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An airy industrial restaurant interior with light wooden tables, a long bar with stools, and light pink walls with a large embroidered mural of flowers.
Centro in Northeast.
Kevin Kramer / Eater Twin Cities

14 Essential Restaurants in Northeast Minneapolis

Savory pork laab, fish and chips, and orange blossom custard in the arts-industrial neighborhood

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Centro in Northeast.
| Kevin Kramer / Eater Twin Cities

A stone’s throw from downtown on the Mississippi River’s east bank, Northeast Minneapolis often feels like a city unto itself. Historically an industrial hub, the abandoned warehouses and old grain mills that shaped the neighborhood in the early 20th century later played host to a thriving arts culture. In recent years, an economic boom has created concerns about the neighborhood’s identity changing — but at the heart of Northeast is still an eclectic mix of long-held family establishments, immigrant-owned restaurants, and celebrated newcomers. From baba ghanoush and fresh mistah bread at Emily’s Lebanese Deli, to massive chimichangas at El Taco Riendo, to crispy pork belly and shrimp Vietnamese crepes at Hai Hai, Northeast itself is one of Minneapolis’s most essential dining destinations. Here’s a list of fantastic restaurants to try in the neighborhood.

Note that these restaurants are listed geographically.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Chimborazo

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Located in cozy, bright storefront on Central Avenue, Chimborazo is a neighborhood institution. Serving Ecuadorean and Andean fare all day, seven days a week, it’s an ideal spot for anything from breakfast to late-night snacks. Don’t miss the patacones con queso — fried green plantains stuffed with cheese and served with an intensely herbed aji crillo — or the exceptionally tender seco de pollo.

El Taco Riendo

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If you can’t catch El Taco Riendo’s lime-green food truck out and about during the summer, stop by the Central Avenue location. In 2020, the restaurant suffered massive fire damage, but it’s since been revived. From the menu, try the colossal chimichangas, crispy flautas, tacos dorados, and caldo de res, a red Mexican beef soup. Grab a glass of horchata, tamarind water, or nonalcoholic sangria.

Khao Hom Thai Restaurant Minneapolis

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Stop by Khao Hom Thai for spicy pork laab served in a crispy head of lettuce, rich red and green curries, and savory Thai lobster rolls. (Note that the pad thai here is made with a unique tomato-based sauce.) The restaurant’s interior is cozy and warm, making it an excellent spot for a casual dinner away from the bustle of Central Avenue.

Hai Hai

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From a verdant, intensely savory banana blossom salad to herbaceous beef laab lettuce wraps, James Beard-nominated chef Christina Nguyen has crafted a compelling menu at Hai Hai. Take a look at the cocktail menu: The rotating selection of slushies (think passionfruit and lychee) and jackfruit sangria are a must. Grab a seat on the patio or in the restaurant’s breezy interior, dressed in tropical hues of emerald and turquoise.

A brightly colored open-air patio with low turquoise stools and oilcloth covered tables
Hai Hai’s patio.
Kevin Kramer

MOMO Sushi

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The Japanese and Tibetan dishes at Momo Sushi are on equal par. Start with an order of beef and scallion momos — from the sushi menu, try the Angry Dragon roll, made spicy tuna and mango, or the Crazy Monkey roll, which features a whole fried banana, cream cheese, and crab meat. The restaurant’s intimate patio makes for ideal summer dining.

Maya Cuisine & Bar - Minneapolis

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Maya Cuisine first opened its Central Avenue doors in 2012 — in the decades since, it’s become a go-to for Mexican cuisine in Northeast. Grab a seat in the restaurant’s colorful courtyard-style space and order carne asada, tamales, or alambres from the sit-down menu, or grab a burrito to-go from the cafeteria-style counter. The salsa bar here is excellent, and Maya Cuisine also serves a popular brunch every Sunday.

Centro is a fast-casual restaurant with a succinct menu of tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and enchiladas. Try the carnitas en adobo tacos or the nopales, made with cured cactus and mushrooms, and save room for a chocolate mole cupcake. Chef Jose Alarcon and co-owner Jami Olson’s other ventures include next-door Vivir and, formerly, Popol Vuh, which before its pandemic closure was a Twin Cities bastion of Mexican fine dining.

A plate of fried fish tacos garnished with cilantro and pink radishes on a wooden table.
Fish tacos from Centro.
Kevin Kramer / Eater Twin Cities

Animales Barbeque Co.

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Animales serves some of the Twin Cities’ best barbecue out of a food truck parked at Bauhaus Brewlabs in Northeast. Stop by for pork shoulder fried rice, Nashville hot smoked chicken drummies, or tender jerk pork belly burnt ends — and keep an eye on the truck’s Instagram page for the latest menu updates. Just a few blocks away, grab a great cheeseburger from Animales Burger Co. at Able Brewery.

Young Joni

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An acclaimed restaurant by James Beard award-winning chef Ann Kim, Young Joni is known for its exceptionally crackly thin-crust pizzas. Order the spicy lamb sausage pizza with fresno chili, feta, and mint, or La Parisienne, a prosciutto-and-gruyere homage to the City of Light. Also notable are small plates like Korean sweet potatoes and charred savoy cabbage. After dinner, slip into the back-alley speakeasy for cocktails.

The Anchor Fish & Chips

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A Northeast institution, the Anchor serves Irish classics in a warmly lit, wood-paneled space. The eponymous fish and chips — flaky Alaskan cod and thick-cut wedges of potato, fried until golden — are a must, and are available both inside the brick and mortar location, and on the Anchor’s food truck. Elsewhere on the menu, try the rich shepherd’s pie or poutine, and pair your meal with a Guinness or Smithwick’s Irish red ale.

Emily's Lebanese Deli

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A longtime Northeast favorite, Emily’s Lebanese Deli is a family-run operation serving Lebanese dishes in a small building on University Avenue since 1973. Order a few salads to go, or sit in and enjoy fresh grape leaves stuffed with lamb and rice, a fried kibbi sandwich, or flaky spinach pies warm from the oven. Save room for baklava and crema, a Lebanese orange blossom custard.

Gorkha Palace

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An organic Indian, Nepali, and Tibetan restaurant, Gorkha Palace serves some of the Twin Cities’ finest South Asian cuisine out of a saffron-colored building on 4th Street. Start with crispy veggie pakora and gentle daal, and pair them with lamb vindaloo, savory Goan shrimp curry, or paalak paneer. Gorkha Palace also serves mango lassi and a selection of teas.

Gardens of Salonica

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Come for fresh Greek fare in a beautiful, airy space on Fifth Street. Check the specials board for something fresh, or stick to the classics for comforts like gyros or pastitsio. A menu favorite is the tarama, a caviar dip made with red onions, lemons, and whipped north Atlantic cod roe sourced from Athens.

Aster Cafe

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Aster Cafe’s patio, stationed along the cobblestone streets of St. Anthony Main, offers gorgeous views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline and the Mississippi River. Split a cheese plate and a few flatbreads, a strawberry cashew salad, or a tuna poke bowl; from the drinks menu, order a glass of organic orange wine. Every Sunday afternoon, Aster hosts swing dancing to a live band on the patio — it’s an excellent spot for a date.

Chimborazo

Located in cozy, bright storefront on Central Avenue, Chimborazo is a neighborhood institution. Serving Ecuadorean and Andean fare all day, seven days a week, it’s an ideal spot for anything from breakfast to late-night snacks. Don’t miss the patacones con queso — fried green plantains stuffed with cheese and served with an intensely herbed aji crillo — or the exceptionally tender seco de pollo.

El Taco Riendo

If you can’t catch El Taco Riendo’s lime-green food truck out and about during the summer, stop by the Central Avenue location. In 2020, the restaurant suffered massive fire damage, but it’s since been revived. From the menu, try the colossal chimichangas, crispy flautas, tacos dorados, and caldo de res, a red Mexican beef soup. Grab a glass of horchata, tamarind water, or nonalcoholic sangria.

Khao Hom Thai Restaurant Minneapolis

Stop by Khao Hom Thai for spicy pork laab served in a crispy head of lettuce, rich red and green curries, and savory Thai lobster rolls. (Note that the pad thai here is made with a unique tomato-based sauce.) The restaurant’s interior is cozy and warm, making it an excellent spot for a casual dinner away from the bustle of Central Avenue.

Hai Hai

A brightly colored open-air patio with low turquoise stools and oilcloth covered tables
Hai Hai’s patio.
Kevin Kramer

From a verdant, intensely savory banana blossom salad to herbaceous beef laab lettuce wraps, James Beard-nominated chef Christina Nguyen has crafted a compelling menu at Hai Hai. Take a look at the cocktail menu: The rotating selection of slushies (think passionfruit and lychee) and jackfruit sangria are a must. Grab a seat on the patio or in the restaurant’s breezy interior, dressed in tropical hues of emerald and turquoise.

A brightly colored open-air patio with low turquoise stools and oilcloth covered tables
Hai Hai’s patio.
Kevin Kramer

MOMO Sushi

The Japanese and Tibetan dishes at Momo Sushi are on equal par. Start with an order of beef and scallion momos — from the sushi menu, try the Angry Dragon roll, made spicy tuna and mango, or the Crazy Monkey roll, which features a whole fried banana, cream cheese, and crab meat. The restaurant’s intimate patio makes for ideal summer dining.

Maya Cuisine & Bar - Minneapolis

Maya Cuisine first opened its Central Avenue doors in 2012 — in the decades since, it’s become a go-to for Mexican cuisine in Northeast. Grab a seat in the restaurant’s colorful courtyard-style space and order carne asada, tamales, or alambres from the sit-down menu, or grab a burrito to-go from the cafeteria-style counter. The salsa bar here is excellent, and Maya Cuisine also serves a popular brunch every Sunday.

Centro

A plate of fried fish tacos garnished with cilantro and pink radishes on a wooden table.
Fish tacos from Centro.
Kevin Kramer / Eater Twin Cities

Centro is a fast-casual restaurant with a succinct menu of tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and enchiladas. Try the carnitas en adobo tacos or the nopales, made with cured cactus and mushrooms, and save room for a chocolate mole cupcake. Chef Jose Alarcon and co-owner Jami Olson’s other ventures include next-door Vivir and, formerly, Popol Vuh, which before its pandemic closure was a Twin Cities bastion of Mexican fine dining.

A plate of fried fish tacos garnished with cilantro and pink radishes on a wooden table.
Fish tacos from Centro.
Kevin Kramer / Eater Twin Cities

Animales Barbeque Co.

Animales serves some of the Twin Cities’ best barbecue out of a food truck parked at Bauhaus Brewlabs in Northeast. Stop by for pork shoulder fried rice, Nashville hot smoked chicken drummies, or tender jerk pork belly burnt ends — and keep an eye on the truck’s Instagram page for the latest menu updates. Just a few blocks away, grab a great cheeseburger from Animales Burger Co. at Able Brewery.

Young Joni

An acclaimed restaurant by James Beard award-winning chef Ann Kim, Young Joni is known for its exceptionally crackly thin-crust pizzas. Order the spicy lamb sausage pizza with fresno chili, feta, and mint, or La Parisienne, a prosciutto-and-gruyere homage to the City of Light. Also notable are small plates like Korean sweet potatoes and charred savoy cabbage. After dinner, slip into the back-alley speakeasy for cocktails.

The Anchor Fish & Chips

A Northeast institution, the Anchor serves Irish classics in a warmly lit, wood-paneled space. The eponymous fish and chips — flaky Alaskan cod and thick-cut wedges of potato, fried until golden — are a must, and are available both inside the brick and mortar location, and on the Anchor’s food truck. Elsewhere on the menu, try the rich shepherd’s pie or poutine, and pair your meal with a Guinness or Smithwick’s Irish red ale.

Emily's Lebanese Deli

A longtime Northeast favorite, Emily’s Lebanese Deli is a family-run operation serving Lebanese dishes in a small building on University Avenue since 1973. Order a few salads to go, or sit in and enjoy fresh grape leaves stuffed with lamb and rice, a fried kibbi sandwich, or flaky spinach pies warm from the oven. Save room for baklava and crema, a Lebanese orange blossom custard.

Gorkha Palace

An organic Indian, Nepali, and Tibetan restaurant, Gorkha Palace serves some of the Twin Cities’ finest South Asian cuisine out of a saffron-colored building on 4th Street. Start with crispy veggie pakora and gentle daal, and pair them with lamb vindaloo, savory Goan shrimp curry, or paalak paneer. Gorkha Palace also serves mango lassi and a selection of teas.

Gardens of Salonica

Come for fresh Greek fare in a beautiful, airy space on Fifth Street. Check the specials board for something fresh, or stick to the classics for comforts like gyros or pastitsio. A menu favorite is the tarama, a caviar dip made with red onions, lemons, and whipped north Atlantic cod roe sourced from Athens.

Aster Cafe

Aster Cafe’s patio, stationed along the cobblestone streets of St. Anthony Main, offers gorgeous views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline and the Mississippi River. Split a cheese plate and a few flatbreads, a strawberry cashew salad, or a tuna poke bowl; from the drinks menu, order a glass of organic orange wine. Every Sunday afternoon, Aster hosts swing dancing to a live band on the patio — it’s an excellent spot for a date.

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