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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.

96 Restaurants found

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SkyWater Cuisine & Cocktails

Hilton, 1001 Marquette Ave., Mpls., 612-397-4927

Hilton's renovated lobby restaurant has local art and offers a spin on Midwestern cuisine, utilizing regional ingredients in some dishes. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Outdoor dining at Spoonriver


750 S. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-436-2236

Brenda Langton's modern eatery is a chic place to sip exotic cocktails and dine on creative, seasonal, locally raised, chef-driven fare within a stone's throw of the Guthrie Theater. Innovative flavors and a focus on non-meat offerings are hallmarks here. Continue Reading

$$$ | American, Veg-Friendly |


708 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-338-6393

Menu includes steak, salads, ribs, chicken, pastas, and seafood. Offers dinner-and-show packages with the Acme Comedy Co. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |

Juicy buns at Tea House

Tea House Chinese Restaurant

330 S. 2nd Ave., skyway, Mpls., 612-343-2133

Ask for the special Sichuan menu—that's where all the good stuff is. Superb fish soup, cold Sichuan noodles, chung king spicy chicken, cucumbers in spicy sauce, and shredded pork in garlic sauce are all outstanding. Continue Reading

$ | Chinese |

The Bulldog

1111 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-339-0638

The Bulldogs are cool watering holes with great beer (sometimes a Belgian emphasis) and great kicked-up bar food. Each location has a similar menu but its own vibe. Continue Reading

$$ | American, Burgers |

The Burger Place

220 S. 6th St., Ste. 215, Mpls., 612-338-1213

A popular skyway spot for lunch burgers. Continue Reading

$ | Burgers |


The Capital Grille

801 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-692-9000

The one chain steak house that can compete with food-focused restaurants for quality and creativity. Go for the Delmonico rib eye and wonderful creamed spinach. Continue Reading

$$$$ | Steak |

The Local

The Local

931 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-904-1000

The downtown crowd's authentic Irish pub offers a great array of ales and a menu of well-prepared American fare with an Irish twist. This hot after-work spot is worthy of all the buzz. Continue Reading

$$ | American, Irish |

The Loon Café

500 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-332-8342

This Warehouse District sports bar institution features six kinds of chili, as well as burgers, salads, sandwiches, barbecue, and Mexican items. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

The Melting Pot

80 S. 9th St., Mpls., 612-338-9900

There's an all-fondue menu of four-course feasts, as well as other items, including filet mignon, shrimp, sirloin, lobster tails and a vegetarian option. Also cheese and chocolate fondues. Continue Reading

$$$$ | American |

The News Room

The News Room

990 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-343-0073

This newspaper-themed restaurant offers creative American fare: salads, sandwiches, pastas, and entrées. Continue Reading

$$$ | American, Wine Bar |

The Oak Grill

Macy's, 700 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-375-2938

The Minneapolis flagship's signature dining room is known for its kindly service, paneling, wonderful popovers, and decades of great memories. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

50 S. 6th St., Mpls., 612-333-2277

Though the space isn't as cool or swank as it used to be, the fish is still flown in fresh, the portions generous, and the crab cake stellar. Happy hour has become a popular pastime. Continue Reading

$$$$ | Seafood |


The Old Spaghetti Factory

233 Park Ave., Mpls., 612-341-0949

An old-time pasta house menu offering spaghetti eight ways, plus complete meal options (includes entrée, salad, bread, beverage, and spumoni) at low prices. Continue Reading

$$ | Italian |

Interior of Pourhouse restaurant in Minneapolis

The Pourhouse

10 S. 5th St., Mpls., 612-843-2555

The Lumber Exchange Building has this speakeasy-themed bar with multiple levels, a live music stage, secret rooms, and an American menu of typical bar fare. Continue Reading

$$ | American |

A table at The Third Bird in Minneapolis | Photo by Caitlin Abrams

The Third Bird

1612 Harmon Place, Mpls., 612-767-9495

Sitting quietly, almost secretly on the edge of Loring Park, Third Bird's front door is actually through the back alley. Maybe that's why it feels like a clubhouse for those who know about the eclectic, thoughtful menu. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |



731 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-455-6690

The retractable glass roof restaurant has a playful modern American menu in place on its rooftop. Happy hours are quite popular. Main level dining is now offering a bar & grill menu of modern tavern fare such as pulled pork nachos, house smoked ribs, burgers, and the like. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |


Vellee Deli

Baker Ctr., 109 S. 7th St., Mpls., 763-350-2994

From food truck to skyway spot, Vellee Deli is as kicky as ever with its signature blend of Asian and Mexican flavors—think kim chi short ribs or curried chicken in a burrito. Continue Reading

$ | Asian, Mexican |

Wasabi Fusion Restaurant

903 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-339-6688

Though the menu proclaims fusion fare, there are more traditional items than not. Sushi rolls get a little creative under the chef's eye, and there's hibachi seating. Continue Reading

$$ | French, Japanese |



831 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-333-7000

Downtown Minneapolis's Italian sensation. Zelo features a stunning room, rollicking bar, and creative menu of vaguely Midwesternized Italian fare. Continue Reading

$$$ | Italian |

Zen Box Izakaya

Zen Box Izakaya

602 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-332-3936

This cute little Japanese restaurant/pub woos Guthrie-goers with bento boxes, ramen bowls, and traditional dishes that satisfy without sushi. A nice selection of Japanese beers to boot. Continue Reading

$$ | Japanese |