dining in downtown Minneapolis
I'm an LA chowhound who will be in Minneapolis next week, staying downtown, without a car. What are my options for food? I like almost all ethnic food (sushi, mexican, thai, etc.) -- and I will be on a modest expense account - really the only thing I wouldn't be interested in is a steakhouse or somewhere that specializes in red meat/pork (i.e., BBQ) since I am not a big meat eater. Is going outside of downtown feasible in terms of taking a taxi (would it be easy to get one back to my hotel?). I have been to some places in Minneapolis before, such as Acquavit (which I gather has closed) and Chino Latino (when had access to car, not my favorite except for the drinks).
thanks in advance for your recommendations!
Chai's on Cedar - Thai ($5 cab from downtown)
Jasmine or Quang on Nicollet - Viet ($5 cab or $1.50 bus)
Origami - Sushi (1st Ave & 1st St)
Blue Nile - Ethiopian ($5 cab, you'd have to transfer via bus, so cab it)
Gorditas el Gordo or Hacienda - Southern Mexican (take the light rail to Lake St Station, walk east)
112 - American Comfort
Manny's - Steaks
Oceanaire - Oysters
La Belle Vie (cab it) - Fine Dining and Gastro-Lounge
Cosmos - New American
Masa - Higher-end Mexican
Solera - Tapas
Hell's Kitchen - Breakfast
Cucina - Fine Dining Italian
Saffron - Med/N. African Fine(r) Dining
Bombay Bistro - South Indian (it's ok)
Ike's - Burger/Supper Club
Spoonriver - Healthy Local American
If you're going to go to the bother of leaving downtown, hit Alma, Broders, Corner Table, Fugaise, Maude, Craftsman, Town Talk or any of the other good local places in Minneapolis.
Depends on one's definition of "modest". Methinks modest by LA standards is not in the ballpark of modest by MPLS standards. Even with wine, you can come in under $100 per person, which in my business is modest. In the lounge at LBV, you can have a full meal with wine for $40.
To KT's point, is this your per diem or expensed business dinners? Might change where you'd like to try.
The new Ethiopian place on Franklin is the Kilimanjaro Cafe. I'm not sure if it's a branch of the one on Cedar Ave, or if the original restaurant has moved.
Mr. Tastebud (the spouse) stopped by the week it was open, and has been begging me to go back there with him. He tells me that they have goat on the menu (I love goat).
in downtown: this is what i would say:
112 eatery, you can totally walk to it in downtown.
origami is AMAZING sushi.
if you want authentic neopolitan pizza: pizza nea right over the washington ave bridge. great wine list as well.
if you can get over to eat street: quang, jasmine deli, taco moreles, and evergreen are fantastic choices!
I recommend Tum Rup Thai (1221 W Lake St), one of the best Thai joints in town. You can take the 17 bus from downtown and save some cab fare. The 17 runs down Nicollet Ave and lets you out at the Uptown Bus Station near Lake & Hennepin. It's a short jaunt down Lake to the restaurant. There are several other good restaurants in that area, most notably Lucia's (1432 W 31st St) and the Bryant Lake Bowling alley (810 W Lake St).
I would recommend Solera downtown. It is a tapas place and I think it is super yummy and can be reasonable depending on what you order.
I also like Masa downtown with is more upscale Mexican. I know it gets mixed reviews here but I had a great meal there!
The 112 eatery would be a short cab ride away and worth it - most say it is the best restaurant in Minneapolis.
Koyi sushi is my favorite sushi place downtown. I think it is a bit cheaper then others and the fish is always fresh. Plus the sushi chefs are friendly and it is pretty intimate and a good place to dine alone.
Those are my first thoughts but there are many other good places that I am sure others will suggest!
112 eatery or saffron would be where i'd take my expense account downtown, & don't forget hell's kitchen for breakfast! yum!
i haven't tried koyi sushi-- isn't that owned by sawatdee?
i would be sure to jump in a cab and head over to alma ($5-6 cab), in northeast mpls, or another board fave such as heartland (st paul), lucia's (uptown) or craftsman (lake street) specializing in beautifully prepared, sustainable local foods. it is easy and fast to get a cab in mpls. ask the cab driver for a card or have the restaurant call you a cab at the end of your meal. generally very little wait esp. on weeknights.
there are also some great ethnic cuisines that are strongly represented in the twin cities, including vietnamese and east african. thai not so much imo, unfortunately.