When you think of the food that Minnesota might be known for, what comes to mind? Scandinavian cuisine or Eastern European food? Seafood from one of the many lakes? Or something else entirely?
No answer is truly wrong. Because when you’re looking for the best food in Minnesota, you will find it all, from casual food trucks to upscale French eateries, decadent bakeries, and hole-in-the-wall tourist attractions.
There is good eating in the Land of 10,000 Lakes — you just have to know where to find it! This guide will tell you all the unmissable destinations on any quest to find the best food in Minnesota.
The Jucy Lucy from Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis is known and beloved throughout the state. The bar, which opened in 1954, has become a cultural landmark. If that misspelling of “juicy” caught your eye, it isn’t a mistake — at least, not these days. It was originally spelled that way unintentionally on the menu.
These days, the double patty with cheese in the middle is still proudly misspelled and beloved by visitors from around the country. The next time you are in Minneapolis, you can’t miss stopping into Matt’s for the most delicious burger in the state of Minnesota.
Cafe Latte is one of the best bakeries not only in St. Paul but anywhere in the state. It was established in 1984 and has maintained the same amazing quality ever since. You can’t go wrong ordering anything here, including the variety of pizzas and other lunch options. But it is in the bakery that Cafe Latte really shines.
There are so many delicious offerings that you will need to make multiple trips. However, if you had to choose a single option, make it the chocolate cake, which is so deliciously moist that you’ll be thinking about it for years to come.
The Uptown Diner in Minneapolis serves breakfast all day, 24 hours a day. Well, except on Fridays and Saturdays. The other five days a week, you can walk in at any hour and find the diner open — for breakfast.
Here, you will find classic dishes as you’ve always loved them — and some with a new spin. Try a classic stack of buttermilk pancakes or build your own omelet. Or try something more unique like Caprese Benedict, caramel apple crisp waffles, or pineapple upside-down pancakes. The diner also uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients from nearby farms which puts it on our list of the best food in Minnesota.
Minnesotans are famously fond of their dairy. But when it comes to spicy food, they can’t exactly handle it. That doesn’t stop the Minneapolis eatery The Lowry from dishing up some of the most mouthwatering jalapeno cheese curds you’ve ever tried.
Cheese curds are some of the best-known local delicacies, and locals say you know they are fresh if they squeak against your teeth. The ones from The Lowry come with many different spice blends, and they are too good to miss.
The jalapeno cheese curds are served with a side of blueberry “ketchup,” which truly elevates them to another level.
Kramarczuk’s Deli has been around since the 1940s. Now, it is considered a landmark in Minneapolis and a staple of Eastern European cuisine in Minnesota. Here, customers will find freshly baked goods, delicious sausage and kielbasa, pierogies, pastries, and other authentic Eastern European delicacies.
When you walk into Kramarczuk’s, you will smell sausage, bread, and stewed cabbage. The recipes and the quality haven’t changed since the earliest days of the deli, which is why it remains so popular to this day. Tourists and native Minnesotans alike flock to this simple deli, all because it serves some of the best food in Minnesota.
Choosing the best pizzeria in any of Minnesota’s major cities is a way to start a fight. Realistically, it is impossible to choose. But one strong contender is Pizza Luce, a regional chain with locations in Duluth, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and many more.
Pizza Luce has been dishing up gourmet pizzas for years, and you’re bound to get a one-of-a-kind pie here. Depending on the location, you can find unique options like the Luce, with Italian sausage, onions, garlic, and loads of mozzarella cheese, and baked potato pizza, which features bacon, mashed potatoes, red onions, broccoli, fresh tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.
Next on our list of the best food in Minnesota is all about extreme ice cream. Milkjam Creamery is one of the best places in Minneapolis to get some delicious homemade ice cream, but that’s not all that it serves. Here, you will find every kind of treat imaginable, from milkshakes to ice cream.
As for their legendary jam buns, these are made from local Glam Doll doughnuts combined with Milkjam Creamery ice cream. It is as decadent as it sounds — essentially a loaded ice cream sandwich with doughnuts. If all the ice cream flavors on offer weren’t enough for you, this is a great alternative. You can also load them with different flavors and toppings.
8. A meal at Spoon and Stable
Spoon and Stable is an upscale Minneapolis eatery by the award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen. The restaurant features a fusion of Midwestern and French cuisine.
It gets its name from the original building, which was a horse stable at the turn of the 19th century. But you would never know that horses were once housed there. These days, it is a chic interior dining room that is considered one of the most stylish eateries in Minneapolis.
There is simply no wrong choice at Spoon and Stable. The dinner menu features dishes like Wagyu steak, dry-aged duck breast, bison tartare, and grilled baby beets.
Hammer and Sickle certainly has a style. This warmly lit restaurant has a full bar, but it is also a great place to find delicious food like pierogies. They also feature two distinct drink menus — one for general alcoholic beverages, the other just for vodka drinks. In other words, you can certainly get toasted at Hammer and Sickle.
You will find some of the most delicious and over-the-top edibles here, from caviar samples to Kobe beef sliders. But the pierogies are truly unparalleled. Options include the Yankee (cheddar cheese, bacon, ground beef, and pickles) and the Easterner (ground beef, sauerkraut, and horseradish).
10. Breakfast at Al’s Breakfast
If you’re searching for some of the best food in Minnesota as the sun rises, breakfast lovers have several great places to go in Minnesota. One of the unmissable destinations is Al’s Breakfast, a ramshackle diner in Minneapolis.
Al’s has been in operation since 1950 and still is a population location. It is widely known as the narrowest restaurant in the city, seating only 14 diners at a time. It also doesn’t have a fancy gourmet menu, instead, it focuses on breakfast classics with no “frilly” stuff.
But it does them so well that diners still flock to it, 70 years later. You can probably expect to wait in line while other people finish their meals.
With so much Scandanavian heritage in Minnesota, seafood is a staple. But not everywhere does it as well as The Anchor Fish and Chips in Minneapolis.
The Anchor is a classic “chippy”, and it goes all in. Here, you can find perfectly crisp fried Alaskan cod and hand-cut fries, as well as battered sausage, shepherd’s pie, baked beans, pasties, and curry chips. But as delicious as all the menu options are, you can’t beat the classic fish and chips.
The Anchor is a food truck and you’ll find people flocking to it, especially in the freezing winter months, to get a hot meal.
Common Roots Cafe is dedicated to sharing locally-made, sustainable, fair trade Jewish cooking. The offerings here are almost universally perfect, with unique menus for brunch and burgers.
First, you will find a huge range of bagels in every flavor imaginable — and with all the best toppings, of course. You will also find deliciously unique offerings like huevos rancheros, smoked turkey and brie melts, and a full cocktail menu.
But nothing beats the challah French toast. The menu rotates at Common Roots, so if you see it listed, take the opportunity to order it!
Wendy’s House of Soul is the brainchild of Wendy Puckett, a chef and caterer with decades of experience. When her kids were young, she looked for ways to trick them into eating vegetables. So she came up with the Soul Roll, a unique fusion of egg rolls and soul food.
These days, Wendy’s House of Soul caters to communities throughout the state. You will find deliciously unique offerings here like the Jive Turkey Soul Roll (with turkey, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, and special sauce) and the Silly Pickle (dill pickle, cheese, turkey bacon, and special hot sauce). You can always build your own Soul Roll, too!
Meritage is an upscale French eatery in St. Paul. With a seasonally rotating menu, the restaurant always offers new and fresh options for diners from around the world.
But despite its reputation for fancy food, there are few options at Meritage more delicious than the French fries. No matter how elegant your main dish, when you go to dine at Meritage, make sure you add on a side of these fancy, dressed-up spuds.
It all goes to show that when it comes to the best food in Minnesota, you can go super fancy or super casual — but sometimes you just can’t beat the classics.
If you are looking for the best food in Minnesota, you won’t be disappointed. There is something for everyone here, with every type of eatery and world cuisine.
Minnesota has everything from locally-grown, sustainably sourced cafes to ethnic eateries that have been tourist attractions for decades or even longer. You can even find locations from some of the most famous and talented chefs in the world!
Whether you love elegant upscale dining experiences or simple street food, you will find it all in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
After savoring a delicious meal from some of the best food in Minnesota, lick those fingers, and then let us know what your favorite meal was.
If you are specifically in the mood for breakfast, try any or all of the 12 Places That Serve Up the Best Breakfast in Minnesota.
Still hungry? Then continue exploring Minnesota food and drinks for a complete culinary adventure!
Ready for more Minnesota advice, info, and guides? Whether you’re a local or a passerby, discover the best of Minnesota that our great state has to offer!
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.