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Photo: Sample Room, Yelp

Readers Vote: 15 of Mpls's Most Underrated Restaurants

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Last Friday, we asked readers which Twin Cities restaurants deserve more love and affection...and press! Is it the neighborhood joint? The decades old restaurant that has fallen off the radar?

Here, in a rough geographic order, is a map of 15 of Minneapolis's most underrated restaurants (with a few thrown in from St. Paul). Some nominations aren't included in the map because, while we love them, they don't seem exactly underrated (Travail, Alma, The Anchor Fish & Chips, Fika) or because they were a little too far out of range (Osaka Sushi in Stillwater). If your favorite is missing, please feel free to add it to the comments.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sample Room

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2124 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 789-0333
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This Northeast spot got two nominations. One commenter notes: "Great ambiance, lively atmosphere while still being able to get a table almost immediately, awesome small plate food, rotating specials, great wine and craft beer, unbeatable happy hours, perfect location...And they've been doing a LOT of things that have become popularized locally well before most (and still better than most, at that)."

2. Erte

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1304 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 623-4211
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This Northeast neighborhood spot is known for its steaks and for happy hour in the Peacock Lounge.

3. Sanctuary

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903 Washington Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 339-5058
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This downtown spot (which got two noms) is known for its five-course tasting menu, served Monday through Thursday for just $35.

4. Namaste Cafe

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2512 Hennepin Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55405
(612) 827-2496
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Uptown's Namaste Café, housed in an old Victorian on Hennepin, serves Indian and Nepali food with a focus on sustainable ingredients.

5. It's Greek To Me

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626 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 825-9922
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A commenter writes: "The food and service are super. In nice weather, their patio is the prettiest in town."

6. Sonora Grill

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920 E Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 871-1900
This Midtown Global Market Mexican stand makes their own tortillas while you wait. The beef tongue taco, eggplant fries, and pork bocadillo are particular stand outs.

7. Corner Table

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4257 Nicollet Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55409
(612) 823-0011
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This Kingfield spot is known for its focus on local, sustainable ingredients and for its housemade charcuterie.

8. The Harriet Brasserie

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2724 W 43rd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612) 354-2197
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This Linden Hills spot often gets overshadowed by neighboring Tilia, but its beloved in its own right for crawfish and grits at brunch and the small plates menu at dinner (especially the mussels and the duck taco).

9. In Season

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5416 Penn Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 926-0105
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A commenter writes: "Don Saunders has gotten great recognition with his new restaurant, The Kenwood, but his original restaurant is a hidden gem. Every single thing I have eaten there is delicious and it's a STEAL!"

10. Cafe Levain

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4762 Chicago Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 823-7111
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A commenter writes: "I wouldn't say they're "underrated" because those that eat there seem to love it. They are, however, "under appreciated"... more people should be talking about them! Cafe Levain created one of the most memorable meals I've had in years. Their gnocchi was spectacularly indulgent, and their short ribs were the best I've ever had."

11. Citizen Cafe

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2403 E 38th St
Minneapolis, MN 55406-3017
(612) 729-1122
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This Powderhorn spot is known for pulled pork everything - as a roast at dinner and as a hash at brunch. At brunch, also try the sake bacon mary, which comes with a thick piece of bacon in the glass.

12. The Craftsman

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4300 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 722-0175
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This Longfellow restaurant is known for meat, meat, and more meat: a housemade charcuterie plate, pork belly, duck and rabbit confit, and a giant pork chop are all menu favorites.

13. Caffe Biaggio

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2356 University Ave W
St. Paul, MN 55114
(651) 917-7997
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This St. Anthony Park spot is known for its rustic Italian food, especially the Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

14. Luci Ancora

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2060 Randolph Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105
(651) 698-6889
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This Highland spot is known for their homemade pasta and constantly changing menu, as well as the $25 Tuesday/Thursday tasting menu.

15. The Happy Gnome

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498 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 287-2018
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A commenter writes: "They're known for their unbelievably large craft beer selection (and they should be!). The food has really improved over the last year... if you haven't eaten there recently, it's well worth a stop: from poutine to baby back ribs. Fantastic upscale bar food."

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1. Sample Room

2124 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
This Northeast spot got two nominations. One commenter notes: "Great ambiance, lively atmosphere while still being able to get a table almost immediately, awesome small plate food, rotating specials, great wine and craft beer, unbeatable happy hours, perfect location...And they've been doing a LOT of things that have become popularized locally well before most (and still better than most, at that)."
2124 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

2. Erte

1304 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
This Northeast neighborhood spot is known for its steaks and for happy hour in the Peacock Lounge.
1304 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

3. Sanctuary

903 Washington Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55415
This downtown spot (which got two noms) is known for its five-course tasting menu, served Monday through Thursday for just $35.
903 Washington Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415

4. Namaste Cafe

2512 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Uptown's Namaste Café, housed in an old Victorian on Hennepin, serves Indian and Nepali food with a focus on sustainable ingredients.
2512 Hennepin Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55405

5. It's Greek To Me

626 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
A commenter writes: "The food and service are super. In nice weather, their patio is the prettiest in town."
626 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408

6. Sonora Grill

920 E Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55407
This Midtown Global Market Mexican stand makes their own tortillas while you wait. The beef tongue taco, eggplant fries, and pork bocadillo are particular stand outs.
920 E Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

7. Corner Table

4257 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409
This Kingfield spot is known for its focus on local, sustainable ingredients and for its housemade charcuterie.
4257 Nicollet Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55409

8. The Harriet Brasserie

2724 W 43rd St., Minneapolis, MN 55410
This Linden Hills spot often gets overshadowed by neighboring Tilia, but its beloved in its own right for crawfish and grits at brunch and the small plates menu at dinner (especially the mussels and the duck taco).
2724 W 43rd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55410

9. In Season

5416 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN
A commenter writes: "Don Saunders has gotten great recognition with his new restaurant, The Kenwood, but his original restaurant is a hidden gem. Every single thing I have eaten there is delicious and it's a STEAL!"
5416 Penn Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN

10. Cafe Levain

4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407
A commenter writes: "I wouldn't say they're "underrated" because those that eat there seem to love it. They are, however, "under appreciated"... more people should be talking about them! Cafe Levain created one of the most memorable meals I've had in years. Their gnocchi was spectacularly indulgent, and their short ribs were the best I've ever had."
4762 Chicago Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55407

11. Citizen Cafe

2403 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406-3017
This Powderhorn spot is known for pulled pork everything - as a roast at dinner and as a hash at brunch. At brunch, also try the sake bacon mary, which comes with a thick piece of bacon in the glass.
2403 E 38th St
Minneapolis, MN 55406-3017

12. The Craftsman

4300 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
This Longfellow restaurant is known for meat, meat, and more meat: a housemade charcuterie plate, pork belly, duck and rabbit confit, and a giant pork chop are all menu favorites.
4300 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406

13. Caffe Biaggio

2356 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN 55114
This St. Anthony Park spot is known for its rustic Italian food, especially the Spaghetti alla Carbonara.
2356 University Ave W
St. Paul, MN 55114

14. Luci Ancora

2060 Randolph Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
This Highland spot is known for their homemade pasta and constantly changing menu, as well as the $25 Tuesday/Thursday tasting menu.
2060 Randolph Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105

15. The Happy Gnome

498 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102
A commenter writes: "They're known for their unbelievably large craft beer selection (and they should be!). The food has really improved over the last year... if you haven't eaten there recently, it's well worth a stop: from poutine to baby back ribs. Fantastic upscale bar food."
498 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55102

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