The 15 Best Waterfront Bars and Restaurants in Minnesota
Do you know why summers in Minnesota dominate all other summers? Here’s a hint: it’s not just because we have a shton of lakes... it’s also because we have a shton of lakes (and rivers) with sweet bars and restaurants next to them. So many that we rounded up the 15 best waterfront drinking/dining spots in the state. You’re welcome...
Before every lake in the city had an amazing concession stand, there was Tin Fish. Celebrating 11 years in lakeside dining, this place is situated right on the pier at Lake Calhoun which boasts a beautiful view of the water. Grab an order of fish tacos, sit back, and just take it all in.
Whoever said that you couldn’t have a tropical getaway in the middle of the city? Fortunately for us, we’ve got this incredible Northeast Tiki bar that comes complete with a gorgeous view of the Mississippi River and flaming cocktails.
Beautifully situated on the banks of the Mississippi River in Southern Minnesota, this place offers gorgeous patio seating with a full view. Take advantage of its select craft beers and wines or perhaps you’re more in the mood for some kind of classic cocktail. Either way, this place has got you covered.
With a full menu featuring a variety of seasonal goodies and a hearty selection of locally produced beer, this is the perfect weekend spot. Pro tip: keep an eye out for various events that are hosted over the summer at the Lake Harriet Bandshell and make a day of it!
We’d be remiss to not mention this old-school Lake Minnetonka hotspot. Featuring six different bars, nine dining areas, volleyball and broomball courts, and onsite live music, this place was built for a party. Pull your boat up and put down a few cold ones, just remember to do so responsibly, kids. It’s all fun and games until someone gets ticketed/sinks to the bottom of the lake.
Rumor has it that this place gets a little hoppin’ on the weekend, so if you’re looking to get your swerve on, this lakeside bar might just be the place for you. Sure, they have food, but from the sounds of it, that’s not why you’re there so let’s not pretend and just have a cheers instead.
Home of “Fat Pants Friday,” where the chef creates a special 3,000+ calorie food-bomb, this place also happens to sit along the banks of one of the many offshoots of the legendary Lake Minnetonka. Instead of purifying yourself in the waters of the lake, perhaps try doing so while sitting on the patio with a cold beer instead.
White Bear Lake
Located just outside the Twin Cities, this suburban getaway boasts a beautiful view of White Bear Lake. It also features a variety of activities like bingo, trivia, and live music on the weekends. AND it's got some great happy hour specials, so if you’re looking to cut loose lakeside at a place that’s not too far away, this one might just be for you.
Hang out on the shores of beautiful Rose Lake and take in the summer sun at this Northern Minnesota waterfront bar and restaurant. Specializing in BBQ ribs, it’s the perfect place to replace all those calories you lost playing on the lake all day.
We’d be hard up to not include this regional institution in a round-up of lakeside bars: it’s been in business for almost 40 years and is situated right next to the Lake Superior shoreline. After a long day of wandering around Canal Park, grab a beer and a burger, sit back, and just enjoy the summertime.
Located right smack dab on Lake Waconia, the kitchen here offers a large selection of New England-inspired seafood dishes and they often feature a variety of live music, making this a great place to grab a few cold ones and let the weekend have its way with you.
Sip on a variety of local craft beers, one of your favorite macrobrews, or choose from one of their specialty cocktails and enjoy the sights of the scenic North Shore. They also have a variety of made-from-scratch entrée options which make this a great waterfront getaway destination.
Riverside craft beer has never tasted so good! Take in the beautiful view as you sip away on a variety of beers brewed in-house or you can peruse their selection of craft beers from across the country. No matter how you cut it, you’re drinking beer on the river and there’s never anything wrong with that.
Currently entering its second year of existence, this South Minneapolis lakeside concession stand is quickly becoming one of the best places to grab a seat and chill out during the summer months. Offering an incredibly delicious selection of food, beer, wine, and now soft-serve ice cream, you can hang out, take in the gorgeous view of the lake, and maybe, just maybe, when you’re all finished, take a little dip because hey, it is summer after all.
This beloved seafood eatery just happens to sit right alongside Minnehaha Falls and really, the view just doesn’t get any better than that. Grab a delicious po-boy, a pitcher of delicious, local beer, and just hang out and relax, because there’s really nowhere else better that you need to be.
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