Food & Drink

  • Best Bakery

    Rustica Bakery

    Though there are many worthy contenders, Rustica still makes the best baguette in town, and a great baguette is the bready backbone of any bakery worth its Maldon Sea Salt. Rustica's baguettes are crisp, perfectly proofed, airily structured, and baked in a high-heat stone hearth oven to achieve that shiny, knockable exterior. It makes an amazing base for spreads, sandwiches,… More >>
  • Best Breakfast

    Ward 6

    We like to start our days the way we end them — in close proximity to a bar — and at Ward 6 we can get our morning caffeine fix in a tall glass of Surly Coffee Bender. Best of all, we get to follow up that jolt with any number of exceptional early-in-the-day dishes. Breakfast poutine here isn't just… More >>
  • Best Brunch

    Modern Times Café

    While you're standing in the inevitable weekend brunch line at this Powderhorn hot spot, flip through the local zines on wall racks, or the mugs handmade by one of the owners, or the stack of postcards, including those with the slogan, "Modern Times Café: Where the Punks Take Their Parents." It's true: Modern Times hosts all kinds, and while the… More >>
  • Best Cure for a Hangover

    Breakfast Poutine and a Bloody Mary at Muddy Waters

    Even after you've ordered the holy trinity of brunch beverages — water to hydrate, coffee to caffeinate, and a Bloody Mary to wash away your sins, amen — you've still got arguably the most important decision ahead of you: what to eat. Pick the wrong thing, and you're wallowing in bed for the remainder of the day; choose wisely, and… More >>
  • Best Bloody Mary

    Triple Rock Social Club

    The Bloody Mary will forever be bedfellows with that cruelest reality of a fun night on the town: the hangover. At the Triple Rock, the bartenders never lose sight of the utilitarian purposes of this brunch staple, boozing it up generously with vodka, adding a sweat-inducing dose of hot sauce, and tossing in enough pepper to make your mouth pucker.… More >>
  • Best Coffee Shop

    Spyhouse Northeast

    If there's a drawback to the surplus of top-notch coffee shops in the Twin Cities — and, frankly, we're not complaining — it's that it can be hard for any single one to stand out from the crowd. No such worries exist with the newest addition to the Spyhouse empire, located in Northeast off Broadway and Central. The array of… More >>
  • Best Doughnuts

    Glam Doll Donuts

    For the rest of the country, this may have been the year of the cronut, but there's no sign of regular doughnut decline in the Twin Cities. Did we finally give in to our baser instincts and accept that pretty pastries are a totally legit after-bar treat? Or did we just find ourselves undeniably intrigued by confections made with peanut… More >>
  • Best Classic Pancakes

    Neighborhood Cafe

    We know there will always be the Al's Breakfast die-hards who refuse to get pancakes anywhere else, but if you like to eat your flapjacks without someone hovering over you, waiting in a vulture-like state for your seat, make the Neighborhood Cafe on Selby Avenue your new short-stack destination. Perfectly portioned, super fluffy, a bit tangy thanks to the buttermilk,… More >>
  • Best Alternative Pancakes

    The Mill Northeast

    When the Mill City Cafe closed temporarily, fans bemoaned the loss of its famed veggie burger, piquant Bloody Marys, and most of all, its cinnamon wild rice pancakes. So when the restaurant re-emerged, re-vamped with a big time bar program and more adventurous eats in a new northeast Minneapolis location, we were relieved to see they didn't change a thing… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    The Rabbit Hole

    It's tough being the new kid, with a sea of critics judging your every move. But the Rabbit Hole showed up on the dining scene this year in a burst of brash flavors, intriguing decor, and a self-confidence that was hard to resist. Shortly after opening, owners Thomas Kim and Kat Melgaard folded their successful Midtown Global Market stall, the… More >>
  • Best Lunch

    The Kenwood

    The Kenwood has blended so seamlessly into the neighborhood for which it's named, you'd hardly believe it has been there for only a couple of years. The main dining room is wide, comfortable, and warm with classic elegance. Easing into a table in front of the plaid walls and gazing out one of the windows, you might find yourself wanting… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in St. Paul

    The Strip Club Meat & Fish

    There is no shortage of whimsy and playfulness at the Strip Club Meat & Fish, but make no mistake: Food this good is serious business. The service may be just a bit cheeky, but these are also polished professionals who will happily guide you from a cocktail made exactly to your liking to a dessert you'll never forget. Chef JD… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Minneapolis

    Corner Table

    Every morning, vendors arrive at Corner Table to deliver fresh and locally sourced foods, and every day, the menu changes to utilize each ingredient. Chef Thomas Boemer builds his artfully composed plates — such as the threads of tender beef curled inside house-made pasta or crispy duck breast with an earthy, sweet root vegetable puree — with that day's ingredients,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners

    Brasa Premium Rotisserie

    Minnesota is notorious for its quiet hostility to newcomers, which is why Brasa is the perfect place to take your out-of-town guests. After all, the menu is practically built for sharing, which means you'll be forced to make conversation as you shuffle the plates of mac and cheese and other comfort foods. The meat is rotisserie-style and sourced from local… More >>
  • Best Place to Eat Out with Your Kids

    Fika at the American Swedish Institute

    The danger of dining out with little ones is the dreaded "dead zone," the time between placing your order and when the food actually arrives. For adults, it's a nice chance to chat with companions; for kids, it's the perfect time to fidget until they've knocked over a glass of water. At Fika, located inside the historic American Swedish Institute,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Worth the Drive

    Phil's Tara Hideaway

    Some folks take mini road trips to outlet malls, others to parks and lakes. And then there are those who head out on the highway for a destination meal. Phil's Tara Hideaway in Stillwater is a restaurant worth the drive. The small space is part log cabin, part supper club, and was recognized as a historic landmark in 2007. The… More >>
  • Best Restaurant with a View

    Cossetta Alimentari

    Dining outside on the patio of Cossetta in St. Paul, it's easy to get to feeling kingly. Survey all that is before you and know this is your kingdom — from the grandeur of the cathedral on the hill down to the Mississippi River. You can see the sunlight dancing off the stained glass windows and the barges floating down… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Romance

    La Belle Vie

    La Belle Vie is built to feel stately with a subtle sexiness. As you walk in, the valet opens the door and high heels tap against the marble floors. Skin looks so soft under the chandelier's gilded lighting, it's impossible not to look your most inviting inside these walls. The expertly trained staff guide you through the menu, refill wine… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for a First Date

    Midtown Global Market

    There are so many questions and options surrounding first dates that they can quickly overwhelm an already-antsy romantic mind. Do you want to get coffee, lunch, drinks, or dinner? Afterward, do you want to take in a late movie, catch a show, or play an indoor paintball game? Meeting at the Midtown Global Market will calm all that anxiety about… More >>
  • Best Service

    Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar

    Service is the linchpin of a good restaurant, and no one creates an exquisite dining experience better than the staff inside Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar. They know the menu inside and out, have the wine list down cold, but also manage the un-fakable mien of genuine hospitality. First a glass appears, water is refreshed, and then plates arrive in… More >>
  • Best Kept Secret

    UniDeli

    If you've shopped at United Noodles, you've probably seen UniDeli, a small sit-down deli in the middle of the store. It looks slightly out of place, with a mid-size barrier separating it from the rest of the store, but we're willing to move past its awkward placement for the chance to slurp down another bowl of UniDeli's delicious pork ramen.… More >>
  • Best Local Foodie Made Good

    Amy Thielen

    No other local food personality — critic, chef, or otherwise — enjoyed the same curve in her career trajectory as Amy Thielen did in 2013. After a decade of paying her dues in the kitchens of venerable Manhattan restaurants and developing recipes for national magazines, Thielen decided to relocate somewhere a little closer to her roots in small-town northern Minnesota.… More >>
  • Best Chef

    Doug Flicker of Piccolo

    What makes a great chef? Is it a galaxy of starred reviews? Is it someone who inspires other chefs to stretch their skills and push the bounds of innovation? Or is a truly great chef someone who consistently raises the bar for not just compatriots and diners, but the culinary landscape of an entire city? Whatever your answer is, Doug… More >>
  • Best Kickstarter

    Travail Kitchen and Amusements

    Successfully funded on October 10, 2013, just hours after it was launched, Travail's $75,000 Kickstarter raised a whopping $255,669 toward building a brand new restaurant — and raised a few eyebrows along with it. The wildly successful campaign set off a debate on the value of crowd-funding for-profit restaurants, even garnering a note in a New York Times article on… More >>
  • Best Web Series

    The Perennial Plate

    We have never had the opportunity to smell the inside of a cheese cave in Parma, nor have we tasted the creamy flesh of the fruit from a cocoa tree. However, thanks to Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine of the James Beard Award-winning web series The Perennial Plate, it feels as though we have lived those experiences. The duo began… More >>
  • Best Food Trend

    Making the Bar Program as Important as the Dinner Menu

    There is nothing like the solid thud of unmet expectations when an exquisite plate of food comes with a poorly made mixed drink. The local craft cocktail revolution has changed all that, creating a new appreciation for the classics, like a proper Sazerac or a perfectly mixed Manhattan topped with Bittercube bitters and a brandied local cranberry. We're no longer… More >>
  • Best Food Neighborhood

    Seward

    Last year's winner in this category, the North Loop, is still going strong, adding more bars, restaurants, and breweries by the day. But while all eyes have been on the Warehouse District, Seward has been quietly propping itself up for a comeback. There are the old standbys finding a new audience, like the Seward Cafe and the re-vamp of Tracy's… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Downtown Minneapolis

    Vincent A Restaurant

    Wondering where to take guests from out of town? Need a spot for a serious business lunch? Considering celebrating an anniversary or grabbing a quick glass of wine after work? It's hard to be all things to all people, but Vincent A Restaurant continues to be just such a place, delivering exceptional cuisine for every occasion, night after night. From… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Downtown St. Paul

    Meritage

    No other restaurant holds our St. Paul-loving hearts like the charming and elegant Meritage. From the zinc-topped bar to the patina on the mirrors, the main dining room was made for falling in love. The spot-on service is always helpful, never intrusive, and seems to come with such ease you almost forget how difficult great service is to master. Russell… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in the North Loop

    The Bachelor Farmer

    Minnesotans are many things. We're hearty enough to withstand cold weather and warm enough to help out our neighbors with a jump start or a hot dish. It's seldom, however, that we are considered "cool." Suddenly, that's changing. The world seems to be adopting our ways and snapping up our locally made products, and no one celebrates all that makes… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Audubon Park

    Hazel's Northeast

    Tasty, approachable, reasonably priced, and family-friendly (but fancier than what you would probably end up cooking at home) are really tough boxes to tick all in one place, but Hazel's on Johnson Street is one neighborhood restaurant that manages it with ease. That's probably why it's always so packed with Audubon residents on Sunday mornings, when brunch includes drunken banana… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Bryn-Mawr

    Sparks

    The menu at Sparks, which changes regularly, centers on the space's wood-burning oven. Like most places with such an amenity, this means they serve awesome pizzas, including varieties like the meat lovers', chicken and gorgonzola, and a decadent truffle egg with Pecorino cheese and kale pie. However, Sparks also uses its oven for other tasty treats, such as roasted Amish… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Sheridan

    Modern Cafe

    It remains the number-one spot in town to satisfy a craving for perfect pot roast (some say they like the meatloaf even more), but the Modern Cafe in Sheridan is so much more than beef and gravy. Though the name might conjure up images of sleek lines and minimalistic steely touches, there's actually a very retro aesthetic going on here.… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Loring Park

    La Belle Vie

    La Belle Vie is the gastronomic gem of Loring Park, a perfect mix of elegant and experimental cuisine. Just beyond the grassy slopes of the park sits this quiet, James Beard Award-winning restaurant that will take your taste buds on a trip to Mediterranean France and beyond. Start off with a drink: The martinis and cocktails are a godsend, and… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Seward

    Chef Shack Ranch

    The iconic, fire-engine-red Chef Shack truck, captained by Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson, was one of the most beloved and successful mobile kitchens in the Twin Cities' food truck revolution, and this year, it found a new parking space in Seward. Nestled in the heart of a neighborhood known for being a hippie enclave, the new Chef Shack location is… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Kingfield/ East Harriet

    Piccolo

    Helmed by our Best Chef winner, Doug Flicker, the incomparable Piccolo serves five-star cuisine for a handful of diners in a micro-sized space near Barton Open Elementary. The menu is seasonally focused, with rigorously sourced ingredients concentrated into small plates full of swoon-worthy flavors, as in the comforting Agnolotti pasta in a potato and mushroom broth, served with fine, razor-thin… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Powderhorn

    May Day Café

    May Day Café is situated at the heart of the annual May Day Parade route, boasts a visible storefront on a main drag, and features a wide-ranging clientele for daily coffees, breakfasts, and lunches. The café is on the small side, with close-packed tables, communal spaces, and plenty of daily newspapers to share. It's part coffee shop and part community… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Nokomis

    3 Tiers - CLOSED

    The Keewaydin neighborhood is a sleepy area with most of life's needs: a post office, a library, a shoe store, and the notable al Vento restaurant. Still, it wasn't until 3 Tiers took over the former Scandia location that the corner of 50th Street and 34th Avenue saw a social uptick. Marketed primarily as a bakery, 3 Tiers has since… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Longfellow

    The Blue Door Longfellow

    There's a lot to love in Longfellow, but it's always been a little quiet when it comes to watering holes. Blue Door, first established in St. Paul, has opened a sister location in Minneapolis and it's delivered the goods: solid gastropub fare, local beers, and a happy hour that can't be beat. The menu is unique to the location, avoiding… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Lyn-Lake

    World Street Kitchen

    Brothers Sameh and Saed Wadi apparently weren't satisfied with heading Saffron, one of the most critically acclaimed fine-dining restaurants in all of the Twin Cities, so back in 2010 the duo went rogue and brought their incredible skills to the streets with the World Street Kitchen food truck. Fast-forward a few years, and now Lyn-Lake has been blessed by their… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Highland Park

    Joan's in the Park

    Refined but never stuffy, elegant but comfortable, Joan's in the Park has an atmosphere that perfectly mirrors the Highland Park neighborhood. Owned by Joan Schmitt and Susan Dunlop this cozy bistro balances the heart of a family-run joint and the white linens and excellent wine list of a fine-dining establishment. The two met while working at a steakhouse and their… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Linden Hills

    The Harriet Brasserie

    Trees and specialty shops line the magical, almost too-quaint-to-take-seriously heart of Linden Hills. Within a two-block radius, you can find a politically engaged gourmet butcher shop (Clancey's, our winner for Best Delicatessen), the most comprehensive selection of coffee and tea in the state (Coffee and Tea Limited), and a handful of terrific restaurants. Though Tilia is often the critical and… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Mac Groveland

    128 Cafe

    There was a gasp, a cry, a collective shudder from the neighborhood when 128 Cafe was sold by its previous owners. What would become of that amazing Caesar salad? The ribs, dear god, what would become of those mahogany slabs of pork goodness? Not only have the ribs remained, but the menu has undergone such a fabulous facelift, you'll be… More >>
  • Best Restaurant on Grand Avenue

    Brasa Rotisserie, St. Paul

    Grand Avenue, that stretch of road where shopping is plentiful and parking is at a premium, is where you'll find the St. Paul outpost of Brasa, a sustainably sourced meat emporium known for its family-style portions and for having enough variety to suit the pickiest eater. The roast pork is cooked slow and low until juicy and tender; the Brussels… More >>
  • Best Restaurant on West Seventh

    Bennett's Chop & Railhouse

    The West Seventh neighborhood operates more like a small town than part of a big city. When Bennett's Chop & Railhouse first opened, the owners understood this immediately, and spent time getting to know people, which shines through in both the food and hospitality. In the years since, Bennett's has become an indispensable part of this pocket of St. Paul.… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in St. Anthony Park

    Foxy Falafel

    Though the northern half of the St. Anthony Park neighborhood gets most of the restaurant love, no one captures our heart like Foxy Falafel, run by Erica Strait. Who knew a humble little fried chickpea ball could mean so much to us? Not only does Foxy churn out those heavenly crispy falafel here, but it also offers a killer happy… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Cathedral Hill

    W.A. Frost & Company

    Brimming with creativity, from the visual arts to the surprising number of authors who call this part of town home, Cathedral Hill requires a restaurant that can maintain its place in history while never fearing change. W.A. Frost easily straddles this fine line. There is no better place to huddle in the winter than by the fire in this dining… More >>
  • Best Restaurant in Lowertown

    The Buttered Tin

    On those days when the car won't start, the boss won't quit, and the bills won't stop, there is one last hope for happiness, and it's located in the heart of Lowertown. Just try not to smile when you're snuggled in against those creamy colored walls of the Buttered Tin. Your shatter-crisp hash browns arrive with perfectly poached eggs, and… More >>
  • Best Restaurant on the West Side

    Boca Chica Restaurante Mexicano & Cantina

    Boca Chica is a culinary gem in a neighborhood loaded with great Mexican eats. For the past 50 years the St. Paul institution has served up tasty and fresh Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, with special attention to tradition and freshness. Spicy huevos rancheros with chorizo, guisado (stew), stuffed peppers with mole, enchiladas in every flavor and topping imaginable, and fish… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Cafe in Minneapolis

    Victory 44

    Whenever you move into a new house or apartment, one of the best parts of settling in is discovering all the nearby places you're likely to frequent: where you'll get your morning coffee, your happy hour beer, and your reliable weeknight dinner. If you're a resident of Camden in north Minneapolis, it's likely that Victory 44 provides all those things.… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Cafe in St. Paul

    Colossal Cafe

    The name is a little confusing. This is the second Colossal Cafe location, and the original in Minneapolis is so tiny that its moniker is clearly facetious. The St. Paul Colossal, in St. Anthony Park, is on the small side but not cramped, and can accommodate groups; the long, narrow space has room for plenty of neighbors, which is good,… More >>
  • Best Bartender

    Marco Zappia of Eat Street Social

    Marco Zappia lures thirsty souls from Eat Street Social into the restaurant's tiki bar, the Torpedo Room, with his hypnotic mastery of flaming drinks, his service, and his spirit. His craft cocktails at Eat Street Social have earned the admiration of the other hospitality professionals in these fair cities and have certainly drawn our devotion. He's quick with a pour,… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar in St. Paul

    Skinner's Pub & Eatery

    In St. Paul we move at a slightly slower pace. We aren't as quick to tear down something that can be reused or abandon a comfortable old favorite for something new and shiny. Skinner's Pub encapsulates all that is great about the saintly city. The booths are nice and worn in, a comfortable groove that you can settle into for… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar in Minneapolis

    Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

    Northeast has its brewery row; Lyndale Avenue has its line of restaurants. But before Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub opened up in 2012, its south Minneapolis neighborhood (technically Standish-Ericsson) was sorely in need of another nearby watering hole. From the beginning, Northbound has been a grassroots, community-oriented operation. In order to raise the funds they needed to open up shop, the… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour for Drinks

    Lyle's

    Where else but Liquor Lyle's can you drop in at 10 in the morning, 6 in the evening, or 10 at night and know that no matter what, it's very likely happy hour? Few places outside the Saloon and your own living room make drinks as cheap and strong as the ones at Lyle's, so make sure you order water… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour for Food

    The Mill Northeast

    Those of us at City Pages enjoy tater tots at least as much as the next person, but sometimes you want to go beyond the fryer staples for your happy-hour snacks. That's when you should head to the Mill Northeast and order from the Mid Menu, which is available every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and also Friday… More >>
  • Best Bar Special

    Prix Fixe at Nomad World Pub

    Not that long ago, the Nomad had a prix fixe that you couldn't find anywhere else: a PBR that came not with a shot, but with a cigarette. Now, far be it from us to encourage smoking, but boy, did it ever come in handy for those late nights drinking on the West Bank. You know, when all those shots… More >>
  • Best Beer Selection in a Bar

    The Bulldog Uptown

    There are two types of beer drinkers: those who care most about the destination (i.e. getting totally hell-hammered), and those who appreciate a good journey. Here's how good the journey is when you stop in at the Uptown location of the Bulldog: We're talking more than two dozen tap beers, including rotating selections from locals like Surly and Fulton, favorites… More >>
  • Best Dive Bar

    Christensen's Big V's Saloon

    Big V's is unequivocally a relic of a bygone era. The only menu is the one on the wall for a kitchen that no longer exists, from back when a steak cost 60 cents. This dive has been on the corner of University and Snelling, in one form or another, since 1892, according to a bartender. The folks who inhabit… More >>
  • Best Gastropub

    The Happy Gnome

    "Gastropub" is a tricky term to parse out around here, but most folks agree that any establishment hoping to wear the mantle ought to have innovative food and an overwhelming craft brew selection. While the Selby-Dale neighborhood landmark the Happy Gnome veers a little closer to the "pub" side with a dizzying 76 taps and countless bottled imports, the restaurant's… More >>
  • Best Late-Night Dining

    Nightingale

    After 8:30 p.m., finding a spot to dig into some great chow can be difficult, no matter how cosmopolitan we consider ourselves. Settle into a table inside the elegant Nightingale and you can rest assured you'll finish the night with a full belly of fantastic food. The kitchen is open until a night-owl friendly 1 a.m. every night. The menu… More >>
  • Best Cocktails

    Marvel Bar

    The apex of the craft cocktail game lives in a windowless basement in the North Loop. While others work to reshape their orange peels for another Old Fashioned, the people behind the bar at Marvel Bar are reconsidering what goes inside the glass from a philosophical perspective. Whether watering down our booze or swirling in a little salt solution, these… More >>
  • Best Cocktail for Putting Hair on Your Chest

    The Corn n' Oil at the Torpedo Room

    If you wander into a room adorned with a giant swordfish and see a bar man clad in a floral print shirt, it's safe to assume that there are drinks inside this establishment served with a little paper umbrella. But you don't want some little frou-frou baby girl drink. No! You are going to drink like a man! A man… More >>
  • Best Excuse to Study the Classics

    The Library Bar at Marin

    The swank basement of Marin is so much more than an extra bar — it's an oasis for readers. Like a man cave for the highly literate, the room is decorated with plush fabrics, sturdily upholstered furniture, and miles and miles of books. All of them are real, all are ready to be pulled from their shelves for your reading… More >>
  • Best Margarita

    Barrio Tequila Bar

    Narrowing this winner down to the location wasn't difficult: The tequila specialists at Barrio not only know what they're doing, they have outlandish ways of doing it, from the absinthe-tinted cherry-lime Cobra Verde to the tequila-and-triple-sec uppercut of the citrus-blend Trinity. But if you want a margarita that'll play tug of war with your taste buds and leave your head… More >>
  • Best Martini

    Peacock Lounge at Erte

    While James Bond's drink of choice may seem like a simple mixture, it's a delicate libation, requiring an expert pour. Order a classic martini at the Peacock Lounge at Erte, and you'll get a creation smooth and crisp with a slight kick that can be made dirty (or double dirty!) with olives or kept simple with a twist. Whether you're… More >>
  • Best Brewery

    Indeed Brewing Company

    The early days of our local craft beer and brewery boom were colored mostly by the hoppy, soapy IPAs produced by places like Summit and Surly. But as our scene evolved, so did the beer styles. Whenever we tasted something particularly fresh and distinctive, Indeed was usually the brewery behind it. Every season seems to inspire an almost culinarily driven… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Falls Liquor

    There are bigger liquor stores, and cheaper ones, and arguably more popular ones. But when it comes down to it, the opportunity to turn off Hiawatha, take less than a quarter-mile drive (or walk, for you LRT commuters), and find yourself with more craft beers and fine wines than you know what to do with is an opportunity that must… More >>
  • Best Distillery

    Norseman Distillery

    As a fourth-grader, Scott Ervin wanted to be a mad scientist. Instead, he ended up starting Norseman Distillery in an industrial basement in northeast Minneapolis, and became the Twin Cities' first legal micro-distiller. In the wake of a 2011 law change that lowered the state's barrier to entry for making small-batch spirits, micro-distilleries are booming in Minnesota. At the beginning… More >>
  • Best Taproom

    Dangerous Man Brewing Co.

    Dangerous Man's taproom is almost always full of folks, but you're welcome to grab a table with some strangers (new friends, perhaps?) and play games or shoot the breeze while indulging in some of this brewery's finest. Clean and well-lit with plenty of seating, Dangerous Man's taproom is perfect for both escaping the summer heat and hunkering down while a… More >>
  • Best Local Beer

    Big Wood Brewery's Morning Wood Coffee Stout

    It didn't take long for Minnesota to become Land of the 10,000 IPAs but, as that happened, some folks incorrectly dismissed start-up breweries as hop-crazed and singularly focused brewers. That couldn't be further from the truth, exemplified by Big Wood Brewery and its award-winning Morning Wood Coffee Stout that balances a dark, heavy American stout with a light coffee flavor… More >>
  • Best Wine Bar

    Terzo Vino Bar

    Tucked away in the retail village at 50th and Penn, the Broders family-owned Terzo Vino Bar boasts close to 1,000 bottles of exclusively Italian wines, including varietals and vintages most oenophiles have never before encountered. Want to be whisked away on a tour of the Campania region? Take the trip via a flight of various mineral-rich white wines. Always wanted… More >>
  • Best Cheap Wine Deal

    Lake Wine & Spirits 6 for $36

    If Lake Wine & Spirits is not already your go-to spot for wine, we are about to let you in on a secret: Lake Wine & Spirits sells six bottles of wine for $36 every single day of the week — well, except Sunday. We know what you're thinking: If someone is selling $6 bottles of wine, the wine is… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub

    A good sports bar isn't just a place to watch a sporting event — it's a place to feel like a part of one. Tom Reid's Hockey City is more or less entirely dedicated to the most popular team sport in St. Paul, and with its Wild/tourney season proximity to the Xcel Center, the bar is practically a hockey pilgrimage… More >>
  • Best Pub Crawl

    Lowertown SantaCon

    The holiday season is a time of family obligations, high-stress travel, and massive credit-card bills. Thankfully, each December the Lowertown SantaCon comes to town to help folks blow off a little steam. Now in its seventh year, the St. Paul party has just the right amount of entertainment, crowds, and good cheer. For those who choose to partake in this… More >>
  • Best British Pub

    Merlins Rest Pub

    Here in Minneapolis, we have our establishments that celebrate across-the-pond cultures, but Merlins Rest leads the pack — without choosing any one exclusive locale. Instead, the Longfellow bar celebrates the four cultures of the British Isles — English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish — equally, with respect, community and, of course, the suds. Boasting a wide range of beers, whiskey, and… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    Patisserie 46

    French technique dominates Western haute cuisine, from roulades and tournée cuts to crèmes and terrines. But when they aren't lustfully slurping up bouillabaisse or prodding escargots with tiny forks, the French eat fairly simply: breads, soups, salads, sandwiches, and, occasionally, a small patisserie and espresso to cap off the meal. In the Twin Cities, Patisserie 46, the charming corner cafe… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Trattoria Tosca

    Tucked away in Linden Hills, a neighborhood brimming with good dining options (Tilia, Harriet Brasserie, and Clancey's Meat & Fish to name a few), Trattoria Tosca has been quietly fostering some of the Twin Cities' best chefs, allowing them to fine-tune their pasta-rolling, sauce-infusing, caper-frying skills before releasing them into the wild to go and do their own thing. But… More >>
  • Best Eastern European Restaurant

    Kramarczuk's

    Over 50 years ago, Wasyl and Anna Kramarczuk opened their Ukrainian deli in northeast Minneapolis, and ever since, Kramarczuk's has been vending quality sausages, breads, pastries, and piroshkis. A vital part of the neighborhood's Eastern European legacy, Kramarczuk's is a Nordeast institution and one of the only places where you can enjoy a quick, traditional Eastern European lunch, and on… More >>
  • Best Greek Restaurant

    Christos

    A simple rule of thumb when choosing Greek: Look to the salad. Every member of the Hellenic tribe knows that this essential entree — yes, entree — should be served with thick portions of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, capers, and olives, or it isn't worth eating. (Lettuce? An insult.) Alas, American taste buds rule in the end. But if the… More >>
  • Best German Restaurant

    New Bohemia

    Since opening in the old Panera Bread location in northeast Minneapolis in late 2012, New Bohemia has become the best choice for anyone looking to strap on some lederhosen and pump themselves full of wurst and bier. The space itself has a European-style bier hall look and feel, complete with long wooden tables both inside and outside the restaurant. The… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Grand Szechuan

    Grand Szechuan's Beef in Szechuan Chili Broth is the kind of food that fights the common cold. Actually, "fight" is probably too meek a word to describe the scorched-earth warfare initiated once you take the first bite of this volcanic chili-(and chili oil-) soaked dish. The more you eat, the more germs and bad juju are burned out of your… More >>
  • Best Korean Restaurant

    The Rabbit Hole/The Left Handed Cook

    So often great food is caught up in the argument over authenticity. Sure, it's good, but is it what you would get if you were actually there, in that country, on the block, on a sunny day, when the mail was just delivered? The real question should be how well does this menu reflect the culture and translate those flavors… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Bagu Sushi

    Bagu is the type of sushi restaurant that feels like it could exist in a bigger city. Its small, cozy space is posh yet urban, and feels like the sort of spot one might frequent in Chicago or Manhattan. Folks craving nigiri won't be disappointed, as the menu offers fresh selections of salmon, escolar, and sea bass that will melt… More >>
  • Best Ramen

    Obento-Ya Japanese Bistro

    Tucked into a sleepy block of Como Avenue just a few minutes away from the University of Minnesota, Obento-ya Japanese Bistro doesn't have super flashy decor or a let's-do-sake-bombs! vibe, but what it does have is spectacular ramen. This spot only specializes in three types of ramen, but each is so vastly different from the others that you'll find one… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    Pho Tau Bay

    Eat Street's Pho Tau Bay is a Vietnamese restaurant that believes in American portion sizes. Its pho bowls are as big as satellite dishes, its banh mi are the size of tiny canoes, and you can linger there long as long as you need to take it all in. A soup and sandwich combo here is a filling meal for… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant

    Copper Pot Indian Grill

    When Copper Pot debuted in the Twin Cities, we were impressed by just how many dishes on the menu we'd never seen before. Now two years later, the Copper Pot has tightened up its service and drink-mixing, added a buffet lunch (which really is most everyone's favorite way to eat Indian, right?) and continued to push the envelope with items… More >>
  • Best Ethiopian Restaurant

    Fasika

    Fasika is nestled inconspicuously close to the bustling intersection of University and Snelling in Midway, and it takes a keen eye to spot the yellow awning. For those in the know, it's a small restaurant that packs a lot of authentic Ethiopian cuisine, steaming with pungent spice and brilliant color. From beef to lentils, they cook up a range of… More >>
  • Best Mexican Restaurant

    Andale Taqueria and Mercado

    If your weekend starts on, say, Friday at 6 p.m. and lasts until midnight on Sunday, then at quittin' time you've opened a 54-hour window in which you can eat, drink, and be irresponsible without those clowns at Initech or Penetrode trying to lure you in for some unpaid overtime. Luckily, if you find yourself awake and hungry in the… More >>
  • Best International Grocery

    United Noodles

    At first blush, United Noodles, the biggest Asian grocery store in the Midwest, seems chaotic. But after a few minutes of exploring what is actually a meticulously organized store, gradually any unfamiliarity — the sounds, the smells, the signage — becomes a part of the whole stimulating sensory experience. The aisles are full of items like frozen whole octopus with… More >>
  • Best Natural Foods Grocery

    Eastside Food Co-op

    The Eastside Food Co-op doesn't have a juice bar like the Wedge, or a sprawling prepared foods section like the Seward Co-op. But in its 11 years in northeast Minneapolis, this little co-op that could has grown into a well-stocked neighborhood resource, packing a deceptively large selection into its small space and bringing natural foods to a neighborhood previously lacking.… More >>
  • Best Farmers Market

    Minneapolis Farmers Market

    The proliferation of farmers markets means it's no longer necessary to haul your cookies across town to track down the freshly grown bounty of the season. However, there remains only one market where you will always be able to find anything and everything you could ever need to stock your larder, and it's the Minneapolis Farmers Market, held every day… More >>
  • Best Urban Farm

    Youth Farm

    Scattered throughout five neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul are Youth Farm's patches of urban farmland. These 18 garden plots are different from other urban farms. For starters, they're cultivated by students, ages 9 to 24, who move through a series of leadership levels. And while most urban farms are fledgling businesses that support themselves by selling food, Youth Farm… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant

    Lucia's

    While focusing on vegetables seems to suddenly be in fashion, there is one spot where we have always gone for veggie-centric plates made with fresh, seasonal ingredients: Lucia's. Here in her Uptown institution, Lucia Watson has been crafting just such produce-packed meals for 29 years, and Lucia's remains one of the best places to eat an entirely meat-free meal. Baby… More >>
  • Best Delicatessen

    Clancey's Meats & Fish

    Sure, when you head into this small deli in downtown Linden Hills, you won't find a Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt endorsed by a bunch of Olympic athletes. You won't find the chemical foaming agent and yoga mat compound, azodicarbonamide, in your bread, either. What you will find is a small selection of sandwiches — tuna salad, roast beef, corned beef,… More >>
  • Best Charcuterie

    Corner Table

    Corner Table is the gold standard for responsible meat consumption and farm-to-table freshness, and that is all on gorgeous display in their charcuterie. Silken pâté is placed inside a small jar, capped with creamy fat. Slices of mortadella are studded with green pistachios. Pâté en croûte is wrapped and cradled in buttery bread with unctuous meat at the heart of… More >>
  • Best Steakhouse

    Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar

    No matter what has changed in the world of restaurants in the last 50 years — the rise of the 20-ingredient craft cocktail, the return of the doughnut (and the demise of the cupcake), or the advent of tableside iPad ordering systems — it's still almost always the case that the most expensive, special dishes on a fine dining establishment's… More >>
  • Best Seafood

    Sea Change Restaurant & Bar

    The big leagues may come calling, but it's important they remember that Sea Change and Jamie Malone are ours first. We call dibs on all those fantastic sustainable seafood dishes Malone prepares at this sleek restaurant adjacent to the Guthrie Theater. Although we may be a plane ride away from any oceans, there is no better way to enjoy that… More >>
  • Best Use of Pork Products

    Pig Ate My Pizza

    Pig Ate My Pizza, brought to you by the team behind Travail, goes to great lengths to prove that pork is more than just the other white meat. These guys and gals serve it up in all its most delicious forms, expected and unexpected: pork belly rillette, amazingly fatty-in-a-good-way spareribs inspired by the flavors of a Bloody Mary, cornflour-dusted and… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    "D.C. style" half-smoke at Lake & Irving

    When we spotted the "D.C. style" half-smoke on the menu at Lake & Irving, starkly contrasted against shoyu braised short ribs and goat cheese carpaccio, we assumed it would be some fancy-schmancy sausage incapable of satisfying our deep-seated need for regular ol' tube steak. Those doubts were silenced after one terrifically messy bite. Inspired by the signature dish at Ben's… More >>
  • Best Fries

    Republic

    Many a Twin Cities fine dining establishment serves up a glorious platter of hand-cut fries, often spiked with extras like bacon, or a house-made secret sauce. But a city's best fries are not an elite food. They're the kind of thing you turn to at your regular watering hole when you need a snack, the kind of thing tasty enough… More >>
  • Best Fancy Burger

    Parlour

    Forget that you're in a subterranean bar and instead imagine yourself running barefoot across a field of wildflowers toward the beckoning embrace of your one true love.That is what it feels like to taste the Parlour burger. A basic combination of ingredients is executed so flawlessly, you won't believe there isn't more to it: Beef patties sizzled until crusty are… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Burger

    Groundswell

    Unlocking the code of the vegetarian burger confounds even the greatest of culinary and chemistry sleuths. So many renditions are packed with ingredients crafted in a lab and slapped in a flash freezer until the soul is dehydrated right out of them. We demand a burger that is both meat-free and completely made of these magical components we like to… More >>
  • Best Diner

    Bonnie's Cafe

    The smell of hash comes wafting through the screen door of Bonnie's Cafe, welcoming the homesick into a quaint, lime-green-colored dining room. Spread out on a table are the sports sections of daily newspapers, and at the counter, the same knife that just dissected sausage now cools itself in a cup of butter, soon to be smeared atop a cinnamon… More >>
  • Best Pizza

    Hello Pizza

    Frou frou toppings and unexpected ingredient combos do have their place in the world of pizza, but no amount of lobster meat or truffle oil can disguise a crappy crust. That's why we salute the New York-inspired pizza that Ann Kim makes at Hello Pizza, her casual, by-the-slice concept in Edina. Pizzas here are topped simply with a sweet crushed… More >>
  • Best Chili

    The Loon Cafe

    Despite the atomic power of their brew, chili connoisseurs are a prissy bunch. They squabble over whether beans are "authentic" and set up self-important rules regarding competition. The beauty of the Loon Cafe is that it disobeys. And yet the variety of the chili offered at this downtown staple ought to please everyone. Traditionalists can take comfort in a bowl… More >>
  • Best Sandwich

    Bacon & Fried Egg Sandwich at Cheeky Monkey

    The fried egg sandwich is a tricky beast. If the bread is too thick or crusty, the filling is dispensed out the other end at first bite. And since the egg is such a delicate, perfect food, improper handling or preparation can send the sandwich experience over the edge and down the chasm of disappointment. But a successful egg sandwich… More >>
  • Best Cheap Eats

    Sonora Grill

    Strutting down the street with a hole in your soles and a second-hand style, you might be wondering how best to spend that 10-spot in your pocket. Duck on in to Sonora Grill's new digs and you'll find you can feast like royalty. Grab a few caramelos — they cost only a couple of dollars per serving — made from… More >>
  • Best Soul Food

    SunnySide Cafe

    Gluttons for good soul food should look no further than the SunnySide Cafe, a cozy corner spot just west of downtown Minneapolis that's only open on weekends. The Sunday lunch buffet changes weekly but is carefully chosen to attack the taste buds from every angle. Among the trays you're likely to find chicken jambalaya, candied yams, peppered mac and cheese,… More >>
  • Best Street Eats

    Hola Arepa

    When you have the opportunity to taste one of Hola Arepa's signature arepas, you may think that what you hold in your hand is just a cornmeal pocket filled with braised meat, cheese, beans, and sauce. But this item has been carefully and meticulously prepared by a pair of capable hands. Braised pork reaches a silky texture, redolent with peppery… More >>
  • Best State Fair Food

    Frozen Mocha on a Stick at Minnesota Farmers Union Coffee Shop

    There are a few things you can always count on about the Minnesota State Fair — actually there are a lot of things you can count on; that's part of the fair's appeal — and one of them is that at least a portion of the 12-day run will feature sweltering weather. It will be so hot, in fact, that… More >>
  • Best Patio

    Jax Cafe

    There have never been more options for outdoor dining in the Twin Cities than we have right now: We've got rooftops here, courtyards there, and sidewalk tables everywhere. But sometimes you just can't beat a classic, and that applies to the beautiful enclosed patio behind Jax Cafe in northeast Minneapolis. Shaded by trees and an awning, the area is a… More >>
  • Best Ice Cream

    Sweet Science Ice Cream at Verdant Tea

    The decision to team up with Verdant Tea proved to be a very wise one for Ashlee Olds, founder and owner of Sweet Science Ice Cream. Moving into a regular storefront with a steady stream of customers gave her product more exposure, and the handful of other craftspeople who sell their wares at Verdant presented opportunities for culinary collaboration, like… More >>
  • Best Peanut Butter

    Hell's Kitchen

    Most of us grew up with a paucity of peanut butter options: It was either chunky or smooth, and that was it. Lucky for our PB&Js, Mitch Omer of Hell's Kitchen has changed that with a gourmet peanut butter that's tasty enough to eat on its own. In the either/or world of our youth, this spread would fall squarely into… More >>
  • Best Gluten-Free Desserts

    Bluestem Bar

    Once upon a time the words "gluten-free" and "dessert" dared not exist in the same sentence, but the ingredients for gluten-free baking have come a long way since then, and the bakers at Bluestem Bar who use them have figured out how to blend, crush, and whip them into pure magic. From the caramel-drenched, rich and chocolaty Milky Way tart,… More >>
  • Best Chocolate

    B.T. McElrath's buttered toast bar

    B.T. McElrath is famous for its Salty Dog bar, a blend of dark chocolate, sea salt, and butter toffee pieces. But lately, we're fans of the buttered toast bar, featuring breadcrumbs and cacao milk chocolate. Plus it's a triple hit of local love. Not only is the company locally based, but the sourdough breadcrumbs in this particular bar come from… More >>

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