19. Ruby Tuesday
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 4-6pm and 9pm-close
This is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to MOA happy hours. Ruby Tuesday offers $1 off tap beers and wines, select $5 mix drinks, and $2 off certain apps (which may or may not be best left to the frozen foods aisle from where they came). During the late night happy hour you're given a free mini-burger with any drink purchase, just enough for you to realize you should’ve probably taken your taste buds elsewhere.
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 3-5pm | Sunday-Thursday, 9pm-close
This restaurant is fueled by pure movie nostalgia and little, if anything, else. But what it lacks in quality, it makes up for with slightly more options than Ruby Tuesday. For HH you’ll find a variety of flash fried freezer objects including onion strings, hush pups, and popcorn shrimp for $3-$5, and $3-$4 drink specials. If we're being honest, you're probably better off just hanging out at home watching Forrest Gump to fulfill that need of a throwback.
17. Hard Rock Cafe
Happy hour: All day, every day
Hard Rock offers some very cheap drinks during its happy hour: $3 domestic bottles; $4 craft taps, house wines, and well drinks; and $5 martinis. It's a fine time if you’re not looking for any food (which might be worth eating if it was on special), or are looking to have one too many Budweisers in the middle of the mall’s theme park.
16. Cantina #1
Happy hour: Monday, 3-6pm and 9-10pm | Tuesday-Friday, 3-6pm and 9pm-midnight
Mexican-themed happy hours are typically a great idea. But unless you're really into $9 guacamole for your happy hour (in the mall?!), you'll probably be a little disappointed by this one. Of course, domestic bottles go for just $3, and the house margarita is only $5, but it's still not enough to make up for that guac.
Happy hour: Monday-Friday; 3:30-6:30pm and 10pm-midnight
Born and raised in MN, this wing chain offers basically anything BUT wings on its happy hour menu. Sure, it has a few $3 mixed drinks and a selection of apps -- mozzarella sticks, roasted garlic mushrooms (for some reason), and mini corn dogs -- but nope, no wings.
14. Cadillac Ranch
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 3-7pm | Monday-Sunday, 9pm-midnight
If you're into cowboy rock-themed bars, this might be your happy hour. The daytime one has select apps in the $3-$5 range along with the questionably named $3 Cadillac Ranch pints (which are, fortunately, pints of beer and NOT ranch dressing). The nightly happy hour offers a number of drink specials: half-off all beer and wine; half-off shots such as Fireball, Jägermeister, and Rumple Minze; and a $5 select martini list.
13. Tony Roma's
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 3-6pm
This rib chain offers $3-$6 drink specials and $6 apps for the HH. It’s fairly run of the mill and might be a little more intriguing if the place actually offered up some of the specialty ribs at a slight discount. But you can’t give away the house now can ya?
Happy hour: Daily, 11am-5pm
This place doesn’t have a lot going on in the way of happy-hour action, but it does offer a beer and burger special and a lunch trio with a glass of house wine, both for $12. It isn't a bad deal (especially given the quality), just limited.
Happy hour: Sunday-Thursday, 3-6pm and 9pm-midnight
This is another happy hour where we’re not looking at a whole lot, special-wise, but what it lacks in offerings it makes up in the fact that there are some fun things to do (think: bowling, pool, and a full arcade). The HH specials include $1 off all booze and $2 off all apps. It's not great, but it's not exactly terrible either.
10. Twin City Grill
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 3-6pm
The grill at the mall sporting its TC namesake goes in for $3-$5 drink specials along with an assortment of half-priced appetizers that of course includes its recommended spinach & artichoke dip and crispy calamari.
Happy hour: Tuesday, all day | Wednesday-Friday, 4-6pm | Saturday, 3:30-6pm | Sunday, 4-6pm
As one of the best places in the Twin Cities to see comedy, the mall's resident house of laughs also happens to put together a decent happy hour, featuring $4 rail drinks, tap beers, and wines along with $2 off select appetizers. Plus there's probably a great show going on, which is an absolute win.
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 3-6pm
In this land of knives and fire, happy-hour deals are rolling with $3 sake specials and some cheap beer and well drinks. There's also a variety of sushi specials priced between $4-$6 and some decent teriyaki wings for just $5.
Happy hour: Daily, 3-6pm
Located in the Marriott Hotel in the MOA, this happy hour features over 20 options of wine, all at $3 a glass, along with $5 drafts (several of which are local) and well cocktails. Appetizers will run you $7, and there’s a decent selection to choose from: warm pretzels, spicy cheese curds, a Jucy Lucy, and lobster macaroni.
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 9pm-close
As uncomfortable as it may be going to this place (for some people), Hooters' happy hour is actually pretty easy on the wallet and not a bad bite. Drinks and food specials range in the $3-$5 area, and, unlike the other wing joint at the MOA, this one actually offers a $5 wing combo during its happy hour. (Get onboard, Bdubs!) Also, on Wednesdays, it's all-you-can-eat wings for just $10.99.
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 4-7pm | Saturday, 11am-5pm
This is the Mexican happy hour you’re looking for (at the mall). This place offers $2 domestic beers, $3 imports, and a $5 house margarita. All bar plates are half-off and include a variety of delicious taco platters as well.
Happy hour: Monday-Thursday, 2-6pm | Friday, 2-5pm
This is a happy hour that’s got a little something for everyone, with over 20 different food options in the $4-$7 range that features chips & pico, bacon & cheddar tater tots, wings, and few different sushi rolls. Plus, the drink specials run from $4-$6.
Happy hour: Daily, 2-6:30pm
Just when you thought you couldn’t get a decent glass of sangria at the mall, this place came along and offered a seasonal sangria HH special for only $3.99. It also makes happy hour nice and easy by giving a pretty good selection of items (both drinks and apps) for either $3.99 or $5.99. It's one of the rare standouts for mall HHs in that the food is actually good.
Happy hour: Monday-Thursday, 3-6pm | Friday, 3-5pm
A fully Italian spin off from its sister restaurant, CRAVE, this place is rocking a pretty solid HH. Drink specials are between $4-$6 and the food runs from $3-$7. The specials include a lot of nice and unique options like eggplant chips, squash croquettes, herb stuffed mushroom caps, fried mozzarella, polenta fries, and a variety of flatbreads.
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 3-6pm
This offshoot of the original Northeast favorite is our top pick for happy hour at the mall because it's got the goods when it comes to both food and drink. Two dollar sake, $3 tap beers, $4 glasses of wine, and $5 shochu gummi sours (which are super fun little fruity drinks) all round out the cocktail specials, and there’s a full menu of food items to boot. Grab some sushi ($2-$11); four different types of steamed buns, all for $2.50 a piece; a pick three robata options (grilled skewers of various offerings); and discount ramen. You can also do the classic pork belly ramen and a PBR tallboy, all for $12.
Sign up here for our daily MSP email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun the Twin Cities have to offer.
Keane Amdahl is a veteran Twin Cities food writer that can often be found avoiding the Mall of America like the plague, but when he does get there, you can follow along with him on Twitter @FoodStoned.
1. Ruby Tuesday234 North Garden, Bloomington
2. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.396 South Ave, Level 3, Bloomington
3. Hard Rock Cafe Mall of America5115 Center Ct, Bloomington
4. Cantina #1406 E Broadway, Bloomington
5. Buffalo wild wings312 South Avenue, Bloomington
6. Cadillac Ranch352 S Avenue, Bloomington
7. Tony Roma's60 East Broadway, Bloomington
8. FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar2100 Killebrew Dr, Bloomington
9. Sky Deck Sports Grille & Lanes401 E Broadway, Bloomington
10. Twin City Grill130 N Garden, Bloomington
11. Rick Bronson's House of Comedy408 E Broadway, Bloomington
12. Benihana358 S Avenue, Bloomington
13. Cedar Stone Urban Table2141, Landau Dr, Minneapolis
14. Hooters402 E Broadway, Minneapolis
15. Cantina Laredo300 West Market, Bloomington
16. CRAVE368 S Avenue, Bloomington
17. Tucci Benucch114 W Market, Bloomington
18. Zio Modern Italian320 South Ave, Bloomington
19. Masu Sushi & Robata344 S Avenue, Bloomington
This American chain serves up American comfort food in huge portions, and a salad bar to cater to your lighter needs. The space is extra casual, with comfortable booths, and stand-alone tables to accommodate the largest of your groups. During the late night happy hour you're given a free mini-burger with any drink purchase, just enough for you to realize you should’ve probably taken your taste buds elsewhere.
This restaurant is fueled by pure movie nostalgia and all the shrimp dishes you could desire. As in "Forrest Gump" -- the movie on which the restaurant is based -- the restaurant is nautically themed, and even offers a set of menu items entitled "Forrest's favorites," including classic dishes like jambalaya and fish and chips. For happy hour you’ll find a variety of flash fried freezer objects including onion strings, hush pups, and popcorn shrimp for $3-$5, and $3-$4 drink specials.
This rock-and-roll themed American chain restaurants serves up hearty American diner classics, like burgers, chicken tenders, and New York strip steak. The walls are adorned with music memorabilia, and spread out over two floors and a live event stage, so you can spend downtime catching up on your rock history. Like the other locations, this branch also comes with a gift shop stocked with collectible pins, t-shirts, glasses, and more.
Sure, it's a Mexican restaurant in the middle of one America's largest center of commerce, but Cantina #1 isn't as tacky as one might think. Serving up Mexican staples like swiss enchiladas, tortas, fish tacos, coconut cocktails, and brain-numbing margaritas, this colorful and casual venue offers all tuckered-out mall shoppers a tequila-fueled reprieve.
Born and raised in MN, this wing chain offers wings, bars, and other classic bar grub in a sports bar-themed space. Extending from Anchorage, AK to New York City, the chain's every location offers a replica of the original flat screen TV-lined venue, and the Mall of America branch is no exception. Shop the day away, then pop in for a carbo load of queso dip and mini corn dogs.
If you're into cowboy rock-themed bars, this might be your new favorite after-work hang. This rock and country themed venue includes a patio and two bars, and most importantly, a mechanical bull. Try your luck on a ride, then reward yourself with flatbread pizzas, steaks, burgers, and the strongest cocktails this side of the mall.
This global steakhouse chain specializes in glazed ribs, offering five different varieties ranging from beef short ribs to beef ribs glazed with Tony Roma's special BBQ sauce. The casual, themed restaurant also features different kinds of marinated chicken, steak, and seafood. Wood furnishing and soft lighting step things up a bit from your standard chain restaurant's usual atmosphere, and will match the rich and decadent medium-rare dish you're about to enjoy.
Boasting Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, this Mall of America restaurant is committed to fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients. The New American menu features savory small plates, creative skillets and hash (like the brick-oven apple pannekoeken), and sophisticated entrees, with highlights being the bison bone marrow, lamb fritter, and Eichten's white cheddar mac 'n' cheese.
Counteract your Mall of America angst by chowing down on a half-pound burger, stone-fired flatbread pizza, or "Ybor" Cuban sandwich at this lively sports bar. Guests can also playing skee ball, billiards, and bowling, and can partake in generous happy hour deals that feature discounted pints and well drinks. The American-style menu and variety of entertainment outlets make Sky Deck a great spot for any occasion.
This American eatery feature comforts, local craft beer, and wines by the glass. The casual, relaxing dining room offers a spacious enough contrast from the bustle of the mall, while hand-shaken cocktails, and appetizers like spinach & artichoke dip or crispy calamary will definitely help you forget the stress that is the country's second largest shopping mall.
It’s seems strange to think that one of the best comedy clubs in Minneapolis is located in the Mall of America, but this place has brought in some very popular names over the years. Anyone from Jon Lovitz to Kevin Nealon and Rob Schneider have been featured at the House of Comedy, and even Steve-O has stopped by (to do stand-up, not a Jackass stunt). Shows are held Tuesday-Saturday. Their lounge serves cocktails, wine, beer and appetizers with great happy hour deals.
The Mall of America outpost of this national chain serves much-adored hibachi dishes by exuberant Japanese chefs. Alongside flying shrimp and pyrotechnic onions, Benihana offers Asian inspired eats like pan-fried beef gyoza dumplings, creative sushi and sashimi, and the popular five-course hibachi meal (composed soup, salad, a protein, rice, and vegetables) that's prepared right before your eyes.
Located in the Mall of America's Marriott Hotel, this wholesome restaurant delivers locally sourced dishes that diverge from the fried and over-sauced fare served at the mall. Come in for sophisticate entrees like white halibut, short ribs braised in veal stock, and fresh salads adorned with roasted beets. The space is airy and handsome, and the peaceful ambiance will make you forget the barbaric shopping crowds you've endured for the last half-day.
Whether you like scantily clad waitresses or not, you can't deny how delicious and affordably priced Hooters' wings and other pub fare can be. Other food options include sandwiches, seafood, and of course, ice-cold beers -- all served in a fun and casual sports bar environment welcoming of hungry male and female diners alike.
This Mexican restaurants imports authentic flavors and serves them up with a modern twist, alongside a list of fresh squeezed margaritas and cocktails. Music set to a stylishly decorated space offers a change of pace, and a refreshingly relaxing escape from the sales bustle of the mall. Although, the steak topped with chipotle-wine sauce should serve as an indulgence in and of itself.
A rare fusion spot in the sea of American and Italian restaurants available at the Mall of America, this casual spot offers up classic American fare and sushi in equal, and separate parts. If your party's tastes diverge, you can take the entire crew here for a helping of crab crusted filet mignon on one side of the table, and sushi rolls on the other. Sporting a modern, clean look -- complete with a wine fridge in the middle of the space -- this eatery channels fusion fare's trendy vibe in all aspects.
Just when you thought you couldn’t get a decent glass of sangria at the mall, this place came along and offered a seasonal sangria happy hour special for only $3.99. And if you're looking for eats heartier than your standard pub grub, this menu comprises a singing list of pizzas and pastas galore. Best of all, casual, stylish, and lively setting offers a more organized version of the mall's business, so you can socialize without the crowd-induced headache. stylish space
A fully Italian spin off from its sister restaurant, CRAVE, this place serves up Italian fare made from scratch, and with a contemporary spin. Come in for specials like eggplant chips, fried mozzarella, and handmade pasta. With high ceilings, a colorful and airy interior design, and Italian-themed walls, you won't be surprised if you come in for the happy hour, and stay through for dessert options that include creamy tiramisu and authentic gelato.
This offshoot of the original Northeast favorite located within the Mall of America serves up some of the best ramen and sushi in the Twin Cities. The prices are affordable for the average mall goer, but you wouldn't guess it: Excellent plating and a bright and trendy interior design that includes Japanese video games reminds you of this spot's superior attention to detail. Pop in for a bowl of their signature pork belly ramen or freshly prepared tuna on your well-deserved shopping day.