Maybe you’re not a typical mall rat, but this weekend is special. For many of us, slogging through the hallways, purchasing gifts for others, necessitates a reward at the end: pizzas, margaritas, and burgers will do. There’s a bunch of new and newish places for you to set down your bags, give your dogs a rest, and refill your carb load so you can shop some more.
Mall of America
The big kahuna, the Hugedale for all seasons. There’s so much to eat, and so little time before your feet give out.
The bar at Cedar + Stone in the new JW Marriott
Burger Burger (3rd floor/South Ave, food court)
Freshly opened by the Crave kids, the new fast-casual burger shop is trying to win your mind with ethical local beef and win your heart with double cheeseburgers and boozy adult shakes. Sit with the kids in the dining area, or sit with your pals in the bar area.
Cantina Laredo (3rd Floor/just past food court, by Macy’s)
Upscale Mexican. The place has a serene and almost elegant décor, which takes Mexican eating up a notch. Don’t worry, jeans welcome, you’re at the mall. Perfect for grabbing some margs and chips with guac with your ladies at the bar.
Cedar + Stone (1st Floor/JW Marriott)
In the swank new hotel on the North side of the mall, this dining room might be the fanciest at the mall so far. The bar/resto is accessible from the mall, and there’s a concerted effort to bring high end regional dining to shoppers and hotel guests. Snack on heirloom tomato pizza and steamed mussels, or go big with oven roasted halibut and 12-hour braised short ribs. Also, “healthy” cocktails.
David’s Tea (1st floor/ East Broadway by Sears)
This cute little tea shop from Vancouver sells a whole bevvy of loose leaf teas, but it also cranks out a wonderfully light and invigorating tea latte (when you need a non-boozy pick me up).
Zio Cucina & Bar (3rd Floor/South Ave., food court)
A slick, new full-service modern Italian eatery from the Crave kids, this one SHOULD be open by Friday. Heckuva day for firsties, but baptism by fire is not new to resto people. Polenta fries, meatballs, four cheese ravioli, panini all look interesting.
NOT NEW BUT STILL GOOD OPTIONS!
FireLake (3rd Floor/South Ave. by Macy’s)
Cross the sky bridge and get a few steps away from the mall walkers. Good craft beer options, a bit more upscale, and pool tables in the bar.
Masu Sushi (3rd Floor /Food court)
Beyond some great sushi, and a killer kids meal bento box, there is a hearty bowl of ramen waiting for you here. It is restorative. So is sake. Happy Hour 3-6 p.m., M-F.
The first mall is always looking to be better, new dining helps. Most places will be open open 6 a.m. – 11p.m. on Black Friday.
ZItaliano courtesy of Shaina Ann Photography
Z Italiano (1st Floor/by the AMC Movies)
There’s a new fire in the old California Pizza Kitchen ovens, this locally owned independent place opens TODAY! Check them out for family friendly Italian: freshly made pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.
Freshii (2nd floor/dining area)
This salad concept chain is one of my favorites, because they don’t skimp on the goods. Pick your good healthy stuff and they toss it in a bowl for you. Plus, wraps and smoothies to help keep you fired up and fit for shopping!
Dave & Busters (3rd Floor)
Not going to lie, sometimes you have to escape the mall crowds and zone into some gaming if you really want to win. Plus, solid juicy burgers and chicken wings you can count on, lots of beers and tots. This is where you drop the hubs before going out for one more run.
Rojo Mexican Grill (2nd Level, South side)
Margs and chips at the bar are a nice respite. Kid’s will love tacos and quesadillas.
Ridgedale is getting a makeover as we speak, but lots of things aren’t open quite yet.
Ruscello in Nordstrom at Ridgedale
Ruscello (2nd Floor in Nordstrom)
Wowza, this place is already booming popular. The bar is right on, and there are some really tasty cocktails coming forth. Italian plates are both comforting and interesting. Loved the gnocchi with chicken.
KINDA NEW/KINDA OLD
Lakeshore Grill (2nd level inside Macy’s)
That place has such a sophisticated and chill vibe. Over the bar hangs one of the most gorgeous chandeliers from the old Dayton’s days, and you feel like dammit, you deserve a bit of bubbles and elegance as well. Popovers, like you remember.