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Dining recomendations for Mall of America (MSP)?

  • t

We'll be at the MOA during a layover at the airport next Friday. Any recomendations for where to eat an early dinner?


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  1. Crave is easily the best restaurant in the Mall of America. Very reasonably priced for organic/local ingredients, and there is a pretty wide variety in the menu. And avoid Twin City Grill, the place is very busy but the food is underwhelming.

    1. My recommendation would be to not eat there, but since you kind of need to I guess, Crave would be the way to go.

      1. Not to be snide but you may want to consider crossing the parking lot and snarfing a plate of meatballs at Ikea.

        1. I think the Twin City Grill is very good. They know their audience, and they deliver over and above the expectations of that audience. Eat there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FishMPLS

            I'd even eat at Cheesecake Factory before coming back there and that's giving them a lot of credit, because I thought they were just downright awful. All looks, pretention and hype, nothing else. Our server made it sound like the food was gonna be exceptional and worth the obscene wait, but it was a very underwhelming experience.

            tivon now that you had mentioned having a backup plan, I also agree that it'd be a better idea to just skip the MOA.

          2. Food Court! It's slightly cheaper and you won't have to wait as long, and the food is just as good as any other place in the mall!

            1. I've recently had two great meals at Napa Valley Grill and one so-so at Crave. Crave is newer; Napa is more elegant. Both are about the same price.

              1. Thanks! We only have a few hours in MSP airport, and rather than hang around the airport, we thought we'd either go to the MOA or to a near by park (Minnehaha park) depending on our mood and the weather...

                7 Replies
                1. re: tivon

                  I'd choose Minnehaha Falls park and Sea Salt over anything at the Mall. Waits can be long, but to me it's worth it.


                  1. re: justalex

                    assuming the weather cooperates, i'd agree that sea salt is the winner. make sure the restaurant will be open during your layover, though!-- and if you don't have dairy queens where you live, there is one w/in walking distance of the park for a malt or sundae afterward. good times.

                    course if you are a shopper, the mall of doom would win out-- but aren't the stores there 1/4 empty or something currently? (i wouldn't know)

                    1. re: soupkitten

                      I'd be very, very hesitant to send anyone on a layover to Sea Salt. The wait on line to order can be 30-40 minutes, and the wait for food after ordering can be just as long. The unpredictability of time really rules Sea Salt out as a layover idea.

                      You can go to the mall, walk around, grab a bite to eat, walk some more, and get back with consistency and reliability. Sea Salt's food is good, but I wouldn't consider the experience consistent or reliable.

                      P.S. The MOA has almost no empty spaces. While sales at malls nationwide are down, sales at the MOA are actually up. (Probably because the mall has taken over operations of the amusement park and movie theaters, using them to build sales in stores.)

                      1. re: Danny

                        My husband, my 19month son and I were planning to stay overnight in the Minneapolis area to check out our fascination with the abomination, the Mall of America. Sea Salt sounded good until you mentioned long wait which doesn't mix with a toddler.

                        Is Crave or any other places kid friendly? Slow/lousy service is a no go. My son is pretty good for 30-45 minutes and then he'll want to get down and explore.

                        1. re: vsoy


                          Keep in mind that Sea Salt in located in a pretty park. One of you could wait for the food while the other takes your child to check out the playground, the falls and the gardens. All are very near the restaurant. There's plenty of room to run. :) With two cellphones, you could keep in contact when the food is ready. Just a thought. We often took our son there when he was a toddler.

                          1. re: vsoy

                            tivon: I live in S Mpls, close to both SeaSalt AND the MOA. It sounds like from your post that you have 'a few hours' layover for an early dinner. I would go for SeaSalt, the wait won't be much early in the evening. If we are talking 6:30-7pm, though, stay at the MOA. As a note, don't let price indicate your choice at SeaSalt. The cheaper items are just as delicious and filling as the more expensive ones.

                            vsoy: (and tivon) I have been to Crave at the mall, and have had really poor service. They are a relatively new restaurant there, so I am sure they are working through keeping quality servers while letting the others go (hopefully). When we went, we had a younger guy who was an 'ass.' He didn't know anything about sushi (which they serve) and was talking down to us like we were his buddies. Also, I really disliked it because when we got the check after waiting too long, I put my card in to be ran. When it got dropped off, it was for a different (greater) amount than the original ticket and the original reciept was not included. I brought it to the manager, who did correct it. But I have worked as a server and seen other servers trying to scam people out of money this way. So, obviously service is touch and go since some servers truly care, I am simply sharing and saying be careful.

                            Many of the restaurants at the MOA can have a wait list, esp on a Friday night, so try around. Tucci Benuch is a good italian restaurzant. My favorite is the Napa Valley Grille. And I would reiterate to browse the food court as well, as there are quite a range of options. Have fun at LegoLand!

                            1. re: vsoy

                              What people here often forget to mention is that Sea Salt is a SNACK PAVILION. They serve good seafood dishes like po'boy sandwiches and shrimp cocktails, in plastic baskets that you eat at outdoor tables. It is not a full-service restaurant.

                    2. Thanks everyone. We'll be arriving in MSP around 2 PM so perhaps the park and Sea Salt will work for us. We'll enjoy being outdoors - coming from AZ at this time, you can't spend more than 5 minutes outdoors without begging for mercy...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: tivon

                        I'd also second the food court. I mean, it's a typical food court but when slumming it can be a lot of fun. Just as good as anything sit-down at the mall, in my opinion. Spend your time checking out the MOA and freaking out about the weirdness rather than spending a lot of time at a mall restaurant, again in my opinion.

                        1. re: jeanmt

                          Weren't there supposed to be some new decent restaurants opening in the moa?