In the vast and beautiful wilderness that defines much of Northwest Minnesota, knowing where to find a hot meal, a cold beer and a great time are essential.
When the snow begins to fly, outdoor enthusiasts in Minnesota start making their to-do lists: gas up the snowmobile; make sure your thermals still fit; check if your auger needs new blades. But just as important is making a list of where you can grab a bite to eat, have a drink and recount your latest adventure. Here are just a few places to fuel up for—or warm up after—your winter adventure in Northwest Minnesota.
The Black Cat Sports Bar & Grill, Thief River Falls
The Black Cat is the first restaurant of its kind with this locally grown theme: Arctic Cat snowmobile memorabilia. Snowmobiling originated in this part of the state and the restaurant sits right on a trail. When you eat here, you continue the Arctic Cat legacy. Buffalo wings and burgers are guaranteed to satisfy your hunger after even the most intense snowmobile treks.
Gene’s Bar, Roseau
Gene’s is a small town bar and grill that specializes in hand-pattied, never frozen burgers. Located just south of the Minnesota-Canada border, Gene’s offers a small but carefully selected menu that has something for everyone. Order the chili for a bit of winter warmth before heading out to enjoy the snow.
Fourtown Store, Grygla
Fifty miles from the nearest stoplight, nestled on the edge of Beltrami Island State Forest, Fourtown is an oasis in the wilderness. This combination bar/grill/convenience store/gas station is surrounded on all sides by Northwest Minnesota’s pristine network of snowmobile trails, which span hundreds of miles. Be sure to stop at this retreat in the north woods for a beer, a cheeseburger and some great local companionship.
Igloo Bar/Zippel Bay Resort, Baudette
The destination-worthy Igloo Bar is located on the frozen surface of Lake of the Woods, in front of Zippel Bay Resort. Inside the igloo you’ll find big screen televisions, electric lights, running water, a fully stocked bar, a small hot food menu, and heated, igloo-shaped porta-potties. Not done fishing yet? Saddle up to one of the bar’s indoor fishing holes and drop a line from your barstool
Lakeside Tavern, Detroit Lakes
Located on the northern shore of Detroit Lake, Lakeside serves one-of-a-kind Colorado deep-dish pizza along with some of the juiciest burgers you will find in Northwest Minnesota. Pair one of the bar’s 24 draft beers with some brewery nachos for a satisfying winter sit-down. The food and friendly atmosphere might even make you hope winter lasts just a little longer.