When people think of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first thing that comes to mind usually isn’t fine dining and delicious food. However, that’s all about to change. Minneapolis is home to some of the country’s finest eateries, restaurants, and cafes. No matter what kind of cuisine you’re in the mood for, there’s always something nearby. From Mexican to Asian to French-American to Italian, this article will look at the best restaurants in Minneapolis. We’ll cover every meal of the day to make sure that you never have to go hungry!
Best Breakfast Restaurants in Minneapolis
The modern trend for breakfast joints is to have healthy, trendy, and Instagram-ready breakfasts. If you’re in the mood for a good old-fashioned diner-style breakfast, look no further than Al’s Breakfast. Al’s is a no-frills diner with 14 stools at the bar, and that’s it. However, it’s also one of Minneapolis’s tastiest and most iconic breakfast spots.
While it’s newer than Al’s Breakfast, Birchwood Cafe offers breakfasts that are just as tasty and large. Birchwood Cafe is a classic farm-to-table cafe and restaurant that specializes in its breakfast menu but also offers delicious lunch and dinner options. Don’t miss out on your chance to try their famous Savory Waffle, which is a giant Belgian Waffle topped with bacon, eggs, fruit, and maple syrup!
The Copperfield comes to Minneapolis from the same team that founded the Crooked Pint and The Green Mill. The specialty at their newest restaurant is a simple and yet unbelievable egg sandwich, a plate of pancakes, or a bowl of oatmeal. The Copperfield also serves spiked coffee with a twist if you want to get your morning started off right!
While they specialize in breakfast, they also turn things around in the p.m. hours and convert to a full-service dinner restaurant and bar. No matter what you’re in the mood for, The Copperfield probably has it on the menu. You can expect an upscale dining experience combined with some of the tastiest food and drinks in Minneapolis when you stop in here.
Hen House Eatery
Hen House Eatery in Minneapolis is a true breakfast, lunch, and brunch restaurant. They’re only open from 7 to 3, and they have some of the state’s best breakfasts and baked goods. Their top sellers are muffins, cinnamon rolls, eggs benedict, and the famous Southern Waffle featuring fried chicken. You can also stop in for an afternoon sandwich and brew if you’re in the mood!
Best Lunch/Brunch Restaurants in Minneapolis
Common Roots Cafe
Common Roots Cafe is a Jewish bakery, deli, and cafe that serves some of the finest farm-to-table food in the state. They specialize in baked goods, brunch, and lunch, but they also have a breakfast and dinner menu that will knock your socks off. Common Roots offers a unique blend of Israeli delights and American household favorites. Check out this hot spot but expect to wait in line to get in!
Afro Deli is another hot lunch/dinner restaurant that you should definitely hit up during your time in Minneapolis. They offer some of the most unique meal options that you’ll find anywhere. Afro Deli is a fusion restaurant that takes African, Mediterranean, and American food and turns it into an unforgettable meal. All their food is sourced directly from Minnesota, so you know it’s coming from a good place. Afro Deli largely resembles the melting pot that is Minneapolis by taking many different ethnic delicacies and putting them together in perfect harmony!
Nixta Tortilleria & Mexican Takeout
If you think that all tortillas are created equal, you’re in for a shock when you dine in or take out at Nixta. Chef Gustavo Romero takes tortillas to a whole other level as he makes sure that only the finest heirloom corn is used in the baking process. Nixta makes all their own tortillas and fills them with various meats, cheeses, sauces, and veggies that come and go on a seasonal basis. Don’t miss out on one of the top Mexican restaurants in Minneapolis!
Sammy’s Avenue Eatery
While the concept behind Sammy’s Avenue Eatery is simple, the follow-through on the food and drink they serve is anything but. Sammy’s is a deli and cafe located in North Minneapolis, and they serve some of the best sandwiches, coffee, and wraps in the city. They also offer classic soups that are out of this world if you need some comfort food.
Their sandwiches and wraps are simple, affordable, but some of the best in Minnesota. Stop in for a quick bite to eat or enjoy an afternoon relaxing at Sammy’s Avenue Eatery.
Pimento Jamaican Kitchen and Rum Bar
Next on our list of best restaurants in Minneapolis is the Pimento Jamaican Kitchen and Rum Bar. There certainly aren’t many Jamaican restaurants in Minnesota, but it just so happens that one of the best is located in Minneapolis. Pimento Jamaican Kitchen and Rum Bar is a local favorite and serves some of the best jerk chicken and coconut rice that you’ll ever taste. Their food is always fresh, authentic, and delicious, as are their rum cocktails!
Vivir is a Mexican-style restaurant, cafe, and market with food almost as unique as the restaurants’ name. They serve freshly made Mexican small plates, house-baked pastries, bread, and grab-and-go deli items and have all the casual fare your heart desires. Vivir also offers an extensive cocktail and drink menu so that you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a stiff drink. After enjoying your meal, head over to Vivir’s market and grab some Chili Lime Crickets or dozens of other hand-crafted goods made by local artisans.
Zen Box Izakaya
If you’re on the lookout for Japanese comfort food and top-notch Green Tea Tiramisu, look no further than Zen Box Izakaya. Located in the heart of Minneapolis’ East Town neighborhood, Zen Box is a local staple for Japanese favorites such as Ramen and Bento dishes. The food is also perfect for soaking up a night of drinking, and you can choose from crispy fried karaage or hearty bowls of udon.
Keeping in the spirit of authentic Asian cuisine, we now move to a Vietnamese noodle house, Pho 79. Pho 79 is in South Minneapolis and is situated on a street the locals refer to as Eat Street. They were voted the best pho restaurant in Minneapolis and St. Paul and strive to hold onto that title for as long as possible.
Pho 79 has some of the best and most affordable pho in Minneapolis, and you’re bound to enjoy it if you’re a pho fan.
Best Dinner Restaurants in Minneapolis
Hai Hai on University Avenue in Minneapolis is a great lunch and dinner spot to hit up if you’re in the mood to eat clean. Head chef Christina Nguyen specializes in rice bowl dishes that implement herbs, fish, chicken, fish sauce, and lime sauce. Hai Hai is one of the top Vietnamese restaurants in the city, and they have some of the tastiest and healthiest dishes available. They even offer an extensive cocktail, beer, and wine list if you want to wash your meal down with a cold beverage.
No list of great restaurants would be complete without a few of the top pizza places in Minneapolis. The first of which is EaTo; a relative newcomer to Minnesota. EaTo replaced a local landmark, Cafe Grand, but has continued to deliver food and service that is second to none. Choose from any of their many specialty pizzas, sandwiches, homemade sausage, and even gelato for dessert.
This list of restaurants isn’t going to have a ton of BBQ joints on it because Minnesota simply doesn’t specialize in southern comfort food. However, if you are in the mood for BBQ, you’ve got to try Firebox Deli. With locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Firebox is one of the top BBQ restaurants in Minnesota.
You can choose a variety of meats to sample a la carte, or you can get a sandwich or combination meal. Firebox also offers their famous Firebox Feast, which includes an entire rack of pork ribs, eight giant wings, a pound of brisket or pulled pork, fries, and five additional sides. Brisket, ribs, beef tips, pulled pork, and so much more are waiting for you at Firebox Deli.
Owamni by the Sioux Chef
If you’re looking for a dining experience unlike any other, you’ve got to try out Owamni by the Sioux Chef. Headed by a world-famous chef and author of the book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, James Sherman, Owamni is one of the newest and hottest restaurants in town. The restaurant features a menu of 16 rotating dishes that change throughout the year.
However, all of the food prepared at Owamni is made with ingredients only available to indigenous tribes before the arrival of white settlers to America. Venison, bison, and mutton are the featured meats, and all the ingredients are locally sourced from indigenous stores.
Spice & Tonic Indian Cuisine and Bar
Situated in a prime location near U.S. Bank Stadium, Spice & Tonic serves North Indian staples like samosas, lamb shahi korma, and chicken tikka masala. The restaurant opened recently, and it’s headed by local chef and owner of 15 other Indian restaurants throughout the Twin Cities, Joginder Cheema. The restaurant lives up to its name by offering some of the spiciest and tastiest Indian delicacies on the market. If it’s too hot for you, wash it down with a custom cocktail or an imported Indian beer or wine!
Wrecktangle Pizza offers two locations in Minneapolis to choose from. There’s the North Loop Gallery location and the Market at Malcolm Yards location. However, no matter which one you choose, you’ll be graced by the same incredible pizza and garlic bread. Wrecktangle Pizza offers classic delicacies like the meat lovers, supreme, or Margherita pizza.
They also offer many original pizzas, such as their Very Nice Breakfast Pizza, which includes cheddar jack cheese, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon jam, and fried sage. No matter which pizza you get, you always have the option to add dozens of additional toppings and items. And, yes, their pizzas are all in the shape of a rectangle.
Hamburguesas el Gordo
Literally translating to “fat burgers,” Hamburguesas el Gordo lives up to its name in a big way. Many restaurants have changed their menus to be healthier and feature smaller portions; Hamurguesas el Gordo hasn’t received the memo. They have some of the biggest, fattiest hamburgers and hot dogs in Minnesota, and they’re always topped with way more toppings than you need.
Avocado, bacon, mozzarella, cheddar, pineapple, onions, peppers, and anything else you can think of is a topping option. They even top one of their burgers with a piece of juicy grilled chicken! One of their most famous burgers is the Cubano del Gordo which includes chorizo, a split hot dog, fried egg, cheese, ham, bacon, lettuce, onion, avocado, tomatoes, ketchup, mayo, mustard, and pickled peppers. Please note that you should only come to Hamburguesas el Gordo if it’s your cheat day!
Football Pizza is one of the most unique and treasured pizza joints in Minnesota. Their pizzas are shaped like footballs, and they’re a combination of pizza house and Afghani restaurant and bakery. You’re in for a truly unique pizza when you come to Football Pizza.
Each of their pizzas is made with a traditional Afghani flatbread and topped with numerous Afghani and American toppings. You can also choose toppings or alternative menu items that include Middle Eastern delicacies such as goat kourma, gyro, kabobs, and baklava.
The Red Sea
If you can’t guess from the name, The Red Sea is a restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean, Ethiopian, and Eritrean dishes. They offer everything from tasty curry to tibs and pasta. The Red Sea is also a hot spot for nightly entertainment, after-hours drinks, and so much more!
In addition to some of the city’s best Ethiopian and Mediterranean food, The Red Sea also has an adjoining nightclub. You can spend your whole evening here, or you can stop in for a bite and authentic Ethiopian beer.
We’ve looked at everything from upscale dining to ethnic delicacies and everything in between. However, any good restaurant list includes at least one sports bar, and Runyon’s fits the bill. They offer sports bar standards such as wings, beer, and burgers, but they also have seafood delicacies and some of the best desserts that money can buy. You’d be remiss if you didn’t try their chocolate peanut butter pie, Mississippi mudslide cake, or Runyon’s classic fried ice cream before you leave.
So Many Options
As you can see, there’s no shortage of amazing restaurants in Minneapolis. From breakfast to dinner and anything in between, you’re never far from a world-class restaurant. While we covered some of the best restaurants in Minneapolis in this article, we barely scratched the surface. Minneapolis is a city full of culture, life, and creativity, and it manifests in the hundreds of unbelievable restaurants therein.
If you’ve recently dined at one of these great restaurants in Minneapolis, we’d love to hear about your experience. Leave a comment below!
Still hungry? Then continue exploring Minnesota food and drinks for a complete culinary adventure!
Still looking for more fun adventures? Then checkout all the great things to do in the Twin Cities!
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
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.