Scenic views, refreshing breezes, and miles of coastline to explore: a day on Lake Minnetonka is the quintessential Minnesota summer experience. But don’t let the festivities end on the water. From casual bites to special occasion splurges, the vibrant dining scene near the metro area’s largest lake offers something for everyone.Read More
Where to Eat Around Lake Minnetonka
The best spots to take a break from the lake
Minnetonka Drive In
With a menu of classic favorites like burgers, chili dogs, and fried chicken, the seasonal Minnetonka Drive-In has been serving hungry diners since 1961. Service is speedy, but the food is prepared without cutting any corners: chicken is brought in fresh and brined for hours before being fried, onion rings are cut and breaded by hand, and root beer is made on-site with a retro recipe.
Lord Fletcher's Old Lake Lodge
Located right on the shore of Lake Minnetonka (there are over 100 boat slips for guest arriving by water), Lord Fletcher’s has both casual and upscale dining options. The Oar House is an indoor sports bar, while the Wharf has outdoor dining and live music. Both serve a casual menu of appetizers, salads, burgers, and sandwiches—the Wally-Wally sandwich, with walleye, lettuce, almonds, and tartar sauce, is a house specialty. For fine dining, there’s the Main Dining Room, which offers steak, pasta, and seafood.
Located in an historic building in downtown Excelsior, Coalition serves globally inspired American fare in elegant surroundings. Appetizers range from a classic cheese board to Korean tacos; entrees include options like seared scallops served with soba noodles and a grilled ribeye flavored with smoked paprika aioli. The cocktail program features several Midwestern craft spirits.
With a prime lakeside location and patio seating for nearly 500, Maynards is a reliable standby for a meal with a view. The crowd-pleasing menu includes sandwiches, burgers, salads, and entrees like grilled salmon and barbecued pork.
Cast & Cru
Located in the historic Old Log Theatre, Cast & Cru is a dining destination for more than just theatergoers. The seasonal menu focuses on American cuisine, with steak, lamb, seafood, and game. Inventive desserts include ingredients like homemade miso caramel ice cream, seafoam candy, and mousse made with local honey.
6 Smith Ave
6Smith boasts both lakeside dining and a rooftop patio, with an expansive menu that includes seafood, steak, salads, burgers, and a decent range of vegan options (ask for the vegan-specific menu). Lobster plays a starring role—it shows up in guacamole, gnocchi, and mac ‘n cheese, as well as on a classic lobster roll. Other recommended dishes include the tuna poke, chicken wings, and the gouda-stuffed venison and Kobe riff on a Juicy Lucy.
Adele's Frozen Custard
Adele’s frozen custard is even better than ice cream—the delightfully rich texture comes from egg yolks and the fact that air is whipped out (rather than added) during the custard-making process. Flavors include chocolate, vanilla, and a couple of rotating selections from a catalog of over 80 flavors. In addition to custard, there’s a menu of deli sandwiches, hot dogs, and BBQ pork.
Birch's on the Lake Brewhouse & Supperclub
With an expansive deck and a wall of windows overlooking Long Lake, Birch’s features a casual brewhouse downstairs and a luxe Wisconsin-style supper club upstairs. Try one of the brewhouse’s inventive beers (the Golden Coffee Chocolate Ale hits the spot after a long day in the sun) or opt for a refreshing pomegranate mojito. Food options range from beer-battered Lake Superior whitefish and burgers to pork belly tacos and grilled artichokes.
Gianni’s is a classic steakhouse with a sidewalk patio boasting lake views. Steaks are cut in-house and grilled to perfection; other specialties include spun salads prepared tableside, walleye sourced from the Red Lake Nation, and potatoes papallete, hash brown-style potatoes laced with sour cream, cheddar, and onions. Don’t want to get off the boat? Gianni’s offers dockside delivery.
With a bright, airy dining room that evokes Nantucket and a menu to match, CoV feels like a vacation to the East Coast. Start with the crab cake, dense with lumps of of crab meat, or a bowl of New England clam chowder. For the main course, there’s an excellent selection of sustainable seafood as well as steaks, burgers, and sandwiches.
Bellecour is a French bistro helmed by James Beard award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen. The menu focuses on exquisitely rendered classics like duck l’orange, escargot, and steak frites. Popular brunch entrees include a croque madame and burger topped with Gruyere and black truffle sauce. In the mood for something more casual? The adjacent bakery sells sandwiches to go, as well as pastries, macarons, and crepe cake by the slice.
The Dough Room
The dining room feels formal enough for a date night, but there’s a casual thread that runs through this restaurant with pizzas and pastas. Stop by the bar for a burger and a top shelf cocktail before or after a day on the lake.
Baja Haus focuses on the seafood-heavy cuisine of Mexico’s Baja coast, with ceviche, tacos, and fish and meats brightly flavored with citrus. Specialties include mussels cooked with chorizo and tomatillos, the sauteed whole squid, and the Hang Ten Burger topped with tempura shrimp and grilled pineapple. There’s even a nod to “American favorites” in the form of enchiladas, chimichangas, and burritos—go for the burrito stuffed with shrimp.
Benedict’s Morning Heroes serves diner-style breakfast favorites with a twist: a Cuban-inspired eggs benedict with carnitas and black beans, tater tot hash, and Elvis pancakes loaded with bacon and peanut butter. There’s also a day drinks menu with beer, wine, and cocktails like mimosas, peach bellinis, and breakfast sangria.
Although Minnesota is blessed with lakes, it’s a long way from the ocean —which is what makes Sushi Fix’s incredibly fresh fish so remarkable. In addition to sashimi, sushi, and specialty rolls, the menu features rare Japanese Wagyu beef, teriyaki stir fries, and udon noodle soups. For drinks, choose from the extensive collection of Japanese whiskey.