Minneapolis - Convention Center Suggestions
Welcome. First, I would start out with this thread:
When you get down to the debate about Bonfire Grill, you can pretty much stop reading as we start getting less useful at that point.
If I had four nights alone in downtown Minneapolis, I would hit the following (assuming a healthy expense account subsidy) for suppers:
112 Eatery (alone, no problems getting a seat at the bar without reservation. This, for me, is the quinessential solo business trip chow spot. Personally, I would be happy dining there four nights in a row or more
)La Belle Vie (alone on business, I would settle into the lounge. This is MSP's version of a Michelin-starred place)
Manny's (our best, albeit most expensive steak place meeting your steak requirement)
Chambers Kitchen (note...I haven't been there yet, but I'm a sucker for new widely anticipated places and this is our brand new Jean-Georges Vongerichten place. If you're operating on expense, that mitigates your risk of it being a dud).
All are within easy walking distance from the Convention Center.
MSP is a little weak in the Italian department. D'Amico Cucina is worthy, www.damico.com, but it's not the kind of place I'd want to go alone on business (I look for places you can sample super cuisine but feel relaxed and less conspicuously alone).
Hell's Kitchen by the Convention Center seems to be the consensus breakfast spot, although amid raves, you get an occasional strongly negative review. When that happens, I chalk it up to misaligned expectations. Keys Cafe downtown is another popular breakfast spot but more for absurdly large portions of standard diner comfort fare like 5 egg omelets and pancakes the size of a Hummer hubcap.
I would ask that another of us who works downtown direct you to the good coffee (at least a Dunn Brothers outlet).
Good luck and please let us know what you found.
You should note that the convention center is off to the side of the downtown grid and that most restaurants are 6-7 blocks away from the convention center.
Good steak can be found near the Minneapolis Convention Center at Manny's (located in the Hyatt at 13th and Nicollet).
I don't have a recommendation for good Italian that is really close to the convention center itself, but would recommend D'Amico Cucina at 6th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue North (in Butler Square just next to Target Center).
particularly recommend it if you have an expense account.
My other suggestions for a good "foodie" place nearby is Vincent (French Cuisine), located at 12th and Nicollet.
A little further away (but within walking distance) is Cafe Lurcat, which is at the far end of Loring Park (1624 Harmon Place - which is one of the strets bordering the park.) Loring Park is probably safe, but walking through it at night depends on your comfort level. You may prefer to walk up to Hennepin Avenue, which is better lit, and then walk down the street and follow Hennepin around the corner by the Basilica to Lurcat.
Other nearby places include Masa ("High End" Mexican - haven't tried it - Nicollet between 10th and 11th), and Willie's (1100 Harmon; again - haven't tried it).
Also, 14th and Nicollet is at the top of "Eat Street" which is the name for an area of about 15 blocks of Nicollet that have various ethnic restaurants.
A map of downtown Minneapolis (with the convention center at the bottom) can be found at: http://www.minneapolis.org/travelinfo...
Walk to Nicollet Mall, hop a bus going west (south? southwest? - towards the larger addresses, anyway), and get off anyplace after 24th St. You're now on Eat Street. Go anywhere, especially Quang (Vietnamese), Peninsula (Malaysian), Christo's (pretty good Greek), or Pho Tau Bay (more Vietnamese). None of these places is fancy. (If you want fancy, I second the recommendations for 112 and Vincent's.)
I wouldn't, however, walk between Nicollet and the convention center at night, unless I was with other people.
Have a great time!
Anne, you sound like my mother-in-law with directions. =)
The "Eat Street" portion of Nicollet Avenue is south from the Convention Center, starting in earnest at around 20th Avenue, save for the cluster of places just behind the facility (Ping's, Salsa a la Salsa, Jerusalem, Market BBQ, etc.). I agree with Anne not to walk -- the section between I-94 and 20th would feel uncomfortable to an out-of-towner walking alone even though in reality it's not that bad.
Referencing Davydd's post, "Nicollet Mall" and the places he mention are walking "up" (north into the heart of downtown) from the Convention Center. That will be obvious the minute you enter town.
Down, up...down just sounds better. More "downtown". Yes it is obvious since Nicollet Mall is the Mall and Nicollet Avenue is a street, just a street. Is it up or down. It could be across since downtown is on a skew off the north and south axis. :)
The problem with walking to "Eat Street" 20th and beyond is you have to walk through 7 blocks of not so pleasant an area and definitely not alone. I would have no problem on Nicollet Mall down to about 7th. Walking Hennepin Avenue gets a little dicey.
If you want to get away from the captive convention center hot dog for lunch Staccato on Marquette between 11th and 12th a block away is the closest place and can be reached by skyway. Also many restaurants in the Hyatt are just a block or two away by skyway. A hike on the skyways will also get you to many other places in downtown Minneapolis without going outside. As for walking down Nicollet Mall go over to the Hyatt and then head down. There are lots of restaurants starting with the Oceanaire at the Hyatt, then Brits Pub, Vincent, Masa, The Dakota, Newsroom, Hell's Kitchen, The Local, McCormack & Schmick's, and Zelo all within a few blocks.