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Feb 21, 2008 08:27 AM

Food in Minneapolis

Before anyone shoots me, I have searched the boards, and I know there are MANY threads about it.

However, my best friend and I are coming in from Canada, and are staying at the Doubletree on Park place, and I have no idea what that is near as far as restaurants etc.

So, if any of you food guru's in the area could make a few reccomendations I would eternally be in your debt :)

We are on a pretty dtrict budget but are willing to spend a bit more for a great food experience if there is a must hit. We will be there Sat-Tues.

Thanks so much,
Julie in freezing cold Manitoba

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  1. For the MSP hounds - the Doubletree that Julie is speaking of is near the intersection of I-394 and Hwy 100 in Saint Louis Park.

    Right outside your door (basically in the same parking lot) is serviceable Indian at Taste of India and Chinese at Yangtzee.

    Here are a couple of recent threads about food in SLP:

    Also, you are not too far from Minneapolis proper - 15 minutes away (at most) from the Nicollet Avenue stretch known as "Eat Street" with lots of reasonable restaurants with cuisine all over the world. Also the "Uptown" area is fairly close.

    Here's another thread that might interest you called "Minneapolis - Cheap but Unique":

    Enjoy your stay.

    1. Here's a couple places I really enjoyed when I was up in Minneapolis a year and a half ago. None of the places I ate were bad, but these are the ones I'll definitely want to visit again the next time I find myself in Minneapolis.

      Hell's Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis has awesome breakfast. I had the bison sausage, lemon-ricotta hotcakes one day, and the rosti potatoes and the breakfast bruschetta (which I don't seen on their online menu anymore) another. It's a popular place (or at least was when I was there), so I'd suggest either calling ahead and making a reservation or planning on wandering around the area for a bit while you wait for your table. They also make their own peanut butter and ketchup, both of which are excellent.

      I don't have much experience with African cuisine, but I really enjoyed the meal I had at Kilamanjaro Cafe. The food was really delicious, but what I really liked about the place was the vibe it had. It was really laid back and it seemed like everyone who came in while I was there knew at least one person in the restaurant. It's sort of hard to explain, but even though I was a stranger there I didn't feel like one since the whole place had this strong sense of community.

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

      Kilimanjaro Cafe
      324 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

      1. Freezing cold in Minneapolis, too! Wish it would stop and warm up! Anyway, the place we'd recommend is Famous Dave's BBQ. Great food, live music. Great Uptown experience area, I promise.

        2 Replies
        1. re: heine143

          I would respectfully disagree. For the $20/person you will spend at Famous Dave's, there are literally 100 places with better food. BBQ is just not a competency of MSP. Let's not present an average national chain as the best we have to offer.

          For breakfast: Hell's Kitchen (downtown) and Al's Breakfast (by "our" U of M). Right across 394 from the Doubletree is the Good Day Cafe which should be a mainstay as you head out. Excellent baked goods and overall a good breakfast spot. One of the best burgers in MSP at lunchtime if you're so inclined.

          Other meals (all approachable budget): 112 Eatery, Town Talk Diner, the Midtown Global Market, Origami (maybe a bit more expensive cost-wise), the Birchwood Cafe all come to mind as fun places with good food in interesting locations. Pizza Nea, Punch Pizza, and Kramarczuks are all in a neat little two-block stretch of Hennepin Avenue in NE (just across the river from downtown).

          Personally, when I travel around, I like to experience the local gems for snacking like cheese shops, bakeries, chocolate places etc. If you're interested, Surdyk's (also in the stretch of NE) is great for wine, cheese and snacking. If you venture into south Minneapolis/Edina, note Rustica Bakery, France 44 (wine and cheese) and the Premier Cheese Market (50th and France...a very neat little boutique shopping neighborhood). There's also Bagu Sushi (a virtual facsimile of Wasabi on Osborne in Winnipeg if you are familiar), Turtle Bread Company and Cafe Levain at the 46th and Chicago intersection (as well as a nice gift shop called "Shop in the City"). All of my favorite chocolate places seem to be over in St. Paul. If you get over there, Legacy Chocolates, Chocolat Celeste, and Truffles on Grand are all worth the trip.

          All of the above is just scratching the surface -- if there's any particular food you enjoy, or any activity/location you plan on focusing on, we would be happy to narrow it down. can easily find web sites or posts on here for all of the places I mentioned if you want to research further.


          1. re: MSPD

            I heartily second all of MSPD's recommendations. I would chime in with some of my own, but I'm a little geographically challenged when it comes to that section of the Twin Cities and I don't want to send you scurrying all over town unnecessarily.

            112 Eatery (downtownish MPLS)--you'll want reservations if at all possible. You might be able to score a spot at the bar. Dinner only. Open quite late. This would be a good "high end" meal. Order dishes to share if you can as I th ink that's the best way to explore their menu--they don't mind, almost encourage even, the sharing.

            Hell's Kitchen breakfast/lunch only (also downtown MPLS, near the convention center). Expect to wait in line for a table on weekends unless you get there early. Nearly everything is made from scratch, down to the condiments on the table (catsup and peanut butter for instance)... You really can't go wrong, except that I personally find some of their food a wee bit rich, so, when I order, I order to share.

            The chow at Town Talk Diner (on Lake Street in MPLS, which I think might be a bit of an excursion from where you're staying) is great, but I'll forewarn you that the place can be a little loud and crowded and, although the food is fantastic, it can get a little pricy (I know when people think "diner" they think "cheap"--this isn't that kind of diner, everything is with a twist). Personally, I prefer to spending my dining dollars elsewhere where I feel they go a little further, but, TTD is much beloved by many on this board.

            Al's Breakfast (in "Dinkytown" near the University of MN)--again, open for breakfast only, really. Expect to wait in line--it's a tiny place, just a 14-seat counter. Great pancakes and eggs bennie.

            Of Famous Dave's, it is a chain that originated locally, but it's branched out and Dave himself as since moved on. As chains go, the food isn't awful, but, as MSPD says there's so much here that's great, particularly in that Uptown area of MPLS, why visit a chain? I will say that you end up getting stuck for chow at the Mall of America, Famous Dave's isn't a terrible choice, although, even then, I might point you to the Napa Valley Grille or California Cafe in the MOA first.

            Have fun. Please report back. And, as MSPD says, if there's a particular kind of food you're interested in, let us know and we'll point you there.

            You will need a car, by way, to visit almost all these places as many of them are not in the immediate neighborhood of your hotel. Dress in layers. Warm boots help.


        2. You're in my neck of the woods. If you are heading to either downtown, search around the boards. For you immediate area, you're a stone's throw from a decent breakfast at Good Day Cafe. But for breakfast, you can't beat Al's at the university (stack of pancakes or The Jose) or Hell's Kitchen downtown (huevos rancheros).

          1. welcome. hey i've been there, traveling on a budget & wanting to eat the good stuff. wish i'd known about chowhound then. . .

            as Bob S. mentions you have some decent budget ethnic eats near your hotel. the food at taste of india is actually really good for the price if you like indian food. haven't tried yangtzee but would take Bob's rec. the cheap but unique thread he posted contains many gems as well.

            i echo MSPD's comments too. hell's kitchen in downtown is a standing rec for breakfast, 112 is among the city's best restaurants and it's not out of reach for the budget traveler. i would try to get to "eat street" (south nicollet ave) for at least one meal if it's doable, it's nearby the art institute, if you'll be taking in museums. . . there are many neighborhoods in the city, so if you know what activities you'll be doing we'd love to throw out recs that will be nearby-- or you could just have your whole trip revolve around food :)

            i don't know if you will have a car or not. if not, here's a link to metro transit that might help you get around: