Where to Eat in the Twin Cities Right Now

Indulge a little.

While the Twin Cities dining scene has obviously experienced some major changes over the last year-plus with COVID-19, our local restaurateurs are highly resilient. Several outstanding concepts debuted amidst stay-at-home orders last year, and the trend continues in 2021 with more new spots popping up every month. In addition to the new kids on the block, there are also notable Twin Cities hotspots that came onto the scene prior to the pandemic. Here鈥檚 hoping spring and summer bring a return to dining normalcy鈥攁nd a chance to check out our list of standout restaurants right now.

The gist: Billy Tserenbat, the man behind Twin Cities food truck turned brick-and-mortar Sushi Fix, opened a second concept in the former Sweet Chow space last spring.
The food: Standout sushi, including the NoLo YoLo (salmon, red snapper,) Silly Billy (spicy tuna, shrimp tempura) and George Clooney (snow crab and shrimp topped with big eye tuna.)
The cost: Sushi dishes range from $7 - $25.
How to order: Order takeout on Upserve or make a reservation on Tock.

Boludo

Kingfield

The gist: This Argentinian favorite opened a second location in January鈥攂oth shops are sure to satisfy with doughy filled pockets and unique oval-shaped pizzas big on flavor.
The food: The Jamon Y Queso (fried ham and mozzarella) and Puerro (creamed leeks, gorgonzola) empanadas are seriously stellar. Boludo鈥檚 Argentinian pizzas have nice, chewy crusts, salted to the edges. Try the Peras with pear, gorgonzola, pine nuts and dill or the Campo- chorizo, mushroom, onion.
The cost: Empanadas are about $5 (you鈥檒l want at least two) and pizzas range from $14 - $18.
How to order: Open for takeout only via Boludo鈥檚 website- note: At peak times, orders may take up to two hours so don鈥檛 procrastinate!

Burger Dive

Multiple locations

The gist: Acclaimed chef Nick O鈥橪eary (Travail, Borough) began his burger shop out of dive bar Tony Jaros鈥 kitchen鈥攏ow, he has two locations, and we鈥檙e thrilled.
The food: Everything鈥檚 good, but the Nacho Burger with tortilla chips, pico, guac and sour cream is unusual and delicious鈥攕o is the PBJ Burger with bacon, peanut butter, and jelly.
The cost: Burgers range from $10 - $12.
How to order: Online for pick-up or delivery or stop by both locations for dine-in.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

The Butcher鈥檚 Tale

Downtown Minneapolis

The gist: The Butcher is back鈥攁nd the reinvention of Butcher & The Boar promises to be better than ever by bringing back the spot鈥檚 original butcher鈥擯eter Botcher. Got all that?
The food: Not surprisingly, lots of meat鈥攑lenty of sausages, ribs, and steaks as well as lighter dishes and rotating fish features. Also, bourbon and a mostly unchanged beer garden.
The cost: Entrees range from $29 - $69.
How to order: Make a reservation for indoor or outdoor dining on Open Table鈥攖akeout and delivery coming soon.

Available for Reservations

Centro

Northeast

The gist: Centro is a colorful spot by chef Jose Alarcon housed in a former factory featuring flavorful street tacos and Viv!r is its new sibling鈥攁 Mexican cafe, market, and bakery.
The food: At Centro, we recommend the Nopales (cured cactus, mushrooms, kale) and Carnitas en Adobo (pork shoulder, pineapple, salsa verde) tacos. Viv!r鈥檚 got chilaquiles, tortas and empanadas as well as Mexican sweet bread and mole chocolate cupcakes.
The cost: Centro: $3 - $5 per taco, $6-9 for entrees. Viv!r: $3 - $22, depending on what you order.
How to order: No reservations needed. You can dine in or sit on the newly-expanded patio. Or, order curbside takeout.

CHX

Uptown

The gist: This spot run by three high school friends started serving fried chicken from a walk-up window outside The Pourhouse during COVID. Now, CHX has its own address off Hennepin in Lowry Hill and will be opening once again on June 11.
The food: Chicken, duh! Hand-breaded crispy tenders with an impressive secret sauce are served in quantities of three, four, or six. The homemade honey buttermilk biscuits are some of the best you鈥檝e had, too.
The cost: Chicken ranges from $11 - $15 per order.
How to order: CHX is on a brief hiatus during the move, but June鈥檚 just around the corner.

Colita

Armatage

The gist: After rising to local fame with Martina, chef Daniel del Prado鈥檚 second restaurant located in a transformed South Minneapolis gas station does 鈥渆levated鈥 Mexican right.
The food: Colita serves ribs, tostadas, and tacos using smoking techniques from all over the world. Start with crispy masa and guac, then order the mushroom quesadilla or chicken tinga tostadas. If you鈥檙e dining in-person, odd drinkware and fun garnishes make cocktails even more fun to imbibe.
The cost: Entrees range from $9 - $21.
How to order: Order takeout on Toast; make a dining room or patio reservation.

Hai Hai

Northeast

The gist: The second restaurant from chef Christina Nguyen of Hola Arepa fame features authentic Southeast Asian street food inside a former strip club.
The food: You鈥檒l find lots of big flavors and unusual dishes鈥攃hicken banana blossom salad, Balinese cauliflower, sticky rice with mock duck, and Vietnamese crepes are all must-haves. Also, the boozy tropical slushies and extensive cocktail menu make it feel like you鈥檙e on vacation without ever leaving Minnesota.
The cost: Entrees range from $11 - $17.
How to order: Order on ChowNow for curbside pickup, dine indoors, or on the seriously gorgeous patio.

Handsome Hog

Cathedral Hill

The gist: Top Chef star Justin Sutherland serves up contemporary Southern cuisine along with bourbon-forward beverages. The restaurant itself isn鈥檛 brand-new but got a notable new space last summer when it moved up the hill from Lowertown.
The food: Start with some crawfish hush puppies (or the whole roasted hog jowl if you鈥檙e feeling brave) then move along to the 鈥渕eat bar,鈥 a daily curated selection of cured and smoked pig with accoutrements. The 24-hour smoked beef brisket and smothered tomahawk pork chop may result in some meat sweats, but they鈥檒l be worth it.
The cost: Entrees range from $14 - $32.
How to order: Make a reservation on Resy鈥攊ndoor and patio seating available鈥攐r do delivery on DoorDash.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Josefina

Wayzata

The gist: Just-opened Josefina is definitely worth a trip west. Daniel del Prado does it again with clean, simple Italian pizzas and pastas.
The food: You鈥檙e near Lake Minnetonka, so think bigeye tuna crudo, oysters or鈥攊f you鈥檙e feeling fancy鈥攃aviar service to start. You can鈥檛 go wrong with a pizza that pops out of the wood-fired oven with a nice crisp. The vongole (littleneck clam) and pineapple fra diavolo with calabrese sausage are standouts.
The cost: Pizzas range from $12 - $19; other entrees from $18 - $28.
How to order: Make a reservation for the pizza bar on Resy or do takeout on Toast.

Available for Reservations

Lat14 Asian Eatery

Golden Valley

The gist: Nestled in the suburbs, you鈥檒l find small, shareable plates with creative flavors inspired by the diverse cuisines of Southeast Asia.
The food: Try a mix of dishes from Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. Start with basil wings or lumpia and move on to bacon pineapple fried rice, drunken noodles or braised duck ramen.
The cost: Entrees range from $13 - $36.
How to order: You can dine in, eat on the patio, or order takeout on Tock.

The Lexington

Grand Avenue

The gist: This St. Paul institution has been around since the end of prohibition, but after a total facelift in recent years The Lex is back and better than ever.
The food: It definitely harkens back to a simpler time. Get the double bone pork chop or 鈥渇amous鈥 smoked chicken pot pie along with a bathtub-style Old Fashioned, if you鈥檙e dining in.
The cost: Entrees range from $16 - $75.
How to order: Make a reservation for the dining room, walk up to the rooftop patio or order takeout on ChowNow.

Martina

Linden Hills

The gist: Chef Daniel del Prado鈥檚 debut restaurant Martina features standout Argentinian-Italian fusion dishes, and newer adjacent neighbor Rosalia is more casual, with wood-fired pizzas. 
The food: Martina serves up seafood, pork and veggies as well as delicious handmade pastas. The cinnamon fried calamari is a must followed by gnocchi, octopus or spaghetti fra diavolo with lobster. At Rosalia, grab a Bianca pie with mozzarella, lemon ricotta and arugula.
The cost: Entrees at Martina range from $21 - $32, pizzas at Rosalia range from $9 - $16.
How to order: You can dine indoors or on the patio at both places as well as order to-go  through Toast.

Parlour

West Seventh

The gist: The purveyor of the Twin Cities鈥 best burger is a huge hit no matter what side of the  river you鈥檙e on.
The food: It鈥檚 next to impossible to order anything other than the Parlour Burger鈥攇round chuck, ribeye and brisket topped with gooey American cheese on a soft egg bun鈥攗nless, of course, you add in fries.
The cost: $16 for the burger; $7 for fries.
How to order: Parlour is offering pickup and delivery through Toast and ChowNow, respectively, as well as dine-in.

Petite Le贸n

Kingfield

The gist: Taking over the quaint space vacated by Blackbird Cafe, this neighborhood bistro is led by acclaimed chef Jorge Guzman, who uses sustainable, locally grown ingredients to cook thoughtful food.
The food: Tons of interesting appetizers and small plates, from aguachile negro to smoked beef tongue to grilled octopus. There are just three entrees on the menu: Yucatecan chicken, steak bavette, and the fish of the day.
The cost: $$
How to order: Order takeout on ChowNow or make a reservation on Resy.

Available for Reservations

Revival

Multiple locations

The gist: James Beard nominee Thomas Boemer brings authentic Southern comfort food to the Midwest-鈥攎ost notably, the best fried chicken. Also, a third outpost is opening soon-ish in St. Louis Park.
The food: Start with fried green tomatoes and white cheddar grits鈥 then, of course, chicken. You can get it Southern fried, Tennessee hot, or pair it with thick waffles and real maple syrup.
The cost: Chicken orders range from $9 - $30.
How to order: Revival is offering pickup and delivery through ChowNow as well as dine-in and  patio service.

Sanjusan

North Loop

The gist: The Midwest may not be the first place you think you鈥檇 find a Japanese-Italian fusion restaurant but Daniel del Prado always delivers something deliciously unexpected. Sanjusan opened in March, and it鈥檚 already getting a lot of buzz.
The food: A mix of fish, pasta, and pizza that works. Dig into Wagyu nigiri and panzanella while you wait for your perfectly plated squid pappardelle, spicy tuna pizza, or chicken yakitori skewers.
The cost: Entrees range from $11 - $25.
How to order: Make a reservation for indoor or outdoor dining on Tock, as well as curbside pickup orders.

The gist: James Beard award-winning chef Ann Kim opened her fourth restaurant in February, the name of which pays homage to her grandmothers. Sooki & Mimi serves up international flavors through a five-course prix-fixe menu.
The food: A combination of Korean, Latin American, and Midwestern flavors, offerings change seasonally. Right now, you鈥檒l find tostadas, kimchi dumplings, mole verde, and tacos.
The cost: $80/person for a five-course meal.
How to order: Make a reservation on Tock. Sooki & Mimi doesn鈥檛 do takeaway.

The gist: This modern American hotspot inside a renovated horse stable earned chef Gavin Kaysen a James Beard Award for top chef in the Midwest so you know it鈥檚 good.
The food: The restaurant鈥檚 seasonal menu changes often and features dishes like halibut, duck, pork, heritage grain pasta, and steak.
The cost: Entrees range from $16 - $38.
How to order: You can dine indoors or on the patio and also order to-go through Toast.

The gist: The creative, trendy kitchen has coped with COVID by doing different dining concepts such as to-go family meals, parking lot dining parties and indoor cocktail flights paired with bar food.
The food: Travail has always been known for experimentation: Expect things like prosciutto-wrapped porchetta for the family meal, a seafood boil at the parking lot party and whiskey flights with truffle popcorn at the basement bar.
The cost: $60 - $150 for takeout family meals, $87/person for parking lot parties, $50 - $75 for basement bar flights.
How to order: Reservations and family meal orders both available on Tock.

Woodfired Cantina

West Seventh

The gist: The meat venture by celebrity chef Justin Sutherland launched last year inside the Keg & Case Market space vacated by In Bloom.
The food: The menu hinges on a 20-foot-long wood fire cooktop that expertly roasts proteins and veggies. Your choice of meat or seafood comes with handmade tortillas or try the flash-grilled wet tacos seared with cheese. The 36-ounce tomahawk ribeye is pretty tempting, too.
The cost: Entrees range from $8 - $90.
How to order: Reservations for indoor and patio dining are available.

Young Joni

Northeast

The gist: James Beard Award winning chef Ann Kim serves small plates and unique wood-fired pizzas inspired by her Korean heritage.
The food: Pies use gourmet ingredients like prosciutto, gruyere, honey, fennel pollen, and brown butter. You can鈥檛 go wrong with the YOLO (fennel sausage, Nueske鈥檚 bacon, pepperoni) or the Korean BBQ (beef short ribs, sesame soy chili.)
The cost: Pizzas range from $11 - $19.
How to order: Pie orders for pickup are processed through Tock. At this time, Young Joni is open for takeout only.

Jenna Bennett Williams is a writer for Thrillist who is all about frequent visits to the outdoor patios of restaurants on this list. Follow her on Instagram @jennabennnettwilliams.