Welcome to the Twin Cities!
You live here? You’re visiting? YOU LIKE TO EAT? This is good. You are in the right place. We have all the foods.
Eating out is one of my skills / hobbies / specialties in life, and luckily, at least half of our Pinch of Yum team lives here in this city with an amazing restaurant scene. And by city we mean TWO CITIES, because is one really enough? Thank you, Minneapolis. Thank you, St. Paul.
This list has been a team effort – we just thought it was high time that we rounded up all our go-to spots. For when people ask us, but also, for when we ask each other, which is constantly.
From coffee to dinner, this post lists our collective favorites for:
- Coffee-ish Drinks
- Breakfast and Brunch Spots
- Take-Out Favorites
- Casual Lunch and Dinner
- Fancy-ish Date Nights
Is this a food critic’s list of the top restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul? No.
Is this a list of OUR favorite restaurants? The ones that we know and love, that have our hearts, that recognize our faces because we frequent them so much? Yes!
Bless you, hungry eater in Minneapolis / St. Paul! May you find just what you’re looking for.
Do you have a favorite that’s NOT on our list? Leave it in the comments and tell us what to order. Pinky promise we will be hunting down your good recommendations (and updating the list as necessary)!
For When You Need a Caffeine Boost
Ever walked into a coffeeshop and wished you could live there? That’s how Parallel makes you feel. And with an amazing all-day food menu to boot, you’ll feel like you could.
What we order: Matcha Latte with a side of fancy toast
145 Holden St N, Minneapolis
Sencha Tea Bar
“Want anything from Sencha?” is a very common and very important question around here. For bubble tea, tea lattes, and iced teas, this is the spot.
What we order: FOR SURE the Royal Tea Latte (hot or iced, with or without bubbles)
1692 Grand Ave, St Paul (more locations in Minneapolis)
A little standalone coffeeshop in Northeast Minneapolis that’s quiet, cozy, and, well, just really pretty to look at.
What we order: Any of their seasonal drinks – Coffee Lemonade in the summer if you’re lucky
2402 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
For When Your Friend Calls to Get Drinks
It might take you a few minutes to figure out how to get inside, but you can trust us: the awkward “Um, hi? Is this the right door?” will be totally worth it.
What we order: Oliveto or Paloma
50 N 2nd Ave, Minneapolis (underneath The Bachelor Farmer)
The drinks at Norseman are WILD. But in the best way. Also there’s a newly-added food truck right out front that has amazing tacos and really what more could you ever want?
What we order: Buddy, Negroni, or Hanky Panky (plus a Chicken and Shishito Taco for good measure)
451 Taft St NE, Minneapolis
If you like your drink to not only taste good but look beautiful too, then this is your spot. The bar is small but that just means you’ll feel like a VIP.
What we order: Khalifa, Mare, or Dios
4312 S Upton Ave, Minneapolis
For When It’s Saturday Morning
If you ask someone if they’ve ever been to Colossal they’ll usually just scream “THE BISCUITS!!!” and that’s all that really needs to be said.
What we order: Roasted Pork Shoulder Burrito Bowl, or Breakfast Sandwiches (on a biscuit! duh!)
2315 Como Ave, St Paul (more locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul)
Out of everywhere else for brunching in the Twin Cities, this is our go-to spot where we could almost just say “I’ll have the usual.” The usual being a giant breakfast burrito the size of your head.
What we order: Breakfast Burrito, Zone Omelette, or Cajun Hashbrowns – Tempeh Rueben if you’re there for lunch
1662 Grand Ave, St Paul (another location in Minneapolis)
COOK St. Paul
Classic American diner with a Korean twist. It’s small, it’s cozy, and it might just become your new favorite breakfast spot.
What we order: Short Ribs Eggs Benedict, Breakfast Sandwich, and Gochu Fruit
1124 Payne Ave, St Paul
Modern, fun food meets an actual 1957 diner. Plus a charming patio for the better-weather days. The menu is part classic and lovable, part zany and weird and really ridiculous. The best of both worlds!
What we order: Gary Cooper (fried chicken on a donut? you can’t make this up), Huevos Rancheros, or good ol’ Pancakes
4020 E Lake St, Minneapolis
For When You Want to Stay on the Couch
St. Paul Bagelry
Nothing special on the inside, other than a fresh basket of the most delicious, most life-changing Everything Bagels that you will ever sink your teeth into.
What we order: Anything on an Everything Bagel
1702 Lexington Ave N, Roseville
Annoying day at work. Broken heart. Speeding ticket. There is no bad-day-SOS situation that an India Palace curry with paneer naan can’t fix. This is the ultimate in comfort food.
What we order: Palak Aloo is honestly life changing – but also, Shahi Paneer, Vegetable Korma, Chicken Josh, Palak Paneer, and Paneer Naan
2570 Cleveland Ave N, St Paul (multiple locations in Twin Cities)
Just a good, basic, strip mall, neighborhood sushi spot that will make all your dynamite roll dreams come true. Takeout is the reg for us, but contrary to everything you think, the in-house all-you-can-eat deal is actually kind of amazing.
What we order: Dynamite Roll, Kyoto Roll, Dragon Roll, and maybe Vegetable Tempura if you’re feeling greedy
2100 Snelling Ave, Roseville
Food truck turned restaurant so you know it’s gonna be good. You can pick and choose between tacos and nachos and burritos and more, but we’re partial to a good plate of Chorizo Nachos.
What we order: Chorizo Nachos and Carnitas Tacos / Fish Tacos combo
1237 Larpenteur Ave W, Roseville
Dubbed “Minnesota’s Best Pizza” and we’d have to 100% agree. This is an INSTITUTION in the cities and also free delivery so get on that now.
What we order: Ruby Rae and a Super Greens Salad
1183 Selby Ave, St Paul (multiple locations in Twin Cities)
If we counted up all our Bitesquad orders at the office over the past few years, approximately 95% of them would be from Spitz. This restaurant is not exclusive to the Twin Cities and we don’t care. It’s a winner.
What we order: Street Cart Fries, Street Cart Doner, or Doner Basket (with falafel or beef/lamb)
518 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
For When You Want To Get Out But Don’t Need Anything Flashy
Calling all vegans and non-vegans and people who just really like fun food! This one is a GAME-CHANGER. So much so that it inspired one of our favorite recipes on the blog.
What we order: Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (ALWAYS, and with extra ranch), Dirty Secret Burger, or Crunchwrap
169 Victoria St, St Paul
Another legendary spot for our team (see here). A wide array of griddled arepas stuffed to the brim, cocktails that make you swoon, and some necessary yuca fries with the famous aioli verde. YUM.
What we order: Arepas! Duh. Specifically: Slow-Roasted Pork or Black Bean and Sweet Potato PLUS a side of yuca fries
3501 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
Southern food, here you come. When the craving for fried chicken, sweet tea, fried green tomatoes, and banana cream pie strikes… this is the place. The St. Paul location is our hot spot.
What we order: Fried Chicken, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Banana Cream Pie
525 Selby Ave St. Paul (more locations in Twin Cities)
If you want to sit on a cute patio and eat a la carte tacos and drink margaritas with your BFFs, go here now. And by now we mean Tuesday because buy-two-get-one-free-tacos.
What we order: Barbacoa, Chipotle Camaron, or Carnitas Tacos (with a side of any of the amazing salsas)
2516 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis (location in St. Paul as well)
If you’re Red Cow fan then you know its sister restaurant going to be good. Solid and delicious Italian eats that aren’t fussy at all, with an amazing happy hour to boot.
What we order: Wood Roasted Olives, Arancini, Shrimp Garganelli, New World Margherita Pizza, Gnocchi, Chicken Parmigiana, so pretty much… everything?
201 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis (location in St. Paul as well)
Our favorite ramen in all the Twin Cities. Beautiful, complex, and yet somehow effortlessly casual. A serious game-changer.
What we order: Bali Bali Ramen
2203 N 44th Ave, Minneapolis
Looking for the famous Juicy Lucy? Here you go! Yes, you could go to any of the amazing spots that serve it but we’re partial to the fries – er, the vibe – at the Nook (complete with vintage bowling alley downstairs).
What we order: Juicy Nookie or the Paul Molitor
492 Hamline Ave S, St Paul
World Street Kitchen
Food truck turned restaurant, resulting in counter-service fusion food at its finest. Everything is a little mind-twisty, hugely flavorful, and extremely delicious.
What we order: Bangkok Burrito or Yum Yum Rice Bowl
2743 Lyndale Ave S #5, Minneapolis
The Happy Gnome
Small menu, large beer list, cozy bar for winter, and great patio for summer. Stop in the more proper restaurant for a fancy steak or lobster mac and cheese, or opt for the bar-side for poutine and wings.
What we order: Short Rib Egg Rolls, Lobster Mac and Cheese, Cheeseburger, and the fries – oh my goodness, THE FRIES
498 Selby Ave, St Paul
For When You Hit That Anniversary
Bar La Grassa
If we had to pick one spot to say “YOU HAVE TO GO HERE” it would be Bar La Grassa. Best pastas, best wine list, best cozy date-night atmosphere. Just, honestly, best everything.
What we order: Charred Red Onion and Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Roasted Beets with Burrata and Pistachios, Gnocchi with Cauliflower and Orange (A MUST), Pappardelle with Veal Ragu, Penne Rigate with Shrimp
800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis
A refined Mexican bistro on a neighborhood corner. Kind of hip, kind of mod, kind of moody and intense? But in the most delicious and romantic way.
What we order: Queso Fundido, Elote Style Brussels Sprouts, Barbacoa Tacos
605 7th St W, St Paul
If its long list of reservations doesn’t already tell you that it’s good, then you’ll just have to take our word for it when we say this: Korean. BBQ. Pizza.
What we order: Cauliflower, Bibim Grain Salad, and Korean BBQ Pizza
165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis
Real talk: this is the best patio in all of the Twin Cities. THERE. We said it. Tucked into a charming and lush corner of old Saint Paul with the best cheese boards in town.
What we order: Charcuterie/cheese plates and of any their seafood dishes
374 Selby Ave, St Paul
Honestly, being at ALMA just makes you feel good. You can opt for a coursed meal in the restaurant, but we’re partial to get a swath of different dishes in the cafe.
What we order: Marinated Olives, Smoked Fish, Fried Cauliflower, Saffron Rice, and House Rigatoni
528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis
Seriously YUM. Your turn now: What are your favorite spots in the Twin Cities? Where do we need to hit next?