Minneapolis restaurant serves four plates of Vietnamese food on a wooden table

40 of the Best Minneapolis Restaurants

Scroll to Read
Image Caption
Try the Vietnamese street foods at Hai Hai restaurant and bar in Minneapolis / Matt Lien courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

40 of the Best Minneapolis Restaurants

By Brian Fanelli

Minneapolis restaurants serve everything from the country's best Somali cuisine to classic diner fare to authentic birria tacos. Here are 40 local favorites worth checking out whether you're a life-long Minnesotan or visiting from out of town. 

  1. Afro Deli
    Afro Deli

    Afro Deli is what happens when fast casual dining meets African, Mediterranean and American fusion. With a menu that ranges from Somali-Italian fusion (the best-selling Chicken Fantastic) to classic Mediterranean gyro and hummus platters, and American standbys like cheeseburgers and steak sandwiches, Afro Deli is a lot like Minneapolis — diverse, delicious and totally unique. 

  2. Al's Breakfast
    The entrance to Al's Breakfast in Minneapolis

    Al's Breakfast

    Al's Breakfast

    Some restaurants try to be everything to everyone, but not Al's. Since opening in 1950, Al's Breakfast has earned its reputation as one of America's best classic diners by reliably serving up no-frills breakfast foods cooked to perfection. Arrive at the diner, reportedly the narrowest restaurant in Minneapolis, well before you're hungry and expect to wait a bit before landing a counter spot on one of 14 stools.

  3. The Anchor Fish & Chips
    Anchor Fish & Chips

    Anchor Fish & Chips

    The Anchor Fish & Chips

    The best restaurants pick a lane and own it completely, and The Anchor hasn't used their blinker in years. The star of the menu at this Irish pub is, unsurprisingly, the fish and chips. The Anchor uses battered and deep fried wild Alaskan cod served on a bed of thick, hand-cut chips. Elsewhere on the menu you'll also find shepherd's pie, meat and veggie pasties, curry chips and a handful of other pub staples. And, of course, plenty of Guinness. 

  4. Bar La Grassa
    Bar La Grassa

    Bar La Grassa

    Bar La Grassa

    Located in Minneapolis' North Loop, the ever-popular Bar La Grassa — an Italian restaurant with a James Beard Award-winning chef — is a pasta lover’s paradise. Menu items, designed to be shareable, include gnocchi with cauliflower and orange, soft eggs and lobster bruschetta, red wine spaghetti with pine nuts, and more. The open kitchen, sparkling chandeliers, tall ceilings and cozy seating make it an ideal spot for a special night out. Reservations are recommended, as it’s a popular spot with locals.

  5. Boludo
    Argentinian-style pizza at Boludo in Minneapolis

    Argentinian-style pizza at Boludo in Minneapolis / Vic Campbell, Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis


    Another contender for smallest restaurant in Minneapolis, Boludo mimics its environment by packing an incredible amount of flavor into a compact package: its Argentinian empanadas. With a variety of perfectly balanced fillings, these flaky, savory pastries are the heart of Boludo but not its only achievement. The restaurant is also home to some of the best and most unique pizzas in Minnesota, which stand out from the crowd thanks to a salted crust and sweet sauce. 

  6. Brasa
    Brasa food spread in Saint Paul



    Having already flexed his fine dining skills at Alma, chef-owner Alex Roberts went the fast-casual route in 2007 with his "premium rotisserie" concept Brasa. Its well-composed bowls, Southern-ish sides, and perfectly cooked proteins are now served at three locations throughout the Twin Cities, including a Southwest Minneapolis spot that's a short walk from Lake Harriet. 

  7. Bull's Horn Food and Drink
    Bull's Horn Food and Drink

    Bull's Horn Food and Drink

    Bull's Horn Food and Drink

    The answer to a question nobody asked (but absolutely should've), Bull's Horn is what happens when an award-winning chef retires from the world of fine dining to open a dive bar. Sidle up to the counter for a few cheap beers and mixed drinks, and once you're nicely buzzed, treat yourself to some of the world's best bar food. You'll recognize everything on the menu, from dill pickle fried chicken buckets to fried bologna sandwiches, but nothing really compares to the flavor of the dishes here. 

  8. Cardamom
    Cardamom at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

    The airy bar area at Cardamom / Walker Art Center


    Hot on the heels of Daniel Del Prado and Shawn McKenzie's two Mediterranean-tinged Café Cerés locations comes the pair's first proper restaurant concept — an immediate, sun-baked standout within the Walker Art Center. Perfect for a quick round of progressive drinks and small plates or a proper meal post-museum crawl, Cardamom excels at fresh eats Yotam Ottolenghi would appreciate. We're talking everything from Turkish eggs crowned with chili oil, labneh, potato crisps, herbs and lamb kebabs to a hefty slab of pork schnitzel kicked up a couple notches with cucumber, sesame, serrano peppers and both green and red zhug sauce. 

  9. Chimborazo
    Plate of Ecuadorian food at Chimborazo in Northeast Minneapolis

    Plate of Ecuadorian food at Chimborazo in Northeast Minneapolis / @hueandfood


    Looking for flavors from the Andean highlands but not up for climbing a mountain? The humble-looking Chimborazo restaurant in northeast Minneapolis features impeccably cooked foods from Ecuador and the Andes that will taste intimately familiar to Ecuadorians and delicious to all. This delicious Minneapolis institution is open daily for brunch, lunch and dinner, and there's never a bad time to visit. 

  10. EaTo



    Paris Dining Club founder Jamie Malone helped develop EaTo's crowd-pleasing menu during the final days of her former restaurant Eastside, building upon the blistered pies of its popular Woodfire pop-up with house-made pasta and overstuffed sandwiches. The sprawling food hall spirit of New York's beloved Eataly complex also makes a cameo appearance via EaTo's tightly curated bottle shop, meat counter and market. It's as if the restaurant decided to cram the living, breathing set of Stanley Tucci's Searching For Italy show into one buzz-worthy downtown space.  

  11. Hamburguesas El Gordo
    Hamburguesas El Gordo

    With a name that translates to "fat burgers," you can move on to the next restaurant now if you're on anything close to resembling a diet. For everyone else, Hamburguesas El Gordo specializes in a style of heavy-on-the-toppings, too-much-is-never-enough burgers, hot dogs and tacos more commonly served by street vendors in northern Mexico. The restaurant's signature dish, the Del Gordo burger, is a testament to culinary maximalism: Topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, ham, bacon, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, avocado, peppers, ketchup and mustard, it's every bit as delicious as it is messy.

  12. Football Pizza
    Exterior of Football Pizza restaurant in Minneapolis

    Football Pizza serves Afghani fare and football-shaped pizzas

    Football Pizza

    Named for its signature football-shaped oval pizzas, this combination pizzeria and Afghani restaurant/bakery is a real Minneapolis gem. Football Pizza uses a traditional Afghan flatbread for the crusts, tops them with fresh meats, cheese and vegetables, and includes a side of the restaurant's spicy, cilantro-based green sauce for dipping. Elsewhere on the menu, you'll also find delicious Middle Eastern staples like goat kourma, gyro, kabobs and baklava. 

  13. Hai Hai
    Minneapolis restaurant serves four plates of Vietnamese food on a wooden table

    Try the Vietnamese street foods at Hai Hai restaurant and bar in Minneapolis / Matt Lien courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

    Hai Hai

    The Twin Cities has no shortage of incredible Southeast Asian food, but Hai Hai stands out for its focus on Vietnamese street foods and inventive cocktail program. Chef Christina Nguyen includes a few common-to-American-restaurant dishes on the menu like spring rolls, beef larb and khao soi (all done to perfection), while dishes like the Vietnamese crepe with pork belly and shrimp taste like they were plucked right off the streets of Hanoi. For best results, grab a spot on the patio and a Mekong Manhattan before placing your order.

  14. Hard Times Cafe
    Hard Times Cafe

    The unofficial crust punk capital of Minnesota, Hard Times Cafe is a worker-owned cafe in Cedar-Riverside that specializes in tasty vegan and vegetarian dishes with a side order of bathroom graffiti. Located just steps away from the University of Minnesota campus, it's a common late-night study hangout for students as well.

  15. Heather's

    Heather's is the rare restaurant that takes the somewhat cliched category of "new American cuisine" and turns it into something truly terrific. The menu is all fairly standard stuff — burgers, chicken sandwiches and pastas all feature prominently — but the ingredients are so fresh, the spices so balanced, and the overall execution so finely tuned that you can't help but be amazed. 

  16. Himalayan

    Himalayan is one of the best Indian restaurants in Minneapolis — and excellent Nepali and Tibetan cuisines round out the menu. Every option is phenomenal, but we always come back to the creamy Kathmandu curry and momos. 

  17. Hola Arepa
    Hola Arepa

    The signature dish at Hola Arepa is always crisp and sweet, with savory and rich fillings to keep all that cornmeal balanced, including slow-roasted pork, shredded beef, chimichurri-spiced chicken and a vegan-friendly riff on al pastor made with jackfruit. Much like its sister restaurant Hai Hai, the drinks are always incredibly creative and deceptively strong, reflecting the craft cocktail roots of co-owner Birk Grudem. 

  18. Kramarczuk's Sausage Company
    Kramarczuk's Sausage Company

    You can't beat Kramarczuk's when it comes to Polish sausage. Open since the 1954, this authentic Eastern European grocery/deli/bakery/restaurant combo is your one-stop shop for scratch-made charcuterie, borshch, cabbage rolls, pierogi and basically everything else from The Old Country. Order your kielbasa with kraut and onions or "Cossack style," in a bun with melted cheese. 

  19. Lu's Sandwiches
    Lu's Sandwiches

    There's only one type of sandwich you can order at Lu's: the delicious Vietnamese bahn mi. Starting with a crisp French baguette and your choice of meat, tofu or mock duck, bahn mi sandwiches are topped with cilantro, cucumber, pickled carrots, jalapeños, onions, butter and pork pate. A byproduct of the French colonization of Vietnam, bahn mi can be found basically everywhere in Minneapolis. But Lu's has simultaneously perfected the form and streamlined the ordering experience so that, miraculously, the best bahn mi in town is also the fastest one out of the kitchen.

  20. Matt's Bar & Grill
    Matt's Bar Juicy Lucy burger

    Matt's Bar, Minneapolis / @karaleedee

    Matt's Bar & Grill

    There's an ongoing debate about which restaurant first served Minnesota's infamous Juicy Lucy, but there's no question that the "Jucy Lucy" you get at Matt's Bar is one of the most definitive versions. It's just a simple cheeseburger with the cheese stuffed inside the patty rather than served on top, though plenty of Minneapolis restaurants try to dress it up as something its not. The OG burger you'll get here is greasy, straightforward and far better than its fancied-up imitators.

  21. Maya Cuisine
    Maya Cuisine

    Maya Cuisine serves up some of the best Mexican food in Minneapolis by focusing on the basics. You won't find any zany flavor combos here, but if you're seeking well-balanced al pastor tacos, fresh corn tortillas, or a spicy bowl of pozole on a cold winter afternoon, there's no better place to find it than here. 

  22. Modern Times
    Modern Times

    Another tentpole of the Minneapolis punk scene, Modern Times is the best place in town to nurse your hangover and run into the band from last night's house show. It's also the rare restaurant where nearly every menu item can be ordered vegetarian, vegan or with organic meat — not to mention gluten-free. Open daily for breakfast and lunch.

  23. Olive & Lamb
    Olive & Lamb

    To us, the ideal Mediterranean restaurant experience is a big group dinner where we order a heaping pile of kabobs, gyros and salads for the table, a few bottles of wine and slowly make our way through the meal over a few hours. To you, it might be a gyro wrap and side of fries to-go. You'll find both at Olive & Lamb, a counter-service Mediterranean restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis that somehow nails the fast casual and sit-down experiences without compromising on either. 

  24. Owamni

    Located inside the Water Works Pavilion, a new site in Minneapolis’s Mill Ruins Park, Owamni is committed to revitalizing Native American cuisine. The restaurant partners with Indigenous food producers and its staff includes members of Anishinaabe, Mdewakanton Dakota, Navajo, Northern Cheyenne, Oglala Lakota and Wahpeton-Sisseton Dakota. It touts a “decolonized” dining experience with menu items that avoid wheat flour, dairy and cane sugar in favor of Indigenous ingredients, such as bison, wild rice, duck, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant has received numerous local and national accolades, and won Best New Restaurant at the James Beard Awards in 2022.

  25. Pho 79
    Pho 79

    In South Minneapolis, there's a stretch of Nicollet Avenue we call Eat Street. It's a bustling strip of restaurants where you'll find every type of cuisine under the sun. The competition for Vietnamese food on Eat Street is fierce; Quang, Pho Tau Bay, Jasmine 26 and Pho Hoa are just a few of the other noteworthy spots you'll find within a few blocks. You truly can't go wrong with any of them — and if we're talking about vegan broth, Pho Tau Bay takes the cake — but there's just something about Pho 79 that we can't resist. 

  26. Pimento Jamaican Kitchen & Rum Bar
    Pimento Jamaican Kitchen & Rum Bar

    Pimento is what you get when a Jewish rapper and Jamaican business executive become neighbors and decide to open a restaurant together. One half of the restaurant specializes in counter-service Jamaican street and comfort foods — think Kingston-style jerk bowls with all the fixings included — and the other half is a rum bar where you can enjoy a drink, kick back and stay a while.

  27. The Red Sea
    The Red Sea

    Since opening in 1990, The Red Sea has been a standby for delicious Ethiopian and Eritrean meals. The food is incredible, but what really sets The Red Sea apart is that it's also a night club. Where else can you start your night by sharing a massive platter of Ethiopian food with friends, then seamlessly transition over to the bar to hit the dance floor? 

  28. Reverie Cafe & Bar
    Reverie Cafe & Bar

    Located just a block away from beautiful Powderhorn Park, Reverie serves some of the best bar food in town. The curbside burger is a cheesy thing of beauty, and the nachos are piled so high with toppings it always feels vaguely like you're getting away with something. It just so happens everything on the menu is 100% vegan, too. Dinner is available daily, with brunch served weekend mornings and afternoons. 

  29. Sammy's Avenue Eatery
    Sammy's Avenue Eatery

    Named for its owner and long-time restaurateur, Sammy McDowell, this sunny little deli and cafe in North Minneapolis proves you don't need to reinvent the wheel to stand out. The menu consists of classic, familiar soups; sandwiches and salads made with fresh ingredients; and a certain magic that elevates them into truly great meals. Whether it's the thick and flavorful bread, Sammy's house-made special sauce or simply the care given to everything on the menu, Sammy's is sure to impress. 

  30. Soul Bowl
    Soul Bowl

    Housed on the second floor of the North Loop's hippest food hall (Graze Provisions), Soul Bowl describes itself as, "soul food reimagined for the urban millennial." The menu is stocked with soul food staples like mac and cheese (Return of the Mack and Cheese), candied yams (D'angelo Candied Yams), cornbread and fried chicken (Fantasia Fried Chicken), available either as a build-your-own affair or as one of their signature bowls. The menu also includes handheld dishes like the A.A. Sandwich, which takes a cornbread bun and tops it with mac and cheese, collard greens and fried chicken.

  31. Spoon and Stable
    Spoon and Stable

    Located inside a former horse stable in the North Loop, Spoon and Stable has a well-earned reputation as one of Minnesota's most delicious and exciting fine dining establishments. Run by James Beard-award winning chef Gavin Kaysen, the restaurant masterfully combines Midwestern ingredients with French techniques to produce meals that are familiar yet unique. 

  32. Taqueria las Cuatro Milpas
    Taqueria las Cuatro Milpas

    The stretch of East Lake Street between Hiawatha Avenue and I-35W is home to dozens of Mexican restaurants where you'll reliably find incredible tacos, burritos, pozole and other taqueria staples. But Taqueria las Cuatro Milpas is one of the only spots on the strip serving birria, a rich beef stew more commonly found in the north-central states of Mexico than the upper Midwest. A large section of the menu is dedicated to the restaurant's varied birria stews, or you can have the tender, shredded birria on an order of tacos, a quesadilla or a torta. 

  33. Trio Plant-Based
    Trio Plant-Based

    Soul food is the name of the game at Trio Plant-Based, Minnesota's first Black-owned vegan restaurant. Cauliflower wings, BBQ jackfruit riblets, collards, mac and cheese, yams—it's all here, it's all delicious and it's all completely vegan. You'll also find a handful of plant-based burgers on the menu, from classic cheeseburgers to pretzel-bun burgers piled high with Buffalo mac and cheese.

  34. Tullibee

    Housed in the ground floor of the boutique Hewing HotelTullibee fully embodies the spirit of the trendy-but-not-unbearably-so North Loop neighborhood it calls home. A rotating, farm-to-table menu revolves around shareable fish and meat dishes that thrive on the razor's edge between familiar and daring. The restaurant even has its own in-house butchering program, and uses a wood-burning grill to cook each cut of meat to perfection over an open flame. 

  35. Uncle Franky's
    Uncle Franky's

    This tiny little building in Northeast Minneapolis has a surprisingly wide-ranging menu, but the star of the show at Uncle Franky's will always be its hot dogs. One of the few (only?) restaurants in Minneapolis to custom-make their own dogs, Uncle Franky's serves all-beef wieners that are a shining example of how a simple, familiar meal can excel when done right. The all-natural casings are snappy, the poppy seed buns are firm (but not too firm), and the toppings are balanced. If you're feeling particularly hungry, order a double-dog (two dogs, one bun) and get ready for a nap. 

  36. Victor's 1959 Cafe
    Victor's 1959 Cafe

    With delicious Cuban dishes like mango pancakes, sweet plantain omelets and cafe con leche with house-made sugar paste, Victor's 1959 Cafe is one of the city's most popular brunch spots. You should expect to wait a bit before being seated, but if you're willing to brave the waitlist your patience will be rewarded with one of the best tasting brunches around. 

  37. Wendy's House of Soul
    Wendy's House of Soul

    While other restaurants in town are perfecting the art of the soul bowl, Wendy Puckett is more interested in SOULROLLS: an unlikely fusion between soul food and egg rolls. Originally developed as a way for Wendy to trick her kids into eating more vegetables, these days SOULROLLS are the signature dish at Wendy's House of Soul. The rolls come in nearly 20 different varieties, from the breakfast-themed 9 a.m. roll to the Jive Turkey roll, which is stuffed with turkey, cabbage, broccoli, carrots and fresh garlic. Or if you prefer something more traditional, Wendy's also serves up some of the city's best chicken and waffles, chicken wings and sides.

  38. Young Joni
    Young Joni

    Having already established herself as one of the city's most celebrated pizza purveyors at her first two restaurants, Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza, Ann Kim's third venture in Northeast Minneapolis feels like an extension and evolution of her formidable reputation. Like her other restaurants, Young Joni is a pizzeria at heart. But its elegant, open dining area and emphasis on bold small plates elevate this pizza joint into something that's not quite fine dining, but not terribly far off either. 

  39. Zen Box Izakaya
    Zen Box Izakaya

    These days you can find an incredible bowl of ramen in practically every corner of the city, but the tonkotsu ramen at Zen Box Izakaya — the city's first dedicated ramen joint — is still nearly impossible to beat. Executive chef and owner John Ng stays mostly true to the Japanese process of cooking ramen broth, tweaking the tradition just slightly by roasting the chicken and pork bones before tossing them in the pot to boil for 10-12 hours. The resulting broth is rich, fatty and creamy, with just a hint of smokiness: the perfect base for your noodles, egg, menma, kikurage and pork chashu. 

More Minnesota Food & Drinks

Beyond these incredible restaurants in Minneapolis, Minnesota’s renowned chefs and vast array of dining destinations have fueled its reputation as a foodie haven. Minnesota-based craft distilleries, breweries, wineries and cideries produce a host of uniquely flavorful beverages that are winning fans around the globe. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants reside in nearly every corner of the state. Trendy food halls allow you to taste your way across multiple countries in a matter of minutes. No matter what kind of food you crave, you'll find it in Minnesota.

Brian Fanelli

Brian Fanelli is a Minneapolis-based writer. You can reliably find him browsing the sci-fi shelves in a local bookstore or biking one of Minnesota's spectacular trails.