After weathering a historically harrowing year and the cold temperatures of a typical Minnesota winter, many restaurants are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel and announce reopening. Some have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, others paused operations as temperatures dipped and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz set restrictions on indoor dining capacity. Now, as vaccination rates continue to rise, and efforts mount to get shots in the arms of all hospitality workers, several restaurants are beginning to return to regular service.
Restaurants listed here are in no particular order. The level of service is noted at each location. If you know of a dormant restaurant ready to return to service, please email us for inclusion here.
Stewart’s, 128 Cleveland Avenue, St. Paul
Max Thompson’s undersung gem has returned with in-person dining. The Korean fries, slushie drinks, and sidewalk patio are open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
Pizzeria Lola, 5557 Xerxes Avenue, Minneapolis
Ann Kim’s original pizza restaurant will reopen for dining, but there’s still a little bit of a wait ahead. Pizzeria Lola will welcome guests back inside in July of this year. Until then, takeaway and the frozen pizzas are still available.
Thirsty Whale, 4149 Fremont Avenue North, Minneapolis
The beloved bakery in North has been serving up made-to-order treats throughout the pandemic, but finally the lobby is open again. Collect those good smells and almond croissants.
Victor’s 1959 Cafe, 3756 Grand Avenue, Minneapolis
This beloved all-day Cuban restaurant just off Grand Avenue and 38th Street in Minneapolis has re-opened its gorgeous patio for dining in. The small indoor dining room remains closed.
Red Wagon Pizza, 5416 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis
This Armatage restaurant got creative with nationwide shipping, appearances on TV with Guy Fieri, and a personally branded car for deliveries. On June 2 the restaurant finally got back to a bit of normalcy by opened up for in-person dining.
Alma Cafe, 528 University Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis
The casual daytime eatery from James Beard Award winning chef Alex Roberts has returned for in-person dining Thursdays through Sundays. Seats are entirely first come, first served. Order and pay by phone is available.
Patisserie 46, 4552 Grand Avenue South, Minneapolis
It’s been a long wait, but once again the case will be stocked with savory croissants, eclairs, fresh bread, and more inside John Kraus’ original bakery and cafe in Minneapolis. Counter service returns June 1.
Rose Street Patisserie, 171 Snelling Avenue, Saint Paul
The Snelling and Selby location in Saint Paul will again open for in-person dining and ordering with those fabulous sandwiches and an array of baked treats.
Honey & Rye Bakery, 4501 Excelsior Boulevard, St. Louis Park
On June 1 this beloved bakery on Excelsior will open inside again for perusing the bakery case and picking up a cup of creamy cold brew. Open Tuesday through Saturday.
Tattersall Distilling, 1620 Central Avenue Northeast #120, Minneapolis
The popular distillery in Northeast will reopen on June 3. Reservations must be made for drinking inside the taproom, but the limited number of patio seats are first come. Ordering and payment will all be done through your phone.
Young Joni, 165 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis
James Beard Award winner Ann Kim is reopening her popular Northeast Minneapolis restaurant for dine-in starting June 1. In addition to bringing back the front restaurant, the speakeasy-style back bar will also re-open at that time with a new drink menu and expanded pizza offerings. In the old days, only a couple of basic pizzas were available. Now, all the flavors can be ordered in the dim lights and Wisconsin basement vibes of that bar. Young Joni has also shifted to a no-tip operation. Reservations are available online.
Hark, 430 First Avenue North, Minneapolis
This vegan and gluten-free cafe opened in the midst of the pandemic with takeout that had fans raving. Now, Hark will open for the first time for in-person dining with a grand opening on June 5 and 6.
Bar La Grassa, 112 Eatery, and Snack Bar
All of Issac Becker’s beloved restaurants will re-open for dine-in services on June 1. 112 Eatery’s reservations for that first week are wide open, and there are available seats at BLG starting June 8.
Augustine’s, 1668 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul
The all-day eatery will return first with dinner only and a fresh approach. Lenny Russo and Mega Hoehn, formerly of Heartland in St. Paul, revamped the restaurant, including adding a $20/hr wage and benefits for staff. That means, this is another restaurant to join the growing list of places doing away with tipping. Menu prices will cover the costs. There is no fee, just prices that are exactly what diners can expect to pay. Derik Moran, formerly of the Dakota now runs the kitchen.
French Hen Cafe and Moonflower Pizza, 518 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul
This sweet breakfast and lunch cafe in Cathedral Hill reopened on May 27. It’s alley-service pizza pop-up Moonflower will return soon.
Penny’s Coffee, 100 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis
The wide-open and airy Washington Avenue coffee shop is open again.
Sandcastle 4955 Lake Nokomis Parkway West, Minneapolis
Doug Flicker and Amy Greeley’s summertime snack shop is once again open on the shores of Lake Nokomis. Hours are limited for now, so check the Facebook page for updates.
Farmer’s Kitchen & Bar, 750 S 2nd Street, Minneapolis
What was once a pop-up in the former Spoonriver location is sticking around. The Farmer’s Union-run restaurant will return as peak farm-to-table this summer. The restaurant is all day breakfast, lunch, and dinner with dine-in and grab-and-go options, all right by the (also about to re-open) Guthrie.
Billy’s on Grand, 857 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul
Hell’s Kitchen, 80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis
This downtown Minneapolis restaurant is a classic for nontraditional breakfast fare like sausage bread, lemon ricotta pancakes, and an impressive Bloody Mary. Make a reservation, order pick up or delivery.
Mucci’s St. Paul, 786 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul
The original Mucci’s with all the lasagna layers of love and Tim Niver’s exceptional hospitality returned May 6. Reservations are now open for the intimate dining room.
W.A. Frost, 374 Selby Avenue, St. Paul
The iconic Cathedral Hill restaurant is back with a new chef. Brooklyn native Peter Drinan in the kitchen. Drinan comes to St. Paul after spending several years making a name for himself in Argentina. He and his wife recently relocated to Cathedral Hill after spending very little time in St. Paul. The only restaurant he visited before making the move? W.A. Frost. Drinan has updated the menu with more vegetables, and more casual eats like sandwiches perfect for that beauty of a patio.
Dan O’Dell remains behind the bar and the new drink list includes some gorgeous low-proof and zero proof cocktails in addition to the classic Manhattan and Old Fashioned. Reservations are required and available on Tock.
Keg and Case, 928 West 7th Street, Saint Paul
The ambitious food hall on West 7th is back with a collection of new businesses, while many of the openers won’t return. Woodfire Cantina is up and running in the anchor spot, overlooking West 7ths, with a brand new patio. Purple Ice Cream is leaning into Willy Wonka fun with tons of toppings and sweets. Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, Five Watt, House of Havla, and O’Cheese return. New spots include a slider shop, candy store, and popcorn stand.
Sadly, some favorites like Revival Smoked Meats, Spinning Wylde, Bogart’s Doughnuts, and Sweet Science are gone. At least the whimsy, fun, and deliciousness of Spinning Wylde has only moved across the street.
The Uptown Lobby Bar at the Granada Theater, 3022 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis
This room is stunning, and the space is still almost all the way newly open. Grab a seat inside the historic theater’s lobby or at one of the few tables outside on Hennepin for drinks, happy hour snacks, or a weekend brunch.
Pat’s Tap, 3510 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis
This neighborhood favorite with the patio and skee-ball is open once again. Hours are seven days a week, with lunch and dinner served Monday through Friday and brunch through dinner on Saturday and Sunday.
Dark Horse Eatery, 250 East 7th Street, St. Paul
This fabulous patio is open once again, as is the dining room. Open Tuesday through Sunday. Inside reservations are available up to four people.
Betty Danger’s, 2501 Marshall Street Northeast, Minneapolis
In one of the weirder re-openings, Betty Danger’s is no longer a “country club,” but now an “animal farm.” It’s all very Orwellian in the particular campy style that restauranteur Leslie Bock loves to lean into. (She also owns Northeast’s Psycho Suzi’s.) There’s a drink called “Sparkle donkey almost went to the glue factory.” It’s a margarita. Outdoor games and that Ferris Wheel patio are also available. Open Monday through Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.
Punch Bowl Social, 1691 Park Place Boulevard, St. Louis Park
Game-on! This St. Louis Park spot for activities and snacks is open once more.
Sidebar at Surdyk’s, 303 East Hennepin Avenue Suite 2, Minneapolis
Surdyk’s small restaurant on Hennepin was only open for two months before closing for a bit. It reopened April 23 with a new chef, Randall Prudden. Prudden’s impressive resume includes time at Spoon and Stable, Alinea, Next, and more. Make reservations online.
Sonder Shaker, 130 E. Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis
Not far away, also in Northeast, Sonder Shaker will also reopen for dine in with a new chef, Tyler Johnson, formerly of Hope Breakfast Bar. Dine-in service expected to resume by May 12.
Josefina, 739 Lake Street East, Wayzata
Daniel del Prado’s new Italian restaurant in Wayzata has opened for in-person dining for the first time. Reservations can be made online.
Stewart’s, 128 Cleveland Avenue, St. Paul
Max Thompson’s bistro near St. Thomas University reopened with limited seating April 20.
Saint Dinette, 261 East 5th Street, St. Paul
Tim Niver and Adam Eaton’s beloved Lowertown eatery re-opened its dining room on April 7. Reservations are available for parties of two to five people Wednesday through Saturday, with 90 minute limits on dinner.
Meteor Bar, 2027 North 2nd Street, Minneapolis
It was set to be the best new bar of 2020 and, well, that didn’t exactly go as planned. However, the dive bar owned and operated by two of the best drink makers in town is once again open and serving with limited seating times and a tempting drink lineup.
Riverview Wine Bar, 3753 42nd Avenue South, Minneapolis
The 24 year old wine bar reopened May 1.
St. Paul Grill, 350 Market Street St. Paul
The classic eatery at the base of the St. Paul Hotel will reopen for private dining experiences with six to 12 guests at a time Tuesdays through Saturdays. It’s a set menu at $100 per person. Reservations are required for the dinners that will start in May. Email for more information and to make a reservation.
Meritage, 410 St. Peter Street, St. Paul
Russel and Desta Klein’s French Brasserie closed, except for a few special events, since the beginning of the pandemic will resume in-person dining on the patio, in the oyster bar, and the main dining room, reservations will be required online. Dining reopened April 29.
Travail Basement Bar, 4134 North Hubbard Avenue, Robbinsdale
A re-re-reopening of the restaurant’s stunning just-constructed before the pandemic location is now accepting cocktail tasting reservations for the basement bar. Reservations are pre-paid and available online.
Bar La Grassa, 800 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis
Issac Becker’s beloved pasta and small plates restaurants in the North Loop has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic began operations April 21.
Snack Bar, 800 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis
This elegant restaurant across the hall from Isaac Becker’s other restaurant, Bar La Grassa had just garnered rave reviews in early 2020 before everything shut down on March 17. Snack Bar returned with takeout April 28.
112 Eatery, 112 North 3rd Street, Minneapolis
Isaac Becker’s first and well-loved restaurant in Minneapolis’ Warehouse District has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, began takeout operations April 29.
Surly’s Beer Garden, 520 Malcolm Avenue SE, Minneapolis
Surly’s behemoth brewery’s taproom closed in November amid controversy as a bid to unionize ultimately failed to pass, will return June 1.
The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.