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Oct 8, 2013 01:11 PM

A week in downtown Minneapolis--where do I eat?

I will be at the Marquette and will not have a car. Any good recommendations? Any kind of cuisine. Thanks.

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  1. Bring your walking shoes and an empty tummy. Welcome:)

    Haute Dish for grown up versions of midwestern comfort food. They have a great sunday brunch and do a 4 course vegetarian tasting menu sunday evenings.

    Black Sheep for yummy coal fired thin crust pizza.

    Sapor Cafe for seasonal farm to table style food. Get the "Beetza" appetizer.

    Hell's Kitchen is noisy but tasty. Not a quiet conversation place, but a good varied menu, with something for everyone.

    Bar LaGrassa and 112 Eatery. Make your reservations now. Bar LeGrassa is the more casual of the pair.

    One block over from Nicolet Mall where your hotel is is where the food trucks park for lunch when the weather is nice.

    3 Replies
    1. re: autumm

      have you had good luck at hell's kitchen? i've been there before and been extremely disappointed... of course, i was there during happy hour. do they do better at other times?

      1. re: chartreauxx

        We have done brunch and dinners there as a group of 8 plus and the food was great. Service was average, but nothing to complain about. Lemon ricotta pancakes. . .hint hint (yes I had them for dinner)

        1. re: autumm

          good to know. our service was pretty rude, and the happy hour food i sadly must recommend against.

          maybe we'll try again for brunch; they seem to have a good reputation for that.

    2. It sort of depends on what your budget is, who you are dining with, and what you want to eat. Here's a list of my favorites in downtown proper.

      La Belle Vie: Best restaurant in MN. But it's expensive and you'll want to get reservations now. They also have a lounge where you can get a great meal and a killer cocktail selection.

      Manny's: Best steakhouse in MN period. Bone-in ribeye is the way to go and don't miss the hashbrowns.

      JD Hoyt's: Best steak house on a budget and best pork chop in the Twin Cities in my opinion.

      Haute Dish/Ba La Grasa/112 Eatery: See Autumm's write ups in previous post.

      Vincent A Restaurant: French and wide variety of choices with everything done well.

      Sanctuary: Affordable four course tasting menus with seasonal ingredients. Best value dinner for the money in town right now in my book.

      Sea Change: Sustainable Seafood

      Eli's Food and Cocktails: Good scratch made food and fun drinking establishment

      Lurcat: Modern American and outstanding views of Loring Park.

      You'll be able to find websites with menus for all these if any tickle your fancy. Enjoy your time here in the Cities.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Db Cooper

        Thank you both for the posts! All of these in walking distance? Great. I have only been once before and was at the mercy of some coworkers. This time, I will be mostly on my own and would like to keep dinner to around 50-60 bucks with a beverage or two.
        I am going to be there the week of Halloween and just read of the 'Blizzard of 1991'! i am hoping I will have better weather than that.

        Edit: I may up that budget for at least one night out. I looked at some of those menus they are really enticing.

        1. re: deeman

          Some of them are a more lesiurely walk than others, but if you are okay with walking 20-25 minutes then yes, I think everything above would be "walking distance".

          For solo dining, the pasta bar at Bar La Grassa is great and you get to watch an amazing efficient kitchen operating (no reservations, but solo diners usually have a pretty easy time snagging a seat). You could easily eat there for <$50 even with a beverage or two.

          The bar at La Belle Vie would be another good spot that I would be happy to eat at by myself. If you get the lounge tasting, it would be probably a bit over your original budget.

          I also second the Black Sheep rec above. Another place I would add would be Saffron.

          1. re: LauraB

            Most are within walking distance and if the weather were to turn for the worse, a cab will be between $5 to $10 with most leaning closer to $5.

              1. re: ChillyDog

                Saffron is one of the top restaurants in minneapolis

            1. re: deeman

              The blizzard of 91 was abnormal. It might be brisk, but generally (knocking on wood) the big snows hold off till December. Typically it will be in the 50s during the day, dropping into the low 30s at night.

              1. re: autumm

                Everyone here has been a great help. I look forward to visitng your city again. I just checked the weather and it looks like it will be a bit colde than normal but not too bad. I will report back. Thanks again!

          2. you'll be close to butcher and the boar and also to the bulldog downtown. recommend both!

            5 Replies
            1. re: chartreauxx

              Second on The Butcher and The Boar - excellent food and great atmosphere, very close to your hotel, and a well chosen craft beer tap list, If you are into that sort of thing. The Bulldog also has a great beer selection but the food is fairly basic pub fare.

              Another idea downtown would be the Copper Pot, an Indian restaurant in the Lumber Exchange building at 5th and Hennepin, about a 10 minute walk from your hotel.

              1. re: lizpeck

                Thanks for all the recs. I think I will definitely try The Butcher and the Boar. I picked up a ticket to the Wild-Blackhawks game on Monday so I have that to look forward to as well.

                1. re: deeman

                  I've met the sickened expressions when theatre-goers at the Orpheum realize they'll never get to the Ordway before the curtain goes up ... so please do not take what follows as an insult to your intelligence:

                  You know the hockey game is over in St Paul, right?

                  The 6:05 departure of the 94D Express bus leaves time to walk over from the bus stop on Cedar Street and pick up a beer on the way to your seat in the Excel Energy Center.

                  A nice dinner beforehand might be at Meritage. Solo diners can usually find a seat at the bar without a reservation.


                  1. re: KTFoley

                    Yes, I did the research prior to buying the ticket. I can leave the office at 5 and figured I could take a cab to the arena. Thanks for the tip on the bus. I might just take that instead. Also, I may have some coworkers going as well so I should at least be able to get there. Getting back to the hotel is a different story!

                    1. re: deeman

                      If you take a cab, don't let them take the Kellogg exit into Downtown for the Wild game, take the 5th/10th street exit, get out a couple blocks away and walk.

            2. I'd add in Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar to pretty much everything mentioned...

              2 Replies
              1. re: eastlakovore

                Thanks everyone for the responses. I will be sure to check out some of those places. And probably take a taxi once or twice. If there are any more recs, keep them coming!

                1. re: eastlakovore

                  +1 on marvel bar; note that food is at bachelor farmer, marvel bar serves drinks (amazing drinks) only - all they have for eats are cheetos. ask for pip (last name hanson); he's the one you want making your stuff. he spent a year training under a master bartender in japan, and not only is he extremely, EXTREMELY skilled, but he keeps a lot of unusual stuff in his liquor cabinet.

                2. I'm a fan of the Monte Carlo for the chicken wings. Everything else there is ordinary.