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Eating Experts Dish on Their Restaurant Standbys of 2014

Where did we go time and again?

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The famous skinny patty Parlour burger on a toasted bun with dripping cheese
The Parlour Burger
Joy Summers

As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. For our first question, friends of Eater weigh-in on their top restaurant standbys. (Here are last year's picks if you'd like to relive the memories.) Tell us where you found yourself returning time and again this year.

James Norton, editor of Heavy Table and author of the "Wendigo's Credit Card": "Sonora Grill on East Lake Street has been a great regular spot. I've particularly enjoyed sitting on their patio in the summer, wolfing down tacos and drinking bottled Coke with a wedge of lime jammed into the neck. And as far as delivery goes, I've been really impressed with the quality and consistency of Sober Fish in Seward - the garlic and crushed black pepper stir fry in particular. And the glorious chaos and red-sauce comfort of the redesigned Cossetta has been a pretty regular stop for my family, too, particularly with the high quality stuff their pasticceria (bakery) has been putting out."

Stephanie March senior food editor Mpls. St. Paul Magazine

"Hate to be cliché, but for groups of friends it would be Corner Table (and actually the table in the corner). For drinks and meet-ups, Parlour still courts my thirst. Monte Carlofor wings and a martini."

Pork jowl at Corner Table. Photo by Joy Summers

Jason DeRusha anchor, WCCO; contributing editor Mpls. St. Paul Magazine

"Strip Club Meat & Fish is my number one spot to visit; Black Sheep PizzaBrasa, and the La Belle Vie lounge."

Jessica Fleming, food critic Pioneer Press

"This is a hard one, because by the nature of my job, I eat at a different place or two each week. But on my own dime, I always return to The Strip Club for the warm service, cocktails and JD's fantastic specials; Brasa for soul-soothing take-out and Meritage for oysters and bubbles."

Mecca Bos, food critic City Pages

"No matter what, I'll always go to Butcher and the Boar - the beer garden is the perfect middle ground between being outdoors and in. It's a space for all occasions - nobody doesn't like to drink there, and their sausages are best in class.

"Muddy Waters is as close to a "home" restaurant as I've got. It's bar food, but there's attention to detail that inspires me to crave it and the DJ brunches and bloodies are my favorite way to waste away a Sunday.

"Brasa is the best, most underrated place in either city. It should be considered a national treasure. It's never not delicious, and it's actually good for you! I resolve to go to Brasa more often in 2015."

Joy Summers

At the bar at Hola Arepa. Photo by Joy Summers

Josie Franske, editorial assistant Minnesota Monthly

"I love that I can go to 112 Eatery and Bar La Grassa for dinners that feel special-occasion-worthy, but walk out with my credit card intact. And I maintain that Café Levain gets the shaft. Adam Vickerman executes everything to a T every time, and it’s French comfort food at its finest. Taco Tuesdays at Las Teresitas ($1 tacos, that crazy salsa bar, and all right next to a gas station—you can’t buy that kind of experience). And my addiction to Convention Grill is beyond embarrassing. I’d eat there every week if it wouldn't kill me.

Joy Summers, editor Eater Minneapolis

"I've spent enough time at the bar at Corner Table that I should have my own, engraved stool. The beautiful, ever-changing food and expert hospitality and wine pours are always a treat. I love everything about Hola Arepa from the affordable prices; intricately flavored dishes; ambiance and astounding drinks. The Buttered Tin in Lowertown is always divine for weekday brunch.

"Happy hour is my siren call and more often than not I'm seated at the bar inside Parlour harassing the staff for drink tips while snarfing their perfect burger. The Rabbit Hole has killer drinks and the poutine that keeps me up at night."