Download our Free Best Of App

Food & Drink

  • BEST APPLE ORCHARD

    Bob Fitch and Molly Beckstrom run a fun orchard. They set up a petting zoo of neighborhood animals out front--two woolly sheep, a pygmy goat, sometimes even their pet African pygmy hedgehog gets thrown into the mix. A local farm kid offers rides on his pony (free with a peck of apples, a dollar otherwise). Bob runs a tractor for… More >>
  • BEST ASIAN GROCERY

    Where can you get Japanese cookies that sort of look like animal crackers but are called Marine World and feature ocean critters with names such as Black Porgy and Fur Seal (stamped in English on their sweet, fish-flavored bodies)? Where to look for two dozen varieties of frozen Chinese dumplings suitable for your next midnight snack festival? Thai jasmine coconuts… More >>
  • BEST BAGELS

    Sure, El Niño is wreaking havoc on the world's climate to the extent that you might be tempted to believe that Armageddon is at hand. Then again, four years ago there were no Big City Bagels in town, and now they are clearly in the ascendant, so things can't really be that bad. What's so great about Big City Bagels'… More >>
  • BEST BAKERY

    There's no more essential activity in Western culture than the transformation of flour into baked goods. And around these parts, there are no more skillful hands than the busy ones at Turtle Bread, where that humble ingredient is turned into a stunning array of comestibles ranging from the mundane to the miraculous. For a quick tour of the wonders of… More >>
  • BEST BARBECUE

    Forget about the sauce. Anyone can fool the palate with the sauce. Instead, think of the meat: That's where it's at. And for the past six years, no one in the Twin Cities has treated meat better than Scott Woolsey's little shack on the southern city limits. Pork ribs highlight the menu, which also includes mouthwatering chicken, a tender steak… More >>
  • BEST BISCUITS AND GRAVY

    The folks who run this no-bigger-than-a-trailer breakfast joint are such biscuits-and-gravy connoisseurs that they serve two different versions--the "original" plateful and the "ultimate." The original ($2.90) consists of two biscuits the size of hamburger buns split four-leaf-clover-style beneath a sea of creamy country gravy studded with big chunks of fresh sausage. (Admittedly, it would look a little gross if it… More >>
  • BEST BREAD

    Fine crumb sourdough, giant pillowy striato, bubbly boules, and jaunty brioches that'll transport you to sunny mornings in Paris--the New French has everything a fine bakery should. And then there's the baguettes: the crust as crisp as an autumn afternoon on the Champs Elysées, as golden as a sunset seen through a glass of Chablis...well, you get the idea.… More >>
  • BEST BREWPUB

    With a dozen handmade beer offerings ranging from Brother Van Vie's Belgian-style Duvel and Saint Peter Pale Ale to tougher stuff like Pot Hole Porter and Martin's Bitter, if you can't find a beer you like at Great Waters you're very, very grumpy. We can assume, then, that your hardened heart won't even be swayed by the bright airy views… More >>
  • BEST BURGERS

    For the pure telos of burger, the burger reduced to its essence and apart from all things, just meat, bread, and potato, there's a clear short list: The St. Paul Grill, Morton's, the Convention Grill, the Capital Grille, the Gay 90's. These are places that know that a good burger is made with high-quality meat that must never be manhandled… More >>
  • BEST BURRITOS/WRAPS

    Step up to the cafeteria-style counter off to one side in this Mexican grocery and order a burrito with any of about a dozen fillings that vary from day to day. If they're offering the guisado of beef in colorado sauce (a rich red mole), grab it. It's a revelation: smoky, spicy, silky, deep. Or choose pollo a la diabla,… More >>
  • BEST BUTCHER

    Ever wish you could cook up a steak like those luscious ones they serve at the Local? You can! Just follow the complicated directions through the mock-Tudor residential developments of Plymouth until you arrive at Forster's Meats, where they've been serving up aged steaks (including scrumptious New York strip) since 1947. Besides supplying beef to local restaurant powerhouses such as… More >>
  • BEST CAESAR SALAD

    Of all the 50 states, none beats Minnesota when it comes to a predilection for putting mayonnaise on Caesar salads. But rest assured, at 128 Cafe every single thing that comes out of the kitchen is personally supervised by one of the chefs, so everything--including the Caesars--is done right. An absolutely fresh dressing with a rosy spiciness of garlic and… More >>
  • BEST CHEAP EATS

    Pin a $20 bill to your sock, arrive early, stay late, and make this the year you finally eat all the things you vowed you'd sample someday. Don't miss the New French Bakery booth, for hot scones packed with fresh fruit and dripping with cream-cheese dressing. Absolutely don't miss the cream-puff stand, where the fresh pastries are filled with wholesome,… More >>
  • BEST CHEESE SELECTION

    Honestly? St. Martin's is a toddler compared to Surdyk's, the granddaddy superstore of cheese. But what St. Martin's lacks in breadth of selection, the staff makes up for in attentive service, depth of knowledge, and personal flair. Meet Mary Bess Michaletz, store manager. While helping us construct a cheese course, she admitted an almost genetic propensity for cultured milk. "Some… More >>
  • BEST CHILI

    The news rockets through the skyways: "It's Devil's Tongue day! Brenda, I'll meet you at the Doughnut at 12!" "Dolores, did you hear? Devil's Tongue!" What are they talking about? They're talking about the intense vegetarian black bean and chipotle chili dished up every week or so at the Lone Doughnut, a little skyway place known for its homemade doughnuts… More >>
  • BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT

    Tammy Wong's fiery wok produces incredible treats both exotic and conventional--sophisticates can't get enough of the pickled-on-site mustard greens sautéed with sweet tubes of blanched squid, while the rest of us gobble up an incredible rendition of mu shu pork studded with slivers of shiitake mushrooms and tossed with light, fresh Napa cabbage and airy bamboo shoots. Factor in the… More >>
  • BEST CHOCOLATE SHOP

    Next time you're dashing over to housewares in Dayton's basement, don't take this quiet candy corner for granted--a closer look will reveal the finest selection of chocolates in the Twin Cities. Pay special attention to the Josef Schmidt truffles from San Francisco, neuhaus chocolates from Belgium, whimsical Moonstruck chocolates from Portland (the fanciful miniature ice-cream-cone truffles are to die for),… More >>
  • BEST CO-OP

    Yeah, we know that those who consider food co-ops to be a political statement as much as a culinary upgrade regard the Wedge as a den of iniquity run by capitalist pigs--hell, the place even has automatic doors, not to mention an expanded parking lot that displaced a few apartment dwellers. But if we limit our discussion to a vast… More >>
  • BEST CROISSANTS

    Video may have killed the radio star in other parts of town, but the folks at Napoleon's took a look around at their increasingly automated bakery last winter and said to hell with it: They threw out the machines and instituted a hand-formed-only, traditional baking process that has resulted in sublimely tender brioches, crusty, airy levain breads--and, above all, luscious,… More >>
  • BEST DELICATESSEN

    You're greeted by a glittering deli case filled with all the right treats: knishes both square and round, immense slabs of corned beef and pastrami, dangling salamis, kasha varnishkas, and beguiling pyramids of rugalach with various fillings. Slide into one of the enormous booths and peruse the menu while crunching on the gratis sour and half-sour pickles (trucked in from… More >>
  • BEST DIM SUM

    Dim sum, a celebratory southern Chinese brunch (which translates literally as "dot heart" and poetically as "heart's delight"), is a meal made up of as many little appetizer-size portions of hard-to-make dishes as you care to order, and the best to be had around town these days is at My Le Hoa (pronounced May Lee Wah), a spacious spot in… More >>
  • BEST DOUGHNUTS

    Did you hear the one about the ultraglamorous costume designer who was born around here, now lives in New York, and times all her flights home so she can throw her Vuitton into the rental car and swing past Mel-O-Glaze to pick up a dozen before they close? That's it, no punch line, just sweet, cakey, and (you saw this… More >>
  • BEST EARLY BIRD SPECIAL

    Who says an early bird special has to be dinner? For that matter, who says it has to be early? From 11 p.m. until 3 a.m. nightly at Mystic Lake, wee-hours birds aren't treated to worms, but rather to a breakfast buffet of pancakes, French toast, eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, assorted fruit, and a choice of nonalcoholic beverages. There's… More >>
  • BEST ENDLESS OKTOBERFEST

    Thirty-foot tables groan beneath two dozen rowdies pounding with their beer mugs and roaring "In Heaven There Is No Beer," all but drowning out the numerous strolling accordion players. The ein prosit--a call-and-response toast that sounds a lot like "zigi zaki zigi zaki: oi, oi, oi!"--unites the entire dining room in a cathartic howl. Someone orders a meter-long bratwurst. Someone… More >>
  • BEST FISH MARKET

    Next time someone tells you that you can't get fresh seafood in the landlocked Midwest, grab him by the ear, haul him over to Coastal, and point out the daily shipments of salmon, tuna, snapper, grouper, catfish, trout, mussels, clams, oysters, and shrimp--not to mention more unusual (around these parts) creatures such as sushi-grade yellowtail, whole Portuguese sardines, and mahi-mahi,… More >>
  • BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT

    Every year it's an agonizing choice: cafe un deux trois or the New French Café? One serves French food as it is in the side streets, the other French food as it is in your dreams. While it's true that sometimes nothing but the city hubbub and moules mariniéres at un deux trois will do, this time around we're singling… More >>
  • BEST FRESH PRODUCE

    A lot of longtime members were creeped out when the Wedge expanded to megamarket size. But it's hard to complain when your mouth is full, and Wedge shoppers' yaps are happily stuffed with the freshest, most widely varied produce around. Here you'll find vegetables you've never heard of (this year's new star: dinosaur kale! Looks like a lizard, tastes like… More >>
  • BEST FRIED CHICKEN

    When Wingmaster--the West Broadway hot spot for fried chicken--closed its doors, the fried-chicken community wept. When Wingmaster wingmaster Henry Sullivan joined forces with his sister Lucille Williams to serve his signature golden-crisp fried chicken alongside Lucille's incredible okra, super sweet potato pie, and Brie-tender ribs in a low-key North Minneapolis strip mall, the fried-chicken community threw their hats up in… More >>
  • BEST FRIES

    We really didn't want to do this--give two awards to one establishment. But if you're the sort that's willing to go out of your way for great fries, a trip to the Wienery, home of the Twin Cities' Best Hot Dog, is a must. Made from aged Idaho russets and sliced and cooked to order, proprietor Jerry Petermeier's fries come… More >>
  • BEST GERMAN RESTAURANT

    You're too enamored of German food to stay home, but having driven 40-odd miles to sample delicacies like John Schumacher's raisin-studded sauerbraten, you're in no shape to drive home--you're too full. Too full because the beef in the sauerbraten is as soft as cheese, the flavor as potent as the imported Bavarian beers featured at Schumachers' beautiful 19th-century bar. Too… More >>
  • BEST GOURMET GROCERY

    What's most impressive about Broviak's is that you could so easily decide to throw a dinner party, or even a wedding, at 3 o'clock one afternoon, and go and buy everything you'd need for the event in one stop: Perrier-Jouët and champagne flutes, Absolut and Bloody Mary mix, New French Bakery bread and imported truffle-laced pâté de foie gras, paper… More >>
  • BEST GREASY SPOON

    There's a fella hunched over the counter who thinks he's Cagney, crushing cigarette butts and counting coffee rings on the Formica. He sits with his back to the door, and to the cops and truck drivers who bang in and out of it. Willie Nelson is on the radio. The waitress is crumbling, though a 30-year-old photo by the pay… More >>
  • BEST GREEK RESTAURANT

    Even in the dead of winter, there's something summery about Gardens of Salonica. The tinkling fountain keeps the air misty and fresh, the flourishing plants make a little miniature conservatory. Appetizers such as skordalia, a puréed potato and garlic dip, are pure summer too, enhanced simply with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and grilled pita. The tzatziki is vibrant with… More >>
  • BEST GYROS

    Falafel King has really thought through every aspect of the gyro. Not content to merely carve the meat off the rotating cone and serve it on a room-temperature pita, the King's minions grill the slices to seal in the flavor and add a crispness component. They swipe the pita with olive oil and grill it, too, until it's fragrant and… More >>
  • BEST HOMEMADE PASTA

    Broders' is the place to go when spaghetti and linguini just won't cut it. Paglia, maltagliati, trenette, pappardelle, quadrucci--every strand of pasta at Broders' is handmade--and the dishes the kitchen creates with those noodles showcase the endlessly versatile nature of Italy's favorite flour. Maltagliati (literally "badly cut," in reference to the irregular hand-formed triangular shapes) is served with peppered beef… More >>
  • BEST HOT DOGS

    The average American eats 80 hot dogs a year, and if you're not eating yours at the Wienery you're doing yourself a disservice. Pony up to owner Jerry Petermeier's counter for a real Chicago red hot--a Vienna beef dog served in a poppy-seed bun and topped with yellow mustard, hot green relish, quarters of crisp pickles, fresh onions, ripe tomatoes,… More >>
  • BEST ICE CREAM PARLOR

    Wander into Crema on a sunny day, ask for a cone of their signature flavor, the espresso-tinged crema (imagine the creamiest possible latte, imagine it creamier--no, creamier! Creamier still! Creamier! OK, that's good), drift out to the patio, sit at a dainty table, and admire the milk-colored walls soaring between the high, twining, wrought-iron gates. Don't you feel like you're… More >>
  • BEST INDIAN GROCERY

    Every year we revisit Asia Imports thinking that this is the year the competition will have finally outpaced them. And every year we're wrong. The store continually expands its selection and capacity--if present trends continue, we might just have to rename it Asia Imports Greatland. They've got a cookware and statuary section, West Indian and Sri Lankan grocery sections, and… More >>
  • BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

    Start off with imported British and Indian beers, move on to spinach pakora (crisp globes of fresh spinach, potatoes, and onions battered and lightly fried), indulge in a rainbow of fresh-made chutneys (coconut, mango, tamarind, onion, mint, chili...), delight in garlic naan (Indian flatbread served puffy and buttery from Chutney's clay ovens), and by the time your server sets down… More >>
  • BEST ITALIAN GROCERY

    Say you wanted to put together a 10-course Italian feast of a dinner party in one stop: get your bread, antipasto makings, oil-packed tuna, imported provolone and Fontina Val d'Aosta, imported pastas, frozen ravioli, sauce fixings, fresh meats and sausages, a few dozen selections of Italian wine and beer, fresh-baked densely seeded semolina breads, biscotti, gelato, etc. Where would you… More >>
  • BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT (CHEAP)

    At Cossetta's, where they've been making sausages since 1911, you can easily fill up and eat well for less than $5 per person by stuffing yourself with pizza and hoagies. If you raise the stakes toward $8 apiece, you can get the whole ball of wax: salad (the antipasto salad, for instance, generously covered with cubed Genoa salami, tangy provolone,… More >>
  • BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT (NOT CHEAP)

    You'd think D'Amico Cucina would have a lock on this category, but the recent chef-juggling there has opened the door for some of the other local Italian restaurants that have labored unapplauded in the shadow of the Big D. Enter the lovely Locanda di Giorgio. Here the menu changes every six weeks, reflecting a different city or region of Italy.… More >>
  • BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANT

    Exquisite yakitori, beautiful bento boxes, splendid sashimi, discreet servers, and a magnificent view of the glittering Minneapolis skyline--there's no more polished, no more refined Japanese restaurant in town. After the de rigueur hot towel, order a drink and a few rounds of sushi before moving on to the best sukiyaki in town. (Sukiyaki is to beef soup what an ear… More >>
  • BEST JUICE BAR

    Will juice bars be the new coffee shops? We'll soon find out. But while the big corporate juice bars are still staking out their territories, let's take the opportunity to appreciate local pioneers like Fresh Squeezed, the folks who operate the front counter at Tao. They were selling bee pollen back when most people thought wheatgrass was for horses. They're… More >>
  • BEST KOREAN RESTAURANT

    When Shilla closed for a brief vacation last summer, our phones rang off the hook with customers panicked that the restaurant had gone under. Loyal patrons were terrified that Shilla's grilled salt-crusted adka fish, lively beef stir-fry bul go gi, roiling spicy stews, and, perhaps above all, the pan chan--a selection of homemade kimchi and other pickles that varies with… More >>
  • BEST LATINO GROCERY

    When you find yourself this summer with all the salsa makings from the farmer's market but not a chip to dip into it, head to El Burrito Mercado. You'll find the fresh masa to make tamales, corn husks to wrap them in, whole achiote seeds to season them with, every chile you ever wanted (dried ancho, chipotle, guajillo, and pasilla;… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BREWERY

    A few years back, when Michael Jackson (the international beer guru, not the international pop icon) called Sherlock's Piper's Pride the best Scottish ale outside of Scotland, you should have sat up and taken notice. And if you haven't yet worked your way over to Sherlock's to listen to the loquacious Bill Burdock give the tour of his little microbrewery,… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL CHEF

    Heaven is in the details: the tender crawfish decorating the oven-steamed salmon; the threads of preserved lemon beside the rib-eye; the toasty-hot hazelnuts that elevate the green salad, the wings of chocolate lace that separate the layers of bitter-chocolate espresso custard in the napoleon. Now that this former D'Amico Cucina chef and his sous chef and partner Josh Thoma have… More >>
  • BEST LUTEFISK

    Lutefisk is, of course, dried cod rehydrated with lye and water served at Christmas to remind us all of how lucky we are to be living in present-day Minnesota and not starving in turn-of-the-century Scandinavia. Don't ask us why, but every year around Christmastime, Pearson's (an otherwise very nice establishment) offers the consummate preparation of this hot fish Jell-O with… More >>
  • BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT

    You'll see people huddled out in front of the Lake Street location on a Friday night, stoic, determined, confident that if they can only manage to be patient enough, they'll be rewarded with fresh, authentic Mexican food. Like a pert ceviche vibrant with fresh lime and translucent marinated fish, fresh salad of nopales (prickly pear cactus leaves), and regional specialties,… More >>
  • BEST MIDDLE EASTERN GROCERY

    A half-dozen varieties of dates, cheeses such as kashkaval, akawi, and tabriz, along with French and Egyptian double-cream feta. Dozens of olives, hot pickles, tzatziki, tabbouleh, baba ghannouj, pomegranate juice, six different kinds of Turkish Delight. Lamb in every imaginable permutation (including whole; on a recent visit, a whole baby lamb could be had for about $30), spices, and an… More >>
  • BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT

    Finally, Minneapolitans get Middle Eastern fine dining. All year people have been requesting the Persian specialties on Atlas's business-crowd-focused menu, but this spring sees the debut of an entirely separate Persian menu. In addition to the herb-marinated kebabs, saffron basmati rice, homemade tangy yogurt, and fire-roasted eggplant with garlic purée that were already on the menu, look for items that… More >>
  • BEST MUSSELS

    Tucked away on the ground floor of a medical office building in Edina, Rossini's would seem an unlikely place to find great mussels. The entrance is through the parking ramp, and the rest of the menu is fairly old-school Italian--stuff in red sauce, stuff in white sauce, grilled and sauced meats with pasta appetizers. Still, in our considered opinion, there's… More >>
  • BEST NEW RESTAURANT

    How can you not love this elegant effort by four young and plucky Minneapolis dreamers? Mark Reinholtz, Scott Davis, Doug Flicker, and Melinda Goodin sank everything they had into the old Lowry's space. And after staying up nights painting the walls and scouring carpet glue off the floors, they took to a life of preparing and plating each and every… More >>
  • BEST NOODLE SHOP

    Start with the cilantro-laced spring rolls or bahn bao, steamed buns packed with pork, Vietnamese sausage, and egg. Cleanse the palate with a cup of cold and creamy Vietnamese coffee, then ask the guy next to you what he's slurping as a main course--there are always plenty of connoisseurs around to help you choose between clear noodles and rice noodles,… More >>
  • BEST PIEROGI

    You might happen upon a lighter pierogi in your travels, but you'll never find a friendlier one than what's offered at the Ukrainian Center's $6.50 all-you-can-eat Sunday and Friday brunches. Here, in the large but charming gymlike dining hall, you can get your fill of all the potato-filled pierogi you can handle--plus stuffed cabbage and fresh, crunchy borscht; entrées like… More >>
  • BEST PIZZA

    Pizza Lucé's merits are legion: a homemade red sauce that's spicy, piquant, flecked with fresh bits of basil and oregano, and free of any lesser canned sauce's citric-acid bite; a homemade crust that's crisp outside and airy and tender within; and 35 toppings--including three sorts of olives (calamata, marinated green, and traditional California sliced), vegetables traditional (green peppers, mushrooms), highbrow… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO EAT OUT WITH YOUR KIDS

    A child's gustatory journey begins as an exploration: Food is just one of many enjoyable substances to place in the mouth, on the mouth, around the mouth, around your mouth, etc. Later, after the age of, say, 9, children develop palates as sophisticated as adults'. If they've been properly coached, they will eat and enjoy all manner of foods. They… More >>
  • BEST PREPARED FOODS

    That last-minute meeting went ridiculously long (as usual), and now you've got 20 minutes to calm down, trade in your corporate cap for your home-life hat, and put a healthy dinner on the table. Impossible? Not if you allow the good folks at the Linden Hills deli counter to lend assistance. First stop by the juice bar for a shot… More >>
  • BEST RAW BAR

    A recent visit turned up six varieties of oysters on the half-shell--from Black Bay, Louisiana, from Wellfleet on Cape Cod, from Malpeque Bay and Salt Aire Bay on Prince Edward Island, from Prudence Bay in Rhode Island, and from Parramour Bay in Virginia. Given the crowds of avid oyster eaters, you're assured good turnover and the freshest possible servings of… More >>
  • BEST REASON TO GIVE EMBERS' NEW MENU A CHANCE

    As anyone who doesn't hit the TV mute button during commercials doubtless knows by now, every local teen's favorite sobering-up-on-the-way-home-at-2-a.m. joint has been upscaling its image. One by one, Embers restaurants have been reupholstering booths a soothing purple and teal, gracing freshly painted walls with duo-tone photos of local landmarks, and rolling out a revamped menu. Much of the fare… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT FOR A POWER LUNCH

    Frankly, we could hand out a raft of awards to cafe un deux trois: Best Salade Niçoise, Best Croque Monsieur, Best Moules Marinières, Best French Onion Soup, Best Place to Wear Armani and Eat Fries--but what would be the point? It can be truly said that cafe un deux trois suffers because it's in a class by itself: Can we… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT FOR APPETIZERS

    You're out a quatre, you want raw bar and Sancerre, your date wants spicy chicken wings and a Summit, your buddy wants a martini and a shrimp cocktail, and his date wants just a salad, or maybe a piece of cake, she doesn't know... What can you do? Head to Bravo, where the menu is as varied as it is… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT FOR DESSERT

    Notwithstanding the handful of dessert diamonds around town (the chocolate soufflé at Morton's, for instance, or the orange zest poundcake sautéed in clarified butter with mascarpone citrus sauce at the Table of Contents in St. Paul), there's only one local dessert tray whose every offering is a miracle in flavor and artistic construction. La Belle Vie's cranberry clafouti is a… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT FOR GLUTTONS

    It's a birthday. By the time you got to the table, you were tipsy and famished--from cooling your heels in the bar owing to the vexing no-reservations policy. It didn't sound like much at first, some mussels marinara and fried calamari to start, one of those 1893 salads--a ski hill of romaine and iceberg lettuces capped with red onions, cucumbers,… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT FOR LATE-NIGHT DINING

    The gravel-voiced waitress behind the counter may not look like much of a chef, but she'll set you up right with a burger, some pork chops, an ice cream malt, or a platter of potatoes O'Brien (sometimes they're a heavenly hash of crisp, browned potatoes, cubes of salty country ham, and sweet bits of fried onions and peppers, and sometimes… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT FOR OUTDOOR DINING

    Nowhere does Minneapolis look as glamorous as it does from the rooftop at Joe's: the glowing basilica behind you, the moonlight on the Loring ponds in front of you, the sparkling sculpture garden off to one side, and, like romantic palms swaying on the beach, the ever-present waving searchlights of the distant strip clubs. While you bask in the splendor… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT FOR ROMANCE

    Enter a beautiful Victorian mansion chock-full of fireplaces, candles, crimson walls, and cozy corners. Choose from among some 200 vintages of wine (about 20 of which are available by the glass), and then dive into a delicate array of wine-friendly dishes: Southwestern-cured gravlax with citrus crème fraîche; seasonal mushrooms, spinach, and mustard greens wrapped in phyllo and served with a… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT TREND

    We may be at the dawn of a new era in fast food: when you can actually eat low-fat and healthy without cooking your own dinner or darkening the doors of crunchy co-ops, and we've got the coming influx of teriyaki chains and rice bowls to thank for it. At the (heaven forbid!) Mall of America, check out Hibachi San… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT WAY THE HECK OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE

    Ever see a limousine cruising down Highway 61 and wonder where the heck it was headed? Chances are it was zooming to the Harbor View, where they serve up treats like seared ahi in a black butter caper sauce and lemon tart as bright as the sun at noon over Lake Pepin, the widening in the Mississippi over which the… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING

    Whenever we chance upon a patron with bottomless pockets, we have him or her escort us to Morton's. Once there, we invariably order the whole baked 3- to 5-pound Maine lobster that's overnighted daily from the coast (market price, which currently translates to no less than $70). When the beast arrives at our table, we attack it with both hands,… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT--MINNEAPOLIS

    Let's just say you set out to find fault with Goodfellow's. Can't pick on the wine list--the 400 offerings stack up to anyplace internationally. Servers usually prove a good target, but staffers at Goodfellow's are smart, graceful, unobtrusive, perfectly timed. The food isn't going to help you: artful, inventive, adventurous, and tasty as all get-out. Shrimp blini with a roast… More >>
  • BEST RESTAURANT--ST. PAUL

    You can get a better steak at the St. Paul Grill, a better view at the No Wake, and score better points with Grandma at Forepaugh's, but there's no better all-around food and clean, understated elegance in St. Paul than at the much-beloved T.O.C. We're still harkening back to last spring's breathtaking tiger-shrimp appetizer grilled to an inside-luminous/outside-crisp perfection, lightly… More >>
  • BEST SAUSAGE SHOP

    Overwork the meat and it's tough. Underseason it and it's mere ground meat. Overspice it and it's utterly ruined. In prewar Eastern Europe, butchers had perfected their skills of combining cuts and varieties of meat to get distinctive, unique flavors, finely finessing the sausage arts. But who knows how to do that anymore? Walter Gorden, that's who. Kramarczuk's master sausage-maker… More >>
  • BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

    The menu changes every single day to reflect the current catch. You can get things you'll never ever see anywhere else in town--Rhode Island stew with littleneck clams, periwinkles, mussels, red snapper, and tiger shrimp; Catalonian paella with mussels, mahi-mahi, squid, and littlenecks; Bahamian calamari salad with French feta, thyme-cured olives, and red and orange peppers in a sherry vinaigrette....… More >>
  • BEST SODA FOUNTAIN

    You can poke a fair amount of indiscriminate fun at Twin Citizens' culinary tastes, but never let it be said that we don't take our soda seriously: How many other towns can boast a veritable soda microbrewery? True, it's only open from May 15 to October 31, but those precious five and a half months are blessed with handmade sodas… More >>
  • BEST SPICE SHOP

    The Penzey family began its mail-order business in 1957 out of the back of Bill Penzey's Milwaukee store. Since then their list has grown to 140,000 customers around the globe. We suppose it's to our credit that the Twin Cities ordered enough spices to warrant our own store, which opened in August. Business is booming. And no wonder: According to… More >>
  • BEST STEAK HOUSE

    To walk in and see that oil painting of the majestic, sunset-backed bull is to know you've arrived in an irony-free zone. Which is good. If we want irony, we can go to Buca or Jitters. Here they don't have time for satire; they've only got time for steak: dry-aged, hand-cut, cooked with a scrupulous eye toward perfection, tender as… More >>
  • BEST STEAK HOUSE ON A BUDGET

    Home of the $30 steak for $14.95 (cellophane-wrapped crackers are gratis). What the Cherokee lacks in steak-house chic--no towering mahogany booths, no glassed-in display case through which you must view your carnage before you eat it--they make up for in meat. That $14.95 will get you the "Steak of the Decade": a slow-aged, perfectly cooked charbroiled top sirloin. Plus a… More >>
  • BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH

    Presuming you're not more suitable for Alias 8's "I Swear I'll Never Drink Again" omelet, there's no beating the Nicollet Island Inn's ultradeluxe Sunday brunch buffet. Start off with a mimosa, ogle the towers of strawberries, smoked salmon, and exotic cheeses, get a few slices of the carved-to-order roast beef, have a fluffy omelet or a puffy waffle created just… More >>
  • BEST SUSHI

    Owner Kiminobu "Ichi" Ichikawa says the images on the neon sign outside his warehouse-district establishment--a sake bottle and a martini glass--symbolize the intersection of Japanese and American cultures, and, by extension, his intent as a restaurateur. Ichi's a shrewd man. Because for all its exotic trappings, sushi--at least sushi American style--is a fusion food. (Why do you think they call… More >>
  • BEST THAI RESTAURANT

    Yes, it's OK to save a soft spot for the struggling little Thai place around the corner from your office, but we're talking superlatives here, and only at Sawatdee can you experience Thai in all its regal glory--fresh ingredients, stellar preparations, and solicitous service. Of the five Sawatdee locations (the dressy one on Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, another in… More >>
  • BEST VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT

    Take the organic warm mock-duck salad. It's plain old mock duck, glazed until crisp in a potent ginger-garlic paste, served on greens with a peanut-lemon grass dressing. It's thoroughly vegetarian, yet lively and harmonious. A recent special of sautéed eggplant with two sauces (tomato and yogurt mint), basmati rice pilaf, chickpea stew, and green beans is as sophisticated as any… More >>
  • BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

    It might not look like much from the outside--actually it looks like a down-at-the-heels VFW hall, which it was until not too long ago--but down in the basement is a treasure of swell Vietnamese cooking. (Well, with a little Chinese flavor: egg noodles are a Chinese staple.) Pick from more than a hundred soups: the barbecued pork, fish-ball, and wontons… More >>
  • BEST WAFFLE

    They call it Andrew's Killer Waffle, and it goes like this: Take some bananas, caramelize them in a cinnamon-tinged syrup, pour the syrup on a hot waffle, add fresh whipped cream, and prepare your last will and testament--because your tablemates will fall upon you with a bitter fury if you don't share every gooey drop.… More >>
  • BEST WALLEYE

    Where else on earth can you walk past a big stained-glass window featuring frolicking dwarves, grab a net, capture your own rainbow trout from an indoor flowing stream, and have your prey delivered to your garden table in a crisp cornmeal crust beside a heap of fresh cucumber dill relish? Nowhere, my friend, nowhere else on earth. And Jax's walleye… More >>
  • BEST WINE AND LIQUOR STORE

    During any given week, somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 different wines are in stock here--the veritable tip of the iceberg of an inventory that boggles the mind--including many bottles that are nearly impossible to find elsewhere. But wait! There's more! As in more than 300 specialty beers. And as in enough single-malt scotches, pure agave tequilas, small-batch bourbons, imported rums,… More >>
  • BEST WINE LIST

    Just as you can never step in the same river twice, you'd be hard-pressed to encounter the same selection of wines at Goodfellow's from one visit to the next: The list, which comprises some 400 wines, is constantly changing. One reason for the frequent updates is the fact that the restaurant has been promoting small vineyards and cultivating relationships with… More >>
Loading...