Best Restaurants

Best Restaurants 2012

Our annual critics' picks of the top eateries in the Twin Cities


Blue Door Pub


If the Juicy Lucy stuffed burger is a Minnesota tradition, consider the Blue Door its color guard. The restaurant’s Juicy Blucys playfully riff on the classic (cheese only), stuffing the Cajun with pepper jack and jalapenos, the signature Blucy with bleu cheese and garlic, and the Bangkok Blucy with coconut milk mozzarella. Add a great beer list and an eat-10-the-next-is-free punch card and you can see why the place is jam-packed.
1811 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-493-1865,


Big, bright, and roomy, Alex Roberts’s St. Paul Brasa is like the Nordeast location all grown up. The menu is slightly different—St. Paul gets mac and cheese and fried catfish—but for the most part it’s the same locally sourced, all-natural, homey slow-roasted meats, plus Southern/Latin American sides that make you wish you were raised by Roberts’s mom.
777 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-1302; 600 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-379-3030,

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0312-br-swedehollow_640-(1).jpgStrip Club

A tucked-away meat joint on a hill, The Strip Club is the steak house for people who don’t go for the big steak house vibe. It’s understated, dark, and dare we say hipsterish, feeding the next generation of carnivores with grass- fed steaks. Creative cocktails flow from the bar, which is often manned by one of the owners, for whom hospitality is a way of life.
378 Maria Ave., St. Paul, 651-793-6247,

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