Flanking the sprawling University of Minnesota East and West Bank campuses on either side of the mighty Mississippi, Dinkytown and the West Bank are full of eating and drinking options that go way beyond classic college dives.Read More
Restaurants Worth Seeking Out Around Dinkytown and the West Bank
From Ethiopian feasts to fine pastries, there’s a little bit of everyone around the University of Minnesota
This Dinkytown restaurant/cafe/boutique hotel hybrid far exceeds what anyone might expect out of a college-adjacent establishment. Offering dinner-only, seasonally inspired three-course meals, wine pairings and dessert are options for those who want to go all out. Or visit the coffee shop and cafe during the day for Scandinavian vibes and approachable seasonal food.
The Red Sea Ethiopian Restaurant
It would be a crime to dine on the West Bank and pass up the beloved Ethiopian food that The Red Sea serves. A local favorite since the 1990’s, there’s also often live music and Ethiopian beer and a full bar to boot.
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Baarakallah Restaurant Somali Cuisine
Serving up an array of East African dishes with a focus on Somali cuisine, this no-frills spot puts all of its energy into the flavor of its food and it shows. Step past the threshold into Baarakallah’s welcoming atmosphere.
Dilla Ethiopian restaurant
Also a West Bank Ethiopian gem, the options at the colorful Dilla’s are almost endless. The best part is that there are plenty of choices for vegetarian and vegan diners. So, there’s something flavorful and spicy for everyone.
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This longtime holdout is infamous for its long hours (it’s open from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m.), punk rock attitude, and vegetarian and vegan fare. A worker-owned operation, visitors will find students posted up working on homework and sipping coffee until the wee hours of the morning here.
This is the place to go to get one of the best burgers in the Twin Cities. Don’t eat meat? The veggie burger is one of the few that’s packed with flavor and doesn’t fall apart the second it’s picked up. Pair it with one of their many classic malts or milkshakes and order a basket of fries to share.
Loring Bar & Restaurant
This beautiful, low-lit spot is a date night favorite (a $30 dinner for two on Tuesdays) especially because of its proximity to the Varsity Theater. The staff-owned restaurant also serves buffet-style brunch on the weekends and often host weddings and other events in their eclectically outfitted space.
Famously featured on national food-focused TV shows and considered a Minnesota icon, this 14-stool diner came into existence in the 1950’s and has been whipping up eggs, pancakes, and other breakfast classics for hordes of hungry students alongside visitors from across the metro area ever since.