BEST OF THE TWIN CITIES®® 2008
Just four months from now, 50,000 strangers will descend on the Twin Cities to engage in one of the greatest civic spectacles on earth: the Republican National Convention.
We've all seen political conventions on TV: the straw hats and little flags, the raucous speechifying, the electrifying votes on the party platform, and the triumphant, orgiastic finale—the selection of a candidate whose nomination was decided months in advance.
But even Republicans can't convene 24/7. When they've caucused themselves raw, they're going to want to let off some steam and explore the best the Twin Cities has to offer. They'll want to know where to find our best new restaurant, the best martini, best music store, best view, best pizza, and best strip club (it's the Seville, 15 Glenwood Ave., Minneapolis).
It's up to all of us to show our guests some Midwestern hospitality. Thousands of local citizens have already applied for permits to greet the Republicans outside Xcel Center, but we can do more. That's why City Pages has compiled 300 or so of the best things about the Twin Cities in one handy book. Call it "unconventional" wisdom—the kind of advice you can only get from your dirtbag friend who gets too drunk and crashes on your couch but always knows where to find a good time.
As we've seen so well in the Middle East, democracy is infectious, so City Pages also asked ordinary citizens to vote in our Readers' Poll. It turns out we disagreed on many of the issues, but rather than launch attack ads, we bowed to the will of the people and published their opinions on page 155, because we believe the American electorate is tired of divisiveness. Sadly, though, it is not tired of nominating the Mall of America for Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests.
In the spirit of nonpartisan cooperation, then, we offer the Best of the Twin Cities 2008, in the hope that our Republican guests will enjoy their stay and take away something from their visit. Something besides heartburn from eating our Best Drunk Food.
To find the places listed below, try our interactive map.
Illustrations by Dan Picasso
Find more Best of the Twin Cities® winners:
- BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITYKerri Miller
- BEST TV SPORTS ANCHOREric Perkins
- BEST RADIO PROGRAM AFTER MIDNIGHTThe Root of All Evil
- BEST (NON-TV) WEATHERPERSONJimmy "Dutch" Gaines
- BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITYDan Cole
- BEST PLACE TO LEARN AN ART FORMHighpoint Center for Printmaking
- BEST RADIO STATIONThe Current 89.3 FM
- BEST CRAFT SHOWNo Coast Craft-o-Rama
- BEST RESTAURANT—MINNEAPOLISLa Belle Vie
- BEST DRUNK FOODDowntown Pizza
- BEST BARBECUELee's and Dee's Barbeque Express
- BEST FRIESRed Stag Supper Club
- BEST PLACE TO PLAY GAMES OF WORLD DOMINATION WHILE EATING SEASONED FRIESChatterbox Pub
- BEST MIDDLE EASTERN GROCERYHoly Land
- BEST FISH MARKETCoastal Seafoods
- BEST ASIAN GROCERYDragon Star
- BEST SCANDALCarol Molnau's shameless land deal
- BEST PET ADOPTIONSafe Hands Animal Rescue
- BEST CHARITYWomen Against Military Madness
- BEST USE OF NEON LIGHTINGFirst National Bank Building
- BEST LOCAL GIRL MADE GOODDiablo Cody
- BEST AMUSEMENT PARKValleyfair
- BEST STATE FAIR FOODWalleye on a stick
- BEST FAN CONVENTIONCONvergence
- BEST NEW NEIGHBORHOOD BARBuster's on 28th
- BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR (ST. PAUL)The Happy Gnome
- BEST HAPPY HOURLyle's Bar & Restaurant
- BEST BAND TO BREAK UP IN THE PAST 12 MONTHSThe Hockey Night
- BEST BAND NAMEEmerson, Lake and Lyndale
- BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (TOURING)M.I.A.
- BEST NEW BANDGospel Gossip
- BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR (MINNEAPOLIS)Grumpy's Bar & Grill
- BEST COMIC BOOK SHOPBig Brain Comics
- BEST SCIENCE-FICTION BOOKSTOREDreamhaven
- BEST WOMEN'S CLOTHING STOREHeartbreaker
- BEST BOOKSTORE (USED)Magers and Quinn
- BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKSTOREWild Rumpus
- BEST METAPHYSICAL SUPPLY STOREMagus Books & Herbs
- BEST MYSTERY BOOKSTOREUncle Edgar's
- BEST PLACE TO GET A PIñATALitin Everything Party 'n' Paper
- 10 most meat-centric dishes in the Twin Cities right now
- Sandwich porn: Top 10 sandwiches of the year
- Graveyard smashes: 21 tributes to dead musicians
- 10 campaign song solutions for Donald Trump
- Pastas, doughs and dumplings: 10 best gluten-centric dishes
- Busts of the future: 17 failed music 'predictions'
- One Minnesota-ish act makes Spin's 50 Best Rock Bands Right Now list
- Kurt Vile songs as drugs
- 5 more must-hear Eyedea tributes
- Top 5 brunch dishes right now
- 5 ways to eat and drink October
- 10 things you didn't know about Le Town Talk Diner
- 5 things you need to know in local food this week
- TimeOut New York names Walker Art Center one of the best museums in the nation