Best Neighborhood Café (Minneapolis) - 2012
The mourning that accompanied the closing of Pop! on Johnson Street in northeast Minneapolis didn't take long to morph into a full-fledged embrace of its successor, Hazel's Northeast. Brothers Adam and Andrew Sieve named the restaurant in honor of their grandmother, who ran her own restaurant in Alexandria, Minnesota, while the boys were growing up. Hazel's retains the feeling of a small-town diner, but with enough contemporary touches to make it a perfect fit for a cozy urban neighborhood. Regulars are greeted by name, and the brothers can often be found pulling up a chair to chat with diners while they enjoy their Swedish meatballs or drunken banana French toast. A colorful chalkboard on the sidewalk lures Nordeasters inside with promises of weekly $4 burger nights, date nights, weekend brunches, and grandparents' nights, and with Surly now on tap, there's even more reason to pop in for a brew and an order of Cajun fried pickles.
Truly a great restaurant that fits the Nordeast vibe. The brothers have made this a great addition to the area!
I live in the neighborhood behind Hazel's and don't understand the logic behind this best of pick. It's a pretty plain place. The food isn't awful, but it certainly isn't stellar either. It just is. I think to myself on a weekly basis how I wish there was a different restaurant in that location . It's kinda lame that the one main drag local eatery is just a place with burgers and blah. It doesn't fit in to the neighborhood very well.