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A white dish of spaghetti carbonara.
Bar La Grassa, in the North Loop.
Bar La Grassa

The Best Restaurants for a Romantic Date Night in the Twin Cities

Cozy pasta spots, intimate tasting menus, and sparkling brasseries

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Bar La Grassa, in the North Loop.
| Bar La Grassa

Fragrant bites of carbonara and brandy pours in basement speakeasies: These are the ingredients of a romantic date night in the Twin Cities. From prix fixe tasting menus to a vintage bowling alley, Minneapolis and St. Paul have an array of romantic restaurants to choose from, all with different price points and tastes. Here are some essential date night spots in the Twin Cities.

Note that these restaurants are listed geographically.

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Broders' Pasta Bar

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Broder’s is worthy of a Lady and the Tramp pasta moment. Try the classics — like the spaghetti carbonara, the bolognese, or the gnocchi pomodoro. (A simple eggless pasta with tomatoes and olive oil is available for vegans.) Broder’s is elegant but not overly formal — the wooden wrap-around bar is a great place to share a cozy dinner.

A close-up photo of a wooden bar with wooden chairs, that’s set with white plates with white rolled napkins on them, plus small class containers of olive oil.
Pasta can enjoyed in the restaurant or to-go for a date night-in.
Broders’ Pasta Bar

Martina

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Chef Danny del Prado’s flagship restaurant Martina is well-designed (and well-lit), a dream of lighting and composition. Order the potato churros to start, which balance a soft, creamy interior with craggy, crispy fried edges. From the grill, try the pork chop with corn puree, or the parillada for two, made with bavette, sweetbreads, chorizo, and bone marrow.

A white bowl filled with spaghetti with red sauce and lobster.
Spaghetti and lobster from Martina.
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Khâluna

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Chef Ann Ahmed’s Khâluna was designed to evoke the palm-tree-swathed resorts of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, and stepping inside it really does feel like arriving at a balmy destination by the sea. Domed lamps hover above a landscape of rattan chairs and blonde wood; everything is washed in the warmest shades of sandstone and gold. All this to match the stellar menu, which features a whole fried red snapper drowned in a tamarind glaze and a bucatini talay in a punchy tom yum ragout.

The bright interior of Khâluna, where many people are dining. The color palette features beige and gold tones, and there’s greenery in the background.
Khâluna’s breezy dining room.
Caroline Yang for Eater

Bûcheron

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Adam and Jeanie Ritter, both alums of Gavin Kaysen’s restaurants, emulate France’s bistronomy movement at their south Minneapolis restaurant Bûcheron, merging fine dining techniques with essential dishes like venison tartare, grilled carrots in yogurt, sticky toffee cake. The result is a French American bistro that’s elegant but not stuffy, intimate but casual enough for a walk-in meal at the bar. For a fine dining experience without a tasting menu price-tag, this is the place.

A white plate on a dark wood counter with a small cake covered in dark toffee sauce, with a quenelle of orange sorbet on the side.
Sticky toffee cake at Bûcheron.
Libby Anderson

The Creekside Supper Club

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The Creekside debuted is a veritable love letter to Wisconsin’s wood-paneled, crimson-carpeted supper clubs — upscale restaurants in rural areas that had their heyday in the mid-twentieth century. Dripping with vintage northwoods charm, it’s a great spot for a cozy, casual date night. Slip into one of the plush red booths and order a relish tray to share. Biting into one of the Creekside’s dreamy, eggy popovers is a romantic experience in and of itself.

A Wisconsin-style Old Fashioned sitting on a table, garnished with maraschino cherries and an orange slice.
A Wisconsin-style Old Fashioned from the Old Fashioned.
Creekside Supper Club

Bryant-Lake Bowl & Theater

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Bryant Lake Bowl may not be the Twin Cities’s most buttoned-up date spot. But there’s an undeniable romance to its vintage set-up: the lustrous wooden bar, the wrap-around benches, the eight lanes crammed into the tiny bowling alley. There’s often a wait to bowl, even on weeknights — so show up ahead of time, get your name on the list, and grab a patty melt or Bryant Lake Bowl’s signature bloody mary wings while you wait.

A dark wooden bar with an array of glass bottles of alcohol on it, and bar stools and dine chairs with wooden backing in the foreground. The space is well-lit and the walls are deep yellow.
The historic bowling alley’s bar.
Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater

Sanjusan

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Chef Danny del Prado (Martina, Colita, and more) and chef Shigeyuki Furukawa (of Kado No Mise) fuse their talents with a unique Japanese-Italian menu at Sanjusan. Share a memorable night with dishes like pork gyoza with wood ear mushroom and foie gras, or squid ink pappardelle. The pizzas feature flavor combinations like prosciutto, preserved lemon, and bonito cream.

A plate of raw fish topped with dots of red sauce, kernels of corn, and cilantro leaves, on a white plate against a black background.
Sanjusan is a collaboration between Danny del Prado and Shigeyuki Furukawa.
Wing Ta

Chef Gavin Kaysen’s intricate tasting menu restaurant Demi is a great option for a date night at a higher price point ($115 to $165 per person, plus add-on wine a drink pairings). Menu details aren’t posted on the restaurant’s website to see in advance, but expect meticulously constructed dishes like sweet potato tart with pickled kombu, Rohan duck with braised endives, and honey soy ice cream.

Shelves behind a bar in dark lighting: there are many glass bottles of alcohol and mirrors behind the shelves.
Inside Demi in the North Loop.
Demi

Maison Margaux

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Chef David Fhima’s North Loop restaurant is styled as a traditional French brasserie, aiming to capture the spirit of France’s vibrant Belle Epoque. On the menu are classic dishes like French onion soup, steak au poivre, and racks of lamb served with Dijon cognac beurre blanc, while the basement bar, cloaked in red velvet, serves burgers and lobster deviled eggs. As far as date-nights go, it’s more bustling than intimate; more sparkling than moody, ideal for a glam evening out. For wine lovers, there are few better places — Maison Margaux has more than 860 selections in-house.

Three dishes on a blue table: A bone marrow beef dish (center), a Nicoise salad (left) and a pear tart (right).
Beef daube (center), salade Niçoise (left), and pear tart (right).
Tim Evans/Eater Twin Cities

Bar La Grassa

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Bar La Grassa has a bit of bustle to it — it may not be the best spot if you’re looking for a quiet, intimate meal. But if a more electric atmosphere appeals, this is the place. All the essential date night elements are there: black leather booths, candlelit tables, and fresh pasta, from mafalda bolognese to ziti with shrimp and vin santo cream. Start with the dreamy soft eggs and lobster bruschetta, though.

A white dish of thick flat noodles and foie gras meatballs, dusted with parmesan cheese.
Foie gras tagliatelle at Bar La Grassa.
Bar La Grassa

The Camden Social

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Kathryn and Alfonso Mayfield, the couple behind Allure Cigars, teamed up with Brittany and Gerard Klass of Soul Bowl to transform the Camden Social, a longtime neighborhood tavern, into a sleek and stylish new restaurant, ideal for date nights. Chef Antonio Murray’s tailored menu of collard greens dip, charred broccoli Caesar salad, Guyanese filet tips, and smoked salmon croquettes is served late, and weekend brunch features honeycrisp apple French toast, shrimp and grits, and cocktails.

A stack of French toast topped with slice stewed apples and a dollop of whipped cream.
Honeycrisp French toast at the Camden Social.
The Camden Social

Young Joni

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Chef Ann Kim’s award-winning restaurant is a great choice for date night: The pizza is famously chewy, airy, and inventive, and the ambiance is intimate and warm, all walnut tones and candlelit tables. Slip through the alley into the basement speakeasy for a drink after dinner. The Korean BBQ pizza — made with short ribs, mozzarella, and soy-chile vinaigrette — is a favorite, as is La Parisienne, with prosciutto and brown butter.

Dark floral wallpaper covered with small wooden-frames, old tables, and even older loveseats.
The back bar at Young Joni.
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

Aster Cafe

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Through every season, Aster Cafe remains one of the most romantic spots in Minneapolis. Stationed on the cobblestone streets of St. Anthony Main, the restaurant overlooks the river — when the weather’s nice, the patio is an ideal perch for sunsets. The interior is low-lit and cozy. Come for a Sunday brunch with live jazz music and dancing, and feast on the French toast bake or bacon and ham quiche.

The interior of a restaurant with wooden bars, wooden table and chairs, a sign that says “Aster” in cursive, and sunlight streaming through the windows.
Aster overlooks the Mississippi.
Aster Cafe

Tucked into a cozy brick building on University Avenue, Alma is a lovely date night spot that’s especially accommodating to vegetarians. In addition to its regular prix-fixe menu (with dishes like marinated fig bruschetta, seared Maine scallops, and lemon soufflé cake) there’s an entirely separate version for vegetarians (think torchio pasta with wild mushrooms, chilled sweet corn soup, and roasted cauliflower). It’s also attached to a hotel of the same name — make date night a weekend stay, if you’re so moved.

A view of the dining room with warm wood, white walls, and navy blue seats
Alma is a Minneapolis classic.
Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

The Bungalow Club

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The Bungalow Club, just a stone’s throw from the Mississippi River on Lake Street, has an effortless romantic vibe. The restaurant focuses on fresh, handmade pasta — round out the weekend with a Sunday night tortelli mantovani, stuffed with sweet potato, or a gnocchi sardi with tomato and chili flakes. Thursday through Saturday, try the three-course menu, which changes frequently but has the same approachable elegance.

Herbst Eatery & Farm Stand

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Chef Eric Simpson’s Herbst menu is hyper-seasonal, stacked with dishes like kabocha squash with creamed kale, chicken liver creste di gallo with burgundy truffles, and concord grape ice cream. Following in St. Paul’s grand tradition of exceptional neighborhood restaurants, it’s a great spot for a date night that feels special but not over-the-top — the atmosphere is warm and approachable.

A large dining room with purple tables, wooden chairs, a curved bar lined with wooden stools, and many lights hanging from the ceiling.
Grab a seat at Herbst’s U-shaped bar for a nightcap.
Herbst

Gus Gus

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Chef Kevin Manley and Anna Morgan’s St. Paul restaurant is an intimate, subterranean spot that’s by turns quirky, elegant, and exceptionally fun. From the drinks menu, Gus Gus’s trademark is Jell-O shots made with Aperol and Tattersall bitter orange, served as shimmery cubes on a plate. Highlights from the food menu include lengua sliders, tuna crudo, and sea bass with white bean ragu.

Karyn Tomlinson’s Myriel — a name that nods to Les Miserables — is at once rustic and refined. Choose from the tasting menu or a la carte options: Both change often (sometimes daily) and are not available online, but expect dishes like Muscovy duck eggs, sausage with white bean ragout, and apple pies made with local ingredients. At the end of your meal, enjoy a Scandinavian-style egg coffee.

A dark marble bar with a lamp and greenery on it. Above is a wooden rack for wine glasses and wine glasses dangling from it; attached to the wall is a mirror.
Karyn Tomlinson’s restaurant dining room.
Jes Lahay/Myriel

Estelle

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Chef Jason Hansen’s Estelle pairs breezy Spanish and Portuguese dishes like patatas bravas, shrimp al ajillo, and beet escabeche with comforting Italian pastas, anchoring St. Paul’s Mac Groveland neighborhood with its dreamy date-night atmosphere. The pasteis de nata, a classic Portuguese egg tart, is a flawless sweet note at the end of the meal. Slip into the cozy adjoining bar for an herbaceous nightcap (think charred rosemary vodka, plum honey shrub, etc.).

A plate of grilled prawns with bread beside a plate of shaved ham with bread.
Pintxos at Estelle.
Estelle

Joan's in the Park

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Joan’s in the Park, nestled in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood, offers a European-influenced coursed meal of dishes like poached shrimp with carbonara cream, pumpkin gnocchi, and buttermilk panna cotta. There are white tablecloths on the tables, yes, but Joan’s has a warm, approachable neighborhood feel. Make a reservation; walk-ins aren’t currently accepted.

Mucci's

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For a cozy night filled with pasta, wine, and tiramisu, there are few better spots that Mucci’s. Mucci’s feels like an old-school Italian spot without being all that old-school — it’s a reliable date night classic, with a tight menu of fresh pastas, salads, and pizzas and a warm, comfortable atmosphere. It’s a small space, so it’s best to make a reservation.

Hyacinth

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Hyacinth is perhaps Grand Avenue’s most romantic dining room. Here, the menu features heirloom tomato crostini, beets with stracciatella, fusilli with pork sausage, and risotto with chanterelle mushrooms and hazelnuts. The petite dining room has an intimate, New York City feel — appropriate, as chef Rikki Giambruno returned to the Twin Cities after a period in Brooklyn.

A light-filled room with a bar and small table set nearby.
Get romantic on Grand Avenue.
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Tori Ramen

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Tori Ramen where serves steaming bowls of ramen in the vintage interior of an old train car. “Tori” means “bird” in Japanese — this restaurant specializes in pork-free ramen, offering rich chicken, duck, and vegetarian broths. As far as casual, cozy date nights in a unique setting go, it’s hard to beat.

Meritage

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Meritage is all you could ask of a French brasserie transported to downtown St. Paul. The crescent bar serves oysters and Parisian cocktails (think: an absinthe-soaked sugar cube dropped into a glass of Champagne). But if a full meal is in order, chef Russell Klein’s menu features a daily preparation of Au Bon Canard foie gras, and tray of escargot in an irresistible garlic butter parsley sauce. The Magret duck breast a l’orange is worth the price tag.

Two hands pouring a light yellow cocktail through a strainer into a coupe glass on a marble counter.
Pull up to Meritage’s crescent bar for oysters.
Meritage

Broders' Pasta Bar

Broder’s is worthy of a Lady and the Tramp pasta moment. Try the classics — like the spaghetti carbonara, the bolognese, or the gnocchi pomodoro. (A simple eggless pasta with tomatoes and olive oil is available for vegans.) Broder’s is elegant but not overly formal — the wooden wrap-around bar is a great place to share a cozy dinner.

A close-up photo of a wooden bar with wooden chairs, that’s set with white plates with white rolled napkins on them, plus small class containers of olive oil.
Pasta can enjoyed in the restaurant or to-go for a date night-in.
Broders’ Pasta Bar

Martina

Chef Danny del Prado’s flagship restaurant Martina is well-designed (and well-lit), a dream of lighting and composition. Order the potato churros to start, which balance a soft, creamy interior with craggy, crispy fried edges. From the grill, try the pork chop with corn puree, or the parillada for two, made with bavette, sweetbreads, chorizo, and bone marrow.

A white bowl filled with spaghetti with red sauce and lobster.
Spaghetti and lobster from Martina.
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Khâluna

Chef Ann Ahmed’s Khâluna was designed to evoke the palm-tree-swathed resorts of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, and stepping inside it really does feel like arriving at a balmy destination by the sea. Domed lamps hover above a landscape of rattan chairs and blonde wood; everything is washed in the warmest shades of sandstone and gold. All this to match the stellar menu, which features a whole fried red snapper drowned in a tamarind glaze and a bucatini talay in a punchy tom yum ragout.

The bright interior of Khâluna, where many people are dining. The color palette features beige and gold tones, and there’s greenery in the background.
Khâluna’s breezy dining room.
Caroline Yang for Eater

Bûcheron

Adam and Jeanie Ritter, both alums of Gavin Kaysen’s restaurants, emulate France’s bistronomy movement at their south Minneapolis restaurant Bûcheron, merging fine dining techniques with essential dishes like venison tartare, grilled carrots in yogurt, sticky toffee cake. The result is a French American bistro that’s elegant but not stuffy, intimate but casual enough for a walk-in meal at the bar. For a fine dining experience without a tasting menu price-tag, this is the place.

A white plate on a dark wood counter with a small cake covered in dark toffee sauce, with a quenelle of orange sorbet on the side.
Sticky toffee cake at Bûcheron.
Libby Anderson

The Creekside Supper Club

The Creekside debuted is a veritable love letter to Wisconsin’s wood-paneled, crimson-carpeted supper clubs — upscale restaurants in rural areas that had their heyday in the mid-twentieth century. Dripping with vintage northwoods charm, it’s a great spot for a cozy, casual date night. Slip into one of the plush red booths and order a relish tray to share. Biting into one of the Creekside’s dreamy, eggy popovers is a romantic experience in and of itself.

A Wisconsin-style Old Fashioned sitting on a table, garnished with maraschino cherries and an orange slice.
A Wisconsin-style Old Fashioned from the Old Fashioned.
Creekside Supper Club

Bryant-Lake Bowl & Theater

Bryant Lake Bowl may not be the Twin Cities’s most buttoned-up date spot. But there’s an undeniable romance to its vintage set-up: the lustrous wooden bar, the wrap-around benches, the eight lanes crammed into the tiny bowling alley. There’s often a wait to bowl, even on weeknights — so show up ahead of time, get your name on the list, and grab a patty melt or Bryant Lake Bowl’s signature bloody mary wings while you wait.

A dark wooden bar with an array of glass bottles of alcohol on it, and bar stools and dine chairs with wooden backing in the foreground. The space is well-lit and the walls are deep yellow.
The historic bowling alley’s bar.
Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater

Sanjusan

Chef Danny del Prado (Martina, Colita, and more) and chef Shigeyuki Furukawa (of Kado No Mise) fuse their talents with a unique Japanese-Italian menu at Sanjusan. Share a memorable night with dishes like pork gyoza with wood ear mushroom and foie gras, or squid ink pappardelle. The pizzas feature flavor combinations like prosciutto, preserved lemon, and bonito cream.

A plate of raw fish topped with dots of red sauce, kernels of corn, and cilantro leaves, on a white plate against a black background.
Sanjusan is a collaboration between Danny del Prado and Shigeyuki Furukawa.
Wing Ta

Demi

Chef Gavin Kaysen’s intricate tasting menu restaurant Demi is a great option for a date night at a higher price point ($115 to $165 per person, plus add-on wine a drink pairings). Menu details aren’t posted on the restaurant’s website to see in advance, but expect meticulously constructed dishes like sweet potato tart with pickled kombu, Rohan duck with braised endives, and honey soy ice cream.

Shelves behind a bar in dark lighting: there are many glass bottles of alcohol and mirrors behind the shelves.
Inside Demi in the North Loop.
Demi

Maison Margaux

Chef David Fhima’s North Loop restaurant is styled as a traditional French brasserie, aiming to capture the spirit of France’s vibrant Belle Epoque. On the menu are classic dishes like French onion soup, steak au poivre, and racks of lamb served with Dijon cognac beurre blanc, while the basement bar, cloaked in red velvet, serves burgers and lobster deviled eggs. As far as date-nights go, it’s more bustling than intimate; more sparkling than moody, ideal for a glam evening out. For wine lovers, there are few better places — Maison Margaux has more than 860 selections in-house.

Three dishes on a blue table: A bone marrow beef dish (center), a Nicoise salad (left) and a pear tart (right).
Beef daube (center), salade Niçoise (left), and pear tart (right).
Tim Evans/Eater Twin Cities

Bar La Grassa

Bar La Grassa has a bit of bustle to it — it may not be the best spot if you’re looking for a quiet, intimate meal. But if a more electric atmosphere appeals, this is the place. All the essential date night elements are there: black leather booths, candlelit tables, and fresh pasta, from mafalda bolognese to ziti with shrimp and vin santo cream. Start with the dreamy soft eggs and lobster bruschetta, though.

A white dish of thick flat noodles and foie gras meatballs, dusted with parmesan cheese.
Foie gras tagliatelle at Bar La Grassa.
Bar La Grassa

The Camden Social

Kathryn and Alfonso Mayfield, the couple behind Allure Cigars, teamed up with Brittany and Gerard Klass of Soul Bowl to transform the Camden Social, a longtime neighborhood tavern, into a sleek and stylish new restaurant, ideal for date nights. Chef Antonio Murray’s tailored menu of collard greens dip, charred broccoli Caesar salad, Guyanese filet tips, and smoked salmon croquettes is served late, and weekend brunch features honeycrisp apple French toast, shrimp and grits, and cocktails.

A stack of French toast topped with slice stewed apples and a dollop of whipped cream.
Honeycrisp French toast at the Camden Social.
The Camden Social

Young Joni

Chef Ann Kim’s award-winning restaurant is a great choice for date night: The pizza is famously chewy, airy, and inventive, and the ambiance is intimate and warm, all walnut tones and candlelit tables. Slip through the alley into the basement speakeasy for a drink after dinner. The Korean BBQ pizza — made with short ribs, mozzarella, and soy-chile vinaigrette — is a favorite, as is La Parisienne, with prosciutto and brown butter.

Dark floral wallpaper covered with small wooden-frames, old tables, and even older loveseats.
The back bar at Young Joni.
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

Aster Cafe

Through every season, Aster Cafe remains one of the most romantic spots in Minneapolis. Stationed on the cobblestone streets of St. Anthony Main, the restaurant overlooks the river — when the weather’s nice, the patio is an ideal perch for sunsets. The interior is low-lit and cozy. Come for a Sunday brunch with live jazz music and dancing, and feast on the French toast bake or bacon and ham quiche.

The interior of a restaurant with wooden bars, wooden table and chairs, a sign that says “Aster” in cursive, and sunlight streaming through the windows.
Aster overlooks the Mississippi.
Aster Cafe

Alma

Tucked into a cozy brick building on University Avenue, Alma is a lovely date night spot that’s especially accommodating to vegetarians. In addition to its regular prix-fixe menu (with dishes like marinated fig bruschetta, seared Maine scallops, and lemon soufflé cake) there’s an entirely separate version for vegetarians (think torchio pasta with wild mushrooms, chilled sweet corn soup, and roasted cauliflower). It’s also attached to a hotel of the same name — make date night a weekend stay, if you’re so moved.

A view of the dining room with warm wood, white walls, and navy blue seats
Alma is a Minneapolis classic.
Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

The Bungalow Club

The Bungalow Club, just a stone’s throw from the Mississippi River on Lake Street, has an effortless romantic vibe. The restaurant focuses on fresh, handmade pasta — round out the weekend with a Sunday night tortelli mantovani, stuffed with sweet potato, or a gnocchi sardi with tomato and chili flakes. Thursday through Saturday, try the three-course menu, which changes frequently but has the same approachable elegance.

Related Maps

Herbst Eatery & Farm Stand

Chef Eric Simpson’s Herbst menu is hyper-seasonal, stacked with dishes like kabocha squash with creamed kale, chicken liver creste di gallo with burgundy truffles, and concord grape ice cream. Following in St. Paul’s grand tradition of exceptional neighborhood restaurants, it’s a great spot for a date night that feels special but not over-the-top — the atmosphere is warm and approachable.

A large dining room with purple tables, wooden chairs, a curved bar lined with wooden stools, and many lights hanging from the ceiling.
Grab a seat at Herbst’s U-shaped bar for a nightcap.
Herbst