Due to the hellishly congested concrete plaza that housed the first annual Holidazzle Village Market a few changes have been made to make the experience something people will remember with fondness instead of disappointment. The market has relocated to Loring Park and made admission free for all. Other changes include a widened variety of treats with European influences like a special Holidazzle sausage from Kramaczuk’s, Dutch poffertjes and stroopwafels, spaetzle and Jägerschnitzel and, last but not least, the ever-present Minnesotan tradition, lefse. If those treats aren’t your style or you’re craving a reprieve from the cold, take cover in one of these seven restaurants within walking distance of the market, listed in alphabetical order.
The second annual Holidazzle Market runs from November 27 through December 20 and is open Thursday & Friday nights from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Check out the schedule of events including fireworks displays, holiday movie nights and, of course, meetings with Santa Claus.
- by Devan Grimsrud
Inspired by the cuisine of South Carolina’s lowcountry, 4 Bells is a new restaurant in Loring Park serving up fresh seafood, southern fried chicken, biscuits, pimento mac & cheese, dirty rice – you get the picture. With a year-round rooftop dining space, you can catch glimpses of the village market while slurping oysters and warming your toes.
Popular for good reason, Butcher & The Boar is a cozy cove for hiding out from cold weather and enjoying fantastic food. Handmade sausages are among the favorites, ranging from the wild boar hotlink to Berkshire pork & cheddar and even a pinto bean chorizo for those who don’t dine on meat. They also have a decadent lobster grilled cheese, fall-off-the-bone braised lamb shank and a duck pastrami wrapped foie gras torchon.
A Loring Park institution, Bar Lurcat will be opening early on Holidazzle weekends to provide a place for Holidazzle-ers to warm up, inside and out, with festive drink specials and their heated outdoor lounge. They also will have a special edition kids menu from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the weekends, in case the little ones in your life aren’t big fans of pierogies or schnitzel.
This new diner in Loring Park slings urban comfort food – which, in this case, manifests itself as breakfast poutine, chilaquiles, nutella crepes and even fish tacos. It’s a wide and varied menu that can satisfy everyone in your group. The casual atmosphere and ideal walking distance location make it a great choice for before or after the market.
Jerusalem’s may not be the fanciest place in Loring Park – but they do make kick-ass falafel and hummus. The dining room features pillow-like curtains draped from the ceiling, creating a unique Middle-Eastern inspired space where you can stuff your face with the hot, crunchy and slightly spicy fried chickpea balls wrapped in a pita or single-serve dipped in smooth hummus.
A local favorite since 1984, Lotus is the place to go for any and all Vietnamese and/or Chinese cravings. Warm bowls of pho, fresh banh mi, savory beef and potatoes in oyster sauce and crispy pot stickers will transport you to a less-freezing place, if only for as long as your food lasts – which is usually not very – as we all have, on occasion, been known to slurp large bowls of pho in 10 minutes or less.
Between 4 Bells and Café & Bar Lurcat, you’ll find Third Bird, a place specializing in locally sourced, new American comfort cuisine that’s open for brunch, lunch and dinner. The modern, open space combined with options like smoked trout, cauliflower steak and a roast pork jowl Cuban sandwich makes for a unique outing.