Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST THAI RESTAURANT

Sen Yai Sen Lek

We like Sen Yai Sen Lek for lots of reasons: its expansive but well-curated menu composed of near-equal parts curry, noodle, and rice dishes; the entire menu section featuring cuisine from the northeast Isaan region of Thailand (sticky rice! small plates! sticky rice!); and its friendly, inviting, brightly colored space with origami cranes and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, to name just a few. But what makes this Northeast gem extra special is its extra attention to its business practices. Community-minded to the core, Sen Yai Sen Lek not only proudly sources its menu items from local producers (serving Thousand Hills beef, Schultz Farm eggs delivered by Larry Schultz himself, and a variety of beers from local brewers), but also pays close attention to its environmental practices. As sensitive to its diners as to its sources, the restaurant is also very vegetarian- and vegan-friendly and even has a gluten-free menu. Protein seekers will like the pad bpai gra pow, a kicky ground pork and Thai basil dish topped with an egg. Veggies will like the lettuce wraps, which taste like healthy candy. Also bomb: the papaya salad and the dessert sweet sticky rice.

BEST BAGEL Common Roots

BEST BAKERY Rustica

BEST BARBECUE 128 Cafe

BEST BARTENDER Dan Oskey, the Strip Club

BEST BEER SELECTION IN A BAR Muddy Pig

BEST BLOODY MARY Hell's Kitchen

BEST BREAKFAST D'Amico Kitchen

BEST BREWPUB Barley John's

BEST BURGER The Anchor Fish & Chips

BEST BURRITO Pineda Tacos

BEST CANDY STORE Sugar Sugar Candy

BEST CARIBBEAN RESTAURANT Harry Singh's

BEST CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICAN RESTAURANT El Rincón Salvadoreño

BEST CHEAP EATS Taj Grill

BEST CHEESE SHOP France 44

BEST CHEF Sameh Wadi of Saffron

BEST CHILI The Loon Cafe

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT Szechuan

BEST COCKTAILS Prohibition

BEST COFFEE White Rock Coffee Roasters

BEST COFFEE SHOP Bull Run Coffee Bar

BEST DELICATESSEN Broders' Cucina Italiana

BEST DESSERTS Cosmos

BEST DIM SUM Mandarin Kitchen

BEST DINER St. Clair Broiler

BEST DIVE BAR The Red Dragon

BEST ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT Fasika

BEST FARMERS' MARKET St. Paul Farmers' Market

BEST FRENCH FRIES Acadia Cafe

BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT Meritage

BEST GREEK RESTAURANT Gardens of Salonica

BEST HANGOVER BREAKFAST Triple Rock Social Club

BEST HAPPY HOUR Il Gatto

BEST HOT DOG Italian Veggie Dog from the Wienery

BEST HOTEL BAR The Living Room at the W Hotel

BEST ICE CREAM PARLOR Pumphouse Creamery

BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT OM

BEST IRISH PUB The Local

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT Bar La Grassa

BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANT Fuji-Ya

BEST KOREAN RESTAURANT Dong Yang Oriental Food

BEST LATE-NIGHT DINING The Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

BEST LOCAL BEER Summit Unchained Series

BEST MARGARITA The Cobra Verde at Barrio

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT El Burrito Mercado

BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT Babani's Kurdish Restaurant

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR (MINNEAPOLIS) Merlins Rest Pub

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR (MINNEAPOLIS) Merlins Rest Pub

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFÉ (MINNEAPOLIS) Victory 44

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFÉ (ST. PAUL) Tanpopo Noodle Shop

BEST NEW RESTAURANT Piccolo

BEST OLD-GUY BAR Yannarelly's Bar

BEST OUTDOOR DINING Seven Sushi Ultralounge and Skybar

BEST PANCAKE Colossal Cafe

BEST PEPPER DISH Habanero Hell Poppers, Chino Latino

BEST PIZZA Galactic Pizza

BEST PLACE TO EAT WITH KIDS D'Amico and Sons

BEST RESTAURANT (MINNEAPOLIS) La Belle Vie

BEST RESTAURANT (ST. PAUL) The Strip Club

BEST RESTAURANT FOR A FIRST DATE Northeast Social

BEST RESTAURANT FOR ROMANCE Forepaugh's

BEST RESTAURANT TREND House-made charcuterie

BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING Corner Table

BEST RESTAURANT WORTH THE DRIVE Nosh Restaurant & Bar

BEST SANDWICH Bacon, egg, and harissa sandwich at 112 Eatery

BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Sea Change

BEST SERVICE Lucia's

BEST SOUL FOOD Brasa

BEST STEAKHOUSE Mancini's Char House

BEST STREET FOOD Chef Shack

BEST STRIP CLUB LUNCH Schieks Palace Royale

BEST SUBURBAN BAR Barley John's

BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH Grand Cafe

BEST SUSHI Giapponese Sushi

BEST SWEET ROLLS Isles Bun & Coffee

BEST TACO Carne asada from Los Ocampo

BEST TAKE-HOME BREW Town Hall Brewery

BEST TAKEOUT Marla's Caribbean Cuisine

BEST TAPAS Subo

BEST TEA SHOP TeaSource

BEST THEMED BAR Donny Dirk's Zombie Den

BEST VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT Triple Rock Social Club

BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT Saigon Restaurant and Bakery

BEST WINE BAR Kings

BEST WINE LIST Barbette

BEST WINE SHOP France 44

BEST WINGS Girvan Grille