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Owamni by The Sioux Chef brings North American indigenous dishes to Minneapolis.
Owamni by The Sioux Chef/official photo

The 8 Hottest New Restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul Right Now, September 2021

Fresh destinations for double-cut pork chops, Detroit-style pizza, savory pastries, and more

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Owamni by The Sioux Chef brings North American indigenous dishes to Minneapolis.
| Owamni by The Sioux Chef/official photo

Welcome back to the Eater Twin Cities Heatmap, a collection of exciting new restaurants that have opened or re-opened recently. Despite the trying pandemic, Minneapolis and St. Paul’s resilient hospitality community continues to find creative ways to introduce diners to fantastic food in fresh environments. These are the restaurants of the moment, some brand new and some old favorites that have finally returned.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

Note: Restaurants on this map are listed in geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Central N.E.

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700 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 354-7947
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Northeast Minneapolis’s new neighborhood destination for affordable American classics and cocktails made with Minnesota spirits comes from Morrissey Hospitality, the local group behind The Bad WaitressSt. Paul Grill. Executive chef John Henkels’s menu opens with sharable starters like pickle-brined fried chicken skewers, flatbreads, truffle fries, and grilled oysters, followed by three burger options, wraps, a BLT, and fried chicken sandwich. Mains like a whole trout dressed with chimichurri, fettuccini, bourbon-glazed pork chop, and scallops are all $21 and under — even high-brow wagyu, served with a mushroom demi-glace. — Tierney Plumb

Central N.E. Eat & Drink’s color-soaked look pays homage to its artsy neighborhood. 
Central N.E./official phjoto

2. Sidebar at Surdyk’s

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303 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 455-2574
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Sidebar at Surdyk’s opened briefly last fall before the weather and pandemic took a turn for the worse. The modern bar and brasserie recently made a comeback, ready to impress northeast diners under its tenured chef Randall Prudden. The alum of Spoon and Stable and Chicago’s three Michelin-starred Alinea has put together a fun and easy-to-explore menu full of seasonal ingredients. Don’t miss the bright and light crudo or the tartare.

A copper topped bar dominates a cozy room. Underneath it, cobalt blue tiles with white grout make a bright contrast. Contemporary leather bar stools line the bar and open air shelving hangs above it all. Sidebar at Surdyk’s/Facebook

3. Owamni by The Sioux Chef

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420 1st St S
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 444-1846
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Sean Sherman’s paean to Native American cuisine is seven years in the making, when he first started The Sioux chef as a catering and food education business for the Twin Cities community. The venture spans much longer (300 years) if one counts the indigenous land on which Sherman’s namesake restaurant now sits. Now he’s reclaiming an important piece of history with dishes made from decolonized ingredients — wheat, flour, cane sugar and dairy are out of the picture and replaced by a mix of Indigenous game, fish, birds, and insects along with wild plants, Native American heirloom farm varieties, and locally grown produce. Think local lake fish, dandelions made from pesto, or corn bread served with wojape, a sauce made from native chokecherries.

Owamni by The Sioux Chef introduces Minneapolis diners to Native American food that’s free of Euro-centric ingredients.
Owamni/Facebook

4. The Butcher's Tale

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1121 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 236-4075
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To call The Butcher’s Tale a barbecue joint or a mere steakhouse would be a disservice to the painstaking lengths chef Peter Botcher has taken to ensure that everything on his menu — from the vaunted 14-hour smoked beef long rib to the double-cut pork chop and the sausages — is fine-tuned and wildly delicious. As are the desserts by pastry wunderkind Elsbeth Young-Haug, whose pistachio cream puffs are now iconic. A lively and hopping beer garden adds extra bonus points.

Kevin Kramer/The Butcher’s Tale

5. The Market At Malcolm Yards

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501 30th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 886-1022
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The weekends crowds at the Malcolm Yards food hall are barely a month old and are already a sight to behold. No surprise, given the globetrotting lineup of vendors and prospect of cobbling a meal that stretches from Malaysia and Nepal to Italy. Pro tip: share an order of airy, shatteringly crisp Korean fried chicken at Abang Yoli; a warming serving of Rashmi Bhattachan’s ethereally light momos at Momo Dosa; a Detroit-style pie at Wrecktangle Pizza (Elote is recommended); and finally, end with the dizzyingly rich ice creams at Bebe Zito. 

Abang Yoli brings Korean-style fried chicken to The Market at Malcolm Yards.
Abang Yoli brings Korean-style fried chicken to The Market at Malcolm Yards.
Nelson Hill for The Market at Malcolm Yards

6. Cardamom

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723 Vineland Pl
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 375-7542
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Followers of Daniel Del Prado rarely know what to expect next. Sicilian pizza? New American meets Argentinian? A take on Japanese-Italian fusion? Check all of the above (Rosalia, Martina and Sanjusan, respectively). Middle Eastern cuisine comes next at Cardamom, with a menu influenced by the bounty of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. The seasoned chef has partnered with pastry chef Shawn McKenzie to set up shop at the Walker Art Center and is churning out subversive riffs on Mediterranean staples, like “Cacio e Pepe” dumplings, raw ahi tuna tabbouleh, and Turkish coffee pot au creme. 

Cardamom/Facebook

7. Myriel

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470 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55105
(651) 340-3568
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It’s been a long time coming, but Karyn Tomlinson has finally opened her chic, bistro-style restaurant in St. Paul’s Highland Park. The dining room got a subdued makeover that sets the stage for dishes like an omelet made with eggs from a nearby farm, creamy on the inside with an herb garnish. More substantial plates include a short-crusted pastry stuffed with caramelized leeks in a deeply savory sauce. Open for dinner only, though brunch is on the horizon. 

Jes Lahay/Myriel

8. The Copperfield

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735 Maple St
Mendota Heights, MN 55118
(651) 340-5144
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Mendota Heights’s new catch-all cafe and bar from the team behind The Green Mill and Crooked Pint kicks off the day at 7 a.m. with breakfast staples like pancakes, oatmeal, and egg sandwiches served until 3 p.m. At night, the versatile venture flips into an after-work hotspot with $5 Roku and tonic cocktails and bar bites like calamari and brie and cranberry bruschetta. Dinner entrees all $20 and under include flank steak, wild rice stuffed chicken, a lightly breaded walleye sandwich, and sizable “Mac Daddy” burger. The 145-seat setup with a big patio also houses a grab-and-go deli stocked with fresh macaroons, pastas, potato salad, and quiche. — T.P.

1. Central N.E.

700 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Central N.E. Eat & Drink’s color-soaked look pays homage to its artsy neighborhood. 
Central N.E./official phjoto

Northeast Minneapolis’s new neighborhood destination for affordable American classics and cocktails made with Minnesota spirits comes from Morrissey Hospitality, the local group behind The Bad WaitressSt. Paul Grill. Executive chef John Henkels’s menu opens with sharable starters like pickle-brined fried chicken skewers, flatbreads, truffle fries, and grilled oysters, followed by three burger options, wraps, a BLT, and fried chicken sandwich. Mains like a whole trout dressed with chimichurri, fettuccini, bourbon-glazed pork chop, and scallops are all $21 and under — even high-brow wagyu, served with a mushroom demi-glace. — Tierney Plumb

700 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

2. Sidebar at Surdyk’s

303 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
A copper topped bar dominates a cozy room. Underneath it, cobalt blue tiles with white grout make a bright contrast. Contemporary leather bar stools line the bar and open air shelving hangs above it all. Sidebar at Surdyk’s/Facebook

Sidebar at Surdyk’s opened briefly last fall before the weather and pandemic took a turn for the worse. The modern bar and brasserie recently made a comeback, ready to impress northeast diners under its tenured chef Randall Prudden. The alum of Spoon and Stable and Chicago’s three Michelin-starred Alinea has put together a fun and easy-to-explore menu full of seasonal ingredients. Don’t miss the bright and light crudo or the tartare.

303 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

3. Owamni by The Sioux Chef

420 1st St S, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Owamni by The Sioux Chef introduces Minneapolis diners to Native American food that’s free of Euro-centric ingredients.
Owamni/Facebook

Sean Sherman’s paean to Native American cuisine is seven years in the making, when he first started The Sioux chef as a catering and food education business for the Twin Cities community. The venture spans much longer (300 years) if one counts the indigenous land on which Sherman’s namesake restaurant now sits. Now he’s reclaiming an important piece of history with dishes made from decolonized ingredients — wheat, flour, cane sugar and dairy are out of the picture and replaced by a mix of Indigenous game, fish, birds, and insects along with wild plants, Native American heirloom farm varieties, and locally grown produce. Think local lake fish, dandelions made from pesto, or corn bread served with wojape, a sauce made from native chokecherries.

420 1st St S
Minneapolis, MN 55401

4. The Butcher's Tale

1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Kevin Kramer/The Butcher’s Tale

To call The Butcher’s Tale a barbecue joint or a mere steakhouse would be a disservice to the painstaking lengths chef Peter Botcher has taken to ensure that everything on his menu — from the vaunted 14-hour smoked beef long rib to the double-cut pork chop and the sausages — is fine-tuned and wildly delicious. As are the desserts by pastry wunderkind Elsbeth Young-Haug, whose pistachio cream puffs are now iconic. A lively and hopping beer garden adds extra bonus points.

1121 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

5. The Market At Malcolm Yards

501 30th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Abang Yoli brings Korean-style fried chicken to The Market at Malcolm Yards.
Abang Yoli brings Korean-style fried chicken to The Market at Malcolm Yards.
Nelson Hill for The Market at Malcolm Yards

The weekends crowds at the Malcolm Yards food hall are barely a month old and are already a sight to behold. No surprise, given the globetrotting lineup of vendors and prospect of cobbling a meal that stretches from Malaysia and Nepal to Italy. Pro tip: share an order of airy, shatteringly crisp Korean fried chicken at Abang Yoli; a warming serving of Rashmi Bhattachan’s ethereally light momos at Momo Dosa; a Detroit-style pie at Wrecktangle Pizza (Elote is recommended); and finally, end with the dizzyingly rich ice creams at Bebe Zito. 

501 30th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

6. Cardamom

723 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Cardamom/Facebook

Followers of Daniel Del Prado rarely know what to expect next. Sicilian pizza? New American meets Argentinian? A take on Japanese-Italian fusion? Check all of the above (Rosalia, Martina and Sanjusan, respectively). Middle Eastern cuisine comes next at Cardamom, with a menu influenced by the bounty of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. The seasoned chef has partnered with pastry chef Shawn McKenzie to set up shop at the Walker Art Center and is churning out subversive riffs on Mediterranean staples, like “Cacio e Pepe” dumplings, raw ahi tuna tabbouleh, and Turkish coffee pot au creme. 

723 Vineland Pl
Minneapolis, MN 55403

7. Myriel

470 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55105
Jes Lahay/Myriel

It’s been a long time coming, but Karyn Tomlinson has finally opened her chic, bistro-style restaurant in St. Paul’s Highland Park. The dining room got a subdued makeover that sets the stage for dishes like an omelet made with eggs from a nearby farm, creamy on the inside with an herb garnish. More substantial plates include a short-crusted pastry stuffed with caramelized leeks in a deeply savory sauce. Open for dinner only, though brunch is on the horizon. 

470 Cleveland Ave S
St Paul, MN 55105

8. The Copperfield

735 Maple St, Mendota Heights, MN 55118

Mendota Heights’s new catch-all cafe and bar from the team behind The Green Mill and Crooked Pint kicks off the day at 7 a.m. with breakfast staples like pancakes, oatmeal, and egg sandwiches served until 3 p.m. At night, the versatile venture flips into an after-work hotspot with $5 Roku and tonic cocktails and bar bites like calamari and brie and cranberry bruschetta. Dinner entrees all $20 and under include flank steak, wild rice stuffed chicken, a lightly breaded walleye sandwich, and sizable “Mac Daddy” burger. The 145-seat setup with a big patio also houses a grab-and-go deli stocked with fresh macaroons, pastas, potato salad, and quiche. — T.P.

735 Maple St
Mendota Heights, MN 55118

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