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13 things to eat within walking distance of U.S. Bank Stadium

Still a little chilly out there. You probably want some ramen from Zen Box Izakaya.

Still a little chilly out there. You probably want some ramen from Zen Box Izakaya. Courtney Perry, Star Tribune

You’re heading toward U.S. Bank Stadium for the big game/concert/monster truck rally… and your stomach rumbles.

Sure, you could wait to eat until the purple-and-gold kick off (or Grave Digger starts smashing up a storm), but with so many good options just a short walk away, why wait? Here are 13 contenders that’ll handily fill your belly and fuel your cheering.

Who: Zen Box Izakaya
Distance from U.S. Bank: .3 miles
What to order: Tonkotsu Ramen
Why: A deep bowl of porky broth and rich flavors? Yes, please. Maybe it’s chilly, and you need to warm your bones before lining up at security. (Maybe it’s not, and you just want a heaping bowl of noodles!) Either way, it’s not a bad idea to throw some tsukemono (assorted pickles) and gyoza in with your order. And those snacks are available at a discount during both happy hours: 5 to 6 and 9 to close Monday through Thursday, 5 to 6 and 10 to close Friday and Saturday. 
Where: 602 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, 612-332-3936; zenbox.com

Who: Day Block Brewing Company
Distance from U.S. Bank: .2 miles
What to order: Bacon Flight
Why: Do you really need a reason? This is a daily lineup of specialty and in-house cured bacons and sauces. Should go well with one of their beers. Or their Bloody Mary. Day Block sources as much as they can locally, meaning whatever you order is likely both fresh and produced nearby. Supporting the local economy calls for a celebration… and for that, we suggest a bacon flight.
Where: 1105 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-617-7793, dayblockbrewing.com

Who: The Red Sea
Distance from U.S. Bank: .7 miles
What to order: Meat Combo Platter or Super Veggie Platter
Why: This is simply some of the best Ethiopian food in the city. Portions are linebacker-sized, so come hungry and prepare to share with your pals. Eating with your whole game day group is better anyway; platters are served family-style, so everyone can grab a piece of injera and dive into these heaping helpings of flavorful, spicy goodness.
Where: 320 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-1644, theredseampls.com

Who: Republic
Distance from U.S. Bank: .5 miles
What to order: Cheese Curds
Why: Fried, cheesy goodness, that’s why. Plus, we’re in the Midwest! Wisconsin is like, right there, there to the east… just squint a little. They’re making the curds as we speak. Nothing says classic bar food like battered cheese dipped in sauce—especially this “yum yum” sauce—and they couldn’t pair better with one (or several) of Republic’s many fine beers. Chow down already.
Where: 221 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-6146; republicmn.com

Who: Runyon’s
Distance from U.S. Bank: .9 miles
What to order: Buffalo Wings
Why: No, we’re not just saying that because we named these the best wings in the Twin Cities last year. Or that Runyon’s drummies and flats are a Twin Cities classic, consistently included on other “best wings” lists. It’s because they’re delicious. If the artifacts a civilization leaves behind amount to the little things that fueled lives—broken pottery and such—online photos of these bright-orange, mouth-watering morsels of crispy heaven will tell a lot about our priorities. Served with blue cheese and celery sticks on the side, they’re as quintessential a wing as you’ll find. You might want to get two orders.
Where: 107 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, 612-332-7158; runyons.com

Can't go wrong with a bacon flight, bud.

Can't go wrong with a bacon flight, bud. Day Block Brewing Company

Who: Monello
Distance from U.S. Bank: .9 miles
What to order: Torchio
Why: Monello offers modern takes on Italian food in a stylish space exuding calm, something you may find yourself in need of after a particularly devastating Vikings loss. (Will the boys ever get their offense back?) Cocktails are mixed to perfection, the wine list has an impressively deep bench, and pastas come in half or full sizes, so you can share—or not. The Torchio tends toward the gamier side of Italian cuisine, serving up braised rabbit with crème fraiche and artichokes. It’s a delight, and it’s a rarity on restaurant menus, which is almost reason enough to order it.
Where: 1115 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-353-6207; monellompls.com

Who: Hard Times
Distance from U.S. Bank: .8 miles
What to order: Breakfast. Just… any breakfast.
Why: Post-gamed until bar close, did ya? Well, Hard Times serves breakfast all day, which here means 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily. The ordering system is a bit of a dance (and be warned: they’re cash only), but you’ll happily clear these minor hurdles for some vegetarian and/or vegan goodness. The Cedar-Riverside café has been collectively owned since 1992, lending Hard Times its enduring punk/hippie/vegetarian/vegan ideology. Expect comfort food in generous portions at incredibly reasonable prices. Your wallet will thank you, since you were just shelling out $9 for domestic drafts—and what’s homier than a big ol’ breakfast burrito at 2 a.m.?
Where: 1821 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis

Who: Erik the Red
Distance from U.S. Bank: 141 feet
What to order: Brisket Reuben
Why: The age-old question, pondered by philosophers for eons: Can anything improve upon the already transcendent Reuben? Erik the Red has the answer with their brisket Reuben. Styled as Nordic barbecue, the brisket is rubbed in a spice blend inspired by flavors from that region and the sandwich comes with a choice of side. (Not that you needed us to tell you, but: mac and cheese.) They get extra points for being practically inside U.S. Bank Stadium, so if you’re looking for food and beer fast, you know where to go.
Where: 601 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, 612-249-5999; eriktheredbar.com

Who: Spoonriver
Distance from U.S. Bank: .3 miles
What to order: Charcuterie
Why: Brenda Langton and Timothy Kane were 2019 semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurateur award, so it feels criminal not to include their restaurant, Spoonriver, on this list. Committed from the beginning to fresh, sustainable, locally sourced foods, Spoonriver serves up a wealth of deliciousness every day on their robust menu. For a tour of Minnesota-produced meats, order the charcuterie board. Lip-smackingly good sausage, pate, smoked meats, and cheeses accompanied by mustard, house pickles, and crackers. It’s a meal in itself—which is why you’ll find it listed among the entrees.
Where: 750 S. Second St., Minneapolis, 612-436-2236; spoonriver.com

Who: Murray’s
Distance from U.S. Bank: .7 miles
What to order: Butter knife steak
Why: Murray’s is the steakhouse to the stars! Since 1946, this Twin Cities icon has provided downtown Minneapolis with a classic spot for premium steaks and elegant cocktails. In 1951, author and radio personality Maurice Dreicer awarded Murray’s his Silver Butter Knife Award as part of his decades-long quest for the perfect steak. Murray’s now offers a steak emblazoned with the name of that award, and it’s absolutely worth the walk down Sixth Street from US Bank to enjoy.
Where: 26 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis, 612-339-0909; murraysrestaurant.com

Who: Izzy’s Ice Cream
Distance from U.S. Bank: .3 miles
What to order: Malted Waffle Single
Why: Need to balance U.S. Bank’s brats and burgers and beers with something sweet? Izzy’s ice cream is handmade, and your flavor options are almost limitless. The smell of the waffle cones alone demands you order one, even if you’re a dedicated ice cream cup person. Visit their website to see what flavors they’re scooping—they update the list every three minutes—and keep your fingers crossed that Summit Oatmeal Stout or Swedish Garden Party are available.
Where: 1100 Second St. S., Minneapolis, 612-206-3356; izzysicecream.com

Who: The Local
Distance from U.S. Bank: .9 miles
What to order: Vincent burger
Why: It’s an iconic Minneapolis burger. A long-time stalwart of fine French dining in the Twin Cities, Vincent, A Restaurant closed at the end of 2015 after 14 years. It was known for its elegant cuisine, but the Vincent’s burger often stole the show and was what folks were quick to mourn when the restaurant shut down. However, the famous burger now lives on at The Local. The fact that this baby is a) stuffed with braised short ribs and smoked gouda and b) topped with gherkin sauce and c) can live comfortably in both a white-tablecloth French restaurant and a cozy pub speaks to its versatility. And its deliciousness.
Where: 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-904-1000; the-local.com

Who: Keys at the Foshay
Distance from U.S. Bank: .7 miles
What to order: Dessert!
Why: Keys is that classic Twin Cities chain that best mimics diners back East. Think giant menus, hearty dishes ranging from salads and sandwiches to full-on platters of dinners and nine options for potato-based sides. And, like a diner, their choices for desserts are ample. You can gaze upon the sugary beauties in the case at the host stand. Salivate over the many slices of pie, cheesecake, and carrot cake. Once you’ve ordered, relax at the bar or a table. The cheery yellow walls invite you to stay awhile.
Where: 114 S. Ninth St., Minneapolis; keysfoshay.com