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Tobie’s caramel roll.
Katie Cannon

18 Stops Up the Scenic North Shore

From Hinkley to Grand Marais there are so many tasty bites along the way.

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Tobie’s caramel roll.
| Katie Cannon

Traveling from the Twin Cities up the craggy shores of Lake Superior is a bracing, breathtaking journey with caramel rolls, toasty beers, slow smoked barbecue and piles of smoked fish plus one of the best dining destinations in the entire state.

Locations are listed from South to North.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tobie’s

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404 Fire Monument Rd
Hinckley, MN 55037

Long known as the halfway stop between Minneapolis and Duluth, what was once a humble little family-owned roadside stand has become a bustling business. Grab one of their famous caramel rolls for the road from the full-service restaurant or the gas station next door.

2. OMC Smokehouse

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1909 W Superior St
Duluth, MN 55806
 (218) 606-1611
Visit Website

Follow your nose for some Southern-styled smoked meat arts at OMC Smokehouse. Locals and experienced travelers know that you can also get that mahogony-colored low and slow meat stuff at the restaurant or delivered to the Bent Paddle taproom. If you’re staying in town, it’s just one of the restaurants you can get delivered by the Food Dudes delivery.

3. Positively 3rd Street Bakery

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1202 E 3rd St
Duluth, MN 55805

Did you know that Duluth is Bob Dylan’s hometown? Sure, he grew up in Hibbing, but Bobby Zimmerman was born in this town. That and the location might have some bearing on the name of this positively adorable bakery. Get their monstrous Thunder cookie, a next level version of the humble chocolate chip.

Unbelievable cuteness and Thunder cookies.
Katie Cannon

4. Duluth Coffee Company

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105 E Superior St
Duluth, MN 55802
1-877-271-0237
Visit Website

Great road trips also require great coffee. This is home to the single best coffee brewed in the city and they have beans for taking along for the trip back.

Duluth Coffee Co
Fuel up for the drive.

5. Vikre Distilling

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525 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802

Vikre is the distillery that won over nearly everyone who thought they weren’t gin lovers. The taproom is a beautiful place to dip into on a summer day for a sip of the spruce, cedar or other refreshing cocktails.

A pretty little taproom by the Aerial Lift Bridge.
Joy Summers

6. New Scenic Cafe

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5461 N Shore Dr
Duluth, MN 55804

Regarded as one of the best restaurants in the state, the rustic charm and homey elegance creates a place that can only exist up the North Shore. Remember, always save room for pie.

Tuna tacos
Katie Cannon

7. Russ Kendall’s

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149 Scenic Dr
Two Harbors, MN 55616
(218) 834-5995
Visit Website

Part smokehouse, part local bar, Russ Kendall’s is an old scenic highway tradition. Stop in for a sleeve of saltines, a can of Hamm’s and a smoked cisco, fished from nearby Lake Superior.

Smoked Ciscos await.
Katie Cannon

8. Great Lakes! Candy

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223 Scenic Dr
Knife River, MN 55609
218-834-2121 
Visit Website

This is a proper old fashioned candy shop with dozens of treats to stuff in your pockets. The rich and creamy chocolate covers all kinds of goodies, individually wrapped and waiting for devouring.

Brace your sweet tooth. This is the motherlode.
Katie Cannon

9. Castle Danger

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17 7th St
Two Harbors, MN 55616
(218) 834-5800
Visit Website

Located in downtown Two Harbors the warm wood taproom inside Castle Danger is like borrowing someone else’s cabin for a spell. There’s outdoor seating when the weather permits (don’t be surprised if it’s sweatshirt weather here and no where else in the state). Catch a little live music here on the weekends.

Dangerously fun times in Two Harbors.
Katie Cannon

10. Lockport Marketplace

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5362 MN-61
Lutsen, MN 55612

What looks like a simple little roadside store is actually home to all things divine, wrapped in a pie crust. Sit at one of the few seats to enjoy a pasty for lunch (hearty meat and vegetable pies) or get a couple cold to take to the cabin along with a wild berry pie for dessert. If you’re staying in the area, there’s a full breakfast menu worth exploring.

Grab a pasty or some pie in Lutsen.
Katie Cannon

11. World’s Best Donuts

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139 Bally Creek Rd
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Now run by the original doughnut-maker’s great grandchildren World’s Best Donuts is a Grand Marais tradition.

Road trips call for doughnuts.
Katie Cannon

12. Dockside Fish Market

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418 MN-61
Grand Marais, MN 55604
218-387-2906 
Visit Website

This is where you’ll find the fisherman, tucked into the singular fish and fries basket after a day out on the water. Grab some smoked fish and wild rice as a souvenir.

You can’t get any fresher without catching it yourself.
Katie Cannon

13. The Angry Trout Cafe

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408 W Hwy 61
Grand Marais, MN 55604

The real reason anyone wanders up the north shore is to take in the majestic beauty of the region and the raw power of Lake Superior. It’s impossible to get any closer to the lake than on the deck at Grand Marais’ Angry Trout Cafe. Order an appropriate shore lunch.

It’s always colder, but so beautiful by the lake.
Katie Cannon

14. Voyageur Brewing

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233 W Hwy 61
Grand Marais, MN 55604

It’s not hard to imagine voyageurs stopping in for a pint inside this taproom with the current proliferation of beards and flannel. Anyone venturing up the north shore is welcome inside this comfortable brewery with the fantastic beer. Stop by for raise a pint nights on Wednesdays when a portion of the proceeds are donated to area charities.

A northwoods brewery with a rooftop deck.
Katie Cannon

15. Northern Waters Smokehaus

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394 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802
218.724.7307 
Visit Website

This is the original outpost of Northern Waters Smokehaus. Make a pilgrimage for smoked fish, chorizo and some of the best sandwiches in the city. Try that wonderful spicy Sitka sushi.

Smoked goodies so good that they’ve spawned a small empire.
Katie Cannon

16. Lake Avenue Cafe

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394 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 722-2355
Visit Website

Lake Avenue Cafe takes locally sourced seriously, with beautiful pastas, sandwiches and a spectacular brunch all made from ingredients grown regionally. If there’s time to linger, enjoy the beautifully selected wine and beer lists along with some cocktails made mostly from spirits distilled in the area.

Local lovers haven on Lake Avenue.
Katie Cannon

17. Coho Cafe & Bakery

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7192 MN-61
Tofte, MN 55615

The Coho Cafe and Bakery is your espresso stop up the North Shore. Order some pancakes or a little grilled cheese and tomato soup action before heading out into the glorious wilderness up here.

Breakfast, lunch and coffee can be found inside here.
Katie Cannon

18. Bluefin Grille

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7192 MN-61
Tofte, MN 55615

A part of the Bluefin Bay resort, the more upscale dining room has date-night worthy dining and an incredible wine list.

Bluefin Bay Resort
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1. Tobie’s

404 Fire Monument Rd, Hinckley, MN 55037

Long known as the halfway stop between Minneapolis and Duluth, what was once a humble little family-owned roadside stand has become a bustling business. Grab one of their famous caramel rolls for the road from the full-service restaurant or the gas station next door.

404 Fire Monument Rd
Hinckley, MN 55037

2. OMC Smokehouse

1909 W Superior St, Duluth, MN 55806

Follow your nose for some Southern-styled smoked meat arts at OMC Smokehouse. Locals and experienced travelers know that you can also get that mahogony-colored low and slow meat stuff at the restaurant or delivered to the Bent Paddle taproom. If you’re staying in town, it’s just one of the restaurants you can get delivered by the Food Dudes delivery.

1909 W Superior St
Duluth, MN 55806

3. Positively 3rd Street Bakery

1202 E 3rd St, Duluth, MN 55805
Unbelievable cuteness and Thunder cookies.
Katie Cannon

Did you know that Duluth is Bob Dylan’s hometown? Sure, he grew up in Hibbing, but Bobby Zimmerman was born in this town. That and the location might have some bearing on the name of this positively adorable bakery. Get their monstrous Thunder cookie, a next level version of the humble chocolate chip.

1202 E 3rd St
Duluth, MN 55805

4. Duluth Coffee Company

105 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802
Duluth Coffee Co
Fuel up for the drive.

Great road trips also require great coffee. This is home to the single best coffee brewed in the city and they have beans for taking along for the trip back.

105 E Superior St
Duluth, MN 55802

5. Vikre Distilling

525 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802
A pretty little taproom by the Aerial Lift Bridge.
Joy Summers

Vikre is the distillery that won over nearly everyone who thought they weren’t gin lovers. The taproom is a beautiful place to dip into on a summer day for a sip of the spruce, cedar or other refreshing cocktails.

525 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802

6. New Scenic Cafe

5461 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804
Tuna tacos
Katie Cannon

Regarded as one of the best restaurants in the state, the rustic charm and homey elegance creates a place that can only exist up the North Shore. Remember, always save room for pie.

5461 N Shore Dr
Duluth, MN 55804

7. Russ Kendall’s

149 Scenic Dr, Two Harbors, MN 55616
Smoked Ciscos await.
Katie Cannon

Part smokehouse, part local bar, Russ Kendall’s is an old scenic highway tradition. Stop in for a sleeve of saltines, a can of Hamm’s and a smoked cisco, fished from nearby Lake Superior.

149 Scenic Dr
Two Harbors, MN 55616

8. Great Lakes! Candy

223 Scenic Dr, Knife River, MN 55609
Brace your sweet tooth. This is the motherlode.
Katie Cannon

This is a proper old fashioned candy shop with dozens of treats to stuff in your pockets. The rich and creamy chocolate covers all kinds of goodies, individually wrapped and waiting for devouring.

223 Scenic Dr
Knife River, MN 55609

9. Castle Danger

17 7th St, Two Harbors, MN 55616
Dangerously fun times in Two Harbors.
Katie Cannon

Located in downtown Two Harbors the warm wood taproom inside Castle Danger is like borrowing someone else’s cabin for a spell. There’s outdoor seating when the weather permits (don’t be surprised if it’s sweatshirt weather here and no where else in the state). Catch a little live music here on the weekends.

17 7th St
Two Harbors, MN 55616

10. Lockport Marketplace

5362 MN-61, Lutsen, MN 55612
Grab a pasty or some pie in Lutsen.
Katie Cannon

What looks like a simple little roadside store is actually home to all things divine, wrapped in a pie crust. Sit at one of the few seats to enjoy a pasty for lunch (hearty meat and vegetable pies) or get a couple cold to take to the cabin along with a wild berry pie for dessert. If you’re staying in the area, there’s a full breakfast menu worth exploring.

5362 MN-61
Lutsen, MN 55612

11. World’s Best Donuts

139 Bally Creek Rd, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Road trips call for doughnuts.
Katie Cannon

Now run by the original doughnut-maker’s great grandchildren World’s Best Donuts is a Grand Marais tradition.

139 Bally Creek Rd
Grand Marais, MN 55604

12. Dockside Fish Market

418 MN-61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
You can’t get any fresher without catching it yourself.
Katie Cannon

This is where you’ll find the fisherman, tucked into the singular fish and fries basket after a day out on the water. Grab some smoked fish and wild rice as a souvenir.

418 MN-61
Grand Marais, MN 55604

13. The Angry Trout Cafe

408 W Hwy 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
It’s always colder, but so beautiful by the lake.
Katie Cannon

The real reason anyone wanders up the north shore is to take in the majestic beauty of the region and the raw power of Lake Superior. It’s impossible to get any closer to the lake than on the deck at Grand Marais’ Angry Trout Cafe. Order an appropriate shore lunch.

408 W Hwy 61
Grand Marais, MN 55604

14. Voyageur Brewing

233 W Hwy 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604
A northwoods brewery with a rooftop deck.
Katie Cannon

It’s not hard to imagine voyageurs stopping in for a pint inside this taproom with the current proliferation of beards and flannel. Anyone venturing up the north shore is welcome inside this comfortable brewery with the fantastic beer. Stop by for raise a pint nights on Wednesdays when a portion of the proceeds are donated to area charities.

233 W Hwy 61
Grand Marais, MN 55604

15. Northern Waters Smokehaus

394 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802
Smoked goodies so good that they’ve spawned a small empire.
Katie Cannon

This is the original outpost of Northern Waters Smokehaus. Make a pilgrimage for smoked fish, chorizo and some of the best sandwiches in the city. Try that wonderful spicy Sitka sushi.

394 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802

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16. Lake Avenue Cafe

394 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802
Local lovers haven on Lake Avenue.
Katie Cannon

Lake Avenue Cafe takes locally sourced seriously, with beautiful pastas, sandwiches and a spectacular brunch all made from ingredients grown regionally. If there’s time to linger, enjoy the beautifully selected wine and beer lists along with some cocktails made mostly from spirits distilled in the area.

394 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802

17. Coho Cafe & Bakery

7192 MN-61, Tofte, MN 55615
Breakfast, lunch and coffee can be found inside here.
Katie Cannon

The Coho Cafe and Bakery is your espresso stop up the North Shore. Order some pancakes or a little grilled cheese and tomato soup action before heading out into the glorious wilderness up here.

7192 MN-61
Tofte, MN 55615

18. Bluefin Grille

7192 MN-61, Tofte, MN 55615
Bluefin Bay Resort
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A part of the Bluefin Bay resort, the more upscale dining room has date-night worthy dining and an incredible wine list.

7192 MN-61
Tofte, MN 55615

Related Maps