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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.

109 Restaurants found

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Poached lobster with kale, tortellini, saffron romesco, and sorrel at La Belle Vie

La Belle Vie

510 Groveland Ave., Mpls., 612-874-6440

James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee's sophisticated but recognizable Mediterranean fare remains superlative, offered in tasting menus. The dining room is the standard for fine dining locally, but the adjacent lounge offers delectable small bites, creative cocktails, and a more casual scene. Continue Reading

$$$$ | American, French |

Mancini's Char House

531 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-224-7345

For 50 years, Mancini's has been the swank steak house of West 7th. Grab a cocktail, tuck into one of the high-backed booths, and relive the glory days. Continue Reading

$$$$ | Steak |

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 |

Pozole at Masa

Masa

1070 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-338-6272

This stylish cantina's menu includes not only taqueria standards but also classic dishes culled from the family recipes of executive chef Saul Chavez. The authenticity level is notable, and service meets the high D'Amico standard. Continue Reading

$$$$ | Mexican |

Masu Sushi & Robata

Masu Sushi & Robata

330 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-332-6278

Everything gets a little flashier when Masu moves in, what with all the bright Japanese art, pachinko machines, and sushi, robata, and ramen. It's a chef-focused menu that reads at a much higher level than your average strip-mall sushi. Continue Reading

$$ | Japanese |

Masu Sushi & Robata

Masu Sushi & Robata

Mall of America, Bloomington, 952-896-6278

Everything gets a little flashier when Masu moves in, what with all the bright Japanese art, pachinko machines, and sushi, robata, and ramen. It's a chef-focused menu that reads at a much higher level than your average strip-mall sushi. Continue Reading

$$ | Japanese |

Matt's Bar

Matt's Bar

3500 Cedar Ave., Mpls., 612-722-7072

In burger legend and lore, there is a special place for Matt's Jucy Lucy. What's basically a south Minneapolis corner dive complete with a jukebox, vinyl wallpaper, and cheap beer has become an iconic haunt. Continue Reading

$$ | Burgers |

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 |

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 |

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 |

Nye's Polonaise Room

Nye's Polonaise Room

112 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-379-2021

Nye's is the epicenter of all cool in Nordeast. It's a rite of passage for drinkers and singers who love the sing-along piano bar. It's organically hip, except for the food, which is classic Polish. Soak it all up with pierogis and old-school steak house chops. Continue Reading

$$$ | European, Steak |

On's Kitchen

1613 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-644-1444

On's is not for the timid traveler, but the wise foodist will know that frills do not a great Thai restaurant make. Fresh ingredients, home country recipes, and a love of spice and flavor make this one of the best places to eat real Thai food in town. Continue Reading

$ | Thai |

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Origami

1354 Lagoon Ave., Mpls., 612-223-8666

The North Loop location is small, elegant, and among the most revered sushi bars in the Twin Cities. The chefs are delighted to discuss their daily specialties or create special rolls. Uptown is sleeker and more modern. Continue Reading

$$$ | Japanese |

Sushi at Origami

Origami

30 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-333-8430

The North Loop location is small, elegant, and among the most revered sushi bars in the Twin Cities. The chefs are delighted to discuss their daily specialties or create special rolls. Uptown is sleeker and more modern. Continue Reading

$$$ | Japanese |

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 |

Hainanese Steamed Chicken at Peninsula

Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine

2608 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls., 612-871-8282

Malaysian food incorporates some of the best aspects of Thai, Indian, and Chinese cuisines, and there's no better place to sample it than at this notably handsome and very authentic Eat Street restaurant. Continue Reading

$$ | Asian |

Roasted heirloom carrots with foie-radish puree, duck fat powder, and smoked cheese at Piccolo

Piccolo

4300 Bryant Ave. S., Mpls., 612-827-8111

This tiny, polished neighborhood place is a serious foodie destination; each small plate is packed with ambition. Chef Doug Flicker's food is tasty, interesting, and beautifully orchestrated. Count on ordering a few wee winsome items to make a meal. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

A luscious meaty pie from Pig Ate My Pizza

Pig Ate My Pizza

4154 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale, 763-535-1131

In the former bones of Travail, this cutting-edge pizzeria has risen from the same band of merry cooks. Your pizza might have pork, it might have a smoke-filled dome, it might be covered in potato salad, and that's the fun. Continue Reading

$ | American, Pizza |

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Pizzeria Lola

5557 Xerxes Ave. S., Mpls., 612-424-8338

Modern, sleek, and anchored by a gleaming copper oven, Pizzeria Lola is cranking out creative, high-quality pies with great ingredients like La Quercia prosciutto, guanciale, and soft-cooked eggs. Bonus: soft-serve ice cream with olive oil and salt! Continue Reading

$$ | Pizza |

Toto at Punch Neapolitan Pizza

Punch Neapolitan Pizza

210 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-623-8114

The area's definitive authentic Neapolitan pizzas combine a thin crust, a modest amount of toppings, and a luscious San Marzano tomato sauce to make a restrained but satisfying pie. Full service in Highland Park, counter service everywhere else. Continue Reading

$ | Pizza |

Toto at Punch Neapolitan Pizza

Punch Neapolitan Pizza

1313 Wayzata Blvd. E., Wayzata, 952-476-7991

The area's definitive authentic Neapolitan pizzas combine a thin crust, a modest amount of toppings, and a luscious San Marzano tomato sauce to make a restrained but satisfying pie. Full service in Highland Park, counter service everywhere else. Continue Reading

$ | Pizza |