Eat Street — a vibrant stretch of Nicollet Avenue that runs roughly between Franklin Avenue and the Lake Street K-Mart — is perhaps Minneapolis’s most iconic dining corridor. Its oldest tenant is the Black Forest Inn, a family-run German restaurant that first opened in 1965. So many others have joined in the decades since: 30-year icon Quang; pho powerhouse Pho Tau Bay; Black Sheep, which introduced coal-fired pizza to the Twin Cities; Pimento, a local mainstay for Jamaican cuisine, and others, like Yeah Yeah Tacos and Little Tijuana, which have opened in the past few years. Eat Street is so restaurant-dense it can be tricky to navigate — while the corridor gets richer by the day, here are some standout dining options to explore this season, from south to north.Read More
Where to Eat on Minneapolis’s Eat Street Corridor
Banh mi, baked octopus, spätzel, and coal-fired pizza — all along Minneapolis’s most iconic dining corridor
Pho Tau Bay
Standing in the shadow of the storied Lake St. K-mart is pho powerhouse Pho Tau Bay. Eat Street is stacked with knockout Vietnamese restaurants, but Pho Tau Bay stands out for its ample portions, complex, anise-kissed pho broth, and vast menu of broken rice platters, bun salads, and weekend-exclusive rice porridges. Take a minute to admire the collection of colorful plastic figurines at the counter.
Stepping into Marissa’s Bakery feels a bit like stepping into another world, one where a wood-fired brick oven churns out fluffy conchas, sopapillas, and crackly bolillos all day long. Marissa’s breads and pastries are equally good — they all have a melt-in-your-mouth effect — and the adjoining cafe serves juicy birria tacos, enchiladas, and other Mexican dishes.
Rainbow Chinese has been churning out excellent Chinese-American fare since the late 1980s. (In fact, as Bring Me The News reports, it received a “historic small restaurants” grant this year.) At the moment, chef Tammy Wong is only doing takeout. But it’s well worth an evening stroll through the snow to pick up a meal of sauteed green beans and savory ma po tofu, simmered with Szechuan peppercorn.
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El Mariachi Restaurant
For street-style tacos, platters of enchiladas, seafood, or spicy and rich caldos (soups), look no further than El Nuevo Mariachi. Its sun-bleached, hand-painted sign beckons diners into the bright tiled interior, where music blasts from the speakers all evening. You may need to shout to your dining companions over the Spanish-language karaoke, but it’s worth it for the sizzling fajitas, crispy birria flautas, and cheesy enchiladas. Wash it all down with a michelada con camaron or an icy tropical cocktail.
Known for its hefty, steaming bowls of pho, Quang has been an Eat Street staple for over 30 years. After renovations in 2019, the restaurant is bigger than ever — what hasn’t changed is the ample portions of aromatic pho and noodle salads splashed with fish sauce. Weekend specials feature everything from curried beef stew to wild-caught sea bass noodle soup. Quang’s spring rolls are exceptional, too — they’re stuffed with plump shrimp and thin slices of red roast pork, served with a particularly creamy peanut sauce.
My Huong Kitchen
Eat Street is a hot spot for Vietnamese food in a city that’s, well, a hot spot for Vietnamese food. Just across the street from 30-year staple Quang is My Huong Kitchen, a tiny gem of a Vietnamese restaurant. The pho here is ample and lightly sweet; the banh mi are packed with springy veggies and deeply satiating. Pair a meal with a sweet French crepe or bubble tea.
Christos Greek Restaurant
Christos first opened in 1988 — it’s been one of the Twin Cities’ premier destinations for Greek cuisine ever since. It’s hard to go wrong on this menu, but standout dishes include a flaky, dense spanakopita, a warm octopus dish baked in vinegar and red wine, and a beautifully marbled rack of lamb. Christos is a great option for a nice dinner out that’s approachable, not stuffy or overly formal.
Lu’s banh mi are made with care — you can taste it in their bright, balanced flavors. The airy house-made baguettes, baked daily, are piled high with succulent meatballs, grilled pork, or curried tofu. (Get an extra smear of the creamy mayo or earthy pate.) Pickled veggies, sliced cucumber, and cilantro make for a bright, herby complement. On the way out, grab a bag of fried sesame donut balls for an on-the-go dessert.
Little Tijuana Neighborhood Lounge
This storied Eat Street bar was resurrected in 2022 by a new team of owners — it’s an equally great spot for a date night or happy hour with friends. A disco ball shimmers in the corner and vinyl spin behind the bar, creating a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere. Little T’s classic hit play to both fruity and smoky flavors — the Hongo Old Fashioned pairs mezcal and earthy nopal with mushroom bitters, and the piña colada slushy machine churns all through the night. The food portions are excellent for the price, and the eclectic flavors are well-executed. Few places would pair palak paneer dip, mapo rigatoni, scallion pancakes, and a chopped cheese on the menu, but Little T’s does it flawlessly.
Black Forest Inn
Black Forest Inn is best known for its German fare: Schnitzel, stroganoff, and other meat-heavy, gravy-drenched entrees. But don’t overlook the bar, which is a great spot for a snacky dinner and drinks. Pair an imported German beer with a cup of hearty lentil soup, savory sauerkraut and ham balls, a side of bouncy spätzel, and sweet, tangy red cabbage. Don’t skip the tart house-made rhubarb cordial as a last sip before departing.
Black Sheep Pizza
Black Sheep’s low-emission coal-fired ovens – Minnesota’s first in the state — churn out crispy crusts and bubbling cheese day in and day out. The flavors are fresh and balanced: Spicy salami is tempered by mild anise notes in fennel sausage; salty, buttery olives counter bright bites of onion. Black sheep serves great sauceless pizzas, too. To satisfy a garlic craving, try one loaded with oyster mushrooms, smoked mozzarella, rosemary, and ample garlic. Local beers, wine, and draft cocktails like sangria are ideal palate cleansers between bites.
Jasmine Deli flies a little under the radar — it’s a tiny spot tucked into the same building as Ice House, a little to the south. But its exceptional Vietnamese dishes, from banh mi to wonton soup, vermicelli noodle salads to broken rice plates, are densely flavorful and fresh. It has great vegetarian options too, like tamarind tofu and vegan noodle soup.
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Icehouse, Eat Street’s premiere music venue, also serves a great meal. Southern flavors shine on this menu of savory crawfish beignets, smoky vegan etouffee, and cheesy shrimp and grits. Fend off a hangover with an Icehouse brunch — the bloody mary options are endless, from a bacon bloody garnished with a tiny donut to a spicy variety made with green chili vodka.
Pimento Jamaican Kitchen
Rum, reggae, and Jamaican cuisine all converge at Pimento, one of Eat Street’s cornerstone restaurants. Chef Tomme Beevas’s menu hits some fiery notes, from the slow-roasted jerk pork to braised oxtail, all served with house-made sauces — but each dish is tempered with a side of starchy sweet plantains and coconut rice. On the weekend, Pimento’s rum bar serves a signature punch and hosts local DJs and musicians for dance nights.
The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen
Slip into the Copper Hen for a decadent cupcake topped with an impeccable swirl of frosting. The real specialties here, though, are the boozy mason jar cakes, which range in flavor from golden butter vanilla to chocolate buttercream and are especially moist.
Yeah Yeah Taco
The great minds behind Yeah Yeah kicked things off with their popular flatbread shop, Zetta’s, before transitioning to tacos, burritos, nachos, and bowls. Yeah Yeah is playful and creative with classic Tex-Mex flavors — try the juicy “Best Pork” carnitas, which are tossed in a sweet and salty shagbark bacon glaze. Vegetarians should try the elote, sweet potato, and radish tacos, which are filled to bursting with charred kernels of corn and cooling crema. It’s worth the extra dollar for the verdant, cilantro-flecked green sauce. Drizzle a bit on each bite.
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Best known for its fast-casual setting and its killer tacos and margaritas, Centro has expanded its menu to burgers, tater tots, and banana cream pie at its new Eat Street location. Everywhen, the burger bar, serves crispy smash burgers, a habanero mayo-drizzled chicken sandwich, and a crunchy, cabbage slaw-laden Mahi Mahi burger, which rests on a glossy brioche bun. These updates are a welcome addition to Centro’s delightfully drippy and flavorful tacos.
A Slice of New York
This no-frills spot pizza spot serves delightfully foldable slices dripping with house-made, delicately sweet tomato sauce. Try the popular gyro or chicken gyro pizza for a balance of savory meat, peppers, and onions with a cooling cucumber sauce. Slice of New York also serves meat-packed hot sandwiches, hefty calzones, and pasta classics like spaghetti and lasagna.
Cajun Boiling Minneapolis
Kitschy decor like fishing nets and captain’s wheels on the walls set the tone for a laid-back dining experience at Cajun Boiling. Crack into one of the butter-drenched signature boil combos of steaming crab legs, crawfish, shrimp, and more. For less mess, Cajun Boil also serves po’ boys and plentiful fried seafood options, all best washed down with a cold beer.