Best Restaurant Worth the Drive
New Scenic Café
Let’s talk senses. Visually, Minnesota’s North Shore is impossible to beat, and such eye-popping views deserve flavors to match. New Scenic Café damn near perfects that combination. You’ll find the window-dotted, metal-roofed cafe about 20 minutes up Highway 61 from downtown Duluth. Since 1999, well before buzz terms like farm-to-table became boilerplate marketing, New Scenic has stressed organic and local. Outside, a fire pit roars about 100 feet from Lake Superior; a garden blooms magnificently with herbs and veggies. Inside, the cabin-like aesthetic is offset by walls showcasing regional artists and tables boasting passionately executed seasonal fare — think curried blue mussels, venison sandwiches with lingonberry jam, seared sturgeon with butter-poached cabbage, orchard-fresh pie à la mode. The impressive wine list culls from France and California, but the craft beers (Bent Paddle, Castle Danger) and spirits (Vikre Distillery’s undeniable aquavit) are as uniquely Minnesotan as New Scenic.