Top Destinations for Dining & Entertainment in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

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msp vacations logoDinner and a show is not a new concept, but it is a winning combination for almost any occasion. If you’re looking for great food and fantastic entertainment, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is the place to find it. Whether you're in the mood for a fancy dinner and a night at the theater, or just a quick bite before a show at a comedy club, here's a rundown of some of the top destinations for dining and entertainment in the Twin Cities.


Waconia

For scenic lakeside dining, head to Lola’s Lakehouse on Lake Waconia, one of the few Twin Cities restaurants located on lakefront property. More of a morning person? Pangea Cafe will be right up your alley, serving a flavorful menu starting with breakfast daily. For craft brews and barbeque, visit Iron Tap, or try a homegrown cocktail at J. Carver Distillery.

When it comes to live entertainment, local bands abound in this music-rich community. Bars and restaurants in this charming town consistently book bands that play music you know and love—and some new tunes, too!

St. Paul Jucy Lucy Blue Door

There is no shortage of food and fun in Minnesota’s capital city. Sink your teeth into a Juicy Lucy at The Blue Door Pub, and wash it down with a local craft beer from Summit, Bad Weather, Tin Whiskers or one of St. Paul’s other popular breweries. Sample the original Chicago Mix at Candyland, sit down at a local family-run restaurant, or source your own meal at the local farmers market.

After dinner, catch a concert or Minnesota Wild game at the Xcel Energy Center, or head to The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, which features world-class Broadway musicals, international performances, opera and a chamber orchestra.

Inver Grove Heights

From Cahill Diner to Old World Pizza, Inver Grove Heights has a fantastic selection of eateries. While you’re in town, be sure to check out Mississippi Pub, B-52 Burgers and Brew, and Rincon Mexicano.

When you’re in the mood to cut loose with live music and dancing, make your way to Jersey’s Bar and Grill. With cover bands playing nearly every weekend, getting down to the classics or jamming to the latest hits will make for a night to remember.

Twin Cities Gateway

For a truly unique dining experience, make your way to Sticks and Stones Restaurant at the Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine—a U.S. Olympic Training Site—and fill up on high-end pub food while watching Olympians and locals alike through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Hear some of Minnesota’s finest musicians at the Lyric Arts Main Street Stage in Anoka, which also presents stage plays that range from “Wait Until Dark” to “A Christmas Story” and many more throughout the year.

Minneapolis

Minneapolis is quickly rising in the ranks of the nation’s top “foodie cities.” Start the day with brunch at Hell’s Kitchen or Ike’s Food & Cocktails. Indulge in sushi at Seven or satisfy your inner carnivore with a juicy steak at Manny’s.

For live entertainment, check out Acme Comedy Club for an evening of laughter. During the holidays, don’t miss “The Nutcracker” at State Theatre and “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie.

Roseville 

Meat lovers will feel right at home at Maverick’s Real Roast Beef, which offers a deluxe selection of fresh roast beef, prepared the way you like it. After dinner, grab a drink at Bent Brewstillery, Minnesota’s only brewery/distillery, and home to unique craft beers and spirits. Looking for a yummy way to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try a delicious malt from Snuffy’s Malt Shop.

For sports fans wanting to catch a football game, Joe Senser’s Restaurant and Sports Theater is the next best thing to being in the stands! Senser’s also offers weekly music entertainment, plus shuttle service to all home University of Minnesota football games and Minnesota Vikings games at the new U.S. Bank Stadium.

Eagan

Eagan is home to more than 100 restaurants, including unique destinations such as Volstead House Speakeasy and Whiskey Bar, Andiamo Italian Ristorante and more. Treat yourself to a delicious beverage and live music every night at Lone Oak Grill, or have a romantic date night at Jensen’s Food and Cocktails.

EdinaPittsburgh Blue Restaurant Edina

Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack, a casual meal or upscale fare, there’s a place for you at a table in Edina. From fish and chips to the award-winning turkey burger, Edina Grill has dishes to please all palates. For a truly unforgettable steak dinner, head to Pittsburgh Blue in The Galleria.

Find sophisticated fun at Pinstripes, where you can sample made-from-scratch Italian-American cuisine and partake in bowling and bocce. When it’s chilly outside, cozy up to one of the outdoor fireplaces overlooking Centennial Lakes Park, and on the weekends, enjoy live music.

Minneapolis Northwest

Check out Claddagh Irish Pub in Maple Grove for award-winning fish ‘n chips, traditional shepherd’s pie, warm and tipsy bread pudding, Guinness Irish stout, and so much more! Take that special someone or the whole family to this winter’s “A Gone Fishin’ Christmas” at Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo, the latest comedy from Jessica Lind Peterson.

Burnsville

Head to this southern suburb for local favorites like Porter Creek Hardwood Grill, which offers a fresh contemporary American menu, signature cocktails, and a cozy outdoor patio area and bar, or Chianti Grill with its authentic and innovative Italian cuisine, extensive wine list, and upscale atmosphere.

Amazing live entertainment can be found at the Ames Center. See Lorie Line and her “Merry Little Christmas” show on Dec. 3, or catch piano sensation Jim Brickman on Dec. 29. Superb acoustics and sightlines on the main stage ensure you get the best seat no matter where you sit.

Lakeville

Lakeville’s favorite dining options include the Porterhouse and Legends Grill. Winner of an Open Table Diners Choice in 2015, Porterhouse is a classic full-service dinner house offering the premium aged steaks, fresh fish and seafood. Legends Grill, with its fabulous views of the golf course, offers distinctive cuisine in a warm and inviting Minnesota lodge atmosphere.

At night, make your way to Babes Music Bar for some great live music, DJs on weekends, and tons of events in between.

Stillwater Alexis Bailly wine tasting couple_square

Taste your way through the streets of historic Stillwater. Within a few blocks, you’ll stumble upon more than 30 independently owned restaurants and dessert destinations cooking up fare from all over the world. Find delightful sidewalk cafes, romantic rooftop dining with river views, fireside dining, or take a culinary walking tour.

The birthplace of Minnesota has a thriving nightlife scene as well, from historic pubs to top wine bars with several establishments hosting live music year-round. Main Street hosts a side-by- side winery and brewery and has a Biercycle with caroling tours in the winter. All the fun is within walking distance, and nearby lodging is available.

Shakopee

Enjoy a new spin on delicious Irish favorites at O’Brien’s Public House. This new downtown establishment has great food and a wonderful selection of craft beer with beautiful Irish decor. Turtle’s Bar and Grill offers your favorite American foods like pizza, burgers and broasted chicken in a delightful local bar atmosphere. Or, enjoy some terrific barbeque at Mr. Pig Stuff, voted the Best BBQ in Minnesota by Yahoo.

Enjoy dinner and a live comedic performance at Dangerfield’s: The Rib Tickler. Live stand-up shows, featuring local and national acts, take place Friday and Saturday nights throughout the winter.

Bloomington

Bloomington restaurants have wholeheartedly embraced the farm-to-table concept. At Cedar + Stone, Urban Table, guests dine on food from Twin Cities farms and sip drinks from local distilleries. Urbana Craeft Kitchen grows fruits and vegetables at on-site gardens and hosts the Bloomington Farmers Market in its courtyard on select Wednesdays.

Now that you have the lowdown on all of the best dining and entertainment options that the Minneapolis-St. Paul area has to offer, it’s time to plan your visit. With so much to see and do, you’ll have to stay an extra day!