Stay Classy This Winter With a Spiced Pear Tom Collins
Victory 44Address and Info
Featuring a 4-6pm happy hour Monday-Friday that highlights a lot of its classic dishes -- including the Devils on Horseback, bacon fries, and ham & pickle tots, along with $3 tallboys, $5 taps, and $5 hour wines -- Victory 44 is a great bang for your buck. Plus, on Mondays from 5pm to close, you can get the "perfect" burger for 44% off with purchase of a beverage.
Masu Sushi & RobataAddress and Info
It's never a bad thing when sushi and happy hour collide. The happy hour at this Northeast Japanese bar offers a lot of great discounted options, including sushi rolls, the signature grilled robata, and a variety of noodle options. As for drinking, get a house sake for $3, tap beers for $4, and the delicious shochu gummies for $5. Happy hour runs Monday-Friday from 3-6pm, and a special late-night menu is offered Monday-Saturday from 10pm-12am, and on Sundays from 9-11pm.
Haute DishAddress and Info
Sometimes it's quality that seals the deal on a good happy hour, and this North Loop hot spot’s got it. Haute Dish offers all kinds of delicious nibbles to choose from (warm pretzel rolls, oysters, a smoked bologna sandwich), along with a great burger & beer special featuring one of the Twin Cities' best burgers alongside fries and a beer for just $10. This happy hour also comes with $2 off all wine, beer, and cocktails, and runs from 4-6pm Monday-Friday, and from 10pm-12am on Fridays and Saturdays.
EastsideAddress and Info
This newer Downtown spot features an everyday happy hour from 2-6pm with offerings that include crispy buffalo rock shrimp, chicken tinga tacos, and a duck bratwurst that comes with a side of Hamm’s tallboy. Patrons also get $2 off all taps, $2 off all wines (by the glass), and a few $8 cocktails to choose from.
MarinAddress and Info
This place features a relatively straightforward happy-hour menu, including $3 off a variety of snacks, flatbreads, glass wines, specialty cocktails, and tap beers. Note: there's also a great outdoor patio, which makes happy hours that much better during those beautiful summer afternoons. These specials run Monday-Saturday from 3-6pm, and again on Fridays and Saturdays from 10pm-close.
Third BirdAddress and Info
As part of the Kim Bartmann empire, this new Loring Park staple features both an afternoon and late-night happy hour menu consisting of various food & beverage specials. If you’re in the area and feeling a bit peckish, check it out Monday-Friday from 4-6pm or 10pm-12am.
IcehouseAddress and Info
This happy hour goes from 2-6pm Mondays-Fridays and then on Sundays from 9pm-close, and features anything from savory snacks and plates to desserts and cheeses. But no matter what you choose, every selection is excellent and ranges from $4-10. Naturally, everything washes down nicely with any signature cocktail.
Liquor Lyle’sAddress and Info
The thing about this Uptown bar is that almost every hour is some kind of happy hour. It has various specials that rotate on and off all day long, which include both drink and food specials. Two-for-ones and discounted drinks and appetizers aren't that uncommon.
NightingaleAddress and Info
Located at the crossroads of Lyndale, Whittier, and Uptown, this spot offers a lot of great happy-hour and late-night specials. Every day from 4-6pm and 11pm-1am, you can find $3.50 rail drinks, $5 cocktails, $3.50 taps, and $2.75 on select tallboys from the happy-hour menu. As far as the edibles go, snag yourself some $2 oysters, $7 wings, and a $9 burger (which, for an additional $1, can come with a tallboy of Hamm’s). This place also offers happy hour on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:30-4pm.
The Rabbit HoleAddress and Info
Sixteen dollars will snag you a chef’s choice burger, a shot of whiskey, and a pint of beer at this happy hour, which runs Tuesday-Saturday from 3-5pm in the bar. The Rabbit Hole also has a lot of cheap snacks available along with $1 off all tap cocktails, tap beers, and wines, and $3 house wines and rail drinks.
Tiny DinerAddress and Info
This small eco-friendly diner offers a Monday-Friday $4 happy-hour extravaganza, with a variety of beers, wines, wine-based cocktails, and a delicious mix of rotating appetizers from 3-6pm Monday-Friday.
Blue Door PubAddress and Info
We love the Juicy Lucy (or Blucy, in this case), but in addition to a great burger, this place serves a pretty reasonable happy hour. Daily happy hours go from 2-5pm, and from 9pm to close, and feature tap beers in the $2.50-$3.50 range and glasses of wine for $5. There are also some food options (mainly late-night), which include wings, fried pickles, and "nacho totchos."
Red CowAddress and Info
Every day from 3-6pm and from 10pm-close, the original Red Cow location delivers some pretty worthy happy-hour options: $2 off tap beers and wines by the glass, along with snacks like poutine, wings, and Scotch eggs.
RepublicAddress and Info
One of the Twin Cities' best beer bars kicks off happy hour with $2 off all beers, $3 rail drinks, and $3 wines, along with a $6 cheeseburger, $6 tacos, or a fairly simple $5 chips & guac. Happy hour runs every day from 4-6pm, and then again from 10pm-midnight.
Bar LuchadorAddress and Info
The newest chef-driven take on refined Mexican food offers a happy hour featuring a variety of select food specials, $1 drinks, and $2 rail drinks every day from 4-7pm and from 10pm-midnight, but only on non-game days.
Saint Anthony Park
Station 280Address and Info
It’s always happy hour at Station 280. This place constantly offers two-for-one pints, and each day of the week, it throws on a mix of food specials. Monday’s happy hour features half-price burgers; Tuesdays offer a pizza & a pitcher for just $10.99; and Wednesdays feature $1.50 tacos. So it's a win-win (-win!).
Como DocksideAddress and Info
It’s hard to imagine a better place to sit, hang out, and indulge in a solid happy hour. Como Dockside offers specials Monday-Friday from 3-5pm on beer, wine, and cocktails, with a few select snacks going for $5.
Ngon BistroAddress and Info
This modern Vietnamese restaurant is a great spot for a different kind of happy hour. Three-dollar summits, $5 house wines, and $2 off specialty cocktails help to get you started, but then there are a variety of small $5 plates available, including things like brisket sliders with caramelized onions and a pho-spiced mornay sauce, grilled chicken skewers, and a duck liver banh mi. Check it out Monday-Thursday from 3-6pm, or on Fridays and Saturdays from 9pm-close.
The Neighborhood CafeAddress and Info
This little neighborhood café (pun only marginally intended) serves a surprisingly good happy hour every Tuesday-Saturday from 3-6pm, with $3 pints, $5 house wines, and cheap deals on select appetizers.
Groveland TapAddress and Info
As one arm of the locally revered Blue Plate Restaurant Company, this neighborhood grill has the advantage of being related to a local brewpub, which means $2.50 pints during happy hour, which is every day from 11am-5:30pm and from 10pm-close. If you’re looking for a little something else, other pints run in the $3-4 range, with happy-hour snacks going for $4.99-7.59.
Tiffany Sports LoungeAddress and Info
Select two-for-ones, $3.50 craft beers, and $7 food specials including flatbreads, wings, and nachos bring happy hour to life at this Highland Park sports bar. It also has nightly food specials featuring a $.71 wing night, a $6 cheeseburger basket, and an $8 steak. Happy hours are Monday-Friday, 3-6pm, and Sunday-Wednesday, 10pm-12am.
PLAN B LoungeAddress and Info
This North End dive offers up daily happy hours from 6-9pm. You can get two-for-one beers, shots, and cocktails. It basically doesn’t get any happier than that.
Mai VillageAddress and Info
Simple is the name of the game at this little Vietnamese restaurant. Happy hour involves two-for-ones on taps and rail drinks Monday-Friday from 4-7pm.
Sweeney’s SaloonAddress and Info
If you’re looking for a solid happy hour with an even better patio, this place has $4 pints, $4 glasses of house wine, and $0.75 tacos. During the late-night HH, half-priced appetizers are featured. Happy hours are every day from 3-6pm and 9pm-close.
Billy’s on GrandAddress and Info
This spot offers up happy hours Monday-Thursday from 3-6pm and again from 9-11pm, and on Fridays from 3-7pm, with $1 off tap beers, $2 off house wines & rail drinks, and $5.00 select appetizers. It also offers day-specific specials all week long, which include discounts on burgers, tacos, pizzas, wings, whiskey, and more.
West 7th St
Joe & Stan’sAddress and Info
This Monday-Friday happy hour goes from 4-6pm and features $2.50 on all domestic taps, rail, and call drinks, and there are daily food specials that all fall under the $8 mark.
Tongue in CheekAddress and Info
You'll find a veritable slew of cocktail options at Tongue in Cheek every day from 4-7pm. Example: $4 Pacifico beers come flavored courtesy of the house, plus $4 house wines and sangria, and $2.50 cocktail teasers that also come available by the flight for $12.
Obb’s Sports Bar & GrillAddress and Info
This old-school dive bar offers a daily 2-6pm happy hour along with daily cheap food specials. On Mondays, you can get a three-piece broasted chicken for $8.25, or on Wednesdays, you can get a steak & ribs dinner for only $15.45.
MeritageAddress and Info
It should come as no surprise that one of Downtown St. Paul’s best restaurants also has one its best happy hours. Every Tuesday-Friday from 3:30-5:30pm, this place features select $4.50 taps, $5 house wines, and $5.50 cocktails, along with snack options all under $5.
Ox Cart Ale HouseAddress and Info
If you’re looking for half off all metro-area pints, rail drinks, and appetizers, this is your place. Ox Cart runs happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6pm along with a late-night happy hour every Sunday-Thursday from 11pm-close, which gets you $4 off tap beers, rail drinks, and select shots.
Joseph's GrillAddress and Info
You definitely have options when it comes to what time to swing on by Joseph's Grill for a great happy hour. It offers daytime, nighttime, and special weekend options. Specials include $1 off tap beers and rail drinks, half-off appetizers, and $3 domestic bottles. Happy hours here are Monday-Friday from 3-6pm, Monday-Saturday from 8-10pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5pm.
The Cherry PitAddress and Info
The happy-hour times vary and fluctuate a bit (on average, you’re looking at about 3-6pm; check the site for specifics), but you can double your drink order for $1 at The Cherry Pit. This place also offers daily food specials like a $5.50 double cheeseburger basket, a FREE (!!) taco bar, and $1 burgers.
McKnight's Bar & GrillAddress and Info
Located inside a Holiday Inn, McKnight's offers daily happy hours from 4-6pm along with late-night specials on Fridays and Saturdays.
1. Victory 442203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis
2. Masu Sushi & Robata344 S Avenue, Bloomington
3. HauteDish119 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis
4. Eastside305 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis
5. Marin Restaurant & Bar901 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
6. The Third Bird1612 Harmon Pl, Minneapolis
7. Icehouse2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
8. Liquor Lyle's2021 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
9. Nightingale2551 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
10. The Rabbit HoleMidtown Global Market, , Minneapolis
11. Tiny Diner1024 E 38th St, Minneapolis
12. The Blue Door Pub3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis
13. Red Cow3624 W 50th St, Minneapolis
14. Republic221 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis
15. Bar Luchador825 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis
16. Station 2802554 Como Ave, Saint Paul
17. Como Dockside1360 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul
18. Ngon Vietnamese Bistro799 University Ave W, Saint Paul
19. Neighborhood Cafe1570 Selby Ave, Saint Paul
20. Groveland Tap1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul
21. Tiffany Sports Lounge2051 Ford Pkwy, Saint Paul
22. PLAN B Lounge879 Rice St, Saint Paul
23. Mai Village394 University Ave W, Saint Paul
24. Sweeney's Saloon96 Dale St N, Saint Paul
25. Billy's on Grand857 Grand Ave, Saint Paul
26. Joe & Stan's Bar949 W 7th St, Saint Paul
27. Tongue In Cheek989 Payne Ave, Saint Paul
28. Obb's Sports Bar & Grill1347 Burns Ave, Saint Paul
29. Meritage410 Saint Peter St, St. Paul
30. Ox Cart Ale House255 6th St E, Saint Paul
31. Joseph's Grill140 Wabasha St S, Saint Paul
32. Cherry Pit735 White Bear Ave N, Saint Paul
33. McKnight's Bar & Grill2201 Burns Ave, Saint Paul
Victory 44's is well known around the Twin Cities for its signature burger, which earns its "Perfect Burger" name with a ground beef patty with a just enough pork belly. Topped with American cheese, pickles, and bacon and sandwiched between a toasted brioche-esque bun, it really is damn near perfect. You can order one year-round despite the rest of the menu's seasonal rotation of chicken and pasta dishes like squash farotto.
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.
The revered HauteDish, between the Warehouse and Gateway districts, rocks a menu with artfully presented, reinvented takes on Midwestern classics like mac & cheese with king crab and truffle oil, blackened fish tacos, and steak & potatoes. Perfect for empty stomachs at any hour, Haute offers choices for breakfast (go for the chicken & waffles), lunch, and dinner, but if you go in later hours, you'll be able to choose from a long list of house-made cocktails and dozens of draft beers from nearby breweries, too.
This pick is a New American restaurant in the Gateway District with a heavy emphasis on fresh and seasonal seafood. In a sleek, modern setting, Eastside serves up small plates like octopus, ahi tuna tartare and king crab salad along with full-fledged dishes like smoked arctic char, grilled swordfish and sea scallops — but you can always go for a burger or the pork chops if fish ain't your deal. Pair them with a specialty cocktail or a one of the many beers from all over the country that Eastside keeps on tap.
With a luxurious interior, an extensive cocktail menu and a brunch menu specifically for cheat days, this central-city pick inside The Chambers Hotel, is a surefire way to treat yourself. Brunch is packed with classic like breakfast tacos and biscuits and gravy, and lunch and dinner features inventive gourmet dishes like BBQ salmon and duck breast with sweet potato gnocchi. The real star of this show, however, is the bar, which serves specialty gin and tonic (the tonic of which is made in-house).
This Loring Park spot creates modern takes on classic dishes like for brunches, lunches and dinners alike that please both the eye and taste buds in a romantically offbeat setting. All the ingredients used here come from local and regional suppliers for fresh and sustainable fare like asparagus omelettes with goat cheese in the morning, pork belly sandwiches in the afternoon and poached salmon in the evening.
This laid-back Whittier spot hosts live indie and jazz music acts daily in a two-story, polished industrial bar and restaurant (complete with plenty of large, comfy leather booths for the whole party). Head upstairs and watch the show, or stay downstairs for gourmet European and American fare like lobster gnocchi or a lamb platter. And it wouldn't be a real night at the Icehouse without going for one of their specialty cocktails or something from its massive top-shelf whiskey collection.
If you're balling on a budget or simply want to drink a lot, look no further that Liquor Lyle's, one of Minneapolis' best dive bars. This Lowry Hills spot takes pride in its seedy, windowless space, which resembles a '50s diner or arcade (there are real games here) with its neon lighting and checkerboard flooring. Whether you're drinking liquor or beer from one of 4 taps here, it's guaranteed to be cheap, just like its traditional bar food.
This tapas-style restaurant in Whittier seats 75 in its homey, reclaimed space, complete with open brick walls and comfy blue leather booths. It serves up a variety of small and large sharable plates with American and European fare like lamb meatballs, chicken wings, halibut and burgers. What you don't want to share is the drink you order from the massive selection of sparkling wines and house cocktails or the handful of local draft beers.
From couple behind the culinary genius of The Left Handed Cook comes this graffiti-laden Midtown Global Market eatery. This is one of the best spots to stop in and grab some spicy Korean-inspired bar food and a cold cocktail. You’ll never go wrong with the Harold & Kumar poutine, a slew of house-cut fries, kimchee, onion, parmesan & cheddar cheese, poached egg, pork curry gravy, and, of course, chipotle aioli.
Tiny Diner is not, in fact, a literal, miniature diner, but a small restaurant in Powderhorn Park that's all about sustainability, from the way it sources its food to the way the restaurant itself is built. Using mostly its own garden to grow its ingredients, this spot provides the freshest fare possible in the form of all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner. Aim for a patio spot when you come here so you can admire the view of the garden out back while you polish off your country scramble or scallops.
The Blue Door Pub might look like your typical Midwest watering hole — wooden booths, twinkle lights, flat-screen tv — but you wouldn't gather from its looks, or lack thereof, is that this is home to the best pub grub in the Twin Cities. Specifically, we're talking about the Blucy Burger, two beef patties stuffed with whatever cheese your order requires (the classic has bleu cheese and garlic, the Cajun Redux have five-pepper, and the Picnic has colby jack).
The Red Cow on 50th Street specializes in fine burgers and specialty sandwiches, made with fresh ingredients and an inventive eye. The burger menu covers a wide range of proteins, always including grass-fed beef, but also including bison, turkey, lamb, and duck depending on availability. Toppings range from the expected (lettuce, cheese, etc) to the extreme (bone marrow, piquillo peppers), but the resulting concoctions are always juicy and delicious. Local Minneapolis beers (plus microbrews from around the country) are in heavy rotation at the bar, but you can also order from a selection of red and white wines, curated specially by the owner.
Republic in Downtown East is the upscale answer to your average local dive or pub. In the confines of its open brick walls and stained-glass windows, this spot serves up higher-end versions of typical bar food like burgers with white cheddar, fried eggs or duck, tacos and steak sandwiches. Don't come here if you're all about house cocktails, that's not really this place's deal. But with over 100 beers and ciders from all over the state and world, it'd be impossible to walk out unsatisfied.
Right on the University of Minnesota campus, Bar Luchador (yes, like the wrestlers) offers up a multitude of tacos, the ingredients for which are cooked fresh every day. Take your pick of one, three or five tacos stuff with any protein under the sun (chicken, beef, chorizo, pastor, fish, veggies, the list goes on...) with inventive toppings like pineapple salsa, red pickled onion and kale. Add a full-service cocktail bar with amazing happy hours, and you've got an entirely new way to experience college Mexican food.
This large sports bar offers patrons TVs on which to watch sports events, beer a-plenty, pool tables, and darts. Standard pub fare is also on offer, with options like chicken fingers, cheese curds, and chips & salsa available to satiate your post-PBR and sports loss appetite.
Como Dockside in St. Paul is located right on the shore of Lake Como, meaning that lunch and dinner views are breathtaking. The rich interior is extremely inviting, which is evident from all of the groups of people who often frequent the restaurant during happy hour. The Southern-style menu is unique in the Twin Cities area and features classic dishes such as andouille, gumbo and shrimp and grits, and their bloody mary menu during brunch features something for everyone.
Ngon Vietnamese Bistro is a University Ave spot that hosts a great happy hour. Great cocktail deals and small sharable plates make this a great place to chill with friends. As for the main attraction, the pho is made with grass-fed beef that adds an additional depth of gaminess and richness, which fundamentally supports the balance of spices used in the broth.
True to its name, Neighborhood Cafe is a lovely, well, neighborhood cafe located in Merriam Park that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. For a place that serves so many different kinds of food, it does everything phenomenally, from its frozen mimosas to the burgers to the Eggs Benedict. The happy hour makes this a perfect place to catch up with friends after work, and the comfy booths are the best places to snuggle up and enjoy a coffee.
Thirty-four beers on tap, 10 TVs, and a Cajun Lucy are a pretty good recipe to make Groveland Tap an awesome burger bar. The neighborhood bar is owned by the locally revered Blue Plate Restaurant Company, so it functions as a brewpub. The bretzels pair perfectly with the full-bodied and light beers. The casual atmosphere is also the most inviting aspect of this brewpub, and you'll come here from friend gatherings to watching the game.
This local spot transforms into a Green Pay Backers bar in the on-season, offering sports fans two large screens and 15 flat screens on which to watch all the big games. Customers also have an extensive choice of craft beer and finger food to munch on, including fish tacos, pulled pork quesadilla, and curly curds with chipotle ranch.
This cozy karaoke bar offers drinkers a go-to activity once their imbibing is done. A nightly happy hour from 6 to 9pm is also on offer, that includes a two-for-one on beer, shots, and cocktails. The orange bricked spot stands alone on a street, and can't be missed.
The cuisine might be traditional vietnamese -- with entree options like grilled beef noodle salad on offer -- but a koi-filled pond and blue carpeting injects the space with a trendy, modern mood. The service is quick and excellent, and the dim lighting makes the space apt for both date nights and family gatherings.
Sweeney's Saloon is a St. Paul neighborhood saloon in Summit-University that has a lively atmosphere with domestic taps as well as many microbrews. In addition to beer, Sweeney's offers delectable burgers, wings and above-average bar food that takes your happy hour a step further. The real draw of this bar is the patio, which features a canopy of trees, a huge fireplace and a full bar. You can also bring your dog, as long as you keep him or her on a lease.
A sports bar with a loyal following of locals and college students, Billy's on Grand serves up plenty of cold beer and bar food favorites every day of the week. Known especially for their happy hour specials, which run every day and include discounts on food as well as alcohol, the bar attracts those looking to relax with a beer and a few friends, either inside with a sports game on the TV or out on the flagstone patio. The food is American bar standard (burgers, pizza, sandwiches, salads, wings), but it's solid and portions are generous. It gets pretty busy, particularly on weekends, but you shouldn't have a problem getting a table in this spacious bar.
Owned and staffed by the Kelly family since 1997, Joe & Stan's is St. Paul's premiere American Irish sports pub. The restaurant is Irish more in terms of the Kelly family legacy and the decor than the food, but that doesn't mean the food isn't good. Hearty portions and familiar pub fare are the name of the game, and the team here does it to perfection with a menu that includes a signature West 7th burger, genuine broasted chicken, and some surprisingly good tex mex bites. Definitely check out this place during their daily happy hours, when the already decent prices get even better on everything including the beer.
Sleek and modern but still casual, this New American bistro specializes in chef-driven small plates and craft cocktails. The small, curated menu is full of locally-sourced meats and vegetables, with options for vegans and meat-lovers alike. Small plates can be ordered in flights, or you can opt for the six course meat-heavy tasting menu designed by head chef Leonard Anderson. House-infused liquors form the base of many of the unique cocktails on offer, which often use unusual salty, bitter, or spicy flavors. A backyard patio completes the restaurant with a breezy place to sip a drink and watch the city roll by.
One of the first bars in St. Paul to be relicensed after the repeal of Prohibition in the '30s, Obb's Sports Bar is a Minnesota institution. Still owned by the same Johnsen family that started the bar back in the day, this is the quintessence of a family-run restaurant. It feels very much like an old-school neighborhood bar inside, with plenty of dark wood and a rectangular bar that's perfect for conversations with your neighbors. Their happy hour deals are legendary, and the reputation of this place is such that there's a wait for seating most nights (reservations are not accepted).
With tiled floors, warm wooden accents, and high ceilings that capture tons of natural light, Meritage has all the trimmings of a classic Parisian brasserie, including the exceptional fare and expert wine list. Situated in Downtown St Paul, it's a prime spot for date night or dinner before a show, though stopping in for weekend brunch is highly encouraged too, when dishes like an omelet du jour, eggs Benedict, and eggs en cocotte are prepared. At lunch and dinner, you'll find traditional plates like steak frites, roasted duck breast, and swordfish au vin, plus plenty of fresh selections from the oyster bar.
For upscale, scratch-made pub food in Saint Paul, the only place to go is the Ox Cart Ale House. The third restaurant from Joe Kasel and Kevin Geisen (of Eagle Street Grille and The Salt Cellar), this is a purposefully casual restaurant that focuses on fresh food and local beers, with taps reserved for specialty beers and even mead. The menu here changes seasonally according to what's in season in Minnesota at the time, but you can usually find a selection of juicy homemade sausages, fresh seafood, and burgers, including a signature lamb burger topped with Aleppo pepper and Greek farmer's cheese. Plenty of seating inside and out means it's a great place to relax after work with beer and friends.
Homestyle comfort foods are the forte of this Saint Paul restaurant, which serves up big portions of classic American food with a smile. A staple of the community since the '80s, this established restaurant has a following of loyal locals who love their happy hour deals and huge menu—covering everything from breakfast foods to BBQ favorites to pasta and desserts. Bright and welcoming, with cushy booths and friendly service, this is an uncomplicated venue for when you just want a nice meal without breaking the bank. A private room is available for parties and work functions, and they also have a busy takeout service if you can't stick around.
Known for its incredible happy hour deals, this neighborhood bar is a Saint Paul institution that is whole-heartedly invested in its community. The interior decor is basically one step up from a dive, with dark lighting and wooden tables, but the food is fresh and delicious and the service is upbeat and friendly—miles away from the snark usually associated with dive bartenders. Using locally-sourced ingredients and bread from nearby bakeries, the signature cheese curd burger is a Minnesota original and comes topped with a heap of the squeaky cheese bites. It's big and it's loud, but that means you'll definitely be able to find a seat and you may even make a new friend.
Located within a Holiday Inn, McKnight's is a solid bar and grill that isn't trying to be fine dining, and that's fine. With a clean, modern interior and plenty of classic American comfort food, this hotel restaurant gives you exactly what you want when you're traveling—familiar food cooked well, served with fresh ingredients and plenty of beer. Casual and relaxed, this is a place for a quiet drink and a pleasant conversation (or karaoke, if you're there on the weekends). It's well known but not super hip, so getting a seat shouldn't be a problem—reservations not necessary.