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Celebrate in Style at These Upscale Twin Cities Bars

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Meritage in St. Paul / Roy Son

Celebrate in Style at These Upscale Twin Cities Bars

By Stacy Brooks

Searching for an upscale spot for your next anniversary, birthday or graduation party? Or is getting dressed up and savoring a cocktail or two in swank surroundings celebration enough? Whatever the occasion, here are 10 decadent bars and restaurants in the Twin Cities where you can sip, toast and celebrate in style. 

  1. Colita, Minneapolis
    Colita, Minneapolis

    A lush wall of living greenery behind the bar at Colita is the first indication that everything at this south Minneapolis spot is imbued with an unexpected sense of delight, but far from the last. The tequila and mezcal-based cocktails are inspired by the flavors of Mexico and feature whimsical flourishes like monogrammed ice cubes and one-of-a-kind drinkware. For a playful date night drink, order the Naked Dani: a riff on a margarita topped with a sudsy foam garnish and a tiny rubber duck.

  2. The Commodore, St. Paul
    The Commodore, St. Paul

    When F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in St. Paul in the 1920s, he drank at The Commodore—and while the bar’s Art Deco interior was added a few decades after Fitzgerald’s heyday, it still evokes a chic Jazz Age ambiance. Beverages take their cues from Prohibition-era cocktail culture, and The Commodore’s signature drinks are named for Fitzgerald and his flapper wife Zelda. Local picks are well-represented in the encyclopedic spirits menu, and there are also local beers on tap and an impressive wine program.

  3. Constantine, Minneapolis
    Constantine, Minneapolis

    You'll find Constantine beneath the luxurious Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis, but the vibe in this subterranean haunt is all Gothic manor—think taxidermy, oil paintings and lots of wood paneling. The dim lighting and moody, mysterious atmosphere make it a perfect spot for anyone who wants to channel their inner Morticia Addams. Beyond its reputation as the best Goth bar in downtown Minneapolis, Constantine is also known for its creative cocktail program, with an ever-changing list of cheekily named creations in addition to house classics—try the tiki-inspired Mom Get Out of My Rum.

  4. Fhima's, Minneapolis
    Fhima's, Minneapolis

    The glittering Art Deco interior at Fhima’s Minneapolis evokes the high life of a bygone era, with chandeliers, mirrors and a stunning marble bar. The cocktails, on the other hand, are a thoroughly modern spectacle, with flourishes like dissolving cotton candy, smoking dry ice and the occasional flame. The food menu has a similar spark, with contemporary cuisine that highlights French, Moroccan and American influences.

  5. Guilia, Minneapolis
    Guilia, Minneapolis

    Located off of the lobby of downtown Minneapolis’ Emery Hotel, Guilia is the kind of hotel bar that locals love to frequent: a sleek space with a sparkling rainbow of bottles behind the bar and a bright, open feel. Like the food, the drinks are Italian-inspired, including a lineup of specialty negroni cocktails. The wine list offers selections from several regions of Italy, while the tap list highlights local microbrews.

  6. The Lexington, St. Paul
    The Lexington, St. Paul

    The Lexington has been a St. Paul institution since 1935, and its refurbished bar channels a luxe mid-century modern vibe. The drink list features classic cocktails—both well-known and esoteric—as well as modern riffs, like a refreshing “island-style” old fashioned with rum and lime. The food menu takes a similar tack, with comfort-food standbys like onion rings served with a side of kimchi ranch for an unexpected pop of flavor.

  7. Meritage, St. Paul
    Meritage, St. Paul

    For the closest thing to Paris in downtown St. Paul, sidle up to the elegant bar at Meritage. The space is styled like a classic French brasserie, and the extensive, European-focused wine list skews towards French varietals. Pair a glass of bubbly with a plate of oysters on the half shell—the selection changes daily, and bar patrons have a front-row seat as a staffer deftly opens each shell. The menu also offers champagne cocktails, absinthe and French appetizers like escargot and pomme frites.

  8. Prohibition, Minneapolis
    Prohibition, Minneapolis

    For decades after its completion in 1929, the Foshay Tower was the tallest building in Minneapolis. It’s since been outpaced by modern skyscrapers, but its 27th floor cocktail lounge, Prohibition, remains one of the best places downtown to scope out the skyline. Thanks to the space’s unique footprint (it’s wrapped around the building’s elevator shaft) there are plenty of cozy nooks for quiet conversation. The menu offers an impressive selection of scotch, whiskey, and bourbon, in addition to wine, beer and cocktails.

  9. Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis
    Spoon & Stable, Minneapolis

    Spoon and Stable is one of the hardest-to-land dining reservations in Minneapolis, but don’t despair: their rustic-chic bar offers open seating. The full dinner menu is available at the bar, or patrons can order from a lineup of upscale bar snacks—James Beard-award winning chef Gavin Kaysen is known for combining Midwestern ingredients with French technique. Drinks include a globe-spanning wines, craft cocktails and seasonal beers.

  10. W.A. Frost & Company, St. Paul
    W.A. Frost & Company, St. Paul

    The bar at St. Paul pharmacy-turned-restaurant W.A. Frost features a classy blend of historic touches: an original tin ceiling, a salvaged antique bar and marble tables made from the walls of a former bank. Outside, the picturesque patio is shaded by leafy trees and illuminated with fairy lights after dusk. The drink menu changes with the season, but there’s always a selection of no-proof cocktails featuring Seedlip, a non-alcoholic distilled spirit. Themed spirit flights, local beers and a well-curated wine list are also available, and the artisan cheese plates can be crafted to pair with your drink of choice. 

Stacy Brooks

Stacy Brooks is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and blogger. She focuses on food and travel, and her writing has been published in Hemispheres, Midwest Living, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Wine Enthusiast. Her personal blog, Tangled Up In Food, features food-focused travel writing and seasonal recipes.