Where the locals eat and drink in Minneapolis
Sometimes you've just gotta shake your head and say to yourself, "only in Minneapolis”. Usually it's after the Timberwolves do something stupid... but occasionally it’s when you get to explain to out-of-towners that MSP is littered with some of the best beer bars, dive bars, cocktail bars, and just damn fine restaurants in the country. Plus we’ve got hot dishes and cheese curds and juicy lucys… because when a city has this much snow and pungent lutefisk, it deserves to also have the most delicious and cheesiest signature dishes in the States.
Need even more places to eat and drink? Head to Thrillist Minneapolis for hot openings and the rest of our longtime favorites.
Why you're here: The perfect balance between the classics and whimsical modernist desserts
What you're getting: Midwesterners take their donuts very, very seriously, but even the most skeptical purists have, in one short year, fallen in love with Glam Doll. Skeptics can find plenty to love in the fritters and Long Johns, while the more adventurous will fall in love with the Calendar Girl -- topped with salted caramel and chocolate -- and the peanut butter & Sriracha Chart Topper, which finally answers the question of what it would taste like to make out with Jimmy Carter after dinner at a Thai place.
Why you're here: American Nuevo meets good, old-fashioned rock 'n’ roll, with a splash of bourbon
What you're getting: 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 out with Replacements quotes on the walls and reclaimed wood, so it’s about as Minneapolis as it gets.
Why you're here: High-cuisine spin on classic Midwestern dishes
What you're getting: The much-lauded Dish rocks a menu with eats like an open-face banh mi with a pork & foie terrine, and something called the "Corn Button", plus other inspired items from Chef Landon Schoenefeld, who's bringing you his takes on classic Midwestern dishes, which you won't find in any of the pans at your church potluck.
Why you're here: Classic craft 'tails... plus a Tiki bar inside this bar
What you're getting: 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. As though that's not enough, the Torpedo Room -- one of our favorite new bars in 2013 -- is serving Tiki 'tails inside Eat Street.
Why you're here: It's one of the best cocktail bars in America -- and below one of our favorite restaurants.
What you're getting: Hidden in the basement of Bachelor Farmer, Marvel has the vibe of a classic speakeasy, including minimal signage, massive punchbowls, and a quasi-rustic lounge vibe. And while the place has all the trappings of a stuffy cocktail-snob magnet -- elaborate cocktails made like science projects with fancy equipment and the incorporation of crazy infusion ingredients served by mustachioed men who take drinks very seriously -- it takes great pains to stymie pretensions, thanks to Cheetos, the bar’s go-to snack offering.
Why you're here: It's a quintessential dive... meaning it's one of our favorites in the country.
What you're getting: Nye's has an "old side" and a "new side", though neither looks like they've changed much since the '60s. You're assured one thing at both places: music you'll want to drink to. On Friday and Saturday nights, it'll be polka on the "old side" and piano players serenading you on the "new". On either side, pair the booze with pierogies, a fine complement to the beer prices that have recently risen slightly.
Why you're here: Matt's Bar firmly believes themselves to be the true inventor of the Juicy Lucy.
What you're getting: As they call it, you'll be ordering a "Jucy Lucy", which this no-frills dive cooks on a grill sitting right behind the bar.
Why you're here: The Blucy Burger...
What you're getting: While you can get it with classic American cheese, their speciality is melted blue cheese (get it now!?). The real treat here, though, might be their deep-fried Spam Bites. Never has fried meat in a can been so good.
Why you're here: The other spot that claims to have invented the Juicy Lucy
What you're getting: The 5-8 Club started as a speakeasy back in 1928, and even though their beer's legal now, maybe their burgers -- which in addition to cheddar, are stuffed with bacon and topped with onion straws -- shouldn't be.