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The Forty-Four Best Bars

Our favorite Twin Cities spots for craft cocktails, brown booze, and wines that warm your night.

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Seared tuna plate at Agra Culture Kitchen & Press | Photo by Caitlin Abrams

Agra Culture Kitchen & Press

Minneapolis Institute of Art, Mpls., 612-870-3180

Farm-fresh food on the quick, from hearty breakfasts and fresh-pressed juices all the way up to dinner entrees, customized according to diet: dairy-free, gluten-free, even paleo-friendly. It makes healthy taste good. Continue Reading

$ | American, Veg-Friendly |

Sushi at Aji Japanese Restaurant in Hopkins, Minnesota

Aji Japanese Restaurant

712 Main St., Hopkins, 952-358-3558

A modern Japanese eatery offering sushi, sashimi, bento boxes, hibachi grill items, and a big lunch buffet, all at reasonable prices. Continue Reading

$$ | Japanese |

Aki's BreadHaus

2506 Central Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-578-7897

This German-style bakery serves up traditional oat bread, pastries, and salty, airy pretzels in a tiny space. Continue Reading

$ | Bakery |

Al & Alma's Supper Club

5201 Piper Rd., Mound, 952-472-3098

Designed as a Nantucket-style waterfront restaurant, this year-round eatery serves up steaks and seafood and charters dinner cruises on Lake Minnetonka. Summer boat brunch. Continue Reading

$$ | American, Seafood |

Muffins from al Vento in Minneapolis, Minnesota

al Vento

5001 34th Ave. S., Mpls., 612-724-3009

Warm and upscale, this Italian trattoria prides itself on scratch cooking, from housemade mozzarella to fresh pasta, pizzas, bruschetta, chicken, fish, and steak. Weekend brunch has a notably Mediterranean buffet that is a cut above others. Continue Reading

$$$ | Italian |

Al's Breakfast

413 14th Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-331-9991

Go to Al's, stand behind the row of 14 counter seats occupied by lucky eaters, and wait patiently for your turn to dig into the legendary blueberry-walnut cakes. Bring cash and a willingness to slide your whole breakfast down a seat if they ask. It's a landmark. Continue Reading

$ | American |

Amazing Thailand

Amazing Thailand

3024 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-822-5588

Beautifully warm decor and Thai art are hidden behind the bright Uptown facade of this Thai restaurant offering traditional Thai food, authentic ingredients, and plenty of curries. Continue Reading

$$ | Thai |

American Burger Bar

825 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-345-4487

These downtown spots are all about burgers. Creative takes include a bison burger with horseradish and a Kobe burger with foie gras and black truffles, among others. Continue Reading

$$ | Burgers |

American Burger Bar

2010 County Rd. 75 E., St. Joseph, 320-363-4516

These downtown spots are all about burgers. Creative takes include a bison burger with horseradish and a Kobe burger with foie gras and black truffles, among others. Continue Reading

$$ | Burgers |

American Burger Bar

354 N. Wabasha St., St. Paul, 651-222-2123

These downtown spots are all about burgers. Creative takes include a bison burger with horseradish and a Kobe burger with foie gras and black truffles, among others. Continue Reading

$$ | Burgers |

American Girl Bistro

Mall of America, Bloomington, 877-247-5223

It's sugar and spice and everything nice at this girl wonderland. Bring your American Girl dolls out for a bite at the in-house bistro featuring kid-friendly favorites and even a few adult-focused dishes. Continue Reading

$$ | American |


Amore Uptown

1601 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-823-0250

This cozy place feels like an old trattoria with exposed brick and rich mahogany woodwork. The vast menu includes specialty pastas plus pizzas and salads. Check out the rooftop in summer. Continue Reading

$$$ | Italian |

Broodjes at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Amsterdam Bar and Hall

6 W. 6th St., St. Paul, 612-285-3112

Good ole St. Paul needed a little more nightlife, a little more live music, and little Dutch sandwiches known as broodjes. This musically inclined bar offers snacks and small dishes along with an expertly curated Belgian beer list. Continue Reading

$$ | European |

Fish and chips at Anchor Fish & Chips

Anchor Fish & Chips

302 13th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-676-1300

This chipper has humble surroundings that make it feel just like the out-of-Dublin pub it wants to be. Chips feature heavily on the menu, which includes well-battered fish, pasties, shepherd's pie, burgers, and a toasty grilled Irish cheddar sandwich. Continue Reading

$$ | European, Seafood |

Andale Taqueria y Mercado

7700 Nicollet Ave. S., Richfield, 612-259-8868

On one side of this revamped Embers is a marketplace with Latin American grocery items; on the other side is a food counter serving tortas, burritos, and some of the best authentic tacos in the city. Continue Reading

$ | Mexican |

Savory pretzels from Angel Food Bakery in downtown Minneapolis

Angel Food Bakery

86 S. 9th St., Mpls., 612-238-1435

Downtowners regularly jam the glam bakery arm of Hell's Kitchen for their fix of sassy treats, from whiskey-bomb cupcakes and alphabet donuts to savory pretzels decked with garlic and cheese. Continue Reading

$ | Bakery |

Angry Trout Cafe

408 Hwy. 61, Grand Marais, 218-387-1265

A seasonal eatery, open May-Oct. on the Northern Shore, Angry Trout stands out with its commitment to fresh, sustainable ingredients and a tasty round of freshly lake-caught fish up and down the menu. A good stop for northbound foodists. Continue Reading

$$$ | Seafood |

Annie's Parlour

313 14th Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-379-0744

A Dinkytown institution, Annie's Parlour is known for thick malts, crispy fries, and hand-formed burgers that feed professors and students alike. Although it's located above the Kitty Cat Klub, it may be one of the more laid-back restaurants in the neighborhood. Continue Reading

$ | American, Burgers |


Loews Hotel, 601 1st Ave. N., Mpls.,

The lobby bar at The Loews is a sophisticated and comfortable spot where you can design your own prescription for a perfect Old Fashioned. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

Arboretum Restaurant

3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska, 952-443-1400

This cafeteria-style restaurant features a refreshed and healthy selection of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Large windows and an outdoor terrace offer views of spectacular gardens. Continue Reading

$ | Deli |

Arezzo Ristorante

5057 France Ave. S., Mpls., 612-285-7444

Looking for an intimate room and traditional Italian cooking? This understated neighborhood spot offers an authentic take on regional Italian fare (it makes a great carbonara) and finely crafted pastas and pizzas. Continue Reading

$$ | Italian |

Asia Chow Mein

4905 Central Ave. NE, Columbia Heights, 763-571-4425

Serving traditional Chinese fare, including chow mein, kung pao beef, and stir-fries. Take out, drive-through, and dine-in. Continue Reading

$ | Chinese |

Interior of Aster Cafe in Minneapolis

Aster Cafe

125 SE Main St., Mpls., 612-379-3138

The cute little cafe on St. Anthony Main's river walk is a live music draw for those seeking a cooler, intimate venue. On quieter days, a stellar coffee list, café snacks, signature tea-infused drinks, and a dulcet patio pack them in just the same. Continue Reading

$ | American |

Atlas Grill and Clubroom

U.S. Bank Plaza, 200 S. 6th St., Mpls., 612-332-4200

Fire-roasting is the choice method of preparation at this power lunch spot, evident in large plates meant for sharing, piled with fire-roasted meats and fish. The daily omelet is a hearty, flavorful value. Continue Reading

$$$ | American, Seafood |

AtoZ Produce and Bakery

N2956 Anker Ln., Stockholm, WI, 715-448-4802

On Tuesdays, AtoZ Produce farm turns into a pizza farm. Cooking from outdoor brick ovens, the owners churn out giant pizzas with fresh ingredients grown on the property. It's picnic-style eating, so bring your own beverages and flatware; your seat is your butt. Closed in winter. Continue Reading

$ | Pizza |