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Twin Cities Restaurants for Adults

Can anyone recommend a few restaurants in the Twin Cities area that cater to adults? My husband and I have been to many wonderful establishments, only to have our dinner conversation overshadowed by crying children, parents that pace with their children repeatedly past our table, and children racing around a restaurant when they are bored by their parents' conversation. We've tried dining later in the evening (usually after 8:30pm) and often still encounter families with young children.

Kids are great and all, and there are many restaurants where I don't mind dining with kids, but there should be some places that are for adults - or at least after a certain hour.

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  1. In St. Paul, Zander on Selby, W.A. Frost on Selby, Heartland on St. Clair (at Fairview), A Rebours St. Peter St.

    Do any of these fit your requirements?


    1. Thanks for the suggestions! We've only tried Zander and did have a good time. We've been meaning to try A Rebours, so will try that one next.

      1. What kind of food are you looking for?

        Ever since I swore off of all chains (and casual dining/sports bars) I've been really surprised at how few restaurants I see with kids.

        1. We like everything from various ethnic cuisines (Ethiopian, Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, etc) to patty melts and french fries. We also try to avoid chains, and agree that we do tend to have somewhat better luck.

          1. I don't suspect many kids have crossed through the doors of La Belle Vie. Same with Fugaise, Cosmos or the "Dining Room" of Five. I suppose when you want to avoid kids, you can simply pay for the privilege.

            By the way, if you ever want a scenic drive and guaranteed kid-free experience (whole weekend or just dinner), Canoe Bay in Chetek, Wisconsin doesn't even allow kids on their entire 280 acre property. The cuisine is outstanding, wine program spectacular and the accommodations are renowned.

            1. Restaurant Alma on University Ave. in Mpls is a great place for a unique and delicious adult style meal. Auriga in Mpls on Hennepin Ave. is another good one, as is Downtowner Woodfire Grill in downtown St. Paul (sorry, can't remember the street)

              D'Castellanos just off of Centerville Rd. (Vadnais Heights- 35E and Cty Rd. 96, go West off the exit) in the strip mall behind the Cub Foods is a great place for some good Mexican food, although there is a tiny little unknown in Forest Lake called Don Julios that serves THE BEST Mexican food and has the best, most courteous and attentive wait staff I have ever known. It's cheap and good and fresh. Another good place in the North suburbs is Tria, West off the Cty Rd J exit on 35E on the border of North Oaks and Lino Lakes

              Ethiopian- The Blue Nile on Franklin Ave in Mple

              There is a great Nepalese restaurant, I think it is called Grand Nepal? It's one Grand Ave across from Kowalskis Market. I have only been there for lunch but it is wonderful.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cooknKate

                While good suggestions for "adult foods", aside from Alma and Auriga, the OP is likely to encounter kids at those places; specifically what she is seeking to avoid. I'm not 100% sure, but I think I've brought my kids to Everest on Grand (the Nepali place) and I know I've seen families at Downtowner Woodfire Grill, especially if there's an event at the X.

                More ideas along the ethnic lines which I missed earlier (Asian at least): 20.21, Origami, Nami, Sakura, and Tanpopo probably scare off most non-chowhound parents due to the perception that there would be nothing for kids to eat there. I don't recall ever seeing kids, including my own, at any of those.

                I would also consider places like 112 Eatery and Town Talk Diner. You will probably encounter a kid or two but they're loud/lively enough that it wouldn't distract from the excellent food.

              2. Downtowner is on west 7th - a few blocks away from the xcel. and is excellent.

                Zander is off my list - past 2 times have been horrible.

                I'd 2nd heartland - while I don't eat there a lot I do visit the wine bar and I walk past the rest...never seen a kid there ever.

                1. RE: Zander. Oh no! Say it ain't so. Did you (would you please) post a "downhill" alert here to share your experiences with us? It has been several months since I was there, but, it was still a terrific experience. What's gone wrong?


                  1. TDQ - I'm new here - should I start a new thread with an alert? If not.....

                    We haven't been back in many months (which was their last chance after avoiding it for months) and it hadn't improved.

                    food quality horrid, service was a joke.

                    was our top spot in st paul for years. Quite past its prime.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: St Paul Susie

                      Hey there, welcome! I'm relatively new to the Midwest board, too, though I've been posting on CH for awhile. Please don't feel you "have" to do anything but, often, if a place is going "downhill" people (at least on the other CH boards) will make a separate post along the lines of "Restaurant X, Downhill Alert?" then describe their experiences, the dishes they ordered, how long ago that was, how many times, specifically how the meal(s) fell short of their expectations (too dry, not balanced, wilted lettuce) etc, so that people can be aware that the restaurant may be slipping. If you search on "downhill" you'll probably get all kinds of examples of such posts. But, please just do whatever you're comfortable with. We're happy to hear from you either way!