We've already told you why Summers in Minneapolis dominate Summers anywhere else, but what we didn't tell you is that this one dominates particularly hard, thanks to a whole slew of sweet new eat spots. Now if only someone had a list of the nine best new restaurants in the Twin Cities... oh, wait!
Marché (address and info)
The team behind Borough/Parlour and coup d’état is at it again, only this time they're keeping it casual: a counter-service-style cafe and sandwich shop with a full range of espresso options, AM-eats like a house-made berry and cheese Danish, and a handful of sandwich options like a brie/fontina grilled cheese w/ a rhubarb compote on crusty country bread.
Cook St Paul (address and info)
The former Serlin’s Café is now serving breakfast-appropriate comfort foods with a healthy dose of... um, kimchi? That’s right, there’s a Korean kick in some of these dishes, but don’t worry, the crispy hash browns are still the same.
Tongue in Cheek (address and info)
Sustainably sourced stuff served in egalitarian style, which means the menu's packed with things gravy-topped fries, popcorn shrimp, and Bulleit Bourbon brulee, all made by a one-time W.A Frost & Company chef.
Lagos Tacos (address and info)
Massive margaritas and non-traditional tacos have moved into the former Heidi’s space. The room has a casual vibe with an expanded patio, and best of all, said tacos are available until 2am.
Heyday (address and info)
Lorin Zinter and Chef Jim Christiansen’s new spot is churning out inventive food, including a rabbit terrine coated in carrot “caramel”, with spectacular service in a space liberally decked with Replacements’ quotes on the walls and reclaimed wood, so it’s about as Minneapolis as it gets.
Hola Arepa (address and info)
There aren’t enough spots where you can throw your head back and have a beautiful mixture of booze poured down your gullet, but that’s just one of the draws at this brick-and-mortar incarnation of the food truck, where arepas stuffed w/ long-braised meats, crumbly cheese, and their fiery sauces remain the main food draw.
Corner Table (address and info)
You think you’ve had pork belly, but wait until you try this cut of swine at the latest incarnation of Corner Table in the former La Chaya Bistro location. The room is much more comfortable and they’ve been able to expand their beer selection and add a patio and a brunch service. If the pork belly doesn’t get you, the fried rabbit and sweet potato waffles will.
Brasserie Zentral (address and info)
Russell and Desta Klein have moved on from French-influenced fare in St. Paul to Central European fare in Downtown Minneapolis. Their ambitious project includes the dumpling and spaetzle filled menu fit for power-lunches in the downstairs space (which is open now), while the Skyway level Café Zentral will open soon. Not to mention Foreign Legion, the small plates/wine bar spot next door that opened two days ago.
Rival House (address and info)
Downtown St. Paul
Sibling restaurant to the temporarily closed but soon-to-be-relocated Bradstreet Craftshouse, this sporting lounge (not to be confused with a sport bar) at the base of the DoubleTree Inn in Downtown St. Paul is driven by craft beer and the stuff coming out of their wood-fire pizza oven, which includes guess what kind of food.
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1. Marché2904 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
2. Cook St. Paul1124 Payne Ave, Saint Paul
3. Tongue In Cheek989 Payne Ave, Saint Paul
4. Lagos Tacos2901 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
5. Heyday2700 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
6. Hola Arepa3501 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
7. Corner Table4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
8. Brasserie Zentral505 S. Marquette Ave, Minneapolis
9. Rival House Sporting Parlour411 Minnesota, Saint Paul
The Jester’s Concepts crew brings you a more casual Downtown resto that's serving sandwiches and breakfast.
The folks at Cook in Payne-Phalen are whipping up hearty American breakfasts (though you'll find some Korean influence on the menu as well) featuring locally sourced and scratch-made specialties, like bread-pudding French toast with a caramel banana sauce, short rib Benedict, and a good ol' fashioned plate of eggs, toast, and hash browns. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional diner-style breakfast or a straightforward lunch, Cook has you covered. Asian inspiration can be found in plates like Korean-style pancakes (ground yellow beans mixed with spicy sausage, spicy cabbage, and bean sprouts) and the Seoul Cubano sandwich (short ribs with Korean pepper flakes, spam, pickled Korean peppers, gruyere, dill pickles, and spicy mustard on grilled and pressed house bread).
Sustainably sourced stuff is served with style at Tongue in Cheek. The menu has must-tries like the fries with gravy and popcorn shrimp. There's a happy hour from 4-7pm every day too.
The actually-sophisticated-looking Lagos specializes in "street tacos" ranging from traditional takes like al pastor to beer-battered walleye w/ chipotle mayo (all served in triplicate with a side of sweet corn cake), but they've also got "Monster Burritos" filled with Godzilla meat, walleye, steak, carnitas, etc, and a full-blown cocktail bar with drinks that skew Lake Minnetonka like the South Lake Sombrero (basically Kahlua, tequila, and vodka).
When it comes to affordable yet elegant cuisine, Heyday is your spot. It's easily one of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities, if not the country. Head to this rustic-chic space (it sports exposed brick and a gorgeous wooden-beamed ceiling) for favorites like the chicken liver tart, chilled blue mussels, and grilled quail, which all help to create a downright exquisite menu. Be sure to leave room for at least one of the inventive desserts including pea shell sorbet, and wash it all down with a creative cocktail like the Don't Think Twice with pisco, aperol, grapefruit, and elderflower.
Originally a food truck, the brick and mortar incarnation has a menu is stuffed with long-braised meats, crumbly cheese and their fiery sauces. They've got a great drinks menu too.
With a larger beer list, a patio, and a brunch service, Corner Table has expanded from the former La Chaya Bistro location down the road. Be sure to try the pork belly, the fried rabbit, and the sweet potato waffles will.
The menu's full of dumpling and spätzle and other European comfort foods from Chef Klein's heritage.
This sporting lounge -- not sports bar -- is located at the base of the DoubleTree Inn in Downtown St. Paul for your refined game day viewing and ‘za enjoyment. It's driven by craft beer and their centerpiece wood-fire pizza oven.