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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.

43 Restaurants found

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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 |

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 |

Wild Acres Turkey Burger at Be'Wiched Deli

Be'wiched Deli

800 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-767-4330

Kitchen mavens created this chef-driven deli. This North Loop counter-service spot is the go-to deli for high-end sandwiches plus freshly made soups and salads. Dinner is more adventurous with fuller plates. Continue Reading

$ | American, Deli |

Waffles at Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis

Birchwood Cafe

3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., 612-722-4474

Seward's favorite all-day counter-service spot has been refreshed with a cool but comfortable modern vibe. A destination for those seeking local, farm-fresh food, it now has an open and airy room with more seating, private dining, and a communal table. Continue Reading

$$ | Veg-Friendly |

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Brasa Rotisserie

600 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-379-3030

In the world of slow-roasted meats, Alex Roberts is king. At his Brasa, he serves up mouth-watering, Latino-influenced soul foods, such as rotisserie chicken, slow-roasted pork, grits, rice, beans, and sweet potatoes in a cool garage-minimal setting. Continue Reading

$$ | American, Latin American |

Huevos rancheros at Brasa Rotisserie

Brasa Rotisserie

777 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-1302

In the world of slow-roasted meats, Alex Roberts is king. At his Brasa, he serves up mouth-watering Latino-influenced soul foods, such as rotisserie chicken, slow-roasted pork, grits, rice, beans, and sweet potatoes in a cool, garage-minimal setting. Continue Reading

$$ | American, Latin American |

Brasserie Zentral in downtown Minneapolis | Photo by Caitlin Abrams

Brasserie Zentral

505 Marquette Ave. S., Mpls., 612-333-0505

Russell and Desta Klein of Meritage crossed into downtown Minneapolis with this old-world eatery focusing on fine plates of German, Austrian, and Central European dishes. Continue Reading

$$$ | Eastern European |

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 |

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 |

Chef Shack Ranch in Minneapolis, Minnesota | Photo by Eliesa Johnson

Chef Shack Bay City

W 6379 Main St., Bay City, 715-594-3060

The outstate Bay City version of the Chef Shack food trucks is worth the drive. Open seasonally, the restaurant is a charming spot with collected antiques and a refined but on-message menu: Food is locally sourced, prepared with skill and attention, and is humble and dazzling at the same time. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

Tacos at El Burrito Mercado

El Burrito Mercado

175 Cesar Chavez St., #2, St. Paul, 651-227-2192

The Twin Cities' essential Mexican market offers the area's best tamales, great carnitas, and superior braised dishes, such as pork in green chilies and chicken mole. Grab a quick lunch at the deli counter or have a seat in the full-service café at the St. Paul location. Continue Reading

$ | Mexican |

Steak cobb salad at Good Day Cafe

Good Day Cafe

5410 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley, 763-544-0205

If you count yourself among those who value great recipes, warm service, and a convivial atmosphere, count yourself a fan of the GDC and be prepared to wait. The bright, open, upscale diner delivers stellar pancakes, plus creative and classic lunches such as a killer Reuben or steak salad. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

Kobe brisket corned beef hash at Grande Cafe

Grand Café

3804 Grand Ave. S., Mpls., 612-822-8260

Grand Café is simultaneously a bohemian throwback with mismatched furniture, tarnished silver, and an ancient bread oven, and a fine contemporary neighborhood café whose star shines brighter than most. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Harry Singh's Caribbean

2653 Nicollet Ave., Mpls., 612-729-6181

A Twin Cities institution, Harry Singh's offers home-cooked Caribbean fare in big portions, softly priced, with a collection of scratch hot sauces that are some of the best in town. Continue Reading

$$ | Caribbean |

HauteDish

HauteDish

119 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-338-8484

Chef Landon Schoenefeld delivers tricked-out renditions of homey food. The menu, divided into First, Middle, and Last, offers all sorts of foodist fun, from General Tso's sweetbreads to a cube of fried chicken, while still managing a South Dakota steak house salad and a burger, most for less than $20. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Roasted celeriac with crimini mushrooms, chicken skin, parsley, and dill at Heyday restaurant

Heyday

2700 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-200-9369

One of the hottest restaurants to open in 2014, Heyday is a cool casual eatery where chef Jim Christiansen cooks modern, creative plates with focused flavors and seasonal ingredients. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

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Icehouse

2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls., 612-276-6523

The music is coming from this hot stage and restaurant on Eat Street. The warehouse vibe keeps the scene as edgy as the menu. Small snacky plates for drinkers and sassy creative cocktails for eaters. Sit at the back kitchen bar for the real show. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Jax Café

Jax Café

1928 University Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-789-7297

Jax's food, more often than not, is classic but up to date. And because it's out of the way for most of us, a meal at Jax just feels special. And it is. Continue Reading

$$$$ | Seafood, Steak |

Kopplin's Coffee

Kopplin's

2038 Marshall Ave., St. Paul, 651-698-0457

Kopplin's is ground zero for the local coffee movement, which means that it serves a mean cuppa joe. In comfortable digs on Marshall, there's a good authentic vibe to the place. Continue Reading

$ | Coffee House |

Pastrami at Kramarczuk's

Kramarczuk's

215 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-379-3018

This lunch institution serves huge sausages, roast-beef sandwiches, and imported bottles of beer. The deli features a world of homemade sausages and salamis, plus the crusty rolls they're meant to be eaten on. Continue Reading

$$ | Deli, Russian |

Dim sum at Mandarin Kitchen

Mandarin Kitchen

8766 Lyndale Ave. S., Bloomington, 952-884-5356

One of the best Chinese restaurants in town, specializing in Hong Kong-style seafood, which dominates the menu, but the traditional Cantonese favorites are also wonderful. A destination for dim sum brunch. Continue Reading

$$ | Chinese |

Steak at Manny's Steakhouse

Manny's Steakhouse

W Minneapolis—The Foshay, 825 Marquette Ave. S., Mpls., 612-339-9900

Manny's is, for many, the quintessential local steak experience. The steaks are great, the Neuske's thick-cut bacon appetizer is obnoxiously yummy, and the service is brimming with well-meaning swagger. Continue Reading

$$$$ | Steak |

A table of food at Marla's Caribbean Cuisine

Marla's Caribbean Cuisine

3761 Bloomington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-724-3088

Marla, Harry Singh's sister, is behind this intimate eatery serving Indian and Caribbean specialties, such as jerks and tandoori chicken as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Continue Reading

$$ | Caribbean, Indian |

Maine lobster with celery root gratin and saffron vanilla emulsion at Meritage

Meritage

410 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-222-5670

St. Paul's best French brasserie is a real charmer. Chef-owner Russell Klein and his wife, Desta, capture the feel and the flavors of an urbane French dining experience. From escargots and foie gras to the authentic cheese cart, you'll feel like you're in Paris. Continue Reading

$$$ | French |

Meatloaf at Modern Café

Modern Cafe

337 13th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-378-9882

Creative, eclectic comfort food is the order of the day, using local ingredients and a seasonal emphasis. The signature pot roast is known throughout town, though the meatloaf is just as good. And now you can add sassy cocktails to their accomplishments. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |