Opposites seek crowd- pleasers in Minneapolis
My wife and I are getting ready to spend 3 days in Minneapolis to attend a series of baseball games at the metrodome. We will be meeting my Dad and his wife there. They are coming from Oregon and we are coming from Washington DC. We like local and organic - I'm pescetarian and we tend to lean toward Asian cuisines. We are totally spoiled by the ethnic diversity of DC. On the other hand, dad likes meat and potatos, but enjoys the super fresh seafood (especially Salmon) of the Pacific Northwest. They are not adventurous eaters, but my wife and I are up for almost anything yummy (but without meat). I'm not crazy about tourist-y restaurants, but will be willing to try places that will make the trip fun for all of us - despite our different tastes.
We will be staying at 405 South 8th street (6 blocks or so from the metrodome) and will probably eat most of our meals in that area.
So, we are looking for recomendations for restaurants that can satisfy both couples - meaty and traditional, but with great options for nonmeateaters. Since we will be eating all meals out, it is probably best if we keep the dinner prices in the moderate range (entres under $25?or so. We might all be happy with divey breakfast joints or after-game pizza or fish and chips ? I've been on the east coast for a long time and haven't had a good deep dish pizza in years. I'm really looking forward to a pizza with a thick crust. Anything in the area around our hotel?
As an aside - what is a good walking neighborhood with lots of independent, local, flavorful shops and cafes and bars? I like bookstores, so is the neighborhood around Magers and Quinn good for pedestrians?
Evergreen, on Nicollet ("Eat Street"- not far from downtown), is a delicious, inexpensive Chinese restaurant overflowing with vegetarian options. Even though its basement location doesn't add much ambiance, the food makes it a necessary choice.
If you're interested in local, organic, and fresh, you should eat at the Birchwood for any meal of the day. It's got a homey diner feel, and the food is always incredible. While not in downtown, it is absolutely worth the detour.
Also delicious, with a focus on local food, is Brasa. The main dishes are all meat, but they serve wonderful sides of beans and rice, various vegetables, and cornbread that could more than make a meal on their own. You can order mains and sides family-style and share. They also make the best fruit shortcakes I've ever eaten.
I second Hell's Kitchen as the place to go for breakfast. Don't miss out.
As for pizza, I'm not aware of good deep dish anywhere, but I would recommend Pizza Luce (downtown and uptown locations), which has thicker, chewier crust than east-coast style pizzas. And it's real good.
600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Evergreen Chinese Restaurant
2424 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Pizza Luce Downtown
119 N 4th St Ste 508, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Pizza Luce Uptown
3200 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Oh, I know, you like bookstores! How about hitting up super-casual Midtown Global Market http://midtownglobalmarket.com/ and then heading over to the Sci Fi and Mystery bookstores across the street, Uncle Hugos and Uncle Edgars? http://www.unclehugo.com/prod/
Not a super nice, walkable neighborhood (keep your wits about you), but Midtown Global Market has an Somali stand (called Safari), a stand called West Indies Soul, a great bakery (Salty Tart) that does nice pastries (the gal who owns it was a James Beard-nominated pastry chef for Trotters), a great little Mexican spot called La Sirena Gorda that does wonders with seafood, as well as a place Los Ocampo that has nice antojitos, a Hmong craft shop and a Scandinavian Bakery called Cafe Finspang (they have lefse!).
Midtown Global Market is best on weekends and during the day. The life drains out of it on weekday evenings.
re: The Dairy Queen
Also, if you like books, if you happen to get over to the Mill City Museum (which I recommend to any foodie as it's about Minneapolis' history as the flour milling capital of the world) make sure to go to the baking lab. It's right as you exit the "Flour Tower Tour" (which is a must do if you have the time). They have a lot of funny, old vintage cookbooks you can flip through, which is kind of fun. And they time their baking so that they alway have a snack coming out of the oven for people to sample as they come off the flour tower tour. This isn't a meal, but a nibble is always nice!
The Mill City Museum is next to the new Guthrie, which is where Sea Change Restaurant is and where the Mill City Farmers Market (MCFM) is on Saturday mornings. http://www.millcityfarmersmarket.org/visit
Also in that same complex is Spoonriver, which is a lovely setting and focuses on local/organic/sustainable food (as does the MCFM) and is superduper veggie friendly. Not super appealing to meat eaters, not because they don't have meat options (they do, for instance, they have a grass-fed flank steak on their dinner menu), but it's not the big heavy meat wallop I suspect your dad would be interested in. http://www.spoonriverrestaurant.com/ Spoonriver isn't universally loved on this board, so you might do a little searching to see if it's the kind of place that might suit you.
I love soupkitten's rec for 112 Eatery. Some vegetarians say they've been fine with their menu and willingness to accomodate, but others have been less happy with the experience.
I'm a pescatarian myself and I will say that almost any decent restaurant here is going to have good fish and vegetarian food options for you. I have to be honest with you though and say that none of my favorite recommendations are in the immediate vicinity of your hotel - it is a little touristy there and I just don't get there that much. Although you should try the breakfast at Hell's Kitchen for sure.
The area around Magers and Quinn is very pedestrian friendly - lots of shops and restaurants - it is the young, hip, uptown area. Good place to have cocktails.
I would say though maybe try to make a trip to a place that does local, seasonal cuisine but with good options for both meat and veggie eaters, like Heartland, Craftsman, or Corner Table. They aren't really in pedestrian friendly areas, but are easy to get to and park at. You could also do the midtown global market and then people could get whichever cuisine they liked best, although it is more of a fun place than a place to get the best food ever, IMO. Oooh, I think there is a mystery and sci fi bookstore right by there.
As far as ethnic food, we are sort of known for having good Vietnamese and there is some not too far from where you are staying on a street they call "eat street". Jasmines and Quangs are good options there - you could get the mock duck noodle salad and dad could get a meaty bowl of Pho. The Twin Cities is also known for Ethiopian, but that might be too adventurous (if not, make sure someone gets the veggie sampler).
Oh, maybe you should go to Muffaletta in St. Paul - a walkable neighborhood with a bookstore right there. Or go to WA Frost in St. Paul and go to Garrison Keilor's bookstore over there.
80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402
1806 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
W.A. Frost & Co
374 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102
Quang Pastry & Deli
2719 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
2532 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406
4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409
Muffuletta In the Park
2260 Como Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108
Oh Thanks all - lots of great recomendations here.
I'm sad about the pizza, but very interested in Keillor's bookstore. Also, we love Ethiopian (with DC being a bit of a mecca for Ethiopian restaurants), but it is doubtful that we will get Dad interested. Also intrigued by Hell's Kitchen, but was thinking that there could be brutal wait times? We will have a car, but time could be an issue...
Mmmm...good call, BigE. I love those Lemon Ricotta pancakes, though they are pretty darn rich. The huevos are great, but I always have to have sourdough toast (nothing special there) so I can get all of the homemade condiments, including the house-made peanut butter and jams. Not for the non-meateaters, but the bison bread (which doesn't sound good), IS good.
A regional specialty at Hells Kitchen is the wild rice (manoomin) porridge. Very very rich, but delicious and the wild rice at HK is the real deal, Native American hand-harvested stuff.
Have a great visit!
Fasika is a great recommendation. I do like the beer selection though at the Blue Nile, I like that I can get lots of yogurt, I like the big booths, and the location would be better for the OP. I have had problems with the service there being slow and weird, but have never had a bad veggie sampler there either.
I wanted to thank everyone for the great recomendations. We had a great time around the TC.
We hit the Mill City Musuem on the first day and the tour layed a great informational foundation.
Brits was just right for an early evening beer and FishnChips before a baseball game. And I loved the sweet corn in the tuna melt.
So glad that we waited for a table at Hell's Kitchen. The Huevos Rancheros were off the hook - a mound of yumminess.
Muffuletta was a crowd pleaser, but a rainstorm prevented us from seeing much of the surrounding neighborhood.
My wife and I want to visit again to hit up all of the place we missed (including Keillor's bookstore)
quick first thoughts
the new sea change restaurant in the guthrie,
post game noisy bar food with veg options: grumpy's on washington
dinners near nicollet mall downtown (pedestrian friendly)
brit's, has rooftop patio with bowling green
local & organic near magers & quinn (uptown location, right?):
lucia's (note that small uber-seasonal menu changes weekly)
walk around the lakes while here. also walk nicollet mall, riverfront, stone arch bridge & st. anthony area (edge of NE).
deep dish pizza-- negative. not the thing to order in msp. don't do it.
there are no "divey" breakfast joints downtown as far as i know-- you'll have to get out of downtown to hit the diners, or pay triple at ike's. you could grab an early pastry and then have a brunchier deal later. . . y'all really should try to get to al's for breakfast, if you are early risers. the famous dive hasn't changed in 50 years. be prepared to split up into pairs to dine-- the counter has 13 seats i believe and the staff will split you up to fit you in.
1432 W 31st St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Brit's Pub & Eating Establishment
1110 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Vincent A Restaurant
1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Grumpy's Bar & Grill
1111 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415
1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
oh screw it. you should totally go to alma. alma, 112, lucia's being my top recs.
al's for 1 breakfast, agreeing with Jbug, below, about breakfast at hell's kitchen for something near your hotel. her recs for heartland, corner table, & craftsman are perfect (local-sustainable food heroes, veg/pesc-friendly, meat-endowed), but these establishments are further from downtown than alma and 112 are.
point is, will you have a car at any point do you like public trans/cabs?