.

Christos even has a gluten-free menu for those with dietary restrictions. The original Christos was opened in 1988 in Minneapolis and has since expanded to two other locations.

The St. Paul location resides inside the historic Union Depot train station (which has been fully renovated to its 1920s glory), just a few blocks from the Ordway and the Fitzgerald. The original Minneapolis site is located on Nicollet Avenue in the downtown area.

214 Fourth Street East, Saint Paul, 651-224-6000; 2632 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, 612-871-2111; 15600 Highway 7, Minnetonka MN 55345, 952-912-1000 Photo: Christos

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»Hola Arepa

Hola Arepa


One of Minneapolis’ favorite food trucks also has a great restaurant that serves dinner, drinks, and weekend brunch. Hola Arepa serves delicious, made-from-scratch Latin food and craft cocktails. They are known for their handmade Venezuelan stuffed arepas, made fresh daily.

Choose from a variety of arepa flavors such as the Black Bean & Queso Fresco or the Slow-Roasted Pork. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to try the yucca fries. Dine at the restaurant located on Nicollet Avenue or follow Hola Arepa on Twitter to find their food truck location in downtown Minneapolis from April through October.

3501 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, 612-345-5583 Photo: Hola Arepa

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»The Third Bird

The Third Bird


If you want a fun, lively place for dinner, The Third Bird restaurant is the place to go. Their classic American menu offers mouthwatering dishes (all made from locally or regionally sourced ingredients) like the Roasted Pork Jowl, the Falafel, or the Cuban sandwich. You can also pop in for Saturday brunch and enjoy a complimentary Bloody Mary or mimosa.

The Third Bird also serves “family meals” on Monday nights and frequently features live music. Open since 2014, you’ll find The Third Bird in downtown Minneapolis close to Loring Park and the Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, 612-767-9495 Photo: The Third Bird

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»Top restaurants in Minneapolis: Cafe Racer

Top restaurants in Minneapolis: Cafe Racer


Feasting on healthy and delicious Latin American cuisine at the Café Racer food truck and restaurant is always an experience to remember. The restaurant serves memorable dishes such as the Paella de Calle (a shrimp, chicken, and rice dish) or the Arepa Benedict, a specialty from their brunch menu.

When ordering from the food truck, you can completely customize your order with a variety of options. Both the restaurant and the food truck offer vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.

Good service, excellent quality, and passion-infused dishes are the most important aspects at Café Racer. Their restaurant is located on East 25th Street in downtown Minneapolis.

2929 East 25th Street, Minneapolis, 612-208-1695 Photo: Cafe Racer

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»Spoon and Stable

Spoon and Stable


The Spoon and Stable offers seasonal Midwest cuisine with European influences. Everything is made with fresh, regional ingredients. Your taste buds will thank you for ordering appetizing dishes like the Bison Tartare or Crispy Suckling Pork.

Their Sunday brunch menu includes tempting dishes such as the Spinach and Caramelized Onion Quiche. They also have tasty signature cocktails like the Salty Dog. Owner and Chef Gavin Kaysen, winner of the James Beard Award, really puts his heart into his cooking.

Spoon and Stable is situated in what was once a horse stable that dates back to 1906, right in the heart of the North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis.

211 North First Street, Minneapolis, 612-224-9850 Photo: Spoon and Stable

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»Brasa

Brasa

If you’re craving Southern comfort food while visiting the Twin Cities, you’ll definitely want to visit Brasa restaurant. Their cuisine is inspired by Southern, Caribbean, and Mexican flavors.

Treat your taste buds to something bold and fabulous, such as the Gumbo Fried Rice or the Spicy Masa Corn Cake Plate. They also offer gluten-free and vegetarian options. Everything that comes out of the Brasa kitchen is made from scratch. Dishes are usually organic and created with locally sourced ingredients.

They have two locations – one on Hennepin Avenue between Minneapolis’ St. Anthony East and Marcy-Holmes districts and the other on Grand Avenue in downtown St. Paul. Read more

600 Hennepin Ave. E., Minneapolis, 612-379-3030; 777 Grand Ave. St. Paul, 651-224-1302

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25 Best Restaurants in Minneapolis & St. Paul