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Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide.

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:

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Parallel

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

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)

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Anelace Coffee

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Marvel Bar

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)

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Norseman Distillery

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Martina

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

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For When It’s Saturday Morning

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Colossal Cafe

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)

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

French Meadow

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)

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Hi-Lo Diner

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

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For When You Want To Stay On The Couch

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

India Palace

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)

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Kyoto Sushi

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

La Tapatia

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Pizza Luce

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)

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Spitz

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

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For When You Want To Get Out But Don’t Need Anything Flashy

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

J. Selby’s

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Hola Arepa

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Revival

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)

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Nico’s Tacos

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)

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Red Rabbit

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)

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Tori 44

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

The Nook

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

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

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For When You Hit That Anniversary

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Pajarito

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Young Joni

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

WA Frost

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

Twin Cities Restaurant Guide

Alma Cafe

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?

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58 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Karen

    Timely post! I’m coming up to run the Twin Cities Marathon so I’m keeping this list!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    YES. TO. THIS. LIST. 🙌🏻

    A couple of other thoughts:
    1. Penny’s makes the best darn cold brew in the city. Locations in Linden Hills, North Loop & now Wayzata.
    2. Parlour is one of the BEST spots for fancy dranks. Their burger is also damn good.
    3. Speaking of burgers…Martina makes a MEAN burger. It’s only at brunch, make a res!
    4. The Cuban arepa at Hola Arepa will change your life. Magic. ✨

    So fun to see team POY’s faves! Thanks for putting this together!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    There are places you feature that I haven’t been to, so I have some eating to do! A fancy date place I’d add is 112 eatery. It’s so cozy so the perfect place for a special occasion meal (we went there the night we got engaged!). I love their pasta with lamb sugo (usually not a lamb person but this sauce is amazing!). I have celiac so I love that they actually make their own GF pasta. It tastes so much better than the store bought crap! We also always get the scallop appetizer and the butterscotch buddino for dessert. Sooo good!

    For any gluten intolerant readers, I also highly recommend Sift Bakery on 45th & Bloomington in S Mpls. Everything is GF and it’s amazing! My fave thing is the cinnamon rolls – pro tip is to take it to go and heat it up. Yummmmm!!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Rachel

    As someone who lives in the north metro, I am SO GRATEFUL for this list and will refer to it often! So often my husband and I google new places to try, but then because of decision paralysis end up at um, well, Chipotle….so I am excited to go through your list of recs!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    As I am a foody person I was looking for a perfect restaurant where I can find Indian food. I will definitely try India palace food and as you mentioned palak aloo, shahi paneer, vegetable korma, and chicken josh will be my top priority.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Meghan

      You listed quite a few that I’ve never tried – how exciting! From one St. Paulite to another, here are some of my favorite neighborhood spots: iPho (Dale and University), Seoul Cafe (Snelling and University), Tavial Grill and Supatra’s both on W. 7th.

      Oh! And, the Birchwood Cafe in Longfellow.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Carley

    Thank you for this list! For pizza we love Black Sheep (as do all the guests we take!) and for other generally just delicious food, 6Smith in Wayzata is great!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Gigi

    Thanks for posting!! There are a few I haven’t been to yet… definitely second Revival, World Street Kitchen, Hi-Lo, Spitz, and Young Joni.

    Some of my other faves:
    The Commodore for drinks
    Trapeze Bubbles Bar for drinks
    Al’s Place (above Stanley’s NE, password is furniture!) for drinks
    Prohibition (in the Foshay) for drinks
    Rincon 38 for tapas
    Bungalow Club for a special occasion (amazing cocktails, apps, and main courses)
    Lake Wine & Spirits (cheese shop) for incredible sandwiches!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Vicki Harvey

    Oh my gosh! So excited to see this! There are so many I’ve not heard of before, but now will definitely need to try. Thanks!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for this post! I used to write about Twin Cities restaurants, so this list makes me oh-so-happy!

    I can second many of your suggestions: Marvel Bar & Martina for cocktails, Cooks St. Paul for Short Rib Eggs Benedict, the Yum Yum Bowl at World Street Kitchen…

    But I’d like to add that while the patio at W.A. Frost is unparalleled, the interior is very cozy in the winter. We love Pajaritos for brunch. (I can’t quit the chilaquiles!) We also love Red Rabbit for breakfast/brunch (me: breakfast bowl; husband: cavatelli).

    I could go on and on about recommendations (but then I should go back to posting them, right?) and most you’ve probably had. So I’ll just say this… Hodges Bend in St. Paul is quite possibly one of the most underrated, hidden gems in St. Paul – coffee, wine and cocktail bar with small plates and more using local ingredients. We sat at the bar on a Sunday afternoon and had the best service, too. 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Becky

      YESSS to Hodges Bend! So happy to see someone mention them! This is our neighborhood spot, and while part of me would love to keep it that way, this team of people deserve all the kudos they get!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Anna Banks

    We love traveling up to the Twin Cities and we discovered a place on our 1st anniversary and can’t stop going back! It’s called 112 Eatery and it’s in downtown Minneapolis. HIGHLY recommend checking it out. And I know we’ll be checking out some places on this list we haven’t hit yet!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sam

    Amazing list! It’s worth noting that St. Paul Bagelry has a location in Minneapolis as well – it’s a little cuter inside as well 🙂

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kelsey

    Love this list! I live abroad now, but we come back to visit family every year. I’m looking forward to trying a few of these when we’re back this fall. I’d also add Sea Salt (in Minnehaha park) – delicious food, great beer, and Sebastian Joe’s ice cream.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mona Hurkadli

    Great list! We also love Fig & Farro at Calhoun Square. All vegan and so delicious. Recommend Hai Hai for yummy Vietnamese street food and Crepe & Spoon has vegan ice cream and gluten free crepes.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    A.J.

    Don’t sleep on that sundried tomato bagel at the Bagelry. The sausage egg and cheese on a sundried bagel *chef’s kiss* perfection.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      A.J.

      oh and also my favorite dish in all of the Twin Cities is the beef saltado at Chimborazo in Northeast.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Katie

    some of my faves you missed: Boludo, Colita, Popul Vu, Grand Cafe, Bungalow Club, Tilia, Hello Pizza, Animales BBQ, Muddy Waters, Cafe Racer, Clancey’s, Kyatchi..

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    GREAT list! I also love Delicata and Punch for pizza, and think 112 Eatery is actually even better than Bar La Grassa (although the lobster egg bruschetta at BLG is among my favorite dishes ever). La Tapatia is my fave, while the nachos are my go-to, the al pastor burrito with the works is amazing.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Colleen

    What a great list! Something for every eating out occasion.
    One of my favorites didn’t make your list… Shish. Shish is a Mediterranean, laid back locale to enjoy the best cup of Turkish coffee, amazing humus, any entree, and top it off with the best cake selection you can find – brought to you table in portions that could feed a small army. You won’t be disappointed.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Emily

    Yum! One of my favorite NE Minneapolis gems is Chimborazo! It’s consistently delicious, casual and affordable. Some of our go-to items are: Shrimp Encocado, Ecuatoriano Vegetariano, Churrasco and (always) yuca fries.
    A few other favorite spots – Gorkha Palace, Red Wagon Pizza Co, Maya Cusine and Broders’ Pasta Bar.

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jacky

    Love this list BUT FOR Pizza Luce. I honestly think the toppings are great but the crust is bland. I much prefer Red Wagon, Lake Harriet or Broder’s (if you want a gigantic pizza that is oh-so-fulfilling, especially with a light sprinkle of Maldon on top).

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Christine

    Yes!! I read this list yesterday morning and it got me so excited for my reservation for Young Joni later that afternoon. Definitely did not disappoint. Love reading the suggestions in others’ comments, too!

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sara

    I’ve only been to Minneapolis once and it was for a three-day conference. We went to Chimborazo for dinner and loved it so much went back the next night. I still think about it. So good.

  22. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Danielle

    I love many of these places and would add: Tongue in Cheek, Neighborhood Cafe (but for dinner!), Birchwood Cafe, and Maria’s Cafe

  23. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kira

    I love this!! My fav coffee spots are Spyhouse (get the spygirl) and a new find is Misfit Coffee (get the smoked peach vanilla latte with oatmilk). For drinks I actually don’t love Marvel Bar, Tattersall and Lawless Distilling are our superstars. Brunch: Hell’s Kitchen is still a winner after all these years (get the bison benedict or huevos), and then stop in at Angel Food Bakery on your way out. For those bigger nights out: Bachelor Farmer in Mpls or Octo Fishbar in St Paul (bonus to Octo: kitty corner is Black Dog cafe, with an awesome wine-by-the-glass list and amazing fries for pre/post dinner!)

  24. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi, guys! Are you using a plugin to create these content blocks for this roundup? I absolutely love it (huge fan of your plugins). Let me know! 🙂