comScore

Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST RESTAURANT—MINNEAPOLIS

La Belle Vie

La Belle Vie is the best restaurant in Minneapolis for one simple reason: They work faster, harder, and better than anyone else in town right now. Take the baccala ($12). All over the world, this salt-cured cod is a dry and cakey tool of survival, not delight. But the kitchen staff at La Belle Vie, led by chef Tim McKee, decided to cure the stuff themselves, and the result is a strangely light, flaky, potent, and tart concentration of cod—the unusual mouthful that makes you say, "Hey, those million baccala I had before, they were junk." Just six months ago, the lounge was a sleepy misfit, a place to hide away for a romantic meal when you didn't feel like springing for the whole rigmarole in the main dining room. Not content with that, the restaurant debuted a (no longer) secret, $40 lounge-only four-course tasting menu, and—badda bing, badda bang—now just in and of itself the lounge is the best restaurant in Minnesota. What else? The service is nearly flawless. The wine options have expanded to be both more affordable ($7- to $8-a-glass European wines fill out the list) and more impressive to wine collectors: The eight-course tasting menu now comes with an option to not merely pair wine with each course, but to pair the best of the best with each course. The restaurant's consistency has been remarkable, too, in terms of both the quality of the food emerging from the kitchen and the high level of service on display in the dining rooms. Hard work for them? Oh yeah. But sweet work for us!

BEST ASIAN GROCERY Shuang Hur Grocery

BEST BAKERY Franklin Street Bakery

BEST BARBECUE Rooster's BBQ

BEST BARISTA Juliana at St. Paul Steep 'n' Brew Coffee Shop

BEST BARTENDER John Senkler

BEST BEER SELECTION IN A BAR The Muddy Pig

BEST BLOODY MARY J.D. Hoyt's

BEST BREAD Rustica Bakery

BEST BREAKFAST Serlin's Cafe

BEST BURGER Napa Valley Grille

BEST BURRITO El Burrito Mercado

BEST CHAI Namaste Café

BEST CHEAP EATS Bombay 2 Deli

BEST CHEESE SELECTION Premier Cheese Market

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT Little Szechuan Chinese Cuisine

BEST CHOCOLATE Legacy Chocolates

BEST COCKTAILS Babalu

BEST COFFEE BY THE POUND Coffee and Tea Ltd.

BEST COFFEEHOUSE Mapps Coffee and Tea

BEST DELICATESSEN The Brothers

BEST DIM SUM JunBo Chinese Restaurant

BEST DINER Town Talk Diner

BEST DOUGHNUTS Mel-O-Glaze Bakery

BEST FARMERS' MARKET St. Paul Farmers' Market

BEST FISH MARKET Coastal Seafoods

BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT Fugaise

BEST FRESH PRODUCE Community Supported Agriculture

BEST FRIES Café Barbette

BEST GOURMET BURGER Vincent—A Restaurant

BEST GOURMET GROCERY Kowalski's

BEST GOURMET PIZZA Pizza Nea

BEST GREEK RESTAURANT Christos

BEST HAPPY HOUR Chino Latino

BEST HOT DOGS Uncle Franky's

BEST ICE CREAM PARLOR Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream Cafe

BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT Bombay Bistro

BEST IRISH PUB O'Gara's

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT (BARGAIN) Broders' Southside Pasta Bar

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT (UPSCALE) Osteria I Nonni

BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANT Midori's Floating World Cafe

BEST KOREAN RESTAURANT King's Fine Korean Cuisine

BEST LIQUOR STORE Surdyk's

BEST LOCAL CHEF Lenny Russo

BEST MARGARITA Pancho Villa Restaurant

BEST MARTINI Moscow on the Hill

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT Salsa a la Salsa

Best Middle Eastern Bread Abu Nader Grocery and Deli

BEST MIDDLE EASTERN GROCERY Holy Land Bakery and Grocery

BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT Shish

BEST NATURAL FOODS GROCERY Lakewinds Natural Foods

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR—MINNEAPOLIS Cuzzy's

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR—ST. PAUL Half Time Rec

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFE—MINNEAPOLIS Corner Table

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFE—ST. PAUL Muffuletta

BEST NEW RESTAURANT Town Talk Diner

BEST PIZZA Galactic Pizza

BEST PLACE TO EAT OUT WITH YOUR KIDS Big Bowl

BEST POWER LUNCH Vincent—A Restaurant

BEST QUEER COFFEE SHOP Wilde Roast Café

BEST RESTAURANT FOR A FIRST DATE duplex

BEST RESTAURANT FOR GLUTTONS Atlantic Buffet

BEST RESTAURANT FOR LATE-NIGHT DINING Pizza Lucé

BEST RESTAURANT FOR OUTDOOR DINING Swede Hollow Cafe

BEST RESTAURANT FOR ROMANCE Bayport Cookery

BEST RESTAURANT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE Nelson Cheese Factory

BEST RESTAURANT TREND Democratizing Fine Dining

BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING The Oceanaire

BEST RESTAURANT—ST PAUL Heartland

BEST SALAD Spoonriver

BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Sea Salt Eatery

BEST SOUL FOOD West Indies Soul Food

BEST STAR-CHEF EXPERIENCE IN A RESTAURANT The Modern's Phillip Becht

BEST STATE FAIR FOOD Mac 'n' Cheese on a Stick

BEST STEAK HOUSE Manny's

BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH Victor's 1959 Café

BEST SUSHI Origami West

BEST TAKE-HOME BREW Surly Brewing Co.Furious and Bender Beers

BEST TAKEOUT Lucia's To Go

BEST THAI RESTAURANT True Thai

BEST VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT Spoonriver

BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT Mai Village

BEST WINE BAR Toast Wine Bar & Cafe

BEST WINE LIST Cesare's Wine Bar