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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.

100 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 |

Salads from Sprout Salad Co. in downtown Minneapolis, MN

Sprout Salad Company

555 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-886-2723

Pick your ingredients and watch 'em chop and toss your salad for a fresh skyway lunch option. Continue Reading

$ | American |


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 |

Taste of Thailand

11 S. 7th St., Mpls., 612-333-0082

Mountainous portions at reasonable prices. Specialties include spring rolls, pad Thai, and pra ram long song (spinach, red curry-coconut sauce, and peanuts with meat or seafood). Continue Reading

$$ | Thai |

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

LaSalle Plaza, 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 the best in town. 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 |

The Shout House

110 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-337-6700

Dueling pianos take center stage at this raucous downtown bar where the drinks are big and the food is Southern tavern fare: chicken wings, shrimp and grits, po' boys and the like. Reservations are suggested, some nights there is a cover, and after the pianos start it's 21+. 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 from Lucas Almendinger. 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 and a modern, evolving menu on the main level restaurant known as Workshop by Stewart Woodman. Continue Reading

$$$ | American |


Vellee Deli

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

From food trucks 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 |

Vincent A Restaurant

Vincent A Restaurant

1100 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-630-1189

Four-star fare at three-star prices in a warm, minimalist room. Vincent Francoual's cuisine has a southern French accent but is contemporary, seasonal, and inspirational. The bar offers traditional French bistro dishes and a worthy stuffed burger. Continue Reading

$$$$ | French |

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 |