Hot New Restaurants in the Twin Cities
In addition to being the country's best biking city and a hub for theater and the arts, Minneapolis is also known for its progressive dining scene. In fact, Travel + Leisure named it one of the 13 hottest travel destinations of 2013 because of the "foraging-and-farming ethos" of restaurants like The Bachelor Farmer and Union. Find out what's new and hot now, and make your "must-eat" list before you get to town.
Not Your Average Pizza
Great pizza isn't hard to come by in the Twin Cities, but there's always room for more. In suburban Robbinsdale, Pig Ate My Pizza uses brioche crust and inventive toppings ranging from refined -- scallops, pork belly, mussels -- to one of a kind -- potato chips, sour cream, chicken mole. Be prepared to wait, and opt for the tasting menu for the full experience.
In Minneapolis' hip Uptown neighborhood, Burch Steak and Pizza Bar is two restaurants in one, helmed by local restaurant icon Isaac Becker. Head down to the basement for the pizza bar, where pies like the Coppa Cotta (wood-roasted red peppers, smoked pork shoulder, mozzarella and hazelnuts) and Aragosta (lobster claw, mint, chili flakes and taleggio) top out at $15.
Welcoming Wine Bars
Another Italian-inspired trend, wine bars have locals buzzing. Terzo Vino Bar in Southwest Minneapolis stocks a whopping 1,000 bottles in its wine cellar, and offers 40-50 varieties by the glass. Pair your selection with antipasti like bruschetta, charcuterie, a cheese plate or a decadent dessert.
Back in Uptown, Bluestem Bar & Table is attached to longtime local favorite French Meadow. Wines are available by the flight, glass or bottle, with many sustainable and organic options. The accompanying menu includes small plates like mussels and flatbreads, as well as entrees such as grass-fed steak frites, handmade heirloom ravioli and Scottish salmon, many of which are gluten free.
Early Bird Specials
Two new St. Paul eateries -- which open as early as 7 a.m. -- know that a good breakfast is the best way to start the day. At Daily Diner in the Frogtown neighborhood, morning classics including omelets, cinnamon rolls and pancakes are accompanied by ethnic flavors like huevos rancheros and a carnitas Benedict. The restaurant also serves a larger mission by providing vocational training for homeless and at-risk people.
In Lowertown, The Buttered Tin serves fresh fare made with local ingredients, such as a hash with smoked trout and organic poached eggs, biscuits and gravy, and a daily breakfast hot dish. Don't miss the baked goods -- including mini coffee cakes and pies -- made by pastry chef Alicia Hinze, who competed and won on Food Network's "Cupcake Wars."