Best Restaurants

Best Restaurants 2012

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


Broders’ Pasta Bar


Really, it’s the entire Broders’ complex that earns the award. Both corners. The cucina draws those who soon become addicted to the creamiest, lightest mascarpone sitting innocently in the deli case. Across the street, with the religiously hand-made pastas and convivial atmosphere that hasn’t died down once in nearly 18 years, the pasta bar may be Italian in theme, but it’s owned by that neighborhood.
50th & Penn Ave. S., Mpls., 612-925-3113 (cucina), 612-925-9202 (pasta bar),


It seems amazing that Piccolo is already two years old. Maybe that’s because every dish put in front of you is so new and innovative, presenting you with ingredients you may have never seen: pine syrup, swordfish belly, pickled pigs’ feet. Doug Flicker’s menu is the antithesis of boring and complacent—he’s artfully reinventing the place every night with ideas and flavors on small, impactful plates that make this place a standard-setter for the food set.
4300 Bryant Ave. S., Mpls., 612-827-8111,


5 Nearby Notables

As eclectic as the neighborhood. Banh mi, fish tacos, and French onion soup all coexist quite well on the menu.
3800 Nicollet Ave., Mpls.

Café Ena
An undersung joint with Latin American flavors and a warm, pretty space. The medianoche sandwich is spot on.
4601 Grand Ave. S., Mpls.

Wise Acre Eatery
Farm-fresh isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a way of life when you have your own farm supplying the kitchen.
5401 Nicollet Ave., Mpls.

Kings Wine Bar
The neighborhood clubhouse has seen a rotation of chefs, but the food remains fun and easy with a late-night menu served until midnight.
4555 Grand Ave. S., Mpls.

Corner Table
The iconic farm-to-table restaurant has recently changed hands, but the commitment to local food remains the same.
4257 Nicollet Ave., Mpls.

Return to Index