Photos by Caitlin Abrams
Okay. You forgot it was Valentine’s Day and you forgot to get a reservation. How are you going to make it seem like that never happened? Here’s how. Say this out loud, Honey, I never made a reservation because I had a much better idea. It was . . .
The brand new “country club on crack” by bar-genius Leslie Bock (Psycho Suzi’s, Donnie Dirk’s) will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in style with a real live person playing a harp, pink Champagne, and special campy Valentine’s decorations. Of course, Betty Danger’s doesn’t take reservations, and of course, it’s going to be the most Instagram-worthy situation in town.
Bring your sweetheart to one of the newest taprooms in town. Tell him or her you are going to have a beer, then run over to Sonora Grill, Hot Indian Foods, or Los Ocampo for takeout—their choice. Now, pretend you have an important call. Run out to the flower stand Fiesta in America and buy some flowers, dart over to Salty Tart for a romantic cupcake, race back—look at you Casanova! Definitely the thrifty and romantic-hipster’s ace in the hole.
There are no reservations at Surly, the new, the stupendous, the tremendous, the magnificent taproom that is changing all our worlds! And, of course, your sweetheart wants to go there because: Who doesn’t in Minneapolis want to go there? So go there. If it takes two hours to get a table—so what? It’s a beautiful place to have a beautiful beer.
THE EXCITING CORNER OF 26TH AND NICOLLET
Have you considered how many romantic and appealing no-reservations options await you at the corner of 26th and Nicollet? Take a minute: You could begin with some of the best cocktails in the country, at Eat Street Social. Then perhaps one of the best pizzas in the cities, at the brand new Black Sheep? Then over to Icehouse, for some more fab cocktails—or some of the best bar food in the world, the best pie in town, and live music too. (There’s no cover for the day and early evening shows, check the schedule for more.) Need some import German beer and fries? Over to the Black Forest! Top shelf small-estate wines? On to Gyst. Are these the only no-reservation options on this corner? Heck no! A romantic Glam Doll donut will be perfect for dessert.
THAT’S NOT ALL!
Are none of those working for you? Here’s a list of other no-reservations seriously recommended spots around the Twin Cities: Pig Ate My Pizza, Ward 6, Brasa (stop at Golden Fig across the street from the St. Paul one for a last-minute chocolate gift?), Tilia, Broders' Pasta Bar, Ranham Bowl/the Nook, Butcher & the Boar beer garden, World Street Kitchen, the bar at Heyday, the bar at The Third Bird, the bar at Haute Dish, and Parlour, or: The classic heart-shaped pizza at Davanni’s!
What did I miss? If you’ve got any recommendations for your fellow no reservation-havers, post them in the comments. And remember folks: Love. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru. Or it makes the world go round. Or if it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger. Or it's the great texture, comfort, and thrill of life. One of those. Whichever you pick: There’s a no-reservation option in the Twin Cities to make yours special. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!