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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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Steak at Burch Steakhouse in Uptown, Minneapolis

Burch Steakhouse & Pizza Bar

1933 Colfax Ave. S., Mpls., 612-843-1515

The slick hot spot by Isaac Becker on the edge of Uptown is nothing short of a reimagined modern steak house. Order your cut by preferred size, take on a dumpling as a side, or choose a fresh, creative pizza from the basement bar's menu. Continue Reading

$$$ | Pizza, Steak |

Burger Jones

Burger Jones

1619 Co. Rd. 42 W., Burnsville, 952-885-2289

Snarky and wry, the menu is packed with crazy, creative upscale burgers, hand-cut fries, and adult shakes. There's a notable craft beer selection to wash it all down. Continue Reading

$$ | Burgers |

Burger Jones

Burger Jones

3200 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-746-0800

Snarky and wry, the menu is packed with crazy, creative upscale burgers, hand-cut fries, and adult shakes. There's a notable craft beer selection to wash it all down. Continue Reading

$$ | Burgers |

Burger Moe's

Burger Moe's

242 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-222-3100

For a great price, Moe's delivers big, interesting burgers, Summit-battered battered onion rings, 20 kinds of shakes, and more than 40 beers on tap. The patio is one of West 7th's best summer spots. Continue Reading

$$ | Burgers |

Burrito Loco Bar and Grill

418 13th Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-746-5626

Both a full-service college bar and a laid-back burrito joint, this place offers fat burritos stuffed with such items as Buffalo chicken and Southwest barbecue chicken, plus appetizers and plenty of booze. Delivery available. Continue Reading

$ | American, Mexican |

Burger at Buster's on 28th

Buster's on 28th

4204 28th Ave., Mpls., 612-729-0911

After the fire, Buster's reopened and felt as fresh as the divey bar it used to be. Gotta love that. Still a righteous burger, still yardstick onion rings, still a neighborhood craft beer staple. Continue Reading

$$ | American, Burgers |

Interior of Butcher and the Boar in downtown Minneapolis

Butcher and the Boar

1121 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-238-8888

This den of meat and bourbon is one of the best nights out in town. The focus is craft American cooking with housemade sausage, wild boar head cheese, cheesy grits, and a killer long rib. Bourbon flights and cocktails are strong and unfussy, the beer garden stays open all year. Continue Reading

$$$$ | American |

A breakfast sandwich at Butter Bakery in Minneapolis

Butter Bakery Café

3700 Nicollet Ave., Mpls, 612-521-7401

A brunch-all-day spot in Kingfield with killer scones and an ice cream case to boot. Continue Reading

$ | Bakery |

C & G's Smoking Barbecue

C & G's Smoking Barbecue

4743 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls., 612-825-3400

This counter-service barbecue joint gets props for its down-home atmosphere and smokehouse cooking. The menu offers ribs, chicken, fish, and sandwiches along with wings and sides. Mostly take-out, limited seating. Continue Reading

$ | Barbecue |

Cafe Ena Minneapolis

Café Ena

4601 Grand Ave. S., Mpls., 612-824-4441

This Latin fusion eatery serves meat and fish in an array of styles, and its family-recipe mole is tops. The warm colors and dark woods make this an inviting and friendly spot to gather. Continue Reading

$$$ | Latin American |

Cake from Cafe Latte on Grand Avenue in St. Paul

Café Latté

850 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-5687

Grand Avenue's destination cafeteria is known for its decadent desserts but perhaps doesn't get enough credit for a creative all-day selection of pizzas, salads, soups, and stews. Continue Reading

$ | American, Deli |

An entree from Café Levain in Minneapolis

Café Levain

4762 Chicago Ave., Mpls., 612-823-7111

Levain remains a winning choice for lovers of top-notch ingredients, authentic recipes, and careful cooking. Simple dishes such as roast chicken and celery root soup become elevated to breathtaking results. Continue Reading

$$$ | French |

Café Lurcat

Café Lurcat

1624 Harmon Place, Mpls., 612-486-5500

Though splashier places have been popping up around Loring Park, Lurcat remains a sophisticated and stylish place to eat. The bar menu's small plates are perfect for the cocktail set, and the café menu stays current yet accessible with modern preparations and fresh ingredients. Continue Reading

$$$$ | American |

Café Maude

Café Maude

5411 Penn Ave. S., Mpls., 612-822-5411

This south Minneapolis hot spot has one of the most creative drink lists, both cocktails and nonalcoholic, in the city. Neighbors pack the place, sitting elbow to elbow, to enjoy the high-quality, seasonal bistro fare. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Café Minnesota

Minnesota History Ctr., 345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul, 651-259-3030

This bright, comfortably elegant cafeteria offers a weekly changing menu that includes dishes such as spinach-mushroom lasagna and old-fashioned chicken pot pie with carrots. Continue Reading

$ | American |

Interior of Cafe Zentral in downtown Minneapolis

Café Zentral

505 Marquette Ave. S., Mpls., 612-520-7686

Brasserie Zentral's skyway outpost is one of the best quick lunch options in town. Score cured salmon salad, warm and toasty panini sandwiches, hearty soups, and hot dogs wrapped in pretzels that defy the category. Continue Reading

$ | Bakery, Coffee House |

Caffe Biaggio

2356 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-917-7997

This small spot serves classic Italian fare. The regularly changing menu features pastas, salads, and antipasta. Continue Reading

$$$ | Italian |

California Pizza Kitchen

12489 Elm Creek Blvd., Maple Grove, 763-424-4890

Fans enjoy creative pizzas, pastas, and salads in a family-friendly environment. Continue Reading

$$ | Pizza |

Cambodia Cheng Heng

448 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-222-5577

This hole in the wall serves some of the best Southeast Asian food in town. Be sure to ask for the photo menu to help with unfamiliar Cambodian specialties. Continue Reading

$ | Vietnamese |

Camdi

1325 SE 4th St., Mpls., 612-331-4194

A Dinkytown staple for more than 20 years, Camdi is a family-run joint offering spring rolls, hot-and-sour soup, spicy prawns with lemongrass, plus several vegan options. Continue Reading

$ | Chinese, Vietnamese |

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Campiello

6411 City West Pkwy., Eden Prairie, 952-941-6868

This D'Amico trattoria is phenomenally refined for the moderate prices. People love its often superb Italian regional fare and relaxed, warm environment. Continue Reading

$$$$ | Italian |

A beer flight at Canal Park Brewery Duluth

Canal Park Brewery

300 Canal Park Dr., Duluth, 218-464-4790

This Duluth brewpub is fresh and friendly, serving well crafted beers alongside tasty tavern fare such as burgers, brats, pretzels, and of course shore lunch. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

Canoe Bay

Hogback Rd., Chetek, WI, 715-924-4594

Elegant regional American fare and superb wines are the order of the day at the Upper Midwest's only Relais and Chateaux member. The warm, Prairie-style dining room is welcoming and unpretentious. Continue Reading

$$$$ | American |

Cantina #1

Mall of America, Bloomington, 952-854-6500

Corona beer's Mexican restaurant at the Mall of America wants to be Mexican beach shack chic, with tacos and tortas and a big list of margaritas. Continue Reading

$$ | Mexican |

Cap's Grille

5000 Hiawatha Ave., Mpls., 612-722-2277

This casual café close to the LRT features some of the area's best barbecue: apple-wood-smoked spare ribs, chicken, and beef brisket. Continue Reading

$$ | Barbecue |