Gift guide: The best restaurant gift card deals in the Twin Cities

Eat and drink in style at Lela, then walk to your room at the adjoining Sheraton — all for $100.

Eat and drink in style at Lela, then walk to your room at the adjoining Sheraton — all for $100.

It’s not often you get paid to shop, but a sleigh’s worth of restaurant holiday gift card deals sweeten the pot this season by offering rewards if you spend a certain amount. Whether you keep the incentive or pay it forward is between you and your conscience.

Restaurant gift cards are an easy option for everyone from your kid’s teacher to your foodie friends to that co-worker you barely know. Because while only a select demographic will embrace the gift of a wall-climbing session or a fabulous pair of red-and-white striped elf socks complete with jingle bells, everyone eats. And some of the best places in the metro have hopped on the gift card promo bandwagon. Here is a handy list of options to guide you.

Our Favorite Deal, Hands Down

Lela is offering an unusual combination courtesy of its adjacent hotel. If you buy $100 worth of gift cards, you get a one-night stay at the Sheraton Bloomington. Certain restrictions apply on the hotel end of the deal, but this would be a great gift for someone who has been very, very good this year. Or you.

Buy $100, Get $25

6 Smith, for lakefront dining

Use your Parella gift card for a night on the town in Uptown

Use your Parella gift card for a night on the town in Uptown

Barrio, for the tequila

Blue Plate, because they have something for everyone (includes 3 Squares Restaurant, Edina Grill, Freehouse, Groveland Tap, Highland Grill, Longfellow Grill, Scusi, The Lowry)

Crave, for ladies who lunch

D’Amico Restaurants, for lots of choices (includes Bar Lurcat, Campiello, D’Amico & Sons, and Parma 8200

Hemisphere Restaurants, for downtown denizens (includes Atlas Grill, Diggity Grill, Good to Go, Mission American Kitchen, Tavern Grill, and Tavern on France

Jester Concepts, for the foodies (Borough & Parlour, Coup d'état, Monello & Constantine, and Maple Tavern

Lettuce Entertain You, for the mall rats (includes Big Bowl, Magic Pan, Tucci Benucch, Twin City Grill, and Wildfire)

Masu Sushi & Robata, for reliable Japanese

Murray’s, for the old-school types on your list

Parasole, for the variety (includes Burger Jones, Chino Latino, Libertine, Good Earth, Manny’s, Mozza Mia, Muffuletta, Pittsburgh Blue, and Salut)

Parella, for modern Italian

Pizza Luce, for your favorite college student

Prairie Dogs, for gourmet hot dogs

Sample Room, for your refined friends

Zen Box Izakaya, for your ramen fix

Buy $100, Get $20

Birchwood, for the savory waffle

Brasserie Zentral & Foreign Legion, for Eastern European classics

Broder’s Pasta Bar, Cucina, and Terzo, for solid Italian

Café Ena, for Latin Fusion

CoV, for a reason to go to Wayzata

Kincaid’s, for steak, what else?

La Fresca, for upscale Mexican

La Ceiba, for Caribbean inflected flavors

Meritage, for oysters

Oceanaire, for a special occasion

Origami, for the cream cheese wontons – and sushi

Pizzeria Lola, for the kimchi pizza

Porter Creek Hardwood Grill, for your south suburban friends

Rincon 38, for Spanish tapas

Saffron, for contemporary Mediterranean (they also offer a buy $50, get $10 option)

Sea Change, for seafood

Other Deals

Punch Pizza, for the munchies. Buy a $25 gift card, get a free Margherita pizza.

Red Cow, for the burgers, of course. Buy a $50 gift card, get a $15 card.

Morrissey Hospitality, for your St. Paul friends. Buy a $100 gift card, get five $20 promo gift cards (includes M St. Café, Kendall’s Tavern & Chophouse, Pazzaluna, the St. Paul Grill, the Saint Paul Hotel, and Tria). 

Wise Acre, for the pound of bacon you get with every $50 gift card purchase. Code word oink oink.