Now that locals and tourists can actually find the Twin Cities' top jazz club, don't be surprised if you swing by for a nightcap only to be turned away by a packed house. The handsome warm-wood-and-exposed-brick interior, superb American wine list, and bargain happy hour grub draw a sophisticated after-work and late-night crowd in addition to the jazz aficionados who've been coming to the Dakota for decades. Owner Lowell Pickett lures national names early in the week (Roy Hargrove, Steve Tyrell) and local favorites (Connie Evingson, Nachito Herrera, and The New Standards) on weekends. So slide into a banquette early, order a glass of red, and await the show in what is arguably one of the country's best jazz venues.
Voted Best Jazz Venue for 2012
Best of Twin Cities
Features: Happy Hour, Late-night Eats, Live Music, Wine Bar
Neighborhood(s): Downtown Minneapolis, Minneapolis
Happy Hour: M-F, 4:30-6 p.m.; drink specials and $3-$4 appetizers