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May 16, 2007 03:07 PM

Minneapolis Restaurant Suggestions

Traveling to Minneapolis at the end of the month. Would love any interesting/fun restaurant suggestions...i love all kinds of food!

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  1. Great! Welcome! I suggest you read some of the threads on this page. Anything with [MSP] in the title is about the Twin Cities area. Please follow up with any questions about specific places that pique your interest.

    1. Al's Breakfast is a must! It's a 14-seat counter in an amazingly narrow building. Going to Al's is a theatrical as well as culinary experience. But expect a wait and don't go with more than three people.

      I recommend the wally blues (blueberry-walnut pancakes), eggs benedict, and the hash browns.'s...

      Enjoy your visit!

      10 Replies
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Another interesting/fun place to eat is the Midtown Global Market (Chicago Ave & E. Lake Street).

        There are lots of little food booths serving all types of food - burgers, Mexican, Somali, Middle Eastern, Nepali, Asian, Jamaican, and much more (including two sit-down restaurants).

        See these threads for some specific info on places and dishes:

        And if you need souvenirs or presents, check out the hand-harvested wild rice from Native Harvest, which is available at the Birchberry booth (you can also get it at the Wedge co-op).


        1. re: AnneInMpls

          Anne--I was just re-reading this post and it reminded me--the last time I was at Midtown Global Market (a few weeks ago), I'm pretty sure Birchberry, which used to be right next to Cafe Finspang, was gone! Whatever seems to have replaced was closed for the day and was all enclosed in that chain netting, but I stared and stared trying to figure out what, exactly, has replaced it (clothing booth??) and am convinced Birchberry is no longer there. I went to Midtown Global Market's website and don't see Birchberry listed there anymore either.

          Someone tell me I'm wrong. I loved shopping at that little place for gifts!


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            You know, I think you're right. There's now a Turkish/middle eastern pottery vendor right when you walk in the east doors. I don't know if Birchberry is gone or just moved though.

            Have you tried the little shop next to Maria's for American Indian goods? We found chokecherry jam there, they might also have other food products, I can't remember.

            1. re: katebauer

              No, I haven't been to that place, nor have I been to Maria's in spite of hearing how wonderful their pancakes are. Can you please remind me where it is?


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                If you like pancakes, make it over to Maria's. The batter is quite different from that of other breakfast places. I want to branch out from the mango pancakes, but can't bring myself to order something else.

                Their plantains are great too. However, they're not always on the menu. On the weekends, I think they're served on Saturdays and yucca is served on Sundays.

                Maria's Cafe
                1113 E Franklin Ave Ste 102, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                1. re: bob s

                  oh, bob s, you HAVE to try the corn pancakes. Have to have to have to. And get the little side dish of cotija cheese with 'em. Heavenly.

                  1. re: mcgeary

                    Here's the best plan for Maria's: Go on Saturday for lunch with one other person. Split the Saturday special and get an order of 2 corn pancakes. You get eggs, sausage, plantains, hm, maybe rice and beans, plus the pancakes. It's perfect for 2.

                    1. re: katebauer

                      don't forget to stop by franklin street bakery for goodies on the way home

                    2. re: mcgeary

                      Thanks for the reminder, mcgeary. I have had the corn pancakes. Quite yummy and a good alternative if you are not looking for a sweet-sweet pancake. But the mango cakes are still my favorite.

          2. re: AnneInMpls

            Hell's Kitchen is another breakfast must. the wild rice porridge is very unique!

          3. Where are you staying? Where are you coming from? Lots of good & fun spots here.

            1 Reply
            1. re: St Paul Susie

              I'm staying at the Nicolette Island Inn. From California...

            2. How many days will you be here, how many meals will you be eating out, what is your general price-range, and where are you staying (city/neighborhood)?

              1. Try Moscow On The Hill for Russian. Ask to sit in Chris's section. Good Russian food and a large vodka selection.


                You cannot visit MSP without going to Nye's Polonaise for dinner at least once. If Phil is working the back bar, stop there and have a drink or two before your dinner.


                8 Replies
                1. re: MIKELOCK34

                  Why? While Nye's is an experience, it's not a very good dinner.

                  1. re: Jordan

                    Because it is an institution and a fun evening. Do not see in my post where I said that the food was excellent. The original post asks for fun and interesting. When did Nye's stop being a fun place? I was there a few weeks ago and we had a great time.

                    1. re: MIKELOCK34

                      Nye's is a blast. Nye's is actually good food, if you're looking for a certain type of food - Polish. They do Polish food better than any other. As far as their regular cuisine goes, you're right that many other places do it better. One goes there either for Polish food, or for the experience.

                      I don't know how high up on my list Nye's would be, though. Esquire voted it to the best bars list last year, though.

                      1. re: pgokey

                        Although it's not strictly Polish, I would say the food at Kramarczuk's is a million times better than the food at Nye's. Their pirogies, among other things, actually have flavor. Whenever I'm at Nye's I wish they would just run across the street to Kramarczuk's for their ingredients. Then you could experience the fun atmosphere and food that actually tastes like something.

                        1. re: katebauer

                          I have to give Kramarczuk's a big, hearty endorsement. I haven't eaten there since they redid the dining side, but I love getting stuff from the meat market side. Terrific sausages. Even if the big K has better Polish food, I'll still endorse Nye's Polish dishes. To me, they are at least good enough to eat while taking in the festivities there. I'm not always about the best possible dish - I prefer to consider the whole package. Another upside - portions that are more than generous. Go hungry. I could be wrong (since I haven't dined in at Kramarczok's since the remodel) but it seems to me that Nye's menu is notably larger. They are sort of well known for their prime rib, too.

                          That said, I would tend to eat at Kramarczuk's or places like it for a meal before going to Nye's strictly for a meal. I usually don't eat at all when at Nye's. But if you want to eat while you're there, I think it's fine.

                          Best of both worlds? Eat at K, and then cross the street for drinks and polka when you're done.

                          1. re: katebauer

                            We enjoy Kramarczuk's too. I really like some of their sausages from the deli side.

                          2. re: pgokey

                            i'm not nuts about nye's food either-- kramarczuk's is far and away better-- taking in "the world's most dangerous polka band" with an app, shots of polish brandy & a couple of brews is one thing; however, eating a full meal at nye's can be a disappointment, and a high-priced one at that. as far as old-school supper clubs go, you can get a better, more interesting meal, chances are at a better price, certainly better service, at jax or the mote carlo or mancini's. stop by nye's for a drink and a turn at the piano bar--it IS an experience; but imo save your dining dollar & your appetite for a place that's had more than 1 or 2 menu changes in the past 20 years. . .

                            1. re: soupkitten

                              I'm in total agreement with soupkitten-Nye's is a shockingly overpriced and horribly mediocre place for dinner...even the Polish food. It is all about the piano bar, polka and drinks.