Restaurant/Bar near MSP airport with a view of the airport itself?
I'm wondering if anyone knows of any restaurants or bars near MSP that have a decent view of the airport itself. We love watching planes take off and land, but couldn't think of any place that actually had a view of the airport.
Can anyone think of anything? Thanks!
The only place I can think of is the officer's club at Fort Snelling, which is near one of the main flight approaches.
Fat Lorenzo's for pizza, salads, red-sauce Italian. On a nice sunny day, the approach/departure path for 17/35 is directly overhead. Bring earplugs.
Likewise on a sunny day, Chevy's (I know - you're not going for the food but the fish tacos are passable). Likewise under the approach/departure path for runway 17/35.
You also could bring a picnic and sit in the cell phone lot on Post Road, on the south side of the airport. Lots of planespotters hang out there. Also, picnic out at Taft Park on the southwest corner of Cedar and the crosstown. Not as close to the action, but right under the runway center line. It's also possible to drive well into the airport to the FedEx office. The Airport Police won't be too happy with picnicers in the middle of the airport, but technically it's legal.
The Ikea referenced actually looks away from the airport. More of a view of MOA than MSP! Nothing actually looks out onto the airport itself. It's up on the bluff and surrounded by hangars and the guard base.
Your best option if you want to eat with a view of the airport is to go to the Mall of America. Not a lot of fantastic food, but if you grab something to go from one of the better establishments (Wolfgang Puck's and Tiger Sushi are already set up for take out, and are servicable.) and then go to the Northeast corner top of the East parking structure, you'll find an absolutely stunning view of the airport. (With downtown Minneapolis in the background) If planes are approaching from the south, you'll also get to see aircraft on their final approach to the new runway flying right past you.
The best time to go is during the week, or another time when the mall isn't busy. When the mall is not expecting large crowds, the top level of that lot is closed to vehicle traffic, so you can definately find a spot to watch. If the mall is full, you may find cars taking up anyplace where you could stand and eat.
One note - it is really windy up there.
If you're actually at the airport (and have a boarding pass to get you past security) pick up something from French Meadow, or order something off the menu (and not out of the steam tray) at Wok N Roll, and bring it to the airport's observation deck. It is hidden away in the tiny D Concourse. There are a few signs, but once find it and climb the narrow staircase, you'll find a quiet room with a 360 degree view of the airport.
I'd agree that it isn't nearly as good as the original. But, within the airport, it is one of the better options. The other I mentioned, Wok N Roll, is on almost every concourse, and surprisingly good, once you realize that you can order beyond the steamtable.
They have a full menu available, and will cook to order. The portions are HUGE compared to what you get off the steam table, and the prices are CHEAP. For 7 or 8 dollars, you can get a pretty decent order of Singapore Rice Noodles or Lo Mein (just ask for a protein that isn't out on the steam table, I usually go with roast pork) that will easily feed 2 people. Not fantastic, but if you're at the airport and hungry, its nice to know you can still get cheap, half decent eats.
To tag on to Loren3's post, I was just at the dog park yesterday and I remembered this post. Take a picnic and blanket down to the dog park byt the airport. If you are on the crosstown, take the 28th ave exit and head south. You are RIGHT there, watching planes take off and land. You can smell the jet fuel and feel the rumbling. There is also a kind of burm at the park that is just above the height of the runway, so you have a great view. The dogpark is owned by the MAC, and you don't *need* a dog to go.