Food & Drink

  • Best Restaurant (St. Paul)

    Strip Club Meat & Fish

    Taking your mom to the Strip Club might sound like a questionable way to drop a couple of bucks. But she's a hip ol' gal. She can take it. While informing her that she's headed to this restaurant with the risqué name might add a new gray hair or two, she'll find upon entering that there is nothing not to… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Grand Szechuan

    On the beige horizon of a suburban street sits a hidden restaurant gem. While Grand Szechuan shares a parking lot with other, less thrilling establishments, there is nothing bland, beige, or ordinary about the cuisine inside the restaurant. It's hard to tell from the outside, but the expansive room is incredibly comfortable, with plenty of seating. The booths are semi-private… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    Meritage

    Like Catherine Deneuve, Meritage has a French elegance that only seems to grow more alluring with time. The supple curve of the Tarbais beans in the cassoulet, the tender oysters brimming with their salty juices, the quivering egg yolks atop the benedict, the aged-to-perfection New York strip: Every lovely, delicious bite secures its status as a classic. The room is… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Gardens of Salonica

    The sun reflects off the blond wood, washing the rock-and-metal sculptures with comfortable warmth. No matter the weather outside, inside Gardens of Salonica feels like an oasis in the gritty city. On a chilly November day, the liberal use of lemon in the appetizers, served with warm pita bread, is like a wink of summer sun. On a sweltering August… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Al Vento

    It's not new, but it's definitely fresh. It's not particularly flashy, but it still sparkles. It's not some ages-old riddle, it's Al Vento, the chef-driven south Minneapolis Italian restaurant that shows, after several years of successful business, that sometimes simplicity trumps all. Chef Jon Hunt re-creates rustic Italian fare with a lighter, modern twist. Delicate handmade pasta is paired with… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant

    Masu Sushi & Robata

    When Tim McKee's Masu Sushi & Robata came on the scene a few years ago, we all thought the same thing. Does this section of Minneapolis really need another sushi joint? With Origami and (the now-shuttered) Kikugawa in such close proximity, what gap in the market were they really attempting to fill? But when Masu opened, we got our answer… More >>
  • Best Korean Restaurant

    Kimchi Tofu House

    Except for a few places along Snelling Avenue in St. Paul and Hoban in Eagan, it seems like we have a real dearth of Korean restaurants in the Twin Cities. Perhaps that's why students and top chefs like Doug Flicker of Piccolo seemed to breathe a sigh of satisfaction when Kimchi Tofu House opened near the U of M. The… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Las Teresitas

    If you're a devotee of Las Teresitas, you've probably recruited friends to follow in the cult of its taco, a task that's not easily accomplished by simply viewing the restaurant's exterior. But however underwhelmed you are by Las Teresitas' surroundings, that's how overwhelmed you'll be by its salsa bar once you're inside. It's stocked with an addictive avocado-cilantro salsa, mild… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Darbar India Grill

    It used to be that going out to one of our many local Indian restaurants for a sinus-clearing curry or a crisp pakora meant you had to sacrifice atmosphere in exchange for really excellent food. Then came the rise of the fine-dining Indian restaurant in the Twin Cities. Suddenly we had delicious, inventive Indian food and ambiance to spare, but… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    Sea Change

    The salty spray of a cool ocean mist and the tiny grains of sand squishing between your bare toes are an itch we Midwestern folks don't have an easy time scratching. The best we can do is belly up to the raw bar at Sea Change and slurp down some of its artfully prepared seafood dishes. Freshly caught scallops, clams,… More >>
  • Best Steak House

    Burch

    There is glorious, carnivorous decadence contained in a perfectly prepared hunk of beef. Steak can be ordered with a million accoutrements or a simple slab of butter, but if the meat isn't just right, the entire dish is lost. Burch is doing many things well, but the name of the game here is steak. Offering guests a variety of cuts,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant (Minneapolis)

    The Bachelor Farmer

    In 2012, the Bachelor Farmer made Bon Appetit magazine's list of the 10 best new restaurants in the country. Then Marvel Bar, its sophisticated attached drinking lounge, was nominated for a James Beard Award in the Outstanding Bar Program category. If that wasn't enough, when POTUS came to town for a short visit, guess where he stopped for a lunch… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Krungthep Thai

    The ambiance may be a little lacking at this Eat Street outpost of St. Paul's Bangkok Thai Deli, but the incredibly delicious and authentic Thai food more than makes up for the absence of dim lighting and cloth napkins. In fact, once seated over sweet and spicy red duck curry with anise-y Thai basil and pops of sweet peas, or… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant

    Birdhouse - CLOSED

    Though it's not strictly a meat-free establishment, Stewart and Heidi Woodman's Birdhouse on Hennepin has all the makings of a great vegetarian restaurant: rich yet spritely appetizers like minted sweet pea pate, portioned to share; elegant egg dishes (for those who swing that way); hearty entrees like barley risotto with brawny mushrooms; and even vegan options — like eggplant croquettes… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Que Nha

    Navigating the restaurants of University Avenue is like a never-ending world of mini-vacations. There are so many flavors and experiences to discover. There are tastes of Sichuan, Thailand, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. Fans of Vietnamese food will want to seek out the gem that is Que Nha. Service is speedy and friendly, and the food is reasonably priced. The extensive menu… More >>
  • Best Service

    Corner Table

    Where are our flying cars? Weren't we supposed to have those by now? What about the robot maids? Of all the promises of a sci-fi future, Corner Table seems to be the only one that has mastered any of these. While it masquerades as a lo-fi, farm-to-table restaurant with an exquisite wine list and music played from an antique turntable,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Romance

    The Kenwood

    With genuine, well-informed service, a beautiful wine list with some hard-to-find bottles and impressive vintages, and the kind of skillful presentation that makes even beets look sexy, Don Saunders's new restaurant in Kenwood checks off all the boxes when it comes to romantic dining. The casual cool of the stately yet cozy interior makes you feel instantly whisked away, as… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for a First Date

    Kings Wine Bar

    When deciding on a restaurant for a first date, selecting a spot with the right vibe is crucial. Fortunately, Kings Wine Bar strikes the perfect balance necessary for sparks to fly. This is especially true in the evenings, when the lights dim and the candles flicker while patrons sip from glasses of wine and pints of beer. Sit at the… More >>
  • Best Restaurant When Someone Else Is Paying

    La Belle Vie

    Everyone should get to experience Tim McKee's exquisite La Belle Vie at least once, but as you can imagine, a night of silver service and dry-aged beef doesn't come cheap. This is a place where you shouldn't let time or money or anything else distract you from what's sure to be a memorable meal, and the best way to do… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Worth the Drive

    Chef Shack

    We were already used to following them. Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson led the local food truck charge as the pioneers of the Twin Cities' street eats scene. Each summer, when they returned and rolled out those trucks, we would happily trail them anywhere. It was only natural, then, that when they opened their weekends-only brick-and-mortar spot in Bay City,… More >>
  • Best Diner

    Bandbox Diner

    Hidden in the Elliot Park neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis, Bandbox Diner is a relic from another time. It was built during the 1930s by a man named Harry Wyman and his wife, Bert, as a local alternative to burgeoning fast-food chains like White Castle. At one time there were 15 of them around the Twin Cities, but this is the… More >>
  • Best Restaurant to Eat with Kids

    Parka - CLOSED

    The hip new Longfellow spot Parka features everything a parent needs to be able to enjoy a meal with little ones. The food is playful and imaginative. The space is easily cleaned up after those who are still working on their knife skills. Even better, the staff never cringes at the approach of the Playskool set. Distractions include a wooden… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Butcher & the Boar

    When Jack Riebel, former executive chef of La Belle Vie and head of the revamped Dakota, opened Butcher & the Boar in the spring of 2012, he and the restaurant made an immediate splash on an otherwise sleepy block of Hennepin. With its menu of big, manly meats and bold selection of bourbon, Butcher & the Boar took straightforward, delicious… More >>
  • Best Breakfast

    Victor's 1959 Cafe

    When you think breakfast, you generally don't think about beans and rice — but guess what? A good portion of the world does, and after your first visit to this teeny Cuban restaurant, you'll start to as well. Victor's is usually busiest on the weekends, but once the weather warms and the patio opens there's extra room for patrons in… More >>
  • Best Lunch

    The Left-Handed Cook

    The experience of walking into the Midtown Global Market is much like walking into the International Bazaar at the State Fair: It's a cornucopia of bright colors and rich textiles, bustling with people, and everywhere you look there's something delicious to eat. With so many options it can be hard to narrow down where to go for lunch, but luckily… More >>
  • Best Brunch

    Strip Club Meat & Fish

    You can load up a buffet with all the sad, flat pancakes and ham carving stations you like, but we all know that does not a good brunch make. What we truly want from that blessed Sunday late-morning meal is to gather together and discuss the previous night's activities, cram in all varieties of sweet and savory carbohydrates, and, of… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Dining

    Nightingale

    After finishing a long second shift or catching a late movie, you all too often find your food options whittled down to pizza or chicken tenders. Both items have their time and place, but in a town this big, this cosmopolitan, and this brimming with exciting restaurants new and old, shouldn't you be able to get something a little more… More >>
  • Best Street Food

    Dandelion Kitchen

    As our street-eats scene continues to flourish, the choice of which truck to visit becomes more harrowing. We get but one lunch break a day! We can't squander that precious time away from our desks eating subpar food. Join the line outside the sunny little trailer that is Dandelion Kitchen, just outside the IDS building, and rest assured that your… More >>
  • Best Desserts

    La Belle Vie

    You may not be aware that every stomach comes equipped with two compartments — a regular savory compartment plus a special dessert compartment. No matter how full you think you may be, the dessert compartment always remains empty, ready for something sweet. La Belle Vie continues to be the crème de la crème of the Twin Cities dining scene, and… More >>
  • Best Takeout

    Foxy Falafel

    It's almost an unfair leg up for a business built on the go to qualify as best takeout. When Foxy Falafel began as a farmers' market staple, there were no eating options other than taking it away. However, with the new restaurant space in this adorable corner of St. Paul, conveniently close to both U of M campuses, owner Erica… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Dining

    Butcher & the Boar

    In the sweltering midsummer sun, a perfectly mixed mint julep served in a frigid tin cup transforms the day from sweaty to spectacular. In the crisp autumn evening, a frosty, caramel-colored beer sipped by the fire extends the light-sweater season. Really, we have only one (albeit long) season in which a day can't be made better by spending time at… More >>
  • Best Urban Farm

    Stone's Throw

    Stone's Throw's approach to farming is less acres and tractors and more guerrilla pop-ups. The six farmers who collaborate on the year-old farming collective carve planting land out of whatever lots they can lease, an approach that has netted them 18 tracts (and, er, growing) throughout the metro area. About a year ago, Stone's Throw's endeavors were technically illegal: Until… More >>
  • Best Candy Store

    Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

    Be warned, this is no ordinary kiddie candy store. It's more like a roadside attraction meets a trip down memory lane meets enough sugar to feed a small country, twice. Minnesota's Largest Candy Store will suck you in before you even arrive. The flashy yellow exterior adorned with colorfully painted signs guarantees to spark your curiosity from a mile away.… More >>
  • Best Chef

    Sameh Wadi, Saffron and World Street Kitchen

    After years of successfully running the highly acclaimed Mediterranean restaurant Saffron, this year James Beard Award Rising Star Chef nominee Sameh Wadi really proved the range and depth of his talent when he opened the brick-and-mortar outpost of World Street Kitchen, the popular food truck he owns with his brother. Wadi's hands move as deftly when braising veal breast and… More >>
  • Best Cheese Shop

    Lake Wine and Spirits

    A fairly recent (and sorely needed) addition to Minneapolis's Whittier neighborhood, Lake Wine and Spirits is your one-stop shop for a Friday night party run or an evening in with a block of cheese, a baguette, and two bottles of wine. Browse the fine but not overbearing selection of wine, beer, and spirits just next door, then duck into the… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Pizzeria Lola

    Top a pizza any way you wish, but the basis of a great pie is a flavorful crust. Pizzeria Lola could pile just about anything atop its crust and the world would still clamor for table space. The exterior arrives crispy, crunchy, and slightly blistered before collapsing into a satisfying chew. A few traces of toasted flour leave a pleasantly… More >>
  • Best Burger

    The Hill Burger at Harriet Brasserie

    Here, in the birthplace of Juicy Lucys, it's always a surprise when a non-molten-cheese-stuffed burger shows up on a menu and manages to blow you away. But that's just what happens when you first sink your teeth into the Hill Burger at Harriet Brasserie in Linden Hills. It's not even representative of most of the cuisine at this charming bistro,… More >>
  • Best Fries

    The Anchor Fish and Chips

    Sure, we have plenty of "fancy" options for the humble French fry in the Cities — cooked in unexpected fats, served with exotic seasonings, and served up like some kind of haute cuisine dish. If you are looking just for flavor, it is hard to beat the "chips" at the Anchor. It starts with the potatoes, which are freshly cut… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    Patisserie 46

    It's rare that a bakery does sweets as well as it does breads, but that is the blessed situation at Patisserie 46 in southwest Minneapolis. Gaining a local reputation for classic French confection perfection (especially the millefeuille and eclairs) and national attention from magazines that list the bakery among the world's best patisseries, Patisserie 46 makes it a smart move… More >>
  • Best Doughnuts

    Glam Doll Donuts

    With a reputation as the favored snack of paunchy police officers everywhere, doughnuts are not exactly thought of as glamorous. Or at least they weren't until Glam Doll Donuts came to town in February. Owners Teresa Fox and Arwyn Birch have created a stylish oasis on Nicollet Avenue, where they welcome hungry patrons and invite them to bask in the… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream Parlor

    Lynden's Soda Fountain

    The best thing about an ice cream cone on a hot summer day is the license to act like an eight-year-old. Rich and creamy, sticky and cold, the ice cream leaks over the edge of the sugary cone and traces a path from your fingers to the street below. Similarly, as you walk inside Lynden's Soda Fountain it's hard not… More >>
  • Best Chocolate

    St. Croix Chocolate Company

    Part of the perfect chocolate experience is the heightened anticipation. Staring at that thin, dome-shaped shell, elegantly painted with shimmering color, you'll find it an exercise in self-control not to just hork it down. Stunning chocolates like the ones made by St. Croix Chocolate deserve savoring. The flavors are subtle and imaginative combinations. Honey whiskey, orange thyme, white ginger: The… More >>
  • Best Delicatessen

    Surdyk's

    You already go there for the semi-annual wine sale and stellar selection of Scotch, but if you haven't stopped by Surdyk's deli for lunch you haven't experienced the full set of this store's many charms. The relationships Surdyk's has with farmers, local dairies, and regional purveyors make for sandwiches of the highest quality, stuffed with champion cheeses, crisply fried fillets… More >>
  • Best Sandwich

    Manny's Tortas

    Few understand the proper architecture of a perfect sandwich. The cold must stay cold, while the hot remains hot. One ingredient misstep and the entire affair could collapse, leaving layers of flavor to languish in the muck. The local master of this high-wire act — the modern-day culinary Philippe Petit — is Manny Gonzalez, and his sandwich is the Manny's… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Trend

    Food trucks go brick-and-mortar

    Starting around 2009, the Twin Cities went crazy for food trucks. Everywhere you turned, a new, brightly painted truck was open for business and slinging high-quality, crowd-pleasing, budget-friendly food from a modest mobile kitchen parked on Nicollet Mall or around Mears Park or outside one of many new small breweries. But this last year, the mobile revolution took a direction… More >>
  • Best Cheap Eats

    Quang Restuarant

    Quang Restaurant on Eat Street offers both quality and quantity, not to mention authentic Vietnamese cuisine, at an excellent price. The majority of its menu items won't set you back more than $10, with most main entrees priced in the $7.50 to $8.50 range. Order the pho and you'll soon be tucking into a huge bowl of noodle soup topped… More >>
  • Best Coffee Shop

    Peace Coffee Shop

    We have long been fans of Peace Coffee, our ubiquitous local roaster, not only for its coffee products but for its involvement in the community and its work with fair trade and sustainability around the world. So when Peace opened its own coffee shop two years ago, nestled near the convergence of the Longfellow and Seward neighborhoods, we were already… More >>
  • Best Buffet

    Big Marina Grill & Deli

    As if the rows and rows of bright green falafel, smoky baba ghanoush, roasted bone-in chicken, and grilled vegetables with saffron rice weren't enough to fill your plate and your belly at Big Marina in Columbia Heights, this year it's added three new buffet counters. Now there's room for meat of every type imaginable, from tender braised lamb shanks to… More >>
  • Best Burrito

    Bangkok Burrito at World Street Kitchen

    If your idea of a burrito begins with carnitas and ends with carne asada, it's time to think outside the caja. Chef Sameh Wadi has brought an entirely new twist to the humble tortilla roll-up with the unique Bangkok Burrito at World Street Kitchen (both the food truck and the new fast-casual restaurant on Lyndale). At his renowned fine-dining Middle… More >>
  • Best Tacos

    El Taco Riendo

    It would be easy to pass by El Taco Riendo without taking notice. Located in a modest storefront in northeast Minneapolis, the Mexican restaurant is small and unpretentious. But those who have ventured in know the secret. El Taco Riendo (the Laughing Taco) offers an excellent selection of tacos at a bargain price. Your meal is made fresh right in… More >>
  • Best Tamales

    La Loma Tamales

    Tacos and burritos get all the attention. Hell, people even talk about Potato Olés more than tamales. Anyone who has picked up La Loma's food at Midtown Global Market, one of its downtown offshoots, or via catering at a public event, knows better. Made from stoneground corn and steamed in a corn husk, tamales sometimes get a bad rap as… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Sushi Fix

    Anyone who has seen the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi knows that sushi is serious business. Chefs take years just to learn how to properly make rice. Perfecting each part of the intricate art of sushi making certainly looks stressful. So why are the guys inside the Sushi Fix truck having so much fun? With toasts of "Kampai!" owner Enkhbileg… More >>
  • Best Spring Rolls

    La Joy's Pattaya Thai

    The appetizer market has become saturated with the deep-fried. While that's all well and good, sometimes there's nothing as good as a healthy and fresh option, like the spring roll, for example. Just off 494, Richfield restaurant Joy's Pattaya Thai has a fruit-influenced version of the rice paper favorite, adding mango and avocado to complement the cucumber, carrot, lettuce, and… More >>
  • Best Wings

    Icehouse

    The first bite catches you off guard: Whoa, these are not your average chicken wings. We've become accustomed to the above-average bar snacks at Icehouse, but the wings are on another level. Sure, the burger is good, and they make a serious French fry, but the wings are just downright addictive. First, the chicken appendages are slowly cooked confit, in… More >>
  • Best Fish Fry

    Church of St. Albert the Great

    Every Friday during Lent (except Good Friday) beginning at 4:30 p.m., the spacious basement in the Church of St. Albert the Great fills up with hungry people looking to satiate themselves with delicious tilapia. Cars line the surrounding blocks, and the church even hires a shuttle to pick people up from overflow parking at a nearby lot. The fish fry… More >>
  • Best Food Neighborhood

    North Loop

    Once just a collection of nondescript office buildings and condo construction sites, the North Loop has been experiencing a surge of new energy ever since Target Field's development plans were announced. It made sense that restaurateurs would flock to this area, but no one anticipated the high volume nor the level of quality we got from the eateries that set… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar (St. Paul)

    Blue Door Pub

    Stepping through the Blue Door Pub's eponymous entryway is always an experience: It's noisy, it's fun, and it's packed with people ready for burgers and beer. Make sure you order one of the famously good Blucys (the Blue Door's creative take on the original Juicy Lucy) right when you get a seat. We recommend the divinely savory-sweet Merriam Park Blucy,… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar (Minneapolis)

    Pizza Luce, Lyn-Lake neighborhood

    For many folks living in the Lyn-Lake and Carag neighborhoods, taking a walk to Pizza Luce for a pint and a slice is a common event. While the location gets a lot of business from visitors during peak hours, the clientele on weeknights and odd weekend hours tends to be familiar faces from people who probably walked there. Ideally, a… More >>
  • Best Wine Bar

    Kings Wine Bar

    Though the conventional nibble on the side of a bold glass of red might be a wedge of manchego or some Sicilian olives, Kings Wine Bar makes a convincing case that tater tots also make for a pretty great coupling. (And if you really can't budge on the cheese thing, it should be noted that the tots come with a… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    19 Bar

    The 19 Bar in Loring Park has been part of the GLBT community for more than 60 years, predating Stonewall and the start of the gay rights movement by decades. It retains the charm of a neighborhood hangout, rather than being an ultra-slick facility intended only for the hard-muscled beautiful people. Instead, you have a place that advertises, above everything… More >>
  • Best Irish Pub

    The Dubliner

    The Dubliner isn't the fanciest place in town, but that's not really our criterion for a good Irish bar. Located on the corner of Vandalia and University, the quaint pub carries a solid list of Irish taps and whiskey, and the bartenders know how to pour a Guinness. It's an authentic Irish bar without the frills or gimmicks. It has… More >>
  • Best Dive Bar

    Lyle's

    First of all, we recognize that defining "dive bar" is no easy task, so we developed a set of criteria to help us get it straight. Does the joint have windows? Cheap drinks? Greasy food, if it has food at all? And greasy customers? As far as Liquor Lyle's goes, the answers are no, yes, yes (greasy but good), and… More >>
  • Best Dive Bar (Suburban)

    Huey's Saloon

    What makes for a perfect dive bar? Buzzing neon sign from a bygone era? Check. Fantastically greasy, perfectly grilled burgers and onion rings that'll leave you burping up regret for the rest of your day? Check. No website, let alone Facebook presence or bartender who tweets the nightly specials? Midday drunks arguing with the jukebox before battling the dartboard in… More >>
  • Best Hotel Bar

    Bradstreet Craftshouse - CLOSED

    Hotel bars, like the drinks they serve, need to have the perfect ratio of ingredients for success: a no-nonsense attitude, the right amount of hustle and bustle, low-key lighting, a mix of locals and out-of-towners, and a bartender ready to whisk you away to another land. Bradstreet Craftshouse combines these elements into the metro's best hotel bar. Located on the… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    The Lowry

    We'll be honest with you: Best Happy Hour is one of the more difficult awards we give out. Almost every single bar in the Twin Cities has some kind of early-evening drink special, and if the goal is simply cheap booze, just about all of them get the job done. But the key to the Lowry's superiority isn't price alone.… More >>
  • Best Bartender

    Rob Jones at Saffron

    A good bartender can smooth out the rough edges on a bumpy night. An inspired cocktail creator can elevate a drinking scene to new heights. The balance of these two talents embodied in one soul is not easily found. Chemists aren't always known for their outgoing personalities. Bartenders who love to provide exceptional service for customers don't always want to… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Café (St. Paul)

    Heartland Farm Direct Market

    At first glance, you might not think of Heartland, home of elegant farm-to-table, hyper-local food, as a café, but the Farm Direct Market is exactly the sort of neighborhood gathering ground every food fan would love to live near. Rich and toasty Dogwood coffee is brewed by the cup. The sandwiches are built entirely from scratch: Every slice of bread… More >>
  • Best Cocktails

    Icehouse

    It's no surprise that Icehouse has some killer drinks on its menu. The specialty cocktail list was designed by Johnny Michaels of the North Star Bartenders' Guild and La Belle Vie fame, after all. Novelty drinks can be extremely hard to pull off, but that's not the case here. The Little Richard is an appropriately fruity and fizzy concoction featuring… More >>
  • Best Contemporary Cocktail

    The Great Gatsby at Marvel Bar

    Only Pip Hanson could make a watered-down drink, devoid of ice cubes, appealing. He and his team behind the bar at Marvel are once again taking the expectations of what a cocktail ought to be and twisting the whole thing sideways. The Great Gatsby is a flavor achievement. We've traveled the craft-cocktail scene around the region and the country, and… More >>
  • Best Margarita

    Pancho Villa Restaurant

    The margarita is all about refreshment — a drink for a hot summer's day or at the end of a long slog at work. Pancho Villa offers a deep list of drinks with expert subtle alterations to the basic ingredients. Starting with the basics — tequila, triple sec, and freshly squeezed lime juice — the margaritas grow in complexity, featuring… More >>
  • Best Bloody Mary

    Hell's Kitchen

    Finding the best bloody Mary in the Twin Cities is no simple task. Just about every bar has one, and plenty claim the title. Some will lure you with infused vodka and elaborate garnishes, but there's really no hiding a dull mix. We traveled far and wide this year sampling bloodies, from trendy new bars to dives. We found plenty… More >>
  • Best Brewpub

    Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub

    Even those who didn't bite the "free beer for life" hook at the investing stage have been packing this new brewpub on a nightly basis. The Standish-Ericsson neighborhood is mere steps off the light rail and offers a blend of residential and commercial services, yet it lacked craft beer/sit-down dinner options. In other words, Northbound Smokehouse is just what the… More >>
  • Best Beer List

    Groveland Tap

    The Groveland Tap has been a reputable and welcome Mac-Groveland institution for local families and generations of Macalaster, St. Thomas, and St. Catherine's students. The bar isn't just a cozy nook in one of St. Paul's most charming neighborhoods, though. The pub has upped its beer game, now boasting about 35 tap lines with a varied, rotating selection and a… More >>
  • Best Local Beer

    Summit EPA

    Twenty-six years old and still running strong, Summit EPA reaffirmed its position with a 2012 silver medal for Classic English-Style Pale Ale at the World Beer Cup. The brewery's signature recipe, known for a healthy hop kick balanced by a tasty malt finish, continues to serve not only as the brewery's flagship beer but as one for the blossoming Minnesota… More >>
  • Best New Brewery

    Indeed Brewing Company

    The Twin Cities craft-brew scene is growing at a phenomenal rate. Without looking up figures, somewhere around 500 breweries sprung up this year — or that's how it feels anyway. While they all have some excellent qualities, Indeed Brewing Company of northeast Minneapolis stands out for its hoppy Day Tripper Pale Ale and doubly hoppy Midnight Ryder American Black Ale… More >>
  • Best Pub Crawl

    Zombie Pub Crawl

    Zombie Pub Crawl is just about the closest thing you'll ever find to a real zombie apocalypse. It began in 2005 with a few friends looking for an excuse to get drunk and dress up as the undead, but it has since grown into something so horrifyingly, wonderfully massive that it shuts down the West Bank for one night every… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Cafe (Minneapolis)

    The Gray House - CLOSED

    Step inside the Lyn-Lake area's best little bistro, the Gray House, and you may wish you lived in the neighborhood. The place is nothing like most nearby restaurants: The bar has open seats, you can hear the person across the table from you, and you don't feel uncool asking lots of questions about the different beers on tap. Most important,… More >>
  • Best Barbecue

    Ted Cook's 19th Hole BBQ

    First established in 1968 by its namesake — a golfer, in case that name confounds you — Ted Cook's 19th Hole BBQ is an unassuming hole-in-the-wall takeout spot near the 38th Street light rail station that has changed hands just a couple times during its 45-year run, remaining a family- and friend-owned mainstay of south Minneapolis, where neighborhood residents can… More >>

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