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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.

47 Restaurants found

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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 |

Monello

1115 2nd Ave. S., Mpls., 612-353-6207

Hotel Ivy's restaurant is a slice of coastal Italy in the hands of chef Mike DeCamp, from the menu full of fresh crudo to the gilded interior. Head to the basement for the darkly cool cocktail bar, Constantine. Continue Reading

$$$$ | Italian |

Diners at moto-i

moto-i

2940 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-821-6262

Besides being the only sake brewpub outside of Japan, moto-i has really come into its own as a Japanese izakaya with ramen, whole fish, a crazy brunch menu, and one of the more zen rooftops in town. Continue Reading

$$ | Asian |

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Nighthawks/Birdie

3753 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls., 612-248-8111

Landon Schoenefeld turns his attention to old-fashioned scratch diner food, with classics like chicken noodle soup and pancakes served all day at this approachable Kingfield spot. Birdie, his ticketed chef's table, offers one seating with around 12 courses of edgy small plates. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

Northeast Social

Northeast Social

359 13th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-877-8111

The small menu reads like a chef's dinner party and features generous plates of thoughtful, seasonal fare. With its snappy soundtrack, friendly wait staff, and urbane neighborhood vibe, it's a great place to meet friends. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

A pastry chef at Patisserie 46

Patisserie 46

4552 Grand Ave. S., Mpls., 612-354-3257

John Kraus's serious bakery makes breads, pastries, and treats with traditional European technique. This is an island of adult refinement in a world awash with frilly cupcakes. Continue Reading

$ | Bakery |

Mussels with pork and beer at Pat's Tap

Pat's Tap

3510 Nicollet Ave., Mpls., 612-822-8216

Kim Bartmann turned a crusty old dive bar into a shiny new dive bar with Pat's Tap. It's a gastropub with skee-ball in the back, beers and bourbon at the bar, and burgers and charcuterie from the kitchen. Continue Reading

$$ | American, Burgers |

A baker making loaves of bread at Rustica Bakery Minneapolis | Photo by Eliesa Johnson

Rustica Bakery

3220 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-822-1119

Rustica bakes some of the metro's best artisan breads, not to mention cookies of wonder. Dogwood has brought along great coffee, and thrilling soups and sandwiches finally make this a place worth a few of your hours. Continue Reading

$ | Bakery, Coffee House |

Saint Dinette

261 E. 5th St., St. Paul, 651-800-1415

A compact, just-above-street-level spot, with ties to The Strip Club, sits kitty-corner to the St. Paul Farmers' Market and serves fresh bistro dishes with a wide range. Cocktails are beautiful, dishes are friendly and expertly executed, and the burger is heaven sent. Continue Reading

$$ | Global |

Plates of food at Spoon and Stable | Photo by Caitlin Abrams

Spoon and Stable

211 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-224-9850

The hottest restaurant in the hot North Loop neighborhood is Gavin Kaysen’s. Modern American plates are served up in a stylish spot that hits all the right notes of upscale comfort. The place is jam-packed, the bar is well-attended at all hours, and the brunch luxurious. S&S is the new top dog. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Sun Street Breads

Sun Street Breads

4600 Nicollet Ave., Mpls., 612-354-3414

Solveig Tofte bakes up all kinds of innovative loaves at her bakery and manages to woo the neighborhood with tasty biscuit sandwiches, sourdough flapjacks, porchetta sandwiches, and kolacky to boot. Continue Reading

$ | American, Bakery |

The Happy Gnome

The Happy Gnome

498 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-287-2018

Beer lovers like good food too, you know. The Happy Gnome serves up 70 crafts and taps and some 400 bottles of beer, with a nice selection of hard-to-find labels and cultish Belgians. Balance your evening with an eclectic menu that is chef-driven and changes seasonally. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

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The Kenwood

2115 W. 21st St., Mpls., 612-377-3695

Chef Don Saunders owns this little neighborhood charmer serving chef-driven food, including brunch every day so you can have your eggs and eat them too. Dinner is a bigger affair with plates of accessible, seasonal goodness cooked with classic technique. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Wild Acres duck with pickled chilis, leeks, ginger, and turnips in miso broth at The Strip Club

The Strip Club

378 Maria Ave., St. Paul, 651-793-6247

Chef J. D. Fratzke cooks a meaty menu comprised of small plates and a short list of mains that includes the eponymous grilled New York strip offered with a choice of seven sauces. The bar scene is home-spun but the cocktails are top-notch. Continue Reading

$$$$ | American, Steak |

Chefs in the kitchen at Tilia in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tilia

2726 W. 43rd St., Mpls., 612-354-2806

This tiny restaurant is the culmination of a lifetime's work for chef Steven Brown. The clean, intimate space is anchored by an open kitchen where the chef and his team cook modern American food with focused flavors. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Grilled shishito peppers stuffed with ham, goat cheese, lemon, and rosemary at Travail

Travail/The Rookery

4124 Broadway Ave. W., Robbinsdale, 763-535-1131

A fearless approach in the kitchen translates to a nontraditional and totally memorable dining experience. The mandatory tasting menu puts you in the hands of the chefs, but sister kitchen The Rookery, which shares the building, allows you some ordering autonomy. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Pancakes at Victor's 1959 Café

Victor's 1959 Café

3756 Grand Ave. S., Mpls., 612-827-8948

The memorabilia-filled Cuban café serves one of the most memorable breakfasts around: mango or banana pancakes, yuca and eggs, a sweet plantain omelet. For dinner check out the Picadillo a la Cubana or the ropa vieja. Continue Reading

$$ | Caribbean |

Entrees and wine at Victor's on Water in Excelsior, MN

Victor's on Water

205 Water St., Excelsior, 952-474-8879

Excelsior has welcomed Victor's with packed seats, and why not? The Italian food being made by chef Philip Becht and his team is fresh, seasonal, and beautifully made with a reverence for vegetables. The bolognese is outstanding, as are the crisp-crust pizzas and gnocchi. Continue Reading

$$$ | Italian |

Victory 44

Victory 44

2203 44th Ave. N., Mpls., 612-588-2228

A hot foodie destination, Victory 44 brings eaters to north Minneapolis for food that uses local and fresh ingredients crafted with high-end technique; the overall effect is familiar and delicious. From the Perfect Burger to amazing fried chicken, it feels like a neighborhood joint, just with better food. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

W.A. Frost and Company patio | Photo by Caitlin Abrams

W.A. Frost & Company

374 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-5715

A landmark location and creative cuisine make W.A. Frost one of the best in St. Paul. Whether it's burgers on the stunning patio in summer or the six-course tasting menu next to one of the roaring fireplaces in winter, Frost is a singular experience. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

World Street Kitchen

World Street Kitchen

2743 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-424-8855

The food truck that became a quick-serve is by far one of the most exciting new places to eat. Globally creative food like the Bangkok burrito, the Moroccan fried chicken, and the Yum Yum bowl are all worth seeking. Continue Reading

$$ | Global |