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Food & Drink

  • Best Place To Eat Out With Your Kids

    Quang Restaurant

    Guest Best: Stewart Woodman When a family dines out as a team, simplicity is essential. Here are foolproof instructions for feeding your clan by the most direct route possible. First, go to Quang. Order a strawberry bubble tea for each child, a pho (number 506 is preferred) to split, no onions or "green stuff," with small bowls for each child and… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza

    Guest Best: Aaron Landry Great pizza is about balance. While loads of ingredients and gobs of cheese can be satisfying, a fantastic pizza is disciplined: Each flavor, smell, and texture comes out without competing. Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza in Minneapolis's North Loop is nailing that balance. Their anthracite coal oven, which is a first in Minnesota, delivers a crust that… More >>
  • Best Restaurant (Minneapolis)

    Heidi's

    Here's why Heidi's is the best restaurant in Minneapolis right now: Where else can you have a meal cooked by a nationally esteemed chef at a place where nothing on the menu costs more than $20? And when we say cooked, we don't mean quote-unquote cooked, like he created the concept but faxes menus from Fiji, letting his sous chefs… More >>
  • Best Burger

    The Blue Door Pub

    Still lamenting the loss of the Crack Burger at the late, great Sauced—that dear, departed patty was slathered in an incomparable veal demiglace—we decided to drown our sorrows in a few brews at the Blue Door Pub. There we discovered the new-ish neighborhood hangout to be pretty much the best thing to happen to Selby Avenue since St. Paul paved… More >>
  • Best Restaurant (St. Paul)

    Heartland

    If you want a sense of chef Lenny Russo's fastidious nature, just read his menu: "Wildflower honey-hazelnut-pumpkin seed gâteau marjolaine with passion fruit sauce, hazelnut praline, high bush cranberry-apricot jelly, and passion fruit-cherry sorbet." Whew! And that's just one dessert. If a chef puts that much effort into writing, just think what he can do with a knife. Heartland is… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    The Wienery

    Just as trail mix tastes best on the trail, a proper hot dog tastes best in a dive. In the Twin Cities, no atmosphere is more appropriate for hot dog consumption than the Wienery, a dump (in the best sense of the word) of a restaurant on Cedar Avenue. Their Chicago-style dog is the best in town—its onions the freshest,… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Barrio

    Tequila has a reputation for creating evenings that don't end well. (By the way, we're not discussing the assless chaps incident. Ever.) But in the hands of a couple of noted real estate developers (including Ryan Burnet, who worked on the Chambers and W hotels) and restaurateurs Tim McKee and Josh Thoma (the guys behind La Belle Vie, Solera, and… More >>
  • Best Fries

    Herkimer Pub and Brewery

    Most of us have been so focused on the grimmer aspects of LynLake dining—no more jP American Bistro, no more La Bodega—that we've overlooked what's still working (especially now that the end of road construction means easy accessibility). In the case of the Herkimer, that's the sweet-potato fry. Pulling double duty as slightly salty and suddenly sweet, these deeply orange-hued… More >>
  • Best Chef

    Tim McKee, La Belle Vie

    It's been a big year for Tim McKee. The executive chef of La Belle Vie and Solera opened not one but two new eateries—Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque and Barrio (which, by the way, is this year's Best New Restaurant). McKee proved his prowess by creating a French-Mediterranean fine-dining experience that set the bar for special-occasion meals in these parts. Next, he… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Pastor Hamilton's Bar-B-Que

    "This looks like a homeless shelter," one first-timer said as he pulled up outside Pastor Hamilton's black-barred door on St. Paul's East Seventh Street. Pastor Luches Hamilton opened his tiny barbecue shop right next door to his storefront church, across the street from what looks like a superfund site. Put nicely, the neighborhood could use something to believe in. At Hamilton's,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for a First Date

    Lucia's

    This may seem a bold statement, but we're ready to back it up: No matter what your first-date needs, this much-lauded restaurant trifecta has you covered. If you've scored a date with a serious foodie, a company president, or anyone else you want to impress but not overwhelm, make a reservation for Lucia's Restaurant. Soft lighting and wood accents make… More >>
  • Best Taco

    Shrimp taco at La Sirena Gorda - CLOSED

    Minneapolis's Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue abound with mom-and-pop taco shops—places where vats of greasy, precooked meat await deposit in soft corn tortillas and a sprinkling of hot sauce. These restaurants have their appeal, but for those looking for a taco that doesn't leave the lips coated in fat, the shrimp version at La Sirena Gorda is the best bet… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Romance

    King and I Thai - CLOSED

    In some ways, our ideas about romantic dining are a little baffling. Sitting at a table with a starched white tablecloth, fearing the moment you might drop a fork, just isn't very libidinous. Feeling comfortable is romantic, and so is putting a flower from your drink in your hair. And what could be more sensual than the scent of lemongrass,… More >>
  • Best Burrito

    El Burrito Mercado

    The first sign that El Burrito Mercado on St. Paul's west side is going to deliver a worthy burrito is the fact that you can smell it before you see it. From the bright yellow market/gift shop/restaurant waft the dueling scents of refried beans and spicy rice, which bodes well for the first bite of their monstrous burritos. Served cafeteria-style,… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Cafe (St. Paul)

    The Strip Club

    A steak place might not seem like much of a neighborhood cafe, but, well, neither does a strip club. But when it's the Strip Club—capital S, capital C, and named after its premium, grass-fed strip steak—it qualifies. That's because the friendly eatery in the former home of a 100-year-old grocery store has breathed new life into St. Paul's sleepy Dayton's Bluff.… More >>
  • Best Cheese Shop

    France 44

    Benjamin Roberts, the man in charge of the cheese shop at France 44 (it replaced the former restaurant about a year ago) so abhors the product-mishandling he's witnessed at upscale grocers—fragile, living, breathing cheeses tightly wrapped in plastic instead of a porous cheese paper—he's penned several "cheese abuse" diatribes on his blog (france44.blogspot.com, and he Twitters, too). While some might… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Cafe (Minneapolis)

    Corner Table

    You wouldn't expect a restaurant this tiny to draw the attention of New York City's James Beard Foundation, but Corner Table has proved both to its neighbors and big-city foodiephiles that good cuisine can come in small packages. Owner Scott Pampuch and his cohort Lisa Hanson are among the best-versed chefs in town when it comes to working with local… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market

    Mill City Farmers Market

    All the local farmers' markets have one thing in common: great farmers. (Admittedly, they can be hard to find at the Minneapolis and Nicollet markets, choked among the vendors selling past-its-prime supermarket produce.) But most of the markets' locations feel like the city's leftovers, as they're often stuffed under a dingy freeway overpass or set up on an egg-frying-hot parking… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Trend

    The mocktail

    Pregnant women, recovering addicts, and religious teetotalers unite! No longer must abstainers settle for a lame-o soda or a simple sparkling water. These days, our top bartenders have started mixing equally attractive non-alcoholic alternatives—so raise a glass for the mocktail. These careful blends receive the same attention to detail that arrived with the current cocktail craze: the fresh-squeezed juices, the… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    Salty Tart

    With all that the Midtown Global Market has to offer in the way of sweets, it might seem surprising that relative newcomer Salty Tart consistently has a crowd gazing through its glass cases. That is, until you realize James Beard Award nominee Michelle Gayer, whose desserts can be found at La Belle Vie, is behind this bustling, buttercream-laden bakery. Customers… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    Meritage

    What's the best way to start your meal at Meritage, the cute brasserie in downtown St. Paul that looks as if it belongs in the ninth arrondissement? The spicy tomato tingle of a bloody Mary shooter with a plump little oyster chaser? A doll-size blini topped with smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and capers? It's really hard to go wrong, so relax… More >>
  • Best Bagels

    Common Roots Cafe

    You can tell when a bagel was made with love—and when its creators want you to love it as much as they do. Carefully hand-sculpting these golden rings of yeasty dough has to be almost an intimate act in order to secure a perfectly crusted outside and chewy inside lightly peppered with air pockets. Common Roots is committed to fair-trade,… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Broders' Pasta Bar

    Ever pick up the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain? Its main message is that art is taken to another level when the artist draws what her subject actually looks like, rather than what she thinks it looks like. Most people draw from memory—not faithful likenesses of apples in a bowl, but crude circles with no shading.… More >>
  • Best Doughnuts

    Granny Donut

    The hardcore doughnut lover has no use for the prissy and limited varieties at most bakeries, nor the equally limited Stepford doughnuts of Krispy Kreme. Only a real doughnut shop will do, with a generous selection of cinnamon rolls and maple bars, cakes and raised, jellies and twists. Granny Donut, in the dreary business district of West St. Paul, is… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Little Szechuan

    If you're headed to Little Szechuan, the brightly painted, authentic Chinese restaurant on University Avenue in St. Paul, pick up some friends on your way. You're going to want to roll at least three deep to stage a multi-order attack on the menu, which offers more than 200 dishes. Where to begin? The dan dan noodles swimming in chile oil and… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Snack

    Sweet Martha's Cookies

    You've got only 12 days a year to chow down on the endless supply of junk food at the Minnesota State Fair. But one of the best things about the fair can be found in the frozen-food section of the metro's major grocery stores. Now you can feed your Sweet Martha's chocolate-chip cookie addiction any day of the year. The… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant

    Moto-i

    There's so much sushi in Minneapolis these days they're practically selling it in gas stations and vending machines. That's why Moto-i's debut was all the more welcome. The izakaya-style eatery, or gastropub, showcases a different side of Japanese culture. The sleek, dark, Lyn-Lake watering hole has deep, cozy booths and Japanese soap operas playing on the TVs. (You could almost… More >>
  • Best Caramel Roll

    Isles Bun and Coffee Company

    First is the smell. Seldom do you get to experience a caramel roll before eating it—before even ordering it—but the time spent waiting in line at Isles Bun and Coffee Company is an integral part of the ingestion process. Then you get your caramel roll, with pecans or without (your choice), on a paper plate. Or, more likely, two paper… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Origami

    Origami makes the freshest, most elegant sushi in town—the kind you want to eat slowly, with your eyes closed. Sushi purists will be gratified by simple fresh preparations of nigiri and sashimi—buttery hamachi, sweet unagi, and tender maguro—all perfect and lovely in their plating. Those wanting more fireworks will love the livelier rolls such as the fiery-hot lava roll or… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream Parlor

    Pumphouse Creamery

    The Twin Cities boast a wealth of good, independent ice cream shops, but this small, well-kept storefront takes top honors this year for its owner's zeal for local ingredients; its thick, super-rich ice cream made with organic dairy products; and its intriguing flavors. Barb Zapzalka uses milk and cream from Crystal Ball Farm in Osceola, Wisconsin, and Minnesota berries (harvested… More >>
  • Best Dim Sum

    Jun Bo - CLOSED

    When we think of authentic Chinese cuisine, Richfield is not the first place we expect to find it. But stepping into Jun Bo is like stepping into our own Chinatown. Jun Bo (meaning "precious treasure") is a massive room, seating 400-plus diners, and it's usually packed with families seated at large round tables topped by spinning lazy Susans of tender… More >>
  • Best Cookie

    Rustica's Bittersweet Chocolate Cookie

    It's such a humble-looking thing, Rustica Bakery's bittersweet chocolate cookie: black as midnight and sprinkled with sugar granules that twinkle like stars against the night sky. Your first bite breaks through a crisp, delicate crust to reveal a brownie-soft center—something you can really sink your teeth into. Its rich cocoa flavor is just slightly sweet and touched with a faint,… More >>
  • Best Korean Restaurant

    King's Fine Korean

    Unless somebody just bought one of those inflatable airplane-evacuation slides at Ax-Man, the most happening thing going on in Fridley on a Friday or Saturday night is likely taking place at King's Fine Korean. The tables are all cluttered with small white bowls of panchan, a spread of side dishes to rival those at Thanksgiving dinner. And the place tends… More >>
  • Best Chocolate

    Rogue Chocolatier

    Colin Gasko, you've ruined us. We thought we could enjoy other chocolate, but now it all tastes like sweet, brown wax compared to your robust Rogue chocolate bars. Gasko produces a small collection of single-origin chocolates, which means the cacao beans are sourced from one area and have a distinct flavor profile, much like the winemaking concept of terroir. Rogue's… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Bangkok Thai

    If you're tired of Twin Cities Thai restaurants that seem a little too tailored to American tastes—milquetoast curries and fruity cocktails priced to offset the costs of high-end lighting and stereo systems—you'll appreciate the no-frills authenticity of Bangkok Thai. Located inside an Asian supermarket on University Avenue, the place could just as well be in Thailand, if they cranked up… More >>
  • Best Candy Store

    Fiesta in America

    Have a craving for goat's-milk caramels? How about strawberry-flavored bubble gum, the kind you used to chew on the school bus years ago? Or maybe a miniature plastic toilet filled with sugary sweets and a button that makes a flushing sound? Fiesta in America is an explosion of color, candy, and creativity, and it's well worth a visit when you… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Quang Restaurant

    Walk into Quang, even at 3:30 on a Sunday afternoon, and the place will be bumping. The family-run Eat Street restaurant is a consistent hive of activity, and deservedly so. Quang is an institution, started by the Quang family in a smaller location across the street and eventually moved to their current, sizeable site. These folks know how to run… More >>
  • Best Pancakes

    Good Day Cafe

    Minnesotans' history of pancake-eating goes back to the days when Paul Bunyan's legendary logging camp crew made flapjacks on a griddle so big it was greased by skaters who glided on bacon slabs. We love our pancakes in every possible permutation: made with buttermilk, sourdough, or cornmeal; studded with blueberries, chocolate chips, or wild rice. And we love them even… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Taqueria Los Ocampo

    The best way to judge a Mexican restaurant is by its tacos. Are the tortillas small, pliable, and doubled up? Is there a harmonious amount of cilantro and onion? Enough limes? How's the salsa? If a place passes the taco test, you can pretty much order anything else with reckless abandon. Los Ocampo, which has four Twin Cities locations, has… More >>
  • Best Italian Market

    Morelli's Market

    These are things worth believing in: food and liquor sold under the same roof, family-run businesses thriving, and both of those happening in a vibrant city neighborhood. Morelli's Market scores on all three counts. Walking in the door of Morelli's is like stepping into an episode of The Sopranos (minus the violence). The market not only has a wonderful selection… More >>
  • Best Central/South American Restaurant

    Mañana Restaurant

    The cuisine of El Salvador is simple and lovely: corn, plantains, potatoes, carrots, seafood, meat—nothing too complicated, everything fresh and homey. This cozy spot on the East Side, filled with papier-mâché strands of fruits and vegetables and Central American flags hanging from the ceiling, makes you feel as if you are dining in mama's kitchen. The menu is thorough and… More >>
  • Best Natural Foods Grocery

    Seward Co-op Grocery & Deli

    For activists and converts to organic and local food, the new 13,000-square-foot Seward Co-op is the promised land. Yes, it's pricey—but hey, eating well these days costs a fortune wherever you go, and Seward's selection of produce, meats, and cheeses is the best around. The spread of Minnesota dairy is particularly impressive, as are the doughy, delicious, organic local breads.… More >>
  • Best Tapas

    El Meson - CLOSED

    While Solera has positioned itself as the Twin Cities' tapas powerhouse, it's not always practical—economically or geographically—to hit the downtown hotspot for tapas the way they're meant to be enjoyed: as a casual late-afternoon snack, eaten with friends over a glass of wine. That's where El Meson comes in. During the south Minneapolis restaurant's Sunday through Thursday happy hour (which… More >>
  • Best Fish Market

    Coastal Seafoods

    Coastal Seafoods' two Twin Cities shops make it easy to forget that we're more than a thousand miles from the Atlantic or Pacific. Thanks to the frequent deliveries of Northwest Airlines, the guys at Coastal Seafoods pick up fresh deliveries at the airport twice a day—and most of the selection has never seen the inside of a freezer: tilapia from… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Gandhi Mahal

    There are a lot of reasons to love Gandhi Mahal: the handmade, quilted tablecloths; the sitar player in the corner; the authentic, thoughtful decor; and the quietly courteous staff. But most of all it's the food. Gandhi Mahal's northern Indian cuisine hits all the right notes: expertly fried samosas (the tamarind dipping sauce is a favorite), a pitch-perfect chicken tikka… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern Grocery

    Holy Land Grocery & Deli

    The Twin Cities are blessed with an array of international specialty shops, but perhaps none is more comprehensive than Holy Land in northeast Minneapolis. Whether you're craving something savory (halal meats, green olives with garlic, varieties of hummus), sweet (baklava, dried glazed orange slices, shredded coconut), or simply that odd ingredient your average grocery doesn't carry (ghee, harissa, cardamom tea),… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

    Saffron

    A La Belle Vie-trained chef armed himself with his mother's Palestinian recipes and created Saffron's elegant menu of Mediterranean-Middle Eastern fusion fare. Sameh Wadi's creative cooking—strip loin with Manchego cheese and romesco; fried mussels with preserved lemons and tahini; duck breast with pomegranate, yogurt sauce, dried fruit, and pistachio—is unlike anything else in the Twin Cities. (It recently garnered him… More >>
  • Best Hummus

    Falafel King

    Hummus is no simple beast. Its Middle Eastern origins are shrouded in mystery, but some legends hold that the dip was the world's first prepared food. The bulk is mashed chickpeas, seasoned with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. When the ingredients are blended poorly, the hummus can be runny and bitter, or worse, doughy and bland. But… More >>
  • Best Ethiopian Restaurant

    Queen of Sheba - CLOSED

    Located in the Sibley Plaza shopping mall along the West Seventh Street corridor where many a treasured but unknown restaurant lives, Queen of Sheba makes you feel like you just discovered a secret gem. Bring all your friends to share traditional communal-style platters that allow you to sample almost everything on the menu for about $8 a person. You will… More >>
  • Best Egg Roll

    Taste of Thailand

    An egg roll is so often the least-appreciated item on an Asian restaurant's menu. Little thought or preparation goes into it beyond dunking a prefab roll of sodden cabbage and limp carrot into the deep fryer. That sad state makes us more likely to reach for a cream-cheese wonton or a chicken wing, given a choice. Thankfully, at Taste of… More >>
  • Best Caribbean Restaurant

    Marla's Caribbean Cuisine

    Calypso singers preach that Carnival started at the beginning of time. If this is true, then the food that fuels this festival originated way before Julia Child and Rachael Ray took over the airwaves. And since calypso music originated on the island of Trinidad, their food has had centuries to develop the best flavors in the world. For proof, head… More >>
  • Best Wings

    Sweeney's Saloon

    If, as Sweeney's Saloon in St. Paul's Cathedral Hill claims, beer is the reason you get out of bed every afternoon, then the venerable establishment's wings are the reason you show up for that beer with an empty stomach. Listed on the menu as the "Famous Flamingo Wings," these massive hunks of chicken—easily twice the size of wings anywhere else—would… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant

    Evergreen

    Too often vegetarians find themselves restricted to just a few items on a restaurant's menu, forced to satiate their hunger with salads, French fries, or the entire contents of the bread basket. But at Eat Street's hidden, basement gem, Evergreen Chinese Restaurant, the world is a vegetarian's mock oyster. Nearly every single meat-based dish can be made with its ersatz… More >>
  • Best Tea Shop

    Northern Lights Tea Company

    The scaling back of Starbucks' store-every-block saturation is just one more reason caffeine addicts are turning to tea to fill the void. More specifically, they are heading to Northern Lights Tea Company, where owner Sandy Nelson happily advises newbies on the differences in darjeelings (do you want a flush or a specific season?) and recently helped a customer find the… More >>
  • Best Steak House

    Manny's

    Manny's must have cojones the size of those on the strapping bull in the painting next to its host's stand. The place thinks it can charge 19 bucks for a Caesar salad and nearly $100 for a massive, bone-in rib eye for two. And you know what, it can. Because even though that salad is utterly skippable and some of… More >>
  • Best Bubble Tea (Alcoholic)

    Jasmine 26

    In a genius move, Jasmine 26 has spiked the classic Asian bubble tea, resulting in a deliciously buzzed treat. Both milky and fruity, Jasmine 26's bubble tea is part smoothie and part cocktail, and it comes in three tempting flavors: classic green tea, mango, and mocha. Served in an elongated martini glass, the drink is accompanied by a wide-mouthed straw… More >>
  • Best Bubble Tea

    Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine

    Bubble tea, or boba, is a whimsical drink that at first might seem best suited for small children, cartoon characters, and Japanophiles. The liquids may vary from teas to fruit juices to smoothies; it's the boba—large, black pearl tapioca so large that it must be consumed through a special straw—that makes the drink unique. Yet despite its admitted weirdness, bubble… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    Sea Salt Eatery

    In coastal country, boiling up big batches of sea creatures out on the beach is part of the culture: Louisiana has its crawfish, Maine its lobsters, and Maryland its crabs, for starters. New Englanders gather in large groups to bake clams or shuck oysters and tip back a beverage or two. This leads us to believe that one of the… More >>
  • Best Skyway Lunch

    Zen Box

    For the last four years or so, Zen Box, a narrow space in the 6 Quebec building, has been turning out fresh Japanese comfort-food lunches that have won over even the most dedicated burger-and-fries loyalists. And they're a decent bargain, too—many main dishes cost under $7 and nearly all the sides are under $2. Most entrées come as either bento… More >>
  • Best Sunday Brunch

    Grand Cafe

    For whatever reason, Sunday brunch doesn't seem to be as big a deal in the Twin Cities as it is in other metropolitan areas. Are our local culinary cognoscenti such wild weekend revelers that they can't get out of bed before two o'clock? Or too cocky to pay good money for a breakfast they think they might griddle up themselves?… More >>
  • Best Non-State Fair Cheese Curds

    Red Stag Supper Club

    We're still months away from the Great Minnesota Get-Together, but do not fret—succulent, deep-fried cheese is available in Northeast all year long. The Red Stag Supper Club has some blue-ribbon quality curds: Served in a paper cone, these hot babies melt in your mouth and go perfectly with a dab of ketchup. Chef Brian Hauke is a Wisconsin native, meaning… More >>
  • Best Breakfast

    Hell's Kitchen

    Hell's Kitchen is not the place to go when you wake up on a Sunday morning and feel like, well, hell. With a tongue numbed by an evening of cigarettes and a head clouded with the after-effects of too much booze, one can't properly appreciate a breakfast menu that is a far cry from greasy hangover fare. Take the Mahnomin… More >>
  • Best Desserts

    Forepaugh's

    Considering the wonders that pastry chef Carrie Summer works in her mobile trailer, Chef Shack, it's no surprise that the sweets she creates in a full-size kitchen are our favorite in the Twin Cities. Summer, formerly of Cue, Spoonriver, and several lauded coastal restaurants, designs all the desserts for Bruce Taher's restaurants: the Wayzata, Alaska, and Nordeast Eateries, plus the… More >>
  • Best Hangover Breakfast

    Uptown Bar & Cafe

    It's Sunday morning. You wake up on the floor of your apartment with the taste of Coors Light, vomit, and shame still fresh in your mouth. You look up and notice your friends are passed out around your apartment in just as bad of shape as you are. You've identified the problem; now you need a solution. Swear off alcohol… More >>
  • Best Delicatessen

    Be'wiched Sandwiches & Deli

    Gourmet sandwiches at Be'Wiched reflect the culinary résumés and foodie philosophy of owner-chefs Matthew Bickford and Mike Ryan. Bickford's past includes D'Amico & Sons, Zander Cafe in St. Paul, and a three-year stint as executive chef of Solera in Minneapolis. Ryan cooked at D'Amico Cucina and Restaurant Alma, where he developed a passion for top ingredients now reflected in Be'Wiched's… More >>
  • Best Takeout

    Brasa

    Question: What's a lot easier than importing the Creole grandmother you never had and chaining her to the stove? Answer: programming Brasa's number into your phone. The premium rotisserie restaurant that serves batch-roasted chicken, slow-roasted pork, and braised beef to dine-in guests also whips up the same fare for takeout. Call it comfort food in the comfort of your own… More >>
  • Best Soul Food

    West Indies Soul Food - CLOSED

    It's Sunday and you have a choice: go home and visit Mom, or head to the Midtown Global Market to catch Deep South Sundays at West Indies Soul Food. While Mom might do your laundry, she's also going to ask if you have a boyfriend. Again. That puts the win solidly with West Indies Soul Food, where on Sundays $11… More >>
  • Best Street Food

    Chef Shack

    We're dreaming of spring for about a million reasons, and one of the main ones is Chef Shack. When the little white trailer pulls up to the market (Mill City in Minneapolis, Marketfest in White Bear Lake), it's time for a hand-pattied bison burger, a tongue taco, or a pulled pork sandwich made with meats from the best local vendors.… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Dining Solo

    112 Eatery

    To evaluate a restaurant's ability to satisfy solo diners, put it to the ultimate test: Visit the place at 9 p.m. on a Friday night. That's the time when people who don't have plans are inclined to stay home—so nobody will find out that they're spending the evening alone. But then they'd miss out on a meal at 112 Eatery… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Late-Night Dining

    Chino Latino

    Oh, the joys of springtime in Uptown! Melting snow reveals a yard full of dog crap and trash. Bars unleash their patrons on sidewalks and patios, and drunken revelers start shouting matches right outside your door. It's pointless to try to get any shut-eye before two in the morning, so you might as well get out of bed and join… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When Someone Else Is Paying

    Cosmos

    Making dinner plans for four to six people, and somebody else is picking up the tab? Book the chef's table at Cosmos in the Graves Hotel, which serves the most elaborate blowout in town. The kitchen charges an eye-popping $200 per person for nine wine-paired courses, which means, essentially, they spare no expense. If you've experienced some of the delights… More >>
  • Best Wine List

    Spasso

    Building a business by offering customers a good deal is a great way to stay afloat in today's bear market. Giving choice-loving Americans 1,600 different bottles of wine to pore over is another. Roll those two ideas together and you've got Spasso, a new restaurant in Minnetonka that owner Chris Eriksson has wisely adjoined to a wine shop next door.… More >>
  • Best Service

    La Belle Vie

    While Minneapolis is slowly becoming known for its thriving culinary scene, we still have only a handful of lavish joints where the lack of a tie makes a dude feel, you know, uncomfortable. Why, then, with the need for neckware and all, would a guy want to fork over his last paycheck—or two—to eat at such a place? Other than… More >>
  • Best Diner

    Town Talk Diner - CLOSED

    The measure of a diner is not found in the records on its walls, the red pleather of its booths, or the chrome detailing on its jukeboxes, but rather in the quality and creativity of its menu. With its edgy twists on classic diner fare, Town Talk deserves the buzz that its name implies. For example, the brunch menu's huevos… More >>
  • Best Drive-in Restaurant

    The Dari-ette

    Many things on the East Side of St. Paul look like they haven't changed in 50 years—the old-guy bars, carpet shops, and "safety shoes" stores are the essence of old-school. And in the emerging Dayton's Bluff neighborhood is one prized piece of nostalgia—a genuine 1950s drive-in diner, the kind where you order through a speaker and eat in your car. At… More >>
  • Best Patio

    Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge

    Driving by this tiki bar, one might not suspect that an awesome patio lurks behind the fence. Originally an A&W, Psycho Suzi's transformed the space into a tropical wonderland several years ago. The patio, open year-round (though not recommended in January), features all the amenities of a tropical bar in Hawaii: gurgling fountains, thatched-hut table umbrellas, greenery, twinkling lights, and… More >>
  • Best Cheap Eats

    Jasmine Deli

    It's hard to find a restaurant that serves filling food that actually tastes good for under $5. And no, the McDonald's dollar menu does not count. Jasmine Deli, a tiny Vietnamese restaurant with some of the best Asian food in town, easily fits the bill. The spring rolls come with mock duck, pork, or seafood and will set you back… More >>
  • Best Coffee Shop

    Kopplin's Coffee

    Everyone loves the story of David versus Goliath. People love to see the little guy win. It's the reason we root for underdogs, watch Hoosiers, and support small businesses run by our neighbors. Kopplin's Coffee is such a business. This tiny cafe, nestled in a quiet section of St. Paul, can knock the portafilters off any coffee shop in Minneapolis.… More >>
  • Best Barista

    Mariah Patzner

    A barista can change your day. Be it with a simple smile or by remembering your favorite drink, they help get your morning started. But a barista like Mariah Patzner at Kopplin's coffee in St. Paul can change your life. For reals. One sip will make you a believer. She honed her craft in the hills of Eugene, Oregon, at… More >>
  • Best Wi-Fi Cafe

    Common Roots Cafe

    As anyone who saves $60 a month stealing their internet connection will tell you, Wi-Fi hot spots are a dime a dozen. However, for those of us still unable to crack into our neighbor's connection, Common Roots Cafe is a great place to enjoy the bounties of the internet. In the evenings, the place has a casual work/study vibe, with… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Bathroom

    Chino Latino

    It's actually not what's on the inside that counts for Chino Latino's restrooms. Within the halls of the mighty porcelain gods, their chrome and white-tile decor is pretty much what you'd expect to find at any modern water closet. It's the outside that captures the heart of a voyeur. The sinks are divided between the men's and women's facilities only… More >>

Best of Award Graphics

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