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Minneapolis Marriott City Center, not to miss places walking distance from here?

Attending a conference mid june, eager to sample really good not to miss chow-worthy places. Suggestions?

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  1. For dinner, I'd say Cosmos, 112 Eatery and Saffron are all great bets.

    For lunch, I don't know of anything DT that's really can't miss but I really like La Loma (great Mexican but zero ambiance), Vincent, Masa and Ike's.

    1. There a lot of wonderful food trucks on Marquette and some of the side streets for lunch. Later I'll try to find a reference to them.

      On Thursday, Nicollet Mall has a farmer's market that goes on for block. There are many delectables.

      6 Replies
      1. re: shoo bee doo

        I wouldn't send some from out of town to the food trucks, most are overrated. Some might be OK.

        1. re: ibew292

          I think that's a little unfair. Quite a few of the trucks out there are putting out good food, a lot of it sustainable and locally sourced. Granted, I'm not as familiar with the ones that only frequent Mpls and I probably wouldn't be sending an out-of-towner to go hunt down Turkey to Go or Tot Boss (not that tater tots aren't ridiculously delicious), but my friends and I have had a lot of really good lunches from the trucks - better than a lot of our skyway options. My friend is still raving about the fish tacos from Home Street Home Truck two weeks later. My burger and shake from Neatos last week was very good. I also certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend Vellee Deli, Dandelion Kitchen, World Street Kitchen, or Fork n the Road. Plus, depending on the locale and weather, it's pretty nice eating outside.

          Another lunch option would be Maison Darras - good food, quick and affordable (assuming the Mpls location is as solid as the St. Paul one). For happy hour or if you have some fellow coworkers/friends you're attending with where small plates and a pitcher of Sangria would appeal for a dinner (particularly on the rooftop on a nice night), I would also throw Solera out there.

          1. re: amishangst

            Stand in line for 10 min, wait for food10min, stand and try to eat. Yes what a great dining experience.30 trucks and maybe 3 that are worth standing in line. Tater tots for lunch, come on......

            1. re: ibew292

              I guess it never occurred to me to not find a place to sit and enjoy my lunch or to view the opportunity to get away from my windowless office to stretch my legs, bask in the sunshine, and breath in something besides recycled air a miserable burden.

              Would you mind reposting your suggestions? I'm thinking they must have been inadvertently moved or deleted (darn mods...).

              1. re: amishangst

                Sorry I don't think the Food Trucks are worth recommending for someone looking for a place to have lunch from out of town. For you wage slaves it probably is a treat to have something above average to eat. Where do you sit to eat????? Next to to beggars? Vincent, My Burger, and Newsroom come to mind. I like sitting down and being served ......Again food trucks may be OK but I would not recommend them to out of townees.

              2. re: ibew292

                If there are 3 worth standing in line...then there are 2 more than I need.

                I agree that just because it's served from a truck, doesn't mean it is worth eating and that most trucks serve bad food. But there are still trucks serving really good food.

                Smack Shack's truck was an example, are they still doing it? There's an indian-influenced truck I tried at Art-a-whirl at the Indeed brewery that was really good. Better than any Indian food I've had in sit-down restaurants in Minneapolis.

        2. My Minneapolis guilty pleasure is the Diamond Dog at The Depot, only a couple of blocks up 7th. It's a 1/4lb hot dog, wrapped in pepper bacon, deep fried and served on a pretzel bun. It sounds horrible. It tastes amazing. Plus you can actually feel yourself die just a little bit when you eat it.

          If you're there before 5 or 6, you can get a diamond dog, fries, and a beer for $10. A bargain.

          All of the food at The Depot is top notch bar food. If you're looking for that sort of thing, do it. If you're looking for fine dining, others will chime in on this thread and guide you.

          1. Brasserie Zentral. Had dinner there again last night. The food is just plain great. Very interesting and thoughtful wine list. Also a cool bar with very good beers. Just a few blocks from CC.

            1. Unfortunately, that part of downtown is almost a dead zone for great dining. That said, drinks at Saffron and dinner at 112 Eatery and Zentral are not to be missed. Butcher and the Boar is only a quick jaunt away, as well.

              1. Thanks! I love interesting ethnic, I'll be coming from Reno where we do pretty well with mexican and basque and thai, but I'd love recs for other things maybe a specialty of the area? Willing to walk a long way. Or bus. Or taxi.

                4 Replies
                1. re: barbara k

                  Saffron would be my go to place. I'd also recommend highly Haute Dish and The Bachelor Farmer.

                  1. re: barbara k

                    For ethnic, I'd suggest a long, though lovely, walk across the bridge (maybe 1 mile) to Kramarczuk's Deli (polish/ukranian) on Hennepin. It is a bit of an institution, and everything is excellent, imo.

                    For a long walk the other direction (2 miles) south on Nicollet ave, for a casual lunch try Jasmine Deli or Quang, both excellent viet namese places (Minneapolis' strongest suit is vietnameses or Somali).

                    As for supper, the above noted suggestions are all accurate. 112 is my personal favorite restaurant for a well-executed chef driven dinner. Haute Dish and Butcher and the Boar are excellent more meat-centric restaurants. Saffron is unique and delicious. If you're looking for good pizza nearby, try Black Sheep. As for food trucks, many are very good, but Hola Arepa is my favorite.

                    1. re: KyleThomas

                      if you are going south on nicollete, i would recommend Peninsula, a few block north of Quang. Incredibly fresh and flavorable, some of the best malayasian food i have ever had

                  2. Thanks so much for these great recommendations. Could you say more about Somali places? The best one's, recommended dishes? That sounds interesting to me...My city has several great Vietnamese places, so would like to explore Somali.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: barbara k

                      I think there are better options than Somali downtown. I do like Somali food (here is a link to a suburban restaurant I like http://www.tawakalburnsville.com/ ).

                    2. Are there any recs for Hmong cuisine?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: barbara k

                        I have a young toddler so I've been out of the loop for adventurous eating for a couple of years. I've really enjoyed the food courts at the Hmong markets (in St. Paul nearish to the Capitol) in the past. There are a couple of them and you can probably find some discussion if you poke around the board a little. The sausages, papaya salad, and stuffed chicken wings are all favorites of mine. On's Thai Kitchen in St. Paul (on University Ave. just a little West of Snelling) has the stuffed chicken wings and a Hmong style papaya salad on its menu. Probably other Hmong dishes, too, if you inquire.

                        As far as Somali, again, I'm pretty out of the loop on Somali cuisine these days, but this is a good round-up, actually. http://minneapolis.eater.com/archives... I've been to most of the restaurants on this list (not the first one, though, as it's newer! It's also likely to be the one that would be easiest for you to get to, though I can't comment on walkability because I've only ever driven that stretch.)

                        I can't tell off hand which address they are giving for Qoroxlow, but I think there's possibly a newer one than the one they've listed. (I'm aware of three locations, including one in the Somali mall on Pillsbury) but I'm not sure if the "old" location on Lake St. was replaced by the "new" one farther West on Lake Street or if they continue to operate all three. (ETA: okay, yeah, the one they list is the "older" location on Lake Street. I'd call ahead as I don't know if they kept that one open or simply relocated it 10-20 blocks West... Here's an old review of the place: http://www.citypages.com/2008-03-26/r... )

                        Most of the Somali places I've been to in the past seat families, couples and solo female diners in a section that is separate from the men. In other words, there's typically a room full of men drinking tea and separate a room full of women and children occasionally accompanied by dads or granddads.

                        Goat is really the way to go. :) And the obligatory banana (they typically just bring them). You can find fun things like pasta, too. The food will be Halal, so absolutely no pork or alcohol.

                        ETA: I wouldn't really say the Twin Cities are "known" for good Hmong and Somali Cuisine and I'd venture to guess that many Twin Citeans haven't tried either. (Although, Safari Express restaurant sold camel burgers at the MN State Fair a couple of years ago, and many folks tried those.) But, the Twin Cities have the largest urban Hmong population in the world and the largest concentration of Somalis outside of Africa, so these are cuisines that you might find here and not a lot of other places in the U.S.


                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          We have also had an influx of Karen in recent years and the cuisine has followed. Mostly on the East side of St. Paul (read--not in any way walkable from where you will be staying.) You can find some discussion on the boards if you poke around.

                          The Green line will be opening in mid-June. You might actually be able to take light rail to close to some of the Hmong places (most definitely On's) if it has opened by the time you visit.


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Also, I forgot about the laab on On's menu. You can ask them if that is Lao style. The menu on their website is slightly different than the one at the restaurant. http://www.onskitchen.com/


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Also, HELLO TDQ!!!!!! We must chow down again soon!

                              1. re: Danny

                                HELLO DANNY! I'm always up for a chowdown! I'm woefully behind on everything! Where do you and The Chowish Lurker recommend?