The air is cooler, the leaves are turning, and everyone seems to have renewed their desires for Oktoberfest brews and the dreaded pumpkin spice lattes. But before things get too cold, be sure to get out there and check out some of the best foodie friendly events in town. Here’s the best of the best.
One of Minnesota’s favorite breweries is hosting its own adaptation of Oktoberfest, calling it the “ultimate beer amusement park” due to the sheer size of the thing. Activities will be spread out across their beer hall, beer garden, deck, and patio. There will be live music, great eats from the Surly kitchen, and, yes, beer.
When: October 12th, 12 pm - 8 pm
Where: Surly Brewing Company, 520 Malcolm Ave SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414
This event pays homage to the Laotian tradition of Baci, which is a unique ceremony held for the purposes of healing and nourishment. The alcohol-free event will be led by Ann Ahmed from Lat 14 Asian Eatery. She’s bringing a lot of wonderful things to the table, including Duck Laab (minced duck seasoned with fish sauce) Khua Mee (fried noodles).
When: October 13th, 6 pm - 8 pm
Where: The Lynhall, 2640 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: No one will even be missing the booze. Ann Ahmed is an absolute force when it comes to prepping fantastic Southeastern Asian cuisine.
Saint Paul’s Meritage is already known for the best oysters in town. This event will be filled with eating, shucking, and learning all about those little bivalves.
When: October 13th, 2 pm
Where: Meritage | 410 Saint Peter Street, St. Paul, MN 55102
Cost: $25 - $125
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: Since this is the Midwest, there aren’t many chances to revel in a seafood festival. If anyone should host something like this, it’s Meritage.
A battle between some of the best bartenders in the Twin Cities, Iron Bartender involves twelve teams representing beloved spots like P.S. Steak and Lawless Distilling. There are two rounds left.
When: October 13 and 27, 6:30 pm
Where: The Pourhouse, 10 5th St S, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: In addition to those dollars going to support No Kid Hunger, they also afford tastes of punches made by the competitors, plus a chance to see the areas top bartenders out and about. Competitors usually dress in odd costumes, and the secret ingredients push the boundaries of what should even be mixed into a cocktail. No one wants a repeat of last year’s drive-thru condiment challenge.
Ever since local chef Sean Sherman put Indigenous food on a national stage with Sioux Chef, it’s become an exciting educational opportunity for food lovers. This event in its third annual installment to learn more about pre-colonized cuisine.
When: October 14th, 5 pm - 7 pm
Where: MAIC (Minneapolis American Indian Center), 1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Disco, quality drinks, and delicious food are the big selling points for this event. Everything is going to a great cause too. It’s a night of dance-a-teria indulgence.
When: October 17th, 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Where: The Bird, 1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: All proceeds are going towards the Abortion Access Front, which is a socially conscious comedy troupe that raises awareness about reproductive rights and destigmatizes abortion.
Paul Berglund won a James Beard Award as the best chef in the Midwest in 2017, and is excited to demonstrate the range and depth of Italian cuisine. Enjoy this four-course meal with available wine pairing options. Plus, Steve Horton the baker and heritage grain champion at Baker’s Field will be making an appearance (likely with yeasty good things to share.)
When: October 19th, 6:30 pm
Where: Cooks of Crocus Hill, 877 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: Since Berglund made the decision to move on from such notable restaurants as The Bachelor Farmer, and Ann Kim’s Young Joni/Hello Pizza/Pizzeria Lola restaurant group, it hasn’t been easy to access his delicious cooking skills. This is a rare opportunity.
This exciting food and beverage takes place on the quaint grounds of Powderhorn Park. Upcoming chefs will pit their best dishes against each other and attendees get to try it all. There will be tons of things to do and see including a pumpkin patch and a holiday market.
When: October 19th, 12 pm - 5 pm
Where: Powderhorn Park | 3400 15th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Cafe Levain was a critical darling of a restaurant that officially closed in 2016. Recently chef Adam Vickerman has returned and revived the eatery through special events and pop-ups. This event is a great way to appreciate their legacy while basking in the flavors of fall.
When: October 20, 6 pm - 9 pm
Where: Cafe Levain, 4762 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55417
Cost: $50 - $65
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: Levain has always held a penchant for fall flavors. Expect some of the best-ever iterations of squash, cassoulet, and bread pudding.
People will make a “crawl” out of anything these days. But hey, we’re not complaining, especially when pizza is in the equation. This 3-bar stop will take attendees through Brothers, Gay 90s, and 508 Bar & Restaurant.
When: October 20th, 2 pm
Where: 711 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
Pricing: $20 - $50
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: One can never go wrong with a night of beer and pizza. It’s also a fun opportunity for a night out on the streets of Minneapolis.
Bardo Jazz Fest
The highly esteemed Bardo in Minneapolis will soon be hosting Jazz Tuesdays in their dining room. The tables will be cleared for dancing, but be sure to leave room for a few excellent dishes by chef Gustavo Romero. He’ll be dishing out gourmet tacos with a sensible pairing of mezcal, which will be courtesy of Revel Spirits.
When: October 22nd; 6 pm - 10 pm
Where: Bardo, 222 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Creole restaurant and BBQ joint Q Fanatic are partnering to bring the Twin Cities a much needed pop-up dedicated to Cajun cooking. Fans of Gumbo, Etoufee, Corn Macque Choux and Muffalettas will be very at-home here. The official menu hasn’t been released yet, but that doesn’t really matter; this will be a can’t-miss food event regardless.
When: October 22nd; 4 pm - 9 pm
Where: Q Fanatic BBQ | 6009 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55419
Bull’s Horn is being lauded by many right now as having one of the best burgers in town. But don’t get it twisted: they do everything really well while keeping things simple and unassuming. Blame it on Doug Flicker, the ex-fine dining legend who opened the place. Flicker and crew also host great events. This one is no exception. Their delicious hush puppies take center stage, complemented by a vinyl-spinning DJ.
When: October 24th, 8 pm - 11 pm
Where: Bull’s Horn 4563 South 34th Avenue, Minneapolis 55406
The Hewing Hotel may look like the pinnacle of spiffy-ness and modernity, but there’s actually a rich history hidden behind it’s walls. During the late 20th century lumber boom, it’s building – the Jackson warehouse – was erected as a farming showroom. Today, there’s talk that some of those first tenants never the left. This spooky incentive will make the Hewing’s Halloween party even better.
When: October 26th, 8 pm - midnight
Where: Hewing Hotel, 300 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: Partying in a haunted hotel during the most spooky month of the year should be enough justification to attend.