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Minneapolis Itinerary Advice

My husband and I are flying to MSP on Saturday and wanted to get some advice on our restaurant itinerary.

It is our first time to the area and we will have a rental car that we don't mind using.

Saturday Lunch: Pizzeria Lola
Saturday Dinner: Piccolo

Sunday Breakfast: Parka
Sunday Dinner: Butcher and the Boar (very excited for all their Bourbons)

Monday Breakfast: Salty Tart
Monday Dinner: Bachelor Farmer

I saw that Pig Ate My Pizza will be opening on Friday and would love to try to fit it in somewhere but worried about the long lines and usually not a fan of going to a place when it first opens.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. While it is a very good bakery, Salty Tart isn't really a breakfast place per sé. So if you're looking for coffee and pastry, it would be great. But if you want something more substaintial, you might want to look elsewhere. Also, the Global Market is kind of dead during the morning hours.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ChancesR

      We are just looking to grab a pastry and coffee this day so sounds like it would be good!

      1. re: amark17

        You mentioned that you won't mind driving so that's cool - but since you're staying downtown - I'd just hit the Fulton Brewery on Sunday after the game - just sayin.

        1. re: Maggie19

          You can get their beers anywhere don't waste you time going to the brewery. there are better places to go. I do like Fulton but would not waste my time going there. just saying.......

          1. re: ibew292

            For beer I would recommend Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub, Indeed's taproom, Dangerous Man, Buster's on 28th or the Blue Door Longfellow location. If you went to Blue Door you could also try a Blucy. Northbound, Buster's and Blue Door are all in S. Mpls while Indeed and Dangerous Man are in NE.

    2. Do you have all of your reservations made? Are you coming this weekend or a weekend?

      PAMP is a total unknown at the moment. There are several previews out there with how the menu is done. I do believe they'll be open for lunch at some point, which will dissipate the crowds a bit.

      2 Replies
      1. re: american_idle

        We are coming this Saturday and we do have all of our reservations made.

        I was already so sad that Travail closed after we had bought our tickets, so I just was excited to try their new place but it doesn't seem like it will be easy to make happen...

        1. re: amark17

          I don't think it'll be worse than a regular Travail line. Same, probably. Better? Possible.

      2. Where are you staying? Keep in mind that on Sat @ 6pm the Twins are home vs the Orioles .. so downtown could be a bit crazy. South Minneapolis (Piccolo) and SW Minneapolis (Lola) won't be a problem on Saturday but if you're staying downtown ... be prepared for traffic. Sunday afternoon game as well - if you haven't been to Target Field - and you like watching MLB outside - consider the food available there as well. It's not bad at all, lot's of interesting local choices, plus it's a beauty of a stadium.

        I'd try and fit in Barrio (downtown Mpls) for apps at some point. Other than that - you've done well with your selections. Have a good time...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Maggie19

          Thanks for the advice about traffic on Saturday. I didn't even think about that. We are staying downtown and will allow extra time to get to Piccolo.

          We are actually going to the baseball game on Sunday and I am really looking forward to seeing the stadium. I have heard great things!

          Thanks for the reassurance on our selections and I will check out Barrio.

          1. re: amark17

            RE: the ballpark, Kramarczuk's just won a James Beard "American Classics" award and as LauraB says below, their sausages are about the best thing available at the ballpark that I've tried... But I haven't been this season. Andrew Zimmern's (also a James Beard winner this year, not for food but for food journalism) has a new stand ("AZ Canteen") at the ballpark this year.

            "Turkey to Go" is the beloved turkey sandwich from the MN State Fair.

            You have to go to specific stands for these items. Here's a listing of the concession locations: http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/min/ba...

            Pretty decent selection of local beer, too.

            ~TDQ

        2. Sounds like a delicious list to me. :-) I love Piccolo!

          At the ballpark, my favorite thing is the Kramarczuk's sausages. Also, depending on where you are sitting, the Town Ball Tavern is a good place to get beer. Only a $1 more for local Summit Saga IPA than for a generic light beer. (There are few other locations that also have better beer, but I do not know where they are off the top of my head and I have been near the Town Ball Tavern the last few times.)

          1. Speaking of the Townball Tavern inside Target Field - they now have Fulton Sweet Child of Vine .. just an excellent IPA - which by the way is brewed just a block from the stadium on 4th St.- which you can see from Townball. Excellent tap-room - just in case you have the time....

            2 Replies
            1. re: Maggie19

              We are planning on visiting the Town Hall Brewery after the baseball game. We are big beer fans and always try to fit in at least one brewery when visiting a city.

              1. re: amark17

                Just FYI, the Townball Tavern (in the stadium) and the Town Hall Brewery (near the U of M Mpls campus) are completely unrelated entities.

                I don't think that Townball brews anything itself, but does have taps from other local spots like Fulton. Fulton and Town Hall are both examples of the many local breweries that have sprung like dandelions (only much, much better!) in the Minneapolis neighborhoods recently.

                Fulton is a brewery with a taproom; it also distributes kegs & bottles so we can taste it elsewhere. Best bet -- before you go into the stadium, walk around the block to its location and grab a pint plus a snack from whichever local foodtruck is there for the day. I've been to only evening games so far, and the taproom wasn't open when they let out. http://fultonbeer.com/the-brewery

                Town Hall is its own brewpub, and offers only growlers for offsite consumption. I'm fond of their Masala Mama. http://www.townhallbrewery.com/

            2. If you are looking for coffee and a pastry, I highly recommend either Rustica or Patisserie 46, both in Minneapolis. I would take either one over the Salty Tart.

              10 Replies
              1. re: northernstardust

                I would definitely recommend Rustica as the best option. Maybe also try to fit a visit to Izzy's, and tell them you heard about a caramelized white chocolate ice cream that they should choose as a finalist for their flavor contest.

                1. re: getgot211

                  And if you're going to Izzy's (on Marshall Ave in St. Paul) and you're a coffee+pastry lover, stop in at Kopplin's just a few doors down for a coffee and a Rustica pastry.

                  They also have Rustica pastries at Parka.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Kopplin's and Izzie are on our list also. We are going to see the Capitol so we were going to sneak those places in also!

                    1. re: amark17

                      OK, if you're going to see the Capitol and you're feeling really adventurous The Hmong Market is worth perusing (during the day only--it gets pretty dead around 4-5pm). Also, I think Meritage in downtown St. Paul is fabulous for lunch or dinner or for weekend brunch.

                      I also really like the Heartland Deli (and their little grocery market) in lowertown St. Paul, but now you're getting pretty far from the Capitol...

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Yes to Meritage and always, always yes to Izzy's. I like the food at Heartland but the service was awful the last two times we were there.

                        1. re: northernstardust

                          I'm really just recommending a quick pop in to the deli/market at Heartland, not a meal at the restaurant or bar, which, presumably is where you had the bad service? Lots of wonderful things for sale at the deli and market. Great little sandwiches, etc. I just think it's fun to wander if you have a little extra time. But it might be too much to cram into a busy schedule because it's not that close to the Capitol.

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Agree. Yes, we had bad service in the restaurant. I was so disappointed because the old location was right by our house and it was our go-to special-occasion restaurant. Food and service were always top-notch.

                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                          The OP (and others) may want to remember that travel between Minneapolis and St. Paul will be slow this weekend because of closures of part of I-35W and I-94 from Friday night until early Monday morning.

                          More info here: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/proj...

                          It doesn't look like travel to any of the OP's destinations will be affected directly by the closures (since they're in Minneapolis and Robbinsdale), but any travel to St. Paul will be via detour. It might be worth waiting until Monday to venture over to the Capitol.

                          1. re: bob s

                            Just as a heads up - the Capitol building itself is likely to be very busy on Monday. Of course, if you went on Monday you could witness the Senate voting on an important issue which in my opion would make it totally worth the crowds.

                            Izzy's is my favorite ice cream scoop shop in the Twin Cities so I definitely recommend that. :-)

                            1. re: bob s

                              Just take University Ave to St Paul to avoid the I-94 construction.

                  2. Good itinerary. I might substitute Tilia for Parka simply because it doesn't look like you will get to that part of town otherwise. And it's a really nice part of town - a short walk from Lake Harriet (great post-meal walk) plus a few interesting stores to pop into if you have to wait for a table.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: parallevar

                      The food at parka is much better than tilia.

                      1. re: parallevar

                        stores to pop into if you have to wait for a table.

                        That word 'If" made me laugh really hard. Thanks for that, I appreciate it. I think a more apt description would be "while you wait for a table."

                        1. re: Db Cooper

                          Post did say "breakfast." I've been twice at 9 or 9:30 and sat down immediately in the past two months... If you wait until noon, yes, no chance.

                      2. Amark, have a wonderful trip and be sure to update us on your findings when you have a spare moment. Also, please tell us where you are traveling from and where you like to eat there. Thanks.

                        1. I'm late to the party, and you are here now, and have eaten at Lola. I hope you got a pizza with egg on it.

                          You will like Piccolo. Order as much as you feel comfortable ordering and share everything. They also have an excellent wine list.

                          Parka will be good for breakfast, although I'd lean toward Sunstreet Breads. You don't have Sunday lunch listed (maybe because you're saving up for the carnivore orgy at BATB), but I love the sammies at St. paul Cheese Shop.

                          It appears as if you are driving to breakfast Sunday and Monday. If you've had too much bourbon Sunday night, you may want to grab your coffee and pastry closer to where you are staying, grab lunch at Midtown Market (Sonora Grill or Left Handed Cook), pick up Salty Tart pastries And enjoy them Tuesday morning before you leave.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Brad Ballinger

                            I would stick with Parka. Sun Street Biscuits have been lacking lately(DRY). Parka is a much better choice.

                          2. So... how was the trip (food) ?

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: St3ve

                              The trip was great! We really enjoyed our time in Minneapolis.

                              Pizzeria Lola was definitely a highlight. We loved their pizza. We tried the Lady ZaZa and then the special that had speck and asparagus. Both were really good.

                              Next stop was Kopplin's and Izzy's. Loved the Izzy scoop! Thought Kopplin's coffee was very good also.

                              Had time to stop by Indeed Brewing Company. Really liked their Black Ale and their IPA.

                              Piccolo was awesome also. We both did the 5 course tasting menu and shared everything. It was such a great deal and all of the food was really good.

                              We went to Parka the next morning for breakfast. Loved the Dogwood Coffee they had and their neon pink espresso machine! The food was good, but the service wasn't so great.

                              Next stop was the baseball game. Great stadium, great Kramarczuk's Sausage. Tried to go to the Fulton Brewery before the game, but it was closed and then the keg at the stadium of Fulton's ran out.

                              We then decided to check out Pig Ate My Pizza. Got there around 4:45 and were able to get seated at 5 when they opened. Ordered the Belly and the Piggy Pie. Both pizzas were really good. I think I liked Pizzeria Lola better but this was a close second. They did mess up our order and we ended up waiting about 45 minutes for our pizzas, but they were really nice about it and comped one of our pizzas.

                              Onto our second dinner at Butcher and the Boar. Their bourbon list is awesome. We tried a bunch of different 1 oz pours and then shared the grilled oysters and the long rib. We didnt love the food, but we were really more excited for the bourbon when we picked that place.

                              The next morning we stopped by the Salty Tart and tried the ham and cheese croissant, which was awesome. We got some coffee at Mapp's by recommendation of the woman at the Salty Tart but it was not good.

                              Skipping to pre-dinner drinks, we went to Marvel, which was awesome. I loved the space and the bartenders were really cool. Plus the drinks were great. I tried the Reverse Manhattan, the Tomas Collins and the Gatsy. The Tomas Collins was my favorite but I really liked all 3. My husband got to try the Scoville before it was officially on the menu and that was really good also. I can't remember the other 2 he had but I remember them being really good.

                              Next stop was dinner at Bachelor Farmer which might have been my favorite meal of the trip. I loved the atmosphere, the food and the fact you could get half bottles of all of their wine! I really liked their toasts, something you don't normally see at a restaurant. Everything we ate there was great.

                              The next morning we went to Dogwood coffee to get more of their awesome coffee and then to Rustica for more pastries. Really liked both places and really liked the Uptown area.

                              Last stop was Punch Pizza. So jealous of what good pizza Minneapolis has. Even though Punch was my 3rd favorite pizza place of the trip, it was still really good.

                              I think that was everything!

                              1. re: amark17

                                Sounds like you had some great meals! THank you so much for reporting back!

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Thanks to everyone for all the great advice!!

                                  1. re: amark17

                                    Thanks for coming back to report in!