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[MSP] Best restaurant from which to watch Holidazzle Parade

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[Chowhound Challenge of the Week]

Well ... the parents are coming for Christmas (from San Jose), and my mom ran into someone from Minneapolis who said that the ABSOLUTE best thing to do in Minneapolis in December is to make a reservation on the _second_ floor of a restaurant on Nicollet and watch the Holidazzle parade. So now, my mom is totally fixated on doing this.

Please Chowhound, where can I eat that will give my mother her desired parade-watching experience and give my wife and I a good meal? It has to be on the second floor of a restaurant on Nicollet and have tables near a window that overlooks the mall ... I am too unfamiliar with downtown to know this.

Oh.... and my father is deathly allergic to MSG. Ha!

Vincent?
Brit's?
Zelo?

Josh

PS. My apologies if this post just caused the chowishness meter of the Midwest board to peg the left end.

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  1. The only place I can think of with a second floor (with somewhat of a view of Nicollet) is Brits, but even that is a heavily obstructed view as you must look over the lofted second floor, past the bar, through the windows, and past the sidewalk. Other than that, I cannot think of another second floor dining room on the mall.

    The best first floor views I can think of would likely be had at:

    -McCormick & Schmick's bar booths against the windows (you'll need to part the little drapes)
    -Zelo bar tables or window seats in the dining room
    -Masa (my pick)
    -Brits main bar or Long Room tables
    -Vincent dining room near windows

    I imagine you'll want to make reservations for those tables nearest the windows at least a few days in advance.

    Or do what we do and drink 2 for 1 irish coffees at the Local, go out the front door for the parade, then out to dinner. Holidazzle just isn't the same if you're not freezing your holiday tush off ;)

    1. Your mom ran into a person whose recollection is "imagination enhanced."

      Second floor vantage points are great for people who don't like the cold or can't see over the crowds, and who don't mind missing the music. Most of those locations are in the skyways.

      Foureyes137 is right -- about the only restaurant on the mall with an upper floor is Brits Pub, and the view angle is not so great.

      1. I was sitting in the "News Room" (10th and Nicollet) next to the window a week ago during the parade on a weekday and had a perfect view of the parade. The food is average- but eatable. Had to get there at 5:30 to get the window table.

        1. I had dinner Saturday night at Zelo during the parade. You will only be able to see the top of the large floats as they pass. Due to the people standing outside the rest of the view was obstructed.

          1. There are no second floor views that I am aware of. Brits second floor is set way too far back. Street views are going to be severely blocked by people on the street. You can watch inside from several of the skyways over Nicollet Mall. We were down there Sunday and we ate an hour before the parade and then went outside to watch it. All the fast food places nearby (Potbelly, Cosi, etc.) were closed. What really surprised me was Lyon's Pub on 6th was also closed. We settled for Applebees in Block E, sat down at 5:30 and got out of there in time for the parade. We had our 1-1/2 year old grandson with us. Forget Macy's 8th Floor Mary Poppins exhibit unless you go very early.