As the air turns crisp, there are several reasons to look forward to this new season including a festival dedicated to grilled cheese, buckets of doughnuts, and cocktails with actual vikings inside an actual castle with freaking falconers. Buckle up for all kinds of fabulous fall fun.
This throw down puts some of the Twin Cities’ finest doughnut makers head-to-head in a battle over two categories: best original glazed donut and show stopper. Plus, there will be plenty of beer.
When: Sunday, September 8 | 10am – 12pm
Where: Lake Monster Brewing Company 550 Vandalia St #160, St Paul, MN 55114
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: Bakeries participating include Angel Food Bakery, Daube‘s Bakery, Farmington Bakery (Sweet Kneads Bakery), The Grind, Mojo Monkey Donuts, PJ Murphy’s Bakery, Sleepy V’s, Thirsty Whale Bakery, Valley Pastries, and Wuollet Bakery. A portion of proceeds go to children in need at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
Mexican Wine Monday: Wines of Baja
Some of the world’s most exciting wines right now are coming from an unexpected country: Mexico. Erin Ungerman of New France Wine Company, who is always a fantastic source for an affordable bottle of something utterly sippable, leads the evening on a journey through the wines of the northern-most state in Mexico. This event will allow you to learn why that is by means of education and, of course, taste.
When: Monday, September 9th | 6pm – 8pm
Where: Popol Vuh 1414 Quincy St NE Minneapolis, MN 55413
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: Learn all about this fascinating world of affordable wines, Popol Vuh already stocks the best selection in town. Plus, nibble on bites from chef of the year Jose Alarcon.
Cocktails at the Castle
It’s an event that’s billed as a “museum party done right.” If that doesn’t pique your interest, then get this: a Viking-themed cocktail party. No, not the team, but actual Vikings. This Nordic night out will be replete with music, food, and unique activities like rune carving and falconry training.
When: Friday, September 13 | 7pm – 11pm
Where: American Swedish Institute 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Cost: $17 – $25
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: See falconry training, viking costume contest, and drinking while all this goes down.
St. Paul Oktoberfest
They call themselves Minnesota’s most authentic Oktoberfest but, to be completely honest, we don’t really care as long as the German food and German beer keep coming. Other things to keep you busy include Dachshund races and a traditional stone lifting competition. It’s all taking place on the grounds of Schmidt Brewery, which will make for a very appropriate atmosphere.
When: September 13 – 14 | 4:00pm – 10:00pm; 10:00am – 10:00pm
Where: Historic Schmidt Brewery 928 West Seventh Street, St Paul, MN 55102
Twin Cities Veg Fest
Eating meat not your thing? Or maybe you’re looking to take a break it? Doesn’t really matter who you are because the Twin Cities Veg Fest is an awesome opportunity to gather with other sustainability-minded folk and nosh on delicious foods that also happen to be (relatively) good for you. Last year’s Veg Fest attracted over a hundred vendors and thousands of attendees so expect the same this year, if not more.
When: Sunday, September 15th | 11am – 5pm
Where: Harriet Island Park 200 Dr Justus Ohage Blvd, St Paul, MN 55107
Moua Friends and Family Event
Diane Moua is one of the most respected members of the Twin Cities dining community. She’s the executive pastry chef at Spoon & Stable, Bellecour, and Demi. But we wouldn’t have Diane without her father, Teng Moua. Teng came to the United States in 1982 with his wife, Nhia, and raised six kids. Today, Teng is struggling with rectal cancer. This event is being held to help with his mounting medical bills, and every cent of the proceeds will go to his recovery.
When: Monday, September 16 | 6pm – 9pm
Where: OCTO Fishbar 289 5th St E, St Paul, MN 55101
Pricing: $100 – $195
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: You’ll be helping a man who gave it all to help his children have a life here in the States. Don’t worry, though, the event won’t be a somber one. You’ll be joined by the energy of event emcee Jason DeRusha, WCCO anchor and local foodie, plus dozens of prominent chef and bartender guests.
Unlabeled No. 2: Oktoberfest
This is the second event of its kind sponsored by Growler Magazine. The premise is pretty simple: create an entire beer-tasting festival around the concept of mystery. Attendees are given dozens of beers to sample and, through an app, are tasked to guess what each of them are.
When: Friday, September 20 | 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Where: Upper Landing Park 180 Shepard Rd, Saint Paul, MN 55012
Pricing: $20 – $40
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: It’s a fun opportunity to test your beer knowledge and to really dive into the unknown. Plus, you’re drinking a pretty good amount of beer for the price of admission... just saying...
Justin Sutherland & Friends: SMOKE OUT
Local celebrity chef Justin Sutherland is helping put on this event that’s dedicated to all things barbecue. But as you could probably assume from the event’s title, Justin isn’t the only one celebrating. Dozens of chefs from esteemed establishments like Animales BBQ Co. and Revival will all be here.
When: Saturday, September 28th | 1pm – 6pm
Where: Keg and Case 928 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
Pricing: $45 – $65
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: With admission, you can essentially eat all the BBQ you want. Isn’t that all you need to know?
2019 Twin Cities Grilled Cheese Festival
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Try the best grilled cheese bites from chefs across the area at this decadent celebration to the world’s best and most simple dish. Plus, this event includes those most magical of words: open bar.
When: Saturday, September 28 | 12:30pm – 7:30pm
Where: The Commons Park 425 Portland Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Pricing: $54 – $84
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: Access to as much grilled cheese as you can handle and an open bar. This one seems like a no-brainer.