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MSP - Top 10

Since I'm new to this board, I was hoping to get regulars to post their top 10 Twin Cities restaurants. What are the last 10 restaurants you'd go to if you were moving tomorrow? I know this is a hard task, but I'd love to see what everyone thinks.

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  1. Well I'll bite. Here's the list I came up with today (could be different tomorrow) after a minute. Each of these places has something that I don't think would be easily found elsewhere or is a long time favorite.

    In alphabetical order
    Al's Breakfast
    Broder's Pasta Bar
    Cafe Lurcat
    Hell's Kitchen
    Lucia's Restaurant
    Maria's Cafe

    Lucia's Restaurant
    1432 W 31st St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

    Hell's Kitchen
    80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

    1806 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

    Al's Breakfast
    413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    Vincent A Restaurant
    1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

    1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

    Cafe Lurcat
    1624 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

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

    Broders' Southside Pasta Bar
    5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

    Cosmos Restaurant
    601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403

    1. There are probably other threads like this but I'll bite.

      Tanpopo Noodle Shop
      First Course
      Corner Table
      Sea Salt
      El Meson

      2 Replies
      1. re: mnitchals

        Adding places links:

        Brasa Rotisserie
        600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

        Sea Salt Eatery
        4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

        Tanpopo Noodle Shop
        308 Prince St, Saint Paul, MN 55101

        251 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401

        Corner Table
        4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

        El Meson
        3450 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

        First Course
        5607 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

        1. re: mnitchals

          Oh after seeing everyone else's list. I want to add:
          Uncle Franky's
          Bombay2Deli - I was just lurking on the Manhattan board and they were complaining that they didn't have any chaat houses, but we do!

          I guess I'll loose Sea Salt and Nami since I would only move to a place on the coast and there ought to be better seafood there.

        2. Craftsman
          Fuji Ya (St. Paul only)
          jp's American Bistro
          Pineda Tacos
          La Belle Vie
          Hell's Kitchen
          Caspian Bistro

          1 Reply
          1. re: churchka

            More places links:

            Quang Pastry & Deli
            2719 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

            Craftsman Restaurant
            4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

            Rainbow Chinese Restaurant
            2739 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

            La Belle Vie
            510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

            jP American Bistro [CLOSED]
            2937 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

            Caspian Bistro
            2418 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

            Fuji Ya
            465 Wabasha St, Saint Paul, MN 55109

            Pineda Taco's
            311 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

          2. Wow. In no particular order and with minimal thought:

            Russian Tea House
            La Belle Vie
            Punch St. Paul
            The Nook
            112 Eatery
            Al's Breakfast

            If Rustica Bakery and Izzy's count as "restaurants", I'd ditch Manny's and, maybe, Al's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MSPD

              MSPD's places links

              (wasn't sure whether Manny's meant steak or tortas, so I've included both...)

              The Nook
              492 Hamline Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116

              Rustica Bakery
              816 W 46th St, Minneapolis, MN 55419

              112 Eatery
              112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

              Fugaise [CLOSED 2009]
              304 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

              Manny's Steakhouse
              825 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55402

              Manny's Tortas
              2700 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

              Ba Gu Sushi
              4741 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407

            2. My “Top 10” restaurants (which I assume to mean my “favorite” or what I consider “the best”) is not necessarily the same as which restaurants I’d visit one last time if I were moving tomorrow. First, it would depend on where I was moving to…

              But, if I were moving tomorrow, I’d likely try to visit the places I consider uniquely Twin Citean, Minnesotan, or Midwestern. Some combo of (in no particular order):

              1) Conny’s Cream Cone in St. Paul (for the State Fair style deep fried cheese curds and the peach or blueberry soft serve ice cream—summer only of course)
              2) The Nook in St. Paul, for one last Jucy Lucy
              3) Dari-ette in St. Paul (summer only) for one last “hot dago” sandwich. In winter, I’d head to DeGidio’s in St. Paul for my last hot dago.
              4) Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis (because I think it’s unique)—I’d get the wild rice porridge, the house made peanut butter, the lemon ricotta pancakes. I’d split them with my sweetie because they are way too rich.
              5) Al’s Breakfast in Minneapolis because it’s an institution and is completely unique to the Twin Cities. I’d order pancakes and eggs benedict.
              6) Mancini’s steak house in St. Paul—because it defines “old” St. Paul in a nutshell, even if the chow isn't spectacular.
              7) Izzy’s Ice Cream in St. Paul
              8) The Groveland Tap in St. Paul for all you can eat Friday fish fry. (And I’d have a Cajun lucy, while I was there, as well as some deep fried cheese curds if it were winter and Conny’s was closed.) (If it were Lent, I'd go to a church-basement fish fry, St. Matthews perhaps, though that choice is more driven by atmosphere than chow.)
              9) Kramarczuk's in Minneapolis for the fantastic sausages
              10) I’d drive to Fisher’s in Supper Club in Avon for the walleye and the panfried sunfish.
              11) Key's Cafe for the caramel rolls and toast with the house-made rhubarb jelly.

              If State Fair were on, I'd have to go one last time for the Mouth Trap curds, the honey with sunflower ice cream, the french fries, spaghetti on a stick, shake from the Dairy Building, a few other things, if I had room.

              I’d pack a box of Pearson’s salted nut rolls, some wild rice (the hand harvested kind from Mississippi Market), and make sure I knew the mail order address my favorite source in Two Harbors for smoked lake trout and whitefish.


              4 Replies
              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                TDQ's places links

                Connys Creamy Cone
                1197 Dale St N, Saint Paul, MN 55117

                DeGidio's Restaurant & Bar
                425 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                Groveland Tap
                1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

                Kramarczuk East European Deli
                215 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                Mancinis Char House
                531 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                Dairy-Ette Drive In [SEE DARI-ETTE DRIVE IN]
                1440 Minnehaha Ave E, Saint Paul, MN 55106

                Fisher Club
                428 Stratford St W, Avon, MN 56310

                Keys Cafe & Bakery
                500 Robert St N, Saint Paul, MN 55101

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Yours is the best response. Pretty much everybody else's top 10 are easily duplicated, and in most cases improved upon, in other cities. Unless of course you are moving to someplace like Olathe, Kansas.

                  True, we're lucky to have so many good sushi places, but none of them are uniquely spectacular. Don't get me started on the complete lack of stellar pizza here. The only pizza place I would miss is Psycho Suzi's, and not because of the pizza, but because of the ambience and the deviled eggs and tater tots. And 112 is on national lists of great restos, but most major cities have a place as good. And with the massive influx of Mexican, Central American, and South American immigrants, most cities (especially some of the smaller ones) have really good Mexican food. And there's a rather long ongoing thread about the lack of good Indian in this town, so that shouldn't be on anybody's list.

                  Instead of places, I would list things I would miss:

                  cheese curds
                  honey crisp apples
                  Ames honey
                  Edna's caramels
                  Shepherd's Way cheese
                  Carr Valley cheese
                  Mrs. Kelly's Teas (but not all of them)
                  Mill City Farmers Market, and Brenda, and what she's doing with the local sourcing, organic, etc.

                  1. re: Loren3

                    On second thought, there are a few places I would visit one last time, and would miss, but strictly for emotional reasons.

                    Runyon's - that was my study hall during grad school, and there's a picture of me in New Zealand, and of Chowspouse in Yunan on the wall, and I do love their Buffalo style shrimp.

                    Koyi Sushi - because this was the "world is too much and the biz trip has been harrowing, and I'm brain dead, and I need some reliable, predictable sushi in a pleasant environment" regular sushi spot.

                    Nye's - because where else can you polka with a bunch of hipsters to the world's most dangerous polka band, especially after Aquatennial fireworks?

                    Keegan's - again not for the food, but for the beer and the live Irish jam sessions on Sunday nights. Years ago, in Houston, I used to hang out at a place like that, and it's not easy to come by such a place.

                    Psycho Suzi's - as mentioned above, not for the pizza but for the ambience and the apps.

                    Sam's Wine Shop and Surdyk's - lots of great free tastings, and they are just as happy to sell you that terrific, obscure $8 bottle of wine as they are that famous $60 bottle.

                    Almost any local bar - Summit EPA on tap.

                    5-8 - perfect lunch spot for a walleye basket, or a grilled cheese sandwich. Where the waitresses (not waitstaff) know your name and have your drink ready as soon as you are seated. A very down-home midwest experience.

                    Moose and Sadie's - best darn huevos rancheros in town, and just a charming place; not the typical stuffy coffeehouse. It was the "Sunday morning, spring is in the air and we can finally eat outside" go to spot across the street from the loft where I used to live.

                    1. re: Loren3

                      Since I just recently re-located to the Twin Cities, I have gone through that process for real---listing out all of those places I wanted to visit "one last time" or foods I didn't think I'd be able to find here. A very pared down version of that last is my "must do" list for when I go back "home" to visit, though, sadly, I hear one of my favorites has undergone a major change. :(

                      But, I love all the lists in this thread. A part of me wants to NOW do a list of my ten favorites, but that just seems piggy.

                      Loren, your list is a list of all the places I've yet to try in the Twin Cities!


                2. If I had to eat at 10 restaurants before tomorrow, I'd be REALLY full. But I would try. Today, my list would include some top-of-the-class places as well as my sentimental favorites.

                  Al's Breakfast
                  Birchwood Cafe (for everything on the menu and five slices of key lime pie)
                  Bombay 2 Deli
                  Izzy's (I believe that three ice cream cones count as a meal)
                  Keefer Court (love the pastries - and now there's sit-down food, too!)
                  Russian Tea House

                  And I'd cheat and call the Midtown Global Market "one restaurant", so I could eat at La Sirena Gorda, Los Ocampo, La Loma, Safari, Holy Land, West Indies Soul, and Manny's.

                  Midtown Global Market
                  920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                  Restaurant Alma
                  528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                  Birchwood Cafe
                  3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                  Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe
                  2034 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104

                  Punch Neapolitan Pizza
                  704 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116

                  Bombay 2 Deli [Closed - May Reopen in Different Place]
                  1840 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                  Keefer Court Bakery & Cafe
                  326 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

                  Russian Tea House
                  1758 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                    P.S. Welcome to the Midwest/MSP board, Debbie! What would your 10 restaurants be? I'd love to know...

                  2. La Belle Vie
                    The Modern
                    Gorditas el Gordo
                    Sabor Latino
                    jP Bistro
                    (HM: Fugaise, Masa, Nami, 112, Quang, Bombay 2 Deli, Tango, Cosmos, Uncle Franky's, French Meadow)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Foureyes137

                      Foureyes' places links:

                      30 N 1st St Ste 1, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                      Modern Cafe
                      337 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

                      Chai's Thai Restaurant
                      414 1/2 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

                      Campiello [Closing June 20, 2008]
                      1320 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                      Gorditas El Gordo
                      211 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN

                      1. re: bob s

                        Looks like they didn't all make it:

                        1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                        Sushi Tango
                        3001 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                        Uncle Franky's
                        728 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

                        Sabor Latino
                        2505 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                        French Meadow Bakery & Cafe
                        2610 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                    2. Good thread. It is fun seeing what everyone puts on their top 10 lists. Here is my list in alphabetical order:

                      Al’s Breakfast
                      Jasmine Deli
                      La Belle Vie
                      Lucia’s - restaurant, wine bar, and bakery
                      Mandarin Kitchen
                      112 Eatery
                      Punch Pizza
                      Restaurant Alma
                      Tea House
                      Town Talk Diner

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Josh Resnik

                        Additional places links for Josh's picks:

                        Town Talk Diner
                        2707 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                        Jasmine Deli
                        2532 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                        Mandarin Kitchen
                        8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

                        Tea House Chinese Restaurant
                        88 Nathan Ln N, Minneapolis, MN 55441

                      2. eek-- well i guess if i was moving, these would be what i'd miss, & have the least chance of being able to replace (depending on where i moved to)

                        restaurant alma
                        holy land-- deli/restaurant, right?
                        hell's kitchen

                        i am glad that this thread is going just for the places list of everyone's faves!

                        Ngon Vietnamese Bistro
                        799 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104

                        Holy Land Bakery & Grocery
                        2513 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                        Obento-Ya Japanese Bistro
                        1510 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                        1. Al's Breakfast
                          La Belle Vie
                          Midori's Floating Cafe
                          Al Vento
                          Chi's Thai
                          Resturant Alma
                          Lucia's Resturant

                          Best breakfast you can find anywhere in the city is at Al's! Origami/Midori..by FAR the best sushi around!...If you haven't had Al's though, it is a must!!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Daloris1

                            Daloris1's links:

                            Midori's Floating World Cafe
                            2629 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                            Al Vento
                            5001 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                          2. If I were leaving the Twin Cities for good I think I would want a Jucy Lucy from the Nook and a fried Walleye sandwich from Tavern on Grand. Other than that I would not miss Twin City restaurants. But hopefully I would be moving where there are challenging meals to eat.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Davydd

                              Davydd's places link:

                              Tavern On Grand
                              656 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

                            2. I'm assuming that if I actually ever leave saint paul I'll be moving to a metropolian area and will be able to get things like sushi, steaks etc.

                              If I assume that I'd be moving somewhere less populated I'd need a LOT more than 10.

                              That being said.

                              Alma, Hell's Kitchen, Midori, Broders, Izzys (5 times) all previously linked

                              (thanks again Bob S!)

                              And that bakery - Truc Nam - would make some fedex deal for crossiants!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: St Paul Susie

                                try it again.

                                Trung Nam French Bakery
                                739 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104

                                1. re: St Paul Susie

                                  This was much more in the vein of what I had in mind. Sure, if you more to NYC you can still get these things, but if you move to Milwaukee or Detroit or Omaha or Rockford or Misoula or El Paso or you get the point...good luck.

                                  1. re: Foureyes137

                                    There is typically good food in many cities, but it's the local food that's unique. For instance, El Paso will have Mexican, Tex-Mex, and New Mexican (yes, they're all different) all in one metro area, but the fish there wouldn't be very good. While I'm not familiar with Milwaukee, I'm sure that you could get good German food there, as well as walleye and maybe lake perch.

                                    I'm a newbie to this area, and so far I've found Uncle Franky's, which has pretty good Italian beef, and Vienna hot dogs. I'm still looking for New Mexican style food (red or green chile on food, green chile stew, green chile cheeseburgers, good posole, etc.).

                                    1. re: paoconnell

                                      Most of the taquerias around the cities will have posole, especially on Saturdays. I really don't have the breadth of experience to say which place is better than the others or similar to what you would get in New Mexico. I suspect the posole at El Burrito Mercado would rank high for MSP.

                                      As for foods with emphasis on green chile, it's virtually non-existent around these parts. I've never seen green chile cheeseburgers like I've enjoyed in back roads joints in southern Colorado and New Mexico.

                                      1. re: MSPD

                                        I actually found a salsa at Target(!) called Desert Pepper Salsa DIablo. It's made in EL Paso from New Mexico red and green chiles (probably grown in nearby Hatch or Las Cruces NM), along with jalapenos. It's spicy, but not fiery.
                                        Posole is found in Mexico as well as Texas, and is easier to find in Mexican restaurants, so I'm hopeful.

                                2. mmmm... delicious

                                  the wiernery
                                  triple rock
                                  112 eatery
                                  the birchwood
                                  la grolla

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: liquor cupcakes

                                    I love most everything on your list (though, I don't think I've been to VIc's), but I have to say, I don't think the food at La Grolla is very exceptional and I think the service is pretty bad :(


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      TDQ, that is a shame about La Grolla! every time i have been there i have had a great experience. i REALLY miss pane vino dolce, that was my favorite italian in the twin cities.

                                      1. re: liquor cupcakes

                                        After a few great meals with excellent service at La Grolla I'll never go back after a few really bad meals & service.

                                        It was good while it lasted.

                                    2. re: liquor cupcakes

                                      Liquor's places links:

                                      La Grolla
                                      452 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                                      Victor's 1959 Cafe
                                      3756 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409

                                      414 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

                                      Triple Rock
                                      629 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

                                      Saigon Uptown Restaurant
                                      3035 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                    3. I keep a list of restaurants I want to visit so I don't always go back to the same old places. I think you guys may have just doubled it! Thanks for all the great input. Since Chai Thai is the only Thai restaurant on here, I guess I better try it out.

                                      1. I have two lists, one for if I were moving tomorrow and one if I were moving in the middle of the summer. You see, to me there are some outdoor venues that I’d truly miss.

                                        Moving tomorrow’s list:

                                        Café Barbette and Bryant-Lake Bowl. I love the quirkiness (and huevos) of BLB and I love the atmosphere and food of Barbette.

                                        New Delhi, Bombay 2 Deli and Best of India. All have different favorites, and meet different needs.

                                        Basil’s because if it’s good enough for Mary Tyler Moore it sure as heck is good enough for me. First, I’d stop in at the Mark VII Lounge and have a martini and a salty snack. I always feel remarkably well-heeled when I go to Mark VII, probably because it is over the moon spendy, but I dig the atmosphere, too.

                                        Heartland because I’ve truly enjoyed each Flora prix fixe dinner I’ve had there. I always go with a friend who’ll swap desserts with me, because for some reason the Flora dinner never has a chocolate dessert whereas the Fauna dinner almost always does.

                                        Murray’s. An odd choice for a vegetarian, but I always wonder if I’m sitting where Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin sat when they ate there (which apparently they did whenever they were in town). Plus, it also has a quirky character and they make a great martini. Oh, and the alfredo sauce is wonderful.

                                        Pepito’s because the craving for bean lupitas and their spicy salsa actually pulls me out of my house even if I don’t feel like it.

                                        Byerly’s because I’d have to buy a case of Salted Nut Rolls before I moved and where better to do that?

                                        Not a list of 10, but an addendum for summer needs:

                                        Nicollet Island Inn for an appetizer and a glass or two of red wine. They always have something really good by the glass and who can argue with that view?

                                        Axel’s in Mendota because they let me order an entire dinner of side dishes, all done very well and all very tasty. I love the drive there, it’s so scenic. And the patio is great fun. Also, they have a great martini and a good by the glass wine list.

                                        Sunsets in Minnetonka. Just for the view and the splendiferous people watching.

                                        I guess now it’s my turn to be dogged for my choices even though I’ve given reasons for most of them. I realize that food is not always at the heart of the choices listed above, but as you can see by my list it’s not always the food that drives me to pick where I spend my dining dollars.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: MplsM ary

                                          Places links for MplsM ary:

                                          Nicollet Island Inn
                                          95 Merriam, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                                          New Delhi Bar & Restaurant [Closed]
                                          1400 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                                          Murray's Restaurant & Cocktail
                                          24 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                                          Basil's Restaurant
                                          710 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                                          Best of India
                                          8120 Minnetonka Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55426

                                          4817 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN

                                          Axel's River Grille
                                          1318 Highway 13, Mendota, MN 55150

                                          Sunsets On Wayzata Bay
                                          700 East Lake Street, Wayzata, MN 55391

                                          Bryant Lake Bowl
                                          810 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

                                        2. I think the Twin Cities have top-notch authentic Asian places. University Avenue in St Paul is home to some of my favorites in the Twin Cities - Hoa Bien, Krua Thai, Little Szechuan, Que Nah, Va Lor and Cambodia Cheng Heng. Amazing Thailand in Uptown is a new Thai eatery worth checking out. Amazing food and decor imported from Thailand.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: MSP Foodies

                                            Places for MSP Foodies:

                                            Little Szechuan - West End
                                            5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

                                            Golden Palace (formerly Va Lor)
                                            371 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103

                                            Cheng Heng Restaurant
                                            448 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103

                                            Hoa Bien Vietnamese Restaurant
                                            1129 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104

                                            Krua Thailand
                                            432 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103

                                            Que Nha Vietnamese Restaurant
                                            849 University Ave W Ste 101, Saint Paul, MN 55104

                                            Amazing Thailand
                                            3024 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                          2. Cafe 128
                                            Cave Vin
                                            Ted Cook's 19th Hole
                                            Tin Fish (Seasonal)
                                            Pho 79- Nicolett
                                            Convention Grill

                                            These really are 10 of my favorite not just listed because they aren't on anyone else's list.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: GastronautMN

                                              GastronautMN's links:

                                              Matt's Bar
                                              3500 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                              The Tin Fish
                                              3000 E Calhoun Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                              Ted Cook's 19th Hole Barbeque
                                              2814 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                                              Convention Grill & Fountain
                                              3912 Sunnyside Rd, Minneapolis, MN 55424

                                              Pho 79 Restaurant
                                              2529 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                                              Blackbird Cafe
                                              3800 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55409

                                              Cave Vin
                                              5555 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                                              128 Cafe [DUPLICATE]
                                              128 Cleveland Ave, N St Paul, MN

                                              Bewiched Deli
                                              800 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                                              1. re: bob s

                                                Oops I have never been to 128 cafe (although I have heard many good things about there former incarnation). I was thinking of Cafe 28 in Linden Hills, where the food is really good but the beer list is without peer.

                                                1. re: bob s

                                                  I don't think anyone has mentioned Sapor Cafe yet. Haven't been there since their new menu (a couple of months), but we usually choose this as a special event destination. Great food, locally sourced, excellent service. Would be #3 on my top ten...112 and Alma being 1 & 2. Erte would also rank for consistently good food and service.

                                                  1. re: AGallagh

                                                    Adding AGallagh's and Gastronaut's picks:

                                                    Sapor Cafe-Bar
                                                    428 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                                                    Cafe Twenty-Eight
                                                    2724 W 43rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                                                    323 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN

                                              2. I have been away for six months in total since January on research trips and I can tell you what I actually missed and what I think are gems having spent significant time in Honolulu (5 months) and Philly (one month), chowing away:

                                                Birchwood Cafe
                                                Bryant Lake Bowl
                                                Auriga (for happy hour, before it closed. i still dream about that tomato pizza)
                                                Pane Vino Dolce (again, closed while i was gone) --> Good thing I have a new crush on Broder's Pasta Bar
                                                Chatterbox pub for cheese curds and beer
                                                Hell's Kitchen for breakfast
                                                King and I Thai
                                                And I have to include the Wedge Co-op as #10 since I missed the deli, bakery, and everything about it while in Honolulu, where co-ops like that don't exist. We are so, SO lucky, fellow MSPers that we have such a selection of co-ops.

                                                Honorable mention: Heartland makes me proud to be from the midwest. Although I did not miss it while I was away, if I were moving tomorrow, I'd head there for dinner.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: slowfoodgrrl

                                                  slowfoodgrrl's picks. (Sorry, slowfoodgrrl, but I'm only linkin to restaurants that are open ...)

                                                  King and I Thai
                                                  1346 La Salle Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                                                  Chatterbox Enterprises
                                                  2229 E 35th St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                                2. Tea House II
                                                  Mandarin Kitchen
                                                  Pancho Villa
                                                  Seafood Palace
                                                  Le Meson
                                                  Pho 79
                                                  Tea House I (in Golden Valley)
                                                  Cafe Levain

                                                  1. ok. . .I'll play; with an admitted St. Paul bias and in order:

                                                    restaurant alma
                                                    punch pizza
                                                    w.a. frost (burger and fries in the bar only)
                                                    rotissieria (chicken only)
                                                    little szechuan
                                                    manny's tortas
                                                    bombay bistro (weekend buffet)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. Let's see...I'll try-even though some of my favorites have closed...
                                                      1. Bickos pizza (closed)
                                                      2. KhinDo (the one in Golden Valley for their curry chicken lo mein)
                                                      3. Holy Land
                                                      4. Grand Pad Thai (I think that's what it's called)
                                                      5. Lucia's take home place
                                                      6. Manana
                                                      7.Maria's cafe
                                                      8. Cafe Latte
                                                      9. Freighthouse in Stillwater (for the view, not the food)
                                                      10. Bonxai
                                                      It took me a while to think or them-

                                                      1. I forgot Sunnyside Up Cafe...I'd take that over Bonxai

                                                        1. 112
                                                          Cafe Maude
                                                          Hells Kitchen
                                                          Al's Breakfast
                                                          Manny's Tortas
                                                          Pizza Nea
                                                          Sea Salt
                                                          Tin Fish

                                                          1. so i got my post deleted because i included a restaurant that shall go unnamed that i used to work at...here's the amended version, without the unnamed restaurant.

                                                            Red Stag Supper Club
                                                            Triple Rock (sunday brunch)
                                                            Punch Pizza (Highland Park)
                                                            Chino Latino
                                                            French Meadow Bakery
                                                            The Nook
                                                            Hell's Kitchen
                                                            Mickey's Diner (7th St.)

                                                            1. Not in any specific order..

                                                              Bulldog (burger, tots, Belgium beer)
                                                              Zelo (pasta...a dish they don't have on the menu anymore)
                                                              Granite City (Cuban, wings, two-pull beers)
                                                              112 Eatery (fried bread w/ proscuitto and a Summit)
                                                              Bar Lucrat (bbq sandwich, doughnuts, fries)
                                                              Bella (butternut squash ravioli)
                                                              Key's (egg sandwich, rolls)
                                                              Tasty's (good ‘ol pepperoni pizza)
                                                              Brit's (anything on the rooftop on a spring day)
                                                              Ruth's Chris (still the best steak I've had in town)

                                                              And for everyone that complains about our food options....open a restaurant. If the need is really there I'm sure you will do well!

                                                              1. This is a difficult question. Mood makes everything change. There is also the question of cost. I see someone posted Vincents. I love Vincents but it is a bit spendy. Especially if you do the tasting menu with the wine paring. I promise you will not be disappointed but be prepared to pay. My all time favorite place is "Everest on Grand" it's in St. Paul on Grand. Price is fair and food is excellent. Emily's Lebanese Deli is awesome as well, JP's American Bistro on Lake and Lyndale in Mpls is good comfort food. I think depending on what one is in the mood for makes a difference as well. Sushi, steak, Thai, Italian. If you put that all aside Everest on Grand is still my #1 pick!

                                                                1. Alma
                                                                  Satay 2 Go
                                                                  Little Szechuan
                                                                  Dong Yang
                                                                  Punch Pizza (NE is just as good as Highland and 6 times faster)
                                                                  Mandarin Kitchen
                                                                  Los Ocampos #3 at Chicago and Lake