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The bar inside Harriet Brasserie
This Linden Hills bar and cozy eatery has been a well-kept neighborhood secret for years
Harriet Brasserie [Official]

14 Underrated Restaurants To Explore in the Twin Cities

Food adventures just waiting for discovery

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This Linden Hills bar and cozy eatery has been a well-kept neighborhood secret for years
| Harriet Brasserie [Official]

As exciting as it is to check out the new and newsworthy restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul, there are neighborhood gems that will always hold a special place in our dining landscape. These are the restaurants worth returning to time and again, the most underrated restaurants in the Twin Cities. Miss your neighborhood favorite? Take to the comments or send in a tip.

Restaurants are listed in geographical order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Harriet Brasserie

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2724 W 43rd St
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 354-2197
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This charming restaurant serves deeply satisfying, comforting dishes. The setting is an old firehouse, with decor representing all the neighborhood icons that define Lake Harriet. Don’t leave without plunging a fork into the tres leches cake.

A brick firehouse exterior
A stunning location, gorgeous wines, and a fabulous menu
Harriet Brasserie [Official]

2. Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine

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8600 Edinburgh Centre Dr
Minneapolis, MN 55443
(763) 494-8809
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Ann Ahmed has captured imaginations and appetites with her second restaurant Lat14, but Lemon Grass was her first restaurant and is just as delicious and buzzworthy. Try the zippy Lao-style papaya salad or any one of the roast duck preparations.

Silver noodle salad from Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine
Lemon Grass Thai/Facebook

3. FireBox Deli

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4707 Lyndale Ave N
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 521-8206
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A no-frills barbecue shop in North Minneapolis with friendly counter service and brisket so tender you can cut it with a plastic fork. It’s a family-run restaurant focused on perfectly smoked meat. 

4. Nolo's Kitchen & Bar

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515 N Washington Ave #100
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 800-6033
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A rare, neighborhoody feeling restaurant in the heart of the restaurant-packed North Loop. Dig in for daily breakfast, or breeze by for happy hour or evening cocktails. We’re weirdly obsessed with the kale Cesar and the egg salad toast, but chef/owner Peter Hoff also makes some wonderful fresh pasta and a big ol’ burger.

Nolo’s chef and owner, Peter Hoff
NOLO’s Kitchen / Instagram

5. Sample Room

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2124 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 789-0333
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A fancy-leaning small plates menu paired with a well-made cocktail, beer and wine list give The Sample Room the air of a speakeasy for food lovers. It’s one of the most intimate restaurants in town and has been a go-to neighborhood hang since before Northeast was dotted with freshly-built condos.

6. Eastside Eat + Drink

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305 S Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 208-1638
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This is one of the best restaurants in town to descend upon with a large group of friends and do your best to tackle the whole of the menu. Whole roasted fish and punchy cocktails are built for boisterous nights out with friends. It’s edge-of-downtown location and valet makes it easily accessible for everyone, too.

A piece of crusty fish over green vegetables on a white plate
Bring friends and hit the family style part of the menu
Eastside [Official]

7. The Sheridan Room

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337 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 886-1111
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An all-day restaurant with impressive portions of hearty fare. Cooler temperatures are a perfect excuse to get back to this restaurant and order up some pimento cheese nachos or a full fried chicken dinner. There’s also a section of vegan comforts thanks to “meats” from nearby Herbivorous Butcher.

8. Uncle Franky's - Northeast

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728 Broadway St NE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 455-2181
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If restaurants were movie genres, Uncle Franky’s would be the cult classic. The menu reads like a best-of for big-city street eats, checking off all the most iconic meals from major american cities. Detroit’s chili-slathered burger. Philadelphia’s cheesesteak, complete wiz wit. NY hot pastrami (a cow with two loaves of bread on either side). Chicago dog buried under a mountain of condiments.

9. Ghandi Mahal Indian Resturant

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Irresistible aromas of garam masala, cumin and house-grown serrano peppers fill the air at Gandhi Mahal, just off East Lake Street. Expect a long list of curries and small plates to snack through. Add to that a few orders of beautifully bubbly naan and the quest for the best Indian food in the Twin Cities is complete.

10. Korea Restaurant

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221 Oak St SE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 746-0559

Nearly lost in the menagerie of well-marketed restaurants that populate Dinkytown, Korea Restaurant keeps quietly chugging along with a glorious assortment of bibimbap, bulgogi and potstickers. Lunch is mayhem, but worth every second of wait time. Prepare for self-service, generous helpings, and don’t be shy to refill on the side dishes.

11. The Bungalow Club

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4300 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 866-3334
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This Italian chef-owned restaurant constantly churns out delicious dishes with a beautifully selected wine list and spot-on cocktails. The mellow dining room is comfortable and ideal for a drop-in evening of catching up with friends over plates of Andrew Kraft’s outstanding pasta.

The Bungalow Club/Facebook

12. Stewart's

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128 Cleveland Ave N
St Paul, MN 55104
(651) 645-4128
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Chef and owner Max Thompson’s dishes tend to be built upon punches of flavor added to familiar comfort foods. The Korean chili-flake fries vie for the title of best in the Twin Cities with a duo of dipping sauces and the burger is a thing of true beauty.

Right across the street from St. Thomas University
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

13. Taco Libre

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1221 Robert St S
West Saint Paul, MN
(651) 444-8820
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A vertical spit is a beautiful thing and Taco Libre's is glorious. To take advantage of it, order the al pastor: bright-orange, charred meat with a little onion and pineapple. Salsas range from kind to hot, hitting every garlicky point on the spectrum.

1. The Harriet Brasserie

2724 W 43rd St, Minneapolis, MN
A brick firehouse exterior
A stunning location, gorgeous wines, and a fabulous menu
Harriet Brasserie [Official]

This charming restaurant serves deeply satisfying, comforting dishes. The setting is an old firehouse, with decor representing all the neighborhood icons that define Lake Harriet. Don’t leave without plunging a fork into the tres leches cake.

2724 W 43rd St
Minneapolis, MN

2. Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine

8600 Edinburgh Centre Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55443
Silver noodle salad from Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine
Lemon Grass Thai/Facebook

Ann Ahmed has captured imaginations and appetites with her second restaurant Lat14, but Lemon Grass was her first restaurant and is just as delicious and buzzworthy. Try the zippy Lao-style papaya salad or any one of the roast duck preparations.

8600 Edinburgh Centre Dr
Minneapolis, MN 55443

3. FireBox Deli

4707 Lyndale Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

A no-frills barbecue shop in North Minneapolis with friendly counter service and brisket so tender you can cut it with a plastic fork. It’s a family-run restaurant focused on perfectly smoked meat. 

4707 Lyndale Ave N
Minneapolis, MN

4. Nolo's Kitchen & Bar

515 N Washington Ave #100, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Nolo’s chef and owner, Peter Hoff
NOLO’s Kitchen / Instagram

A rare, neighborhoody feeling restaurant in the heart of the restaurant-packed North Loop. Dig in for daily breakfast, or breeze by for happy hour or evening cocktails. We’re weirdly obsessed with the kale Cesar and the egg salad toast, but chef/owner Peter Hoff also makes some wonderful fresh pasta and a big ol’ burger.

515 N Washington Ave #100
Minneapolis, MN 55401

5. Sample Room

2124 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN

A fancy-leaning small plates menu paired with a well-made cocktail, beer and wine list give The Sample Room the air of a speakeasy for food lovers. It’s one of the most intimate restaurants in town and has been a go-to neighborhood hang since before Northeast was dotted with freshly-built condos.

2124 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN

6. Eastside Eat + Drink

305 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415
A piece of crusty fish over green vegetables on a white plate
Bring friends and hit the family style part of the menu
Eastside [Official]

This is one of the best restaurants in town to descend upon with a large group of friends and do your best to tackle the whole of the menu. Whole roasted fish and punchy cocktails are built for boisterous nights out with friends. It’s edge-of-downtown location and valet makes it easily accessible for everyone, too.

305 S Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55415

7. The Sheridan Room

337 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

An all-day restaurant with impressive portions of hearty fare. Cooler temperatures are a perfect excuse to get back to this restaurant and order up some pimento cheese nachos or a full fried chicken dinner. There’s also a section of vegan comforts thanks to “meats” from nearby Herbivorous Butcher.

337 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

8. Uncle Franky's - Northeast

728 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis, MN

If restaurants were movie genres, Uncle Franky’s would be the cult classic. The menu reads like a best-of for big-city street eats, checking off all the most iconic meals from major american cities. Detroit’s chili-slathered burger. Philadelphia’s cheesesteak, complete wiz wit. NY hot pastrami (a cow with two loaves of bread on either side). Chicago dog buried under a mountain of condiments.

728 Broadway St NE
Minneapolis, MN

9. Ghandi Mahal Indian Resturant

Minneapolis, MN

Irresistible aromas of garam masala, cumin and house-grown serrano peppers fill the air at Gandhi Mahal, just off East Lake Street. Expect a long list of curries and small plates to snack through. Add to that a few orders of beautifully bubbly naan and the quest for the best Indian food in the Twin Cities is complete.

10. Korea Restaurant

221 Oak St SE, Minneapolis, MN

Nearly lost in the menagerie of well-marketed restaurants that populate Dinkytown, Korea Restaurant keeps quietly chugging along with a glorious assortment of bibimbap, bulgogi and potstickers. Lunch is mayhem, but worth every second of wait time. Prepare for self-service, generous helpings, and don’t be shy to refill on the side dishes.

221 Oak St SE
Minneapolis, MN

11. The Bungalow Club

4300 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
The Bungalow Club/Facebook

This Italian chef-owned restaurant constantly churns out delicious dishes with a beautifully selected wine list and spot-on cocktails. The mellow dining room is comfortable and ideal for a drop-in evening of catching up with friends over plates of Andrew Kraft’s outstanding pasta.

4300 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406

12. Stewart's

128 Cleveland Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104
Right across the street from St. Thomas University
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

Chef and owner Max Thompson’s dishes tend to be built upon punches of flavor added to familiar comfort foods. The Korean chili-flake fries vie for the title of best in the Twin Cities with a duo of dipping sauces and the burger is a thing of true beauty.

128 Cleveland Ave N
St Paul, MN 55104

13. Taco Libre

1221 Robert St S, West Saint Paul, MN

A vertical spit is a beautiful thing and Taco Libre's is glorious. To take advantage of it, order the al pastor: bright-orange, charred meat with a little onion and pineapple. Salsas range from kind to hot, hitting every garlicky point on the spectrum.

1221 Robert St S
West Saint Paul, MN

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