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Duluth in November

I know about Uncle Louies but I am looking for other great places to eat. Every post I seached is too old. so anyone eat something good in Duluth in the last year?.

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  1. My sister and her husband travel up to Duluth about once a month just to get away from the city. Their default go-to is Fitger's Brewhouse for their wild rice burger, although they have been very happy with other items on the menu as well.

    Fitgers is actually going to open up another location in the north loop sometime in the near future too if you decide you don't want to travel all the way up to Duluth for some good beer.

    1. If you just want a simple lunch, Amazing Grace has great soup and sandwiches.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gildeddawn

        I regret to say, avoid the breakfasts at Amazing Grace. Our breakfast at Amazing Grace this summer was our single most disappointing meal of our visit to Duluth. Nothing on either of our plates was worth eating. Not the overcooked eggs, not the near-raw yet greasy potatoes, not even the toast. How very sad for a bakery to not even be able to make decent toast. What the heck happened to this place in the year since we'd been here?

        Our second most disappointing (and fairly expensive) meal was dinner at Lake Avenue Cafe. My husband's trout was so overcooked it was almost criminal (but his sides were okay, except they were boiling hot--too long in the microwave perhaps). My braised short-ribs were good, but my side dishes were disappointing. Pretentious, loud patrons at the tables on either side of us and really odd service. Plus, the place is in disrepair. We were locked out on the patio for 5-10 minutes because the sliding glass door didn't work. I might have ranked this experience worse than Amazing Grace (it was certainly a bigger waste of money), except that a couple of things we were served were actually good, whereas nothing at Amazing Grace was.

        Our surprisingly good (not exceptional, just good) meal was at Midi in Fitgers. Their breakfast was actually okay, and a hundred times better than Amazing Grace. Gorgeous view of the lake from the dining room, which is located right off the bike/walking path if you wanted to walk or cycle there. Service painfully distracted and scatterbrained.

        Wild rice burgers at Fitger's Brewhouse were as solid as ever.


      2. Hopefully the gales aren't blowing too hard.

        We usually do the Pickwick. Old-style dining with some pretty traditional classics. Apparently, they remodeled a bit according to their website. But the menu still looks appealing and I know they make a really good steak/prime rib. It's where the old money goes. It isn't going to be creative, just good classic supper club food. If you get a window seat, nice views of the lake as well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Db Cooper

          I've only been to the Pickwick once since the ownership change, but I thought the quality wasn't what it used to be.

        2. What old posts do you mean? You need to check the Great Lakes Board. Was just there last summer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: scoopG

            Thanks I did check that out. Sad to say allot of them are gone. But I did get some good ideas so thanks.

          2. We've eaten at Va Bene Caffe several times, and have always enjoyed it. Italian, very good quality, nice space, good service. Their sorbets are killer good.


            1. I really appreciate the responses. Thank you so much!

              1. I really like the Scenic Cafe, just to the north/northeast of the City. In the downtown area I love Hanabi for sushi. If you like thin crust, square-cut pizza (and I know a lot of people don't), you should try Sammy's Pizza. The downtown location has seating; the Lakeside location is more for takeout. In the Canal Park area for sure get a sandwich at the Northern Waters Smokehaus, and next door is Lake Avenue Cafe, which had an ownership change a year or two ago and (in my opinion) got even better.

                1. We loved the Duluth Grill on the west side of Duluth. They use lots of locally sourced ingredients and have a large menu with lots of excellent choices.

                  1. Hopefully all of the old favorites in and near Canal Park are still good: Amazing Grace Bakery, Northern Waters Smokehaus, Fitgers. I think the Mexican restaurant in Fitgers is about the same (nothing spectacular, but the setting is nice) as Angie's Cantina in Canal Park--in fact, is that Mexican restaurant in the Fitgers Brewery Complex even still there? I don't see it on the complex's website, but I do see a link to a restaurant I've never heard of called Midi: http://www.midirestaurant.net/ Maybe Midi's always been there?

                    . I haven't been to the new Lake Avenue Cafe--hope to check that out soon. I'm curious about the Neapolitan Pizza place that replaced Hells Kitchen.


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Hi Dairy Queen,
                      Yes, the Mex resto in the Fitger's complex is still there---at least it was last week. Did not eat there but agree the setting is fabulous---you overlook the lake. I am sending up prayers for all the people in Duluth and surrounding area (Moose Lake and other towns) that they speedily recover from the flooding damage.

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Hey Queen,

                        The Neopolitan place is not in the old Hell's Kitchen location, they are in the old Northern LIghts Book Store location next to the Cariboo Coffee on Canal Park drive not South Lake Avenue. While I haven't tried the 'Za I have peeked at it coming out of the oven and it does look good. More of a personal size, quick trip through the oven, nice Neo looking product.... but I have no idea how it tastes. (I walk by on my way to Northern Water's Smokehouse)

                        The Hell's Kitchen location spent a short time as a hells burgers but is now a Grizzly's Wood Fired Grill. A popular chain, pobably not on a Chowhound's list.

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          The Neapolitan place is called Vitta Pizza, and as another poster pointed out, is in a location formerly occupied by a bookstore. I received a gift card for there last Christmas and I can say that it is a middling joint - definitely not on my "must eat" list, though others may disagree.

                          I was to Le Midi once for a birthday two years ago and it's a decent place. They serve a mix of German / Mediterranean / Spanish food.

                          I'd be very surprised if Mexico Lindo's location in the Fitger's Plaza was gone, because it was absolutely hopping the last time I was there in September 2011. They appear to be shooting for an entirely different crowd than the original Cloquet location, and from the time I was there, seem to have completely different chefs making different recipes. I would suggest the Cloquet location over the Duluth location unless you prefer a loud, student-oriented ambiance.

                        2. My new favorite is At Sara's Table/Chester Creek Cafe up the hill toward the University, 1902 E. 8th Street. http://www.astccc.net/

                          The Scenic Cafe up Old Highway 61 mentioned several times - ditto.

                          1. I I have to put in my vote for Nokomos on the Lake, winter hours are limited but the view of the Big Lake is great and Chef Shawn has such a great touch with food. Service can be iffy due to the staffing that is required in a tourist town, but get over it! The food is better and you pay no more than mediocre offerings.

                            1. My sincere thanks to all the posters and their recommendations. I plan on circumnavigating Lakes Superior and Huron on my annual trek north this October. Being closer to 60 than 50, my trips are more for reflection than exploration. Are there any local/regional specialtiesthat are a cannot miss? Down here on the Space Coast, you have to have rock shrimp. Already have the juicy lucy in my sights as well as Northern Waters Smokehaus.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                Well, if you can, head up to Russ Kendall's (about an hour north of Duluth where scenic 61 joins state 61) has wonderful smoked fish. It's my fav on the North Shore. Also, I love Grand Marais (the town)--it's been a couple of years, but I hope Angry Trout Cafe is fantastic there.


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Much appreciated. My plan is to circumnavigate Lakes Superior and Huron, so this is well appreciated. I use mainly 2 lane roads and drive slow and far for good local foods and regional specialties. Took me 3 days driving through the Mississippi delta last year eating tamales and BBQ. A 75 mile trip.

                              2. I'm from Duluth. I used to be on here all the time, but haven't posted often lately, primarily due to financial reasons.

                                I first would second anyone who recommended the Duluth Grill. I was there about two weeks ago with my mother and had a great time. Excellent food, large menu (which leads to problems in choosing exactly what to get), great service. I got the braised lamb shank in stew; my mother ordered the "Everything" omelet with a pancake, and they both were great. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a bad meal at the Duluth Grill after they cut ties with Embers.

                                Amazing Grace is a good suggestion too, if just for the "Duluth alternative" atmosphere of the place.

                                Some other places I am willing to suggest are Mexico Lindo in Cloquet (NOT the one in Duluth) and Northern Waters Smokehaus (not really a restaurant, but their lox-and-cream bagels are excellent, albeit pricey).