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Summer in MSP!!!

What are your favorite spots in the TC in the summer? The rooftop at Joe's Garage? Breakfast at Sunnyside? Are there new spots worth exploring?

I haven't been living in MSP for a few years, but have always enjoyed cocktails at Pracna's and hanging out at Bryant Lake Bowl, munching on my TAB (turkey, avocado, bacon) sandwich and sipping Summit PA.

I'm going to be in town for about a week. Dear MSP hounds, please help me with new places and old favorites I need to check out!

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  1. My absolute favorite is to take a short walk down to the Tin Fish and enjoy some fried clams (or fish tacos if I'm feeling more virtuous). If I lived closer to Sea Salt, that might be my choice, but the Tin Fish is close enough for spur of the moment. Other lovely choices in Uptown include outside tables at Lucia's or Barbette. Lucia's has a menu full of interesting drink choices, and both have great wine and beer selections.

    1. I love the patio at the Black Forest Inn. The pate there is great. Most of the food is ho hum. The beer is great, and Dara says they have a great hamburger. So get beer, pate and hamburger.

      Otherwise, the Sea Salt Eatery at Minnehaha Park is the place to go. Oysters, po boys, and beer is my favorite meal.

      1. I like all the places mentioned. I was recently at 20.21 dining on the rooftop patio (we just went for the spoonbridge and cherry dessert), and that was really nice, too.

        Just had a shrimp taco at Tin Fish yesterday. Too hot to really enjoy the scene, but I just love sitting there, and hearing the employees yelling out the names of people's orders as they become ready.

        Service at Joe's Garage has become a real issue lately. 3 trips in a row - bad, bad, bad.

        1. I like sitting out on the wharfs of Lord Fletchers and Maynards on Lake Minnetonka. Last week we did same at Lola's Lakehouse on Lake Waconia. This week we may go to the Caribbean in Tonka Bay on Lake Minnetonka. It re-opened this year after being closed for four years. Other than Lola's we have the option of boating to those places.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Davydd

            What are the restaurants on Lake Minnetonka like? I imagine a cross between a suburbanite haven and a frat party. Perhaps because all the radio stations do happy hour events out there. I would be nice to go sit by the lake and have a relaxing meal. Is that possible at these places?

            1. re: katebauer

              Outdoors it is extremely casual boating attire and bar food. Inside it is more upscale at Maynard's and Lord Fletchers. Lord Fletcher's is kind of three tiered. Inside upstairs is upscale dining, inside downstairs is more sports bar dining and outside is bar food burgers in a basket kind of dining. Sunset's in Wayzata has an outdoor seating area but it is not right on the lake. Lola's Lakehouse in Waconia has a full menu outdoors and is pretty decent. You can also go to Northcoast in Wayzata. Northcoast would be your most upscale restaurant right on the lake. Being right on the water is so comfortable and relaxing.

          2. WA Frost patio, hands down.

            1. Unfortunately, Joe's Garage took a nosedive a year or two ago. Haven't been back; might be better now.

              If you can stand the wait (and the crowd) the rooftop at Stella's Fish Cafe is great. Mussels are pretty tasty. Overall, the place is a little (?) pretentious, but that is one great rooftop view.

              Pracna still has great beer and sucky food, and it's still one of my East Hennepin faves. Nearby is the Aster and Vic's, also with great outdoor seating.

              One of the popular patios in town is Psycho Suzi's. Very fun hip tiki bar ambience in a Nordeast boho way.

              Second, third, fourth, fifth the recommendations for Sea Salt (my preference) and Tin Fish (also good). Sea Salt is in the pavilion at Minnehaha. Great Cajun style seafood. Tin Fish is in the pavilion at Calhoun. Yummy fish tacos with a whole fillet in them. For a nationwide chain, this could easily be one of the best.

              If you're downtown, the Monte Carlo has a great patio, and an expensive but delicious brunch. Across the street is Moose & Sadie's with terrific weekend brunches and patio seating on the old concrete loading dock out front.

              New to the city (since you left probably) is Spoonriver by the new Guthrie. It's run by Brenda (of Cafe Brenda), with attention to local and organic sources of food. They have outdoor seating between the Guthrie and the Mill City Museum. If you go on Saturday morning, there's the farmer's market as well, then stroll up to the Endless Bridge.

              Enjoy summer!

              Sea Salt Eatery
              4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

              750 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

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

              Stella's Fish Cafe
              1402 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

              Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe
              219 3rd Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401

              Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge and Tiki Garden
              2519 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

              Moose & Sadie's
              212 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401

              1 Reply
              1. re: Loren3

                Thanks, Loren. This is one of the best posts I've seen in awhile.

              2. Mussels, frites and oysters at Barbette's outdoor seating..perfecto!

                1. Allergy Anne here, popping in to ask that if anyone discovers a truly non-smoking outdoor patio (or sidewalk, or deck, or rooftop), do please post in this old thread:


                  I know of just a few places with non-smoking outdoor dining, though the enforcement can vary. So far, I know about Birchwood, Signature Cafe, Craftsman, and Patrick's in Wayzata. Any others?


                  P.S. Baconstrip, all these places are very nice for outdoor dining (unless you're a non-stop smoker :-).

                  1. I had a great cheeseburger, fries and malt on outside the Dariette on Sunday afternoon. While all the suckers were sitting in line at Sonic (they have had to hire off-duty police to manage this.) Why have the chain-food when we have a real drive-in?

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

                    1. Thanks everyone! They all sound great! I hear storm's a-comin', so I'll get myself over to one of the suggested places tout de suite! I'm thinking either Stella's or Sea Salt for one of the first visits.

                      I've been doing some outdoor cooking with my family. I forgot how good Minnesota corn and watermelon taste! Not to mention dry-aged beef from good-ol' Byerly's ;-)

                      1. In the latest issue of Metro, I just read about a so-called "hidden gem" of outdoor dining. The place is called Buga (never been), a sushi joint tucked in the block of Chicago Avenue between 47th and 48th.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Brad Ballinger

                          Here's a link for Bagu ...

                          ... not to be confused with Pizza Biga directly across the street.
                          ... or Buca for that matter.

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

                          1. re: Brad Ballinger

                            I think you mean Bagu, which has been at 48th and Chicago for about 2 years now. It's an okay place, service is kind of spotty, but the patio is really nice and it's walking distance from our house so we get there every few months. I'd never pick it over Origami for quality of sushi though.