Food & Drink

The coolest bars and restaurants in town

It's time for a new edition (easy there, Bobby Brown) of the Thrillist 47, giving you the best new and new-ish places to eat and drink. Some had to go (it's not OUR fault someone turned Insert Coins into a nightclub), while other hot spots could not be denied (Hello, Bluestem Bar & Table!). Have a look at the list (organized by hood, this isn't a ranking) and make the most of your next night out.


smack shack

1) Smack Shack
603 Washington Ave N; 612.259.7288
Plans for Smack Shack's permanent home were announced some time early in the Van Buren administration (they actually incited the Panic of 1837), but the permanent home of the lobster-ific food truck proved to be well worth the wait.
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marin restaurant

2) Marin Restaurant & Bar
901 Hennepin Ave; 612.252.7000
Boasting two neo Victorian-inspired bars (one upstairs, one in the basement), this sweet craft cocktailery sets itself apart by packing its swillables with aromatics freshly harvested from the garden in their patio.
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borough bar

3) Borough & Parlour
730 Washington Ave N; 612.387.1613
Run by a pair of Travail masterminds and the dude who helped put Marvel Bar & Eat Street Social's cocktails on the map, this mighty, two-story effort in DT's North Loop proves MSP's got talent. Suck it, Susan Boyle!
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butcher boar

4) Butcher & the Boar
1121 Hennepin Ave; 612.238.8888
"American craft food and bourbon house" is no longer just the title of the most awesome real estate listing ever, thanks to this deceptively large neighborhood noshery with wood stoves dominated by Jack Riebel's skilled hands.
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devil's advocate

5) The Devil's Advocate
89 10th St S; 612.843.2260
A restaurant obsessed with meatballs need not necessarily be campy, as evidenced by the downtown, warehousey coolness of The Devil's Advocate.
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mason's restaurant

6) Mason’s Restaurant & Barre
528 Hennepin Ave S; 612.516.3344
Downtown craft-castle Mason's Restaurant & Barre is built into what was formerly a grand, old, Masonic temple, but the only robes now associated with this place are the ones you'll be wearing all day on the couch while recovering from its beer-tails and huge cuts of meat.
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marvel bar

7) The Bachelor Farmer & Marvel Bar
50 N 2nd Ave; 612.206.3920
Housed in a circa 1881 NoLo warehouse, the Dayton bros' (sons of MN's governor) dichotomous bi-leveler is one-half rustic farmhouse (The Bachelor Farmer) with an innovative rooftop garden, and one-half basement speakeasy-esque (Marvel Bar).
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cafe maude

8) Cafe Maude at Loring Park
1612 Harmon Place; 612.767.9080 The cooler, younger bro of a South Mpls craft food/cocktail staple Cafe Maude, CM@LP comes with a reworked menu and an emphasis on live music.
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ward 6

9) Ward 6
858 Payne Ave; St. Paul; 651.348.8181
Crafty neighborhood gastro beer bar Ward 6 might not be named after Hugh Beaumont's casting number to play Beaver Cleaver's dad, but golly gee is the St. Paul beer bar swell anyway!
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french hen

10) The French Hen Cafe
518 Selby Ave; St. Paul; 651.222.6201
It's time to make like annoying teenagers that you're secretly jealous of and French all day, as this Selby Ave breakfast/lunch spot dishes France's version of comfort food.
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louis ristorante

11) Louis Ristorante & Bar
211 7th St W; St. Paul; 651.222.3476
The cherry on top of St. Paul's century-plus-old Italian food staple is pretty f'ing cherry indeed, a Cary Grant-worthy rooftop beacon boasting a mahogany bar made in England, oak appointments throughout, and floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views of everything from the Mighty Miss to the Cathedral, so... pray that they let you lounge there indefinitely?
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lynden's icecream

12) Lynden's Soda Fountain
490 Hamline Ave S; St. Paul; 651.235.5646
Run by the child of a one-time soda jerk, white-washed Lynden's brings the vintage right down to their completely refurbished Stanley Knight Fountain, recovered from a church basement, where it likely had been made to repent for serving vanilla and chocolate together in the '50s.
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amsterdam bar

13) Amsterdam Bar & Hall
6 W 6th St; St. Paul; 651.222.3990
A Dutch-themed rock venue, Amsterdam's assailing downtown St. Paul with Netherlandish nosh 'n drink in a modern-meets-deconstructed, two-stage, two-bar warehouse-y space.
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the buttered tin

14) The Buttered Tin
237 7th St E; 651.224.2300
Rejoice -- they're making Twinkies and Hostess CupCakes again! And while that's awesome news for Louie Anderson, it really won't matter for most other Twin Citians, because Lowertown St. Paul bakery/resto The Buttered Tin was already dropping its own, vastly better versions.
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15) Burch
1942 Hennepin Ave S; 612.843.1515
Isaac Becker won the James Beard award for the Best Chef: Midwest in 2011. Burch is Isaac Becker's two-level steakhouse/pizzeria in Lowry Hill. Burch is very good. Coincidence?? No!
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16) World Street Kitchen
2743 Lyndale Ave S; 612.424.8855
Originally just an award-winning food truck, WSK coldly turned its back on its middle name when it opened this sparsely modern Uptown location, which has three times the global street-eats menu of the truck, plus beer.
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17) Nightingale
2551 Lyndale Ave S
Ever wonder what dive bar 'tenders dream about at night? Trick question: they spend nights dealing with their terrible, terrible patrons. But during the day, they apparently dream about opening refined tapas joints, as evidenced by Nightingale.
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gray house

18) The Gray House
610 W Lake St; 612.823.4338
Don't worry about being whipped with a riding crop at Gray House, because the Uptown restaurant's named for Ian Gray, not Christian, and he's a chef, not a... professional equestrian, or whatever that guy in the book was.
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kenwood shrimp

19) The Kenwood
2115 W 21st St; 612.377.3695
This plaid-walled/oak-wainscotted resto looks like an urban-twisted Victorian fox-hunting cottage, and rocks an appropriately game-y menu that boasts, "bring your own fox and we'll grill it" (note: they will actually do no such thing).
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20) Rye Delicatessen & Bar
1930 Hennepin Ave S; 612.871.1200
Combining global traditions from Montreal pastrami to Middle Eastern vegetarian with craft beer, whiskey, and even a small grocery, Rye's one part bar/resto, and one part "Minneapolis-style deli".
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morrisey's irish pub

21) Morrissey's Irish Pub
913 W Lake St; 612.645.8555
Despite being called Morrissey's, Uptown's first Irish pub -- complete w/ cheese-smothered corned beef & tatter tots, a shton of whiskey, etc. -- isn't owned by a moody complainer waxing on about his girl troubles. Besides, that's best left to bar patrons, anyway
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chicken and waffles

22) Bluestem Bar & Table
2550 Nicollet Ave; 612.870.7855
What sets this vaguely art deco-ish dining spot apart from the other restaurants you’ve been to? Well, besides the fried chicken on organic corn waffles slathered in pink peppercorn syrup, chipotle hot sauce & creme fraiche they’re serving, maybe it’s the fact BB&T is INSIDE another restaurant
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spill the wine

23) Spill The Wine
901 W Lake St; 612.339.3388
STW’s Uptown location is totally different from its former Washington Ave digs: it's bigger and more open, the menu is almost entirely retooled, and it's just a generally cooler wine bar (which is totally better than a generally wine-cooler bar, by the way).
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eat street buddha kitchen

24) Eat Street Buddha Kitchen & Lounge
2550 Nicollet Ave; 612.306.8152
These guys want to make a couple of things clear: their location (Eat Street, duh!), and that, even though they're an Asian joint in Thom Pham's legendary former digs, they're nothing like Azia. Oh, and perhaps more importantly, they've got short rib egg foo young omelets.
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town hall lanes

25) Town Hall Lanes
5019 34th Ave S; 612.789.7630
The fellas who brought the world Town Hall Brewery and Town Hall Tap have officially given MSP a craft-brew bowling alley with… um, bowling (obviously), comfort-style eats, and a TH Lanes-only brew called Super Strike Light Lager.
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blue door burger

26) Blue Door Longfellow
3448 42nd Ave S
The legendary St. Paul burgers of The Blue Door Pub must be awesome at caulking the wagon, because they've made their way across the river, and are now gloriously available right here in Minneapolis, at Blue Door Longfellow.
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glam doll donuts

27) Glam Doll Donuts
2605 Nicollet Ave S
Spurning the "get here early or you don't get no donuts" ethos of most craft bakeries, Glam Doll pumps out dozens of every variety in their creatively flavored arsenal from morning straight until 2a.
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28) Icehouse
2528 Nicollet Ave
Fancying itself a "live music restaurant" and outfitted with fir reclaimed from a Wyoming snow fence, the airy, open Icehouse is carved into a massive Eat Street warehouse that formerly housed actual ice.
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eat street social

29) Eat Street Social
14 W 26th St; 612.767.6850
A regally appointed, craft-cocktailin' eatery, Eat Street's buried in heavy oak and granite, large booths aplenty, and inventive drink creations courtesy of a bar staff who also own craft bitters company Bittercube.
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parka baguette

30) Parka
4023 E Lake St
You can stop arguing about which super-trio would win in a street-fight, The Three Amigos or The Three Tenors, because the answer is Parka, an epicurean threesome from folks behind Victory 44, Dogwood Coffee, and Rustica Bakery.
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left-handed cook

31) The Left Handed Cook
920 E Lake St, Ste 124; 612.208.0428
Right in the midst of ethnic eatery Midtown Global Market, Left's "New York subway meets LA lounge" front comes courtesy of a couple who recently left the bright, annoying lights of the left coast to provide the Minneapple with a blend of comfort food, Asian flavors, and a "dash of rock and roll", i.e., "new American country cooking".
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northbound smokehouse

32) Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub
2716 E 38th St; 612.328.1450
This 38th St Station joint's a full brewery in the back and a bar/resto up front, with a custom-made oak bar anchoring a 56-seat, wood-filled dining room with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto a patio.
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33) FIKA
American Swedish Institute: 2600 Park Ave; 612.871.4907
Angular and light (thanks to copious birchwood and... white paint), FIKA, which translates to "daily break", is technically housed inside the Nelson Cultural Center, and plates Nordic cuisine designed to "reflect the ASI’s contemporary architectural style".
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pig and fiddle

34) Pig & Fiddle
3808 W 50th St; 952.955.8385
After helping St. Paul see double for years, the man behind beeropolis Muddy Pig is seeing twos himself with his first Westside jam: Pig & Fiddle, a mega-impressive suds stable in the former Pearson's 50th/France digs that plates "rustic" eats.
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kings wine bar

35) Kings Wine Bar
4555 Grand Ave S; 4555 Grand Ave S
Thanks to the addition of chef thanks to Andrew Kraft, this mainstay vino-ry might have to change the name to Kings Food Bar ‘cause dude’s menu is pretty radical: think fritter-sized tots w/ bacon and bleu cheese dip, Bloody Mary-braised ribs, and… arrrrah, you had us at tots!
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terzo wine bar

36) Broders' Terzo Vino Bar
2221 W 50th St; 612.925.0330
The NSA might know what you're emailing and talking about, but we know what you're thinking: Broders' Pasta Bar is great, but it'd be WAAAAY better if they had like 800 more bottles of wine on hand and octopus terrine on the menu. Turns out that Broders' was thinking the same thing, so they opened it down the street.
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37) Rincon 38
3801 Grand Ave; 612.824.4052r
You know how completely unremarkable Rincon #39 -- the former Twins middle receiver -- was? Well, Rincon 38 is the exact opposite: an explosive Kingfield tapas joint from the fella who brought you Cafe Ena and El Meson.
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hello pizza

38) Hello Pizza
3904 Sunnyside Rd; 952.303.4514
Rocking (or maybe synth-ing?) a neon-y '80s aesthetic, this slice-style sister concept to Pizzeria Lola successfully combines possibly America's most popular greeting with possibly America's most popular eating.
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lynn on bryant

39) The Lynn on Bryant
5003 Bryant Ave S; 612.767.7797
Delicious chickens and comely, forbidden daughters are no longer the only things raised on farms for your pleasure, thanks to The Lynn on Bryant, a 60-seat bistro paying homage to its owners' agrarian upbringings.
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red cow

40) Red Cow
3624 W 50th St; 651.336.2179
The heifers served at Red Cow probably wouldn't be so embarrassed if they knew that they'd one day be eaten in a stylishly industrial comfort-food haven helmed by a former Bobby Labonte pit crew member.
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harriet brasserie

41) The Harriet Brasserie
2724 W 43rd St; 612.354.2197
Linden Hills' "slow food" cafe relaxed a former firehouse with a white paneled ceiling and French doors opening onto a large patio, perfect for enjoying cuisine from a chef who grows all the produce himself.
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dangerous man brewing

42) Dangerous Man Brewing
1300 2nd St NE; 612.377.4164
And on the eighth day God said, "Yeah, OK, let the people of Northeast Mpls drink beer near my house.", and Dangerous Man microbrewery/taphouse was blessedly allowed to open directly across the street from SS Cyril & Methodius Church.
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bohemia bierhuaus

43) New Bohemia Wurst+Bierhaus
233 E Hennepin Ave; 612.331.4929
This Euro-style beer hall 'n global sausage house serves over 60 quality beers and an exotic wurst-based menu on picnic tables that run the length of the place.
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indeed brewing beer

44) Indeed Brewing
711 15th Ave NE; 612.643.1226
Brewmastered by a Town Hall Tap alum, Indeed's making the most out of a former brick warehouse, where their shiny-tanked brewing/canning room is fronted by a beautiful business end: a large-ish taproom that's equal parts Wild West saloon and trendy industrial loft.
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pig ate my pizza

45) Pig Ate My Pizza
4154 W Broadway Ave; 763.535.1131
It sounds like a frequent complaint of inattentive swine farmers during lunch, but it’s actually a pie-centric wonderland serving insane hand-topped pies created by the Travail folks in their old space.
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46) Republic
221 Cedar Ave S; Seven Corners; 612.338.6146
Republic peeled back the layers of college bar that previously engulfed the place (neon signs, booze banners, general grime) to expose handsome tin-paneled ceilings, a 30ft oak bar, and original stained-glass windows.
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47) Malabari
414 1/2 Cedar Ave; 507.351.6683
Run by a duo of native Malabarians looking to be the first to serve The Twin Cities their region's "secret recipes from antiquity", the eats at this counter-service nook skew more Thai than traditional Indian.
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