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Where to Eat at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport (MSP)

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Photo: Surdyk's Flights


Back again in time for holiday travel, it's the Eater MPLS guide to dining at MSP, where it's out with the same old airport dining and in with hand-stretched noodles and raw oyster plates from some of the Twin Cities best-known chefs. Since Delta partnered with OTG Management in January 2012, Concourse G has practically become a dining destination in its own right, with restaurants created by local culinary stars including AZ Canteen's Andrew Zimmern, Piccolo's Doug Flicker, Tanpopo's Koshiki Yonemura Smith, Meritage's Russell Klein, and Pizzeria Lola's Anne Kim. Concourse G's most recent addition, TwinBurger, comes from Matt's Bar owner Scott Nelson and offers up the Twin Cities iconic Juicy Lucys.

Plus, Terminal 2 fliers, never fear: Cocina del Barrio recently opened a Humphrey outpost and a second Surdyk's Flights opened in late summer 2013, with the same delectable sandwiches and cocktails as Terminal 1.

Below, MSP's top-ten standouts and a complete guide to the airport's eats.

MSP's Ten Standouts

surdyks-150.jpg1) Surdyk's Flights: This airport offshoot of a 77 year old Minneapolis liquor store is pretty much your best bet across the board: Short on time? Swing by their grab-and-go case for fancy sandwiches, salads and cheese plates. Have a minute? Settle in for some small plates and a wine flight. Also, bonus: if you forgot to get a present for someone, Surdyk's sells bottle of wine. [Two locations: Terminal 1, The Mall; Terminal 2, Humphrey]
[Photo: Surdyk's / Facebook]

minnibar.jpg2) Minnibar: Longtime Minnesota resident and Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern brings his globe-trotting tastes back to his home state with Minnibar, a café featuring globally-inspired sandwiches. Try the Sloppy Ko (Korean BBQ, kimchee, fried egg) or the Torta Cubano (sliced ham, roasted pork, and queso blanco). [Two locations in Terminal 1, Concourse G, one near G2 and one near G19]
[Photo: Shops at MSP]

mimosa.jpg3) Mimosa: Created by Meritage's Russell Klein, Mimosa is a raw bar and brasserie where you can not only get a plate of raw oysters or a shrimp cocktail, but also a killer cocktial like the Lady Lillet or the classic French 75. Also on the menu: brasserie classics like moules frites, duck confit, and croque monsieur. [Terminal 1, Concourse G]
[Photo: Shops at MSP]

volante.jpg4) Volante: Brought to you by Piccolo's Doug Flicker, Volante offers modern Italian, with the menu broken up into Antipasti, Primi (pastas), and Panini & Secondi. Standouts include cavatelli with octopus, basil, and burrata and pressed chicken with eggplant Parmesan. [Terminal 1, Concourse G]
[Photo: Shops at MSP]

shoyu.jpg5) Shoyu: With noodles and dumpling wrappers made fresh daily, Shoyu might be one of the best Japanese restaurants in the Cities, airport or not. Created by Tanpopo's Koshiki Yonemura Smith, Shoyu offers sushi, noodles, fried rice, and other Japanese entrees. Pick up some pork belly bao buns before your flight and be the envy of your entire plane. [Terminal 1, Concourse G]
[Photo: Shops at MSP]

taste%20of%20mill%20city%20tavern.jpg6) Taste of Mill City Tavern: With recipes inspired by Heartland's Lenny Russo, Taste of Mill City Tavern's menu is chock-full of local Minnesota flavors, from fennel-cured whitefish to bison tartare. The tavern's also got lots of local beers on tap, including Fulton, Summit, and Surly. [Terminal 1, Concourse G]
[Photo: Yelp]

vero.jpg7) Vero: Pizzeria Lola's Anne Kim brings her thin-crust pizzas (fired in a nearly 700-degree oven) to the airport with Vero. You won't find her trademark Korean toppings here, but you will find San Marzano tomato sauce, bufala mozzarella, truffle oil, and Berkshire bacon among the toppings on offer. [Terminal 1, Concourse G]
[Photo: Shops at MSP]

8) TwinBurger: If you missed getting one of the Twin Cities' famous Juicy Lucys during your stay (or if you don't want to say goodbye to classic Minneapolis just yet), then head over to TwinBurger. A collaboration with Scott Nelson, owner of Minneapolis's famed Matt's Bar, TwinBurger serves up Matt's iconic Juicy Lucys - a cheeseburger with the cheese inside the burger. [Terminal 1, Concourse G]
[Photo: Shops at MSP]

ikes-150.jpg9) Ike's: Got an extended layover? This is the place to eat up those hours you didn't expect to be spending in an airport. Try the Weekender Bloody Mary (with beer back!) and a burger or an omelette, depending on time of day. [Two locations: Terminal 1, The Mall and Concourse F]
[Photo: Tom V. / Yelp]

barrio%20airport.jpg10) Cocina del Barrio: This popular Twin Cities Mexican mini-chain brings its tacos, tortas, enchiladas, and more to Humphrey, as well as an extensive selection of tequilas from around the world. A special standout here is breakfast, where you can get huevos rancheros, pumpkin seed granola, or a potato-chorizo hash, among other non-standard airport breakfast offerings. [Terminal 2, Humphrey]
[Photo: Shops at MSP]

Bolding denotes Eater's seal of approval

Terminal 1, Ticketing Lobby

· Hot Dish: This full-service bar/restaurant is located pre-security in the Terminal 1 ticketing lobby, making it ideal for spending a little more time with your family before a flight or meeting a friend who is on a long layover.

Terminal 1, The Mall

A Quick Meal

· Arby's: For when your layover needs a side of horsey sauce.
· Ben & Jerry's: Ice cream.
· Burger King: The king of burgers.
· Caribou Coffee: A regional coffee chain in the Starbucks vein; they have many sugary whipped coffee beverages.
· Charley's Philly Grill: Philly cheesesteaks, in Minneapolis.
· Famous Famiglia: Pizza, pasta, etc.
· La Brea Bakery Cafe: Sandwiches on fancy bread.
· MSP-To Go: Because who doesn't want to take their airport experience with them? Grab-and-go options from various restaurants throughout the airport.
· Rocky Mountain Chocolate: Chocolate.
· Starbucks: Coffee.
· Surdyk's Flights: Sandwiches, salads.
· Taco Bell: Tacos, kind of.
· Wok & Roll: Food court Chinese.

Fast Casual/Bars

· Axel's Bonfire: A solid dinner at a decent price (for an airport), not to mention the fact that it's pretty quick for a sit-down dinner. Your basic bar food, plus drinks.
· Chili's Too: Like Chili's, but also.
· Surdyk's Flights: Wine, small plates, grab-and-go options. (See above.)

A Leisurely Meal

· French Meadow Bakery Café: Cafe fare with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
· Ike's Food & Cocktails: Cocktails, steaks, fish, burgers. (See above.)

Terminal 1, Concourse A

A Quick Meal

· A&W: Nothing says holidays like a root beer float.
· Caribou Coffee
· Godfather's Pizza: Pizza.
· Quiznos Subs: Toasted subs.

Fast Casual/Bars

· Sköl Café and Bar: Scandinavian cold sandwiches.
· Itasca Grille: Burgers, nachos, other pub food.

Terminal 1, Concourse B

Fast Casual/Bars

· Home Team Sports Bar & Deli: Watch the game, have a beer. Also: your only option in Concourse B.

Terminal 1, Concourse C

A Quick Meal

· Chick-fil-A: Chicken sandwiches, waffle fries.
· DQ Grill & Chill: Ice cream, hot dogs.
· Dunn Bros Coffee: Local coffee chain, focus on fair trade coffee.
· Einstein Bros. Bagels: Bagels and also bagel sandwiches.
· Maui Tacos: Tacos with a slight Hawaiian accent. Surf burritos, anyone?
· Starbucks
· Wok & Roll

Fast Casual/Bars

· Pei Wei Asian Diner: Asiany chain restaurant.
· Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant: The food at Rock Bottom (sandwiches, burgers, fried things) is serviceable, but you're not here for the food. You're here for a glass of their craft beer that's brewed in Minneapolis.
· Surf Bar: Bar by Maui Tacos.

A Leisurely Meal

· Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant: Burgers and microbrews.
· TGI Friday's: TG they serve alcohol.

Terminal 1, Concourse D

A Quick Meal

· McDonald's
· Quizno's Subs

Fast Casual/Bars

· Northern Lights Grill: A Minnesotan themed restaurant with a full bar.

Terminal 1, Concourse E

A Quick Meal

· Burger King
· Caribou Coffee
· Sbarro: Pizza.
· Wok & Roll

Fast Casual/Bars

· D'Amico & Sons Café: Pizzas, pastas, Italian sandwiches.
· Icescape: Full bar, bar food.

Terminal 1, Concourse F

A Quick Meal

· Burger King
· Caribou Coffee
· French Meadow Bakery Café
· La Tapenade: Mediterranean food.
· Market To Go: grab-and-go sandwiches and salads.

Fast Casual/Bars

· O'Gara's Restaurant: Irish bar, fried food.

A Leisurely Meal

· Ike's on Summit (see above)

Terminal 1, Concourse G

A Quick Meal

· Caribou Coffee
· Cibo Express Gourmet Market: Sandwiches, salads.
· Subway
· Tagliare: Pizza.
· World Bean Coffee: Dogwood coffee, pastries.

Fast Casual/Bars

· Mimosa (see above)
· Minnibar (see above)
· Taste of Mill City Tavern (see above)
· TwinBurger (see above)
· Shoyu (see above)
· Volante (see above)
· Vero (see above)

Terminal 2, Humphrey

A Quick Meal

· Caribou Coffee: Located both inside and outside of security
· Dunn Bros Coffee
· Harvest Market: Grab-and-go sandwiches.
· Subway

Fast Casual/Bars

· Cocina del Barrio (see above)
· Fletchers Wharf
· Grandaddy's Bar: Full bar, "unique boat-themed atmosphere."
· Surdyk's Flights (see above)

— Reprinted from Paula Forbes' 2011 dining guide, with updates from Claire Stanford.

· All Airport Food Coverage on Eater [-E-]