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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.

44 Restaurants found

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Gnocchi with cauliflower and orange

Bar La Grassa

800 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-333-3837

Still clicking and packing them in, BLG feeds stylish eaters with innovative pastas and Italian dishes created with amazing ingredients. Sit at the counter and watch the action of a James Beard Award-winning kitchen. Continue Reading

$$$ | Italian |

The bar at Barrio | photo by Caitlin Abrams

Barrio

925 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-333-9953

Barrio is a darkly hip tequila bar packed with irreverent decor and beautiful people. Tequila and mezcal dominate the drinks list, and the menu is stacked with finely crafted but nicely priced Mexican bar nosh. Continue Reading

$$ | Mexican |

The bar at Barrio | photo by Caitlin Abrams

Barrio

235 E. 6th St., St. Paul, 651-222-3250

Barrio is a darkly hip tequila bar. The spaces are packed with irreverent décor and beautiful people. Tequila and mezcal dominate the drinks list, and the menu is stacked with finely crafted Mexican bar nosh: small plates, bigger dishes, plus tacos and enchiladas under $7. Continue Reading

$$ | Mexican |

The bar at Barrio | photo by Caitlin Abrams

Barrio

5036 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-920-1860

Barrio is a darkly hip tequila bar packed with irreverent décor and beautiful people. Tequila and mezcal dominate the drinks list, and the menu is stacked with finely crafted but nicely priced Mexican bar nosh. Continue Reading

$$$ | Latin American, Mexican |

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 |

Black Sheep Pizza

Black Sheep Pizza

512 N. Robert St., St. Paul, 651-227-4337

Black Sheep's coal-fired crusts are beautiful, and there's magic in the variety of fresh, robust toppings. The beer list will please any geek and salads change daily. The new Eat Street location has an expanded grill menu. Continue Reading

$$ | Pizza |

Black Sheep Pizza

Black Sheep Pizza

600 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-342-2625

Black Sheep's coal-fired crusts are beautiful, and there's magic in the variety of fresh, robust toppings. The beer list will please any geek and salads change daily. The new Eat Street location has an expanded grill menu. Continue Reading

$$ | Pizza |

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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 |

Lasagna di spinaci at Broders' Cucina

Broders' Cucina Italiana

2308 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-925-3113

The Broder family's creative take on an Italian salumeria/deli is without peer locally. It's a takeout temple with a few tables, offering pizzas, fresh pastas, imported meats and cheeses, salads, breads, and desserts. Delivery available. Continue Reading

$ | Deli, Italian |

Broders' Pasta Bar

Broders' Pasta Bar

5000 Penn Ave. S., Mpls., 612-925-9202

An iconic neighborhood restaurant, the Pasta Bar was cranking fresh pasta long before the current batch of upstarts. Simple and honest, the meals here are always comforting and satisfying, keeping it fresh and innovative with daily specials. No reservations. Continue Reading

$$ | Italian |

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 burger from Casper's and Runyon's Nook

Casper's & Runyon's Nook

492 Hamline Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-698-4347

The St. Paul leg of the Juicy Lucy triumvirate (along with Matt's and 5-8), this little slip of a bar is newly refreshed but still serves some of the best fries in town, a great burger, and what may be the definitive oozing cheeseburger experience. Don't be surprised to wait. Continue Reading

$ | Burgers |

Five-spice garlic shrimp at Gandhi Mahal

Gandhi Mahal

3009 27th Ave., Mpls., 612-729-5222

The menu is full of traditional dishes, and an entire section is dedicated to a "strict Gandhian diet" (read: vegetarian), but it offers some interesting twists on old classics. Check out the lassi sampler to stretch your yogurt drink boundaries. Continue Reading

$$ | Indian |

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 |

A spread at Grand Szechuan in Bloomington

Grand Szechuan

10602 France Ave. S., Bloomington, 952-888-6507

Grand Szechuan is tops for Szechuan, whether you seek the heat or something a bit tamer. Don't let the humble location fool you, the food is well crafted. Continue Reading

$$ | Chinese |

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 |

Burgers at Heartland Restaurant in St. Paul | photo by Caitlin Abrams

Heartland Restaurant

289 E. 5th St., St. Paul, 651-699-3536

Lenny Russo's essentially local restaurant showcases the best of Midwestern modern cuisine. The soaring space offers three kitchen tables, private dining, an in-house butcher shop, and a gourmet market where you can pick up the goods he cooks with. 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 |

Krungthep Thai

Krungthep Thai Cuisine

2523 Nicollet Ave., Mpls., 612-874-7721

Owners of the popular Bangkok Thai deli also own this Minneapolis outpost on Eat Street. Expect the same great authentic Thai recipes that make this a standout in the metro. Continue Reading

$$ | Thai |

Grilled lamb burgers 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 |

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 |

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 |