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The 38 Essential Twin Cities Restaurants, January '15

Where must we eat?

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The Eater 38 answers, "Can you recommend a restaurant?" This highly elite, alphabetically sorted list covers Minneapolis and St. Paul (inside the perimeters, loosely), spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs. Every couple of months, we'll be adding pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game.

New additions to the list are Heyday, Heartland, Saffron, Jax Cafe and Matt's Bar makes a return.

For those of you readying the pitchforks because your favorite restaurant isn't on the list, wouldn't it just be more productive to leave your thoughts in the comments? State your cases for (or against) restaurants below or in the tipline. And don't forget that newer restaurants are listed on the Eater HeatMap.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Strip Club

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378 Maria Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55106
(651) 793-6247
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It's a nightly dinner party thrown by your most charming and talented friends. Whether your agenda includes locally raised, craft cocktails, quality service, down home comfort food or refined culinary techniques, this team in St. Paul has your every dining out wish granted. This is ground zero for fantastic drinks, easy and fun service plus the food that will haunt your dreams long after the check is paid and gone.

2. The Bachelor Farmer

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50 2nd Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 206-3920
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Somehow hanging out in the proximity of Eric and Andrew Dayton has made us all a lot cooler. They appropriated our aw-shucks Midwestern style and transformed our food, art, aquavit and even afghans into the haute chic that grabs the attention of New York City. Paul Berglund's pristine plates offer clean flavors drawn from Nordic cuisine that has the entire world so smitten. Cocktails from Pip Hanson redefine what a drink can be, like nori steeped in Scotch, or low proof drinks that play with fermentation. Which is to say nothing of the glorious pastry creations from Khanh Tran. There is much talent inside these walls and we are better for it.

3. Meritage

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410 St Peter St
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 222-5670
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Surrounded by black and white tile, the heady perfume of butter and the view of a sparkling city park outside the window, it's easy to image you're in a neighborhood brasserie in Paris. However, one of the most romantic dining destinations in the Twin Cities is Meritage in downtown St. Paul. Chef Russell Klein's fare is hearty in the winter, light and lovely in the summer and decadently briney around Oysterfest time. From the more casual raw bar with the beautiful cocktails to the intimate dining room with the fat book of beautiful wine offerings to a brunch worth lingering over, Meritage always pleases.

4. Pizzeria Lola

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5557 Xerxes Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612) 424-8338
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The crust is bubbled, charred and topped with your heart's desire. Whether you prefer the more basic pepperoni or three types of mushrooms, two funky cheeses and a dollop of truffle oil, no one makes a pie like Pizzeria Lola. Just be certain to save room for the olive oil and sea salt topped soft serve.

5. Corner Table

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4537 Nicollet
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 823-0011
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Every neighborhood needs a great cafe: a space for celebrations, consolations, quick date nights or long evenings of catching up with old friends. Only one neighborhood is lucky enough to claim Corner Table, while the rest of us have to travel over there to experience their flawless service and ravishing cuisine. The often rotating menu keeps chef and co-owner Thomas Boemer creatively fulfilled and means that neighborhood diners can eat here several times a week and never run out of new flavors to try.

6. Kramarczuk's East European Deli

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215 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 379-3018
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A great sausage is a postcard from a time and place. Subtle or powerhouse flavors are as much a familial calling card from the old world as a coat of arms. The Kramarczuk's family has been serving Polish, Hungarian, knockwurst, blood sausage, linguica, chorizo and many, many more inside their restaurant for sixty years. It's still the best cabbage roll in town. Plus, no one can resist that fresh bread smell.

7. Travail Kitchen & Amusements

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4124 West Broadway
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
(763) 535-1131
There is nothing conventional about Travail Kitchen & Amusements: the chef/servers and playing with their food, the stuffed animals wedged in the ceiling, a Nerf gun delivery system. Compelling flavors lurk behind every turn - even when they're lobbing bread rolls at your head. It's the finest of dining, although it feels like a culinary play park. The music is loud, the textures and sensations are enough to induce a giggle fit and no one is ever the same after a full on Travail tasting menu.

8. Manny's Tortas

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920 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 870-3930
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Building an ideally structured sandwich is a science. One false move and your left with a lap of fillings or a pile of sodden lettuce. Manny Gonzales' tortas are exactly what a hand-held food should be. Hot items are layered on the bottom: griddled meats, a swath of creamy beans are separated by a gooey layer of cheese from the crispy lettuce, tomato, shreds of raw onion, pickled jalapenos, avocado and chipotle mayo. The toasty bread imparts a satisfying crunch before unleashing the onslaught of tangy, spicy, salty, savory flavors.

9. Barbette

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1600 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 827-5710
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Even as the Uptown landscape has changed over the years, Barbette continues to be the touchstone for area residents. The daily quiche, like a savory custard set atop a flakey crust beckons early day diners, along with fresh, dark brewed coffee. Lunch lingers over croque monsieurs and for happy hour the moules are basking in savory broth. No matter the hour or reason for visiting, one thing is certain, no visit is complete without a plate of their golden skinny French fries.

10. Sun Street Breads

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4600 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 354-3414
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Stepping through the doorway of Sun Street Breads, it's impossible not to feel the corners of your mouth tug upwards. From the sunny mural to the sweet perfume of pastries freshly pulled from the oven, it's a darling early in the day sanctuary. Gently dig your fingers into the crust of Solveig Tofte's sourdough bread and the crackle sounds like a chorus of angels. Order the porketta sandwich and know that this is the place where happiness lives.

11. Hola Arepa

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3501 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 345-5583
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What started as a food truck has become a full on dining sensation. Tender corn cakes, (Venezuelan style arepas) are stuffed with tender braised meats, creamy black beans, snappy sauces and crumbly cheese resulting in a cacophony of savory flavors. We already knew we loved them from the truck, but now inside the restaurant, the menu spreads out and offers even more to love. There's an adorable salad topped with hot cheese curds. The yucca fries, misted with salt water put all fried potatoes to shame. Don't forget to save room (or at least grab a box) for dessert, where the sweet tooth dances at the edge of savory with a dreamy pineapple topped personal pie, dense chocolate cake or the Corn Pop and Frito laced ice cream cookie. Plus, the cocktail menu is one of the leading drink programs in the Twin Cities. Is there nothing this crew can't do well? Even more surprising, nothing on the menu is over $15.

12. The Rabbit Hole

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920 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 208-0428
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Kimchi is kind of having a moment, but it's far more than a trend inside The Rabbit Hole. Chef Thomas Kim's kimchi is spicy, tart, funky, pickled heaven and when you combine that with bacon fried rice, it's enough to make the hungry heart sing. This seductively lit restaurant inside Midtown Global Market lures fans in night after night with unique Korean-influenced comfort foods created with the chef's fine-dining training. You can never go wrong with whatever nightly special the chef is playing around with, but there are several can't miss dishes on the menu including the best chili crab to be found in Minnesota (possibly the whole of the midwest).

13. Al's Breakfast

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413 14th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 331-9991
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Get ready to get cozy. This modest restaurant is tucked between two Dinkytown buildings and is just about wide enough for one person to walk through.Take any available seat at the counter and watch the magic. Gruff service is part of the charm at this iconic Minneapolis restaurant and so are the massive blueberry pancakes.

14. Parlour

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730 Washington Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 354-3135
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This subterranean bar churns out the craft cocktails without any of the pretentious attitude that has become the reputation of the labored-over spirits. The staff inside this spot is always friendly, quick with a pour and a smile. Which is nice, since these are the sort of cocktails worth waiting for, with expertly paired flavors and innovative techniques. The other thing Parlour is best known for is their burger, which really is perfection on a plate. Ultra rich beef is blended with little adornment, just a white and gooey bit of American cheese to hold the whole thing together. Toasty buns cradle the dish and a few house-made pickles arrive on the side, with a salty tart antidote to the luscious meat mixture. There are plenty of other bar snacks made by the chef-led kitchen of Borough, the restaurant above Parlour with whom they share a kitchen. However, to leave without tasting this burger is to tour the Louvre with one eye closed - it's an incomplete experience.

15. Brasa Premium Rotisserie

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600 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 379-3030
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Brasa began with the radical idea that quick served food can be locally sourced from the highest quality of ingredients. Inspired by the foods of South America, the menu centers mostly around long, slow-roasted meats adorned with house-made accents like vinegary hot sauce and pickled onions. Everything is naturally gluten-free (except the sandwiches).

16. Ngon Vietnamese Bistro

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799 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN 55104
(651) 222-3301
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It's hard to decide where to dine along University Avenue. There are all kinds of eateries dotting this stretch of road in St. Paul, but so often, Ngon is the right answer for whatever you are craving. This Vietnamese bistro sources from local producers who practice sustainable farming practices. This means that only the best, grass-fed beef bones are used to create the rich and fragrant pho broth. The crispy rabbit dumpling, tender meat wrapped in a flaky crust atop a tantalizing sauce is a dish that tugs at the heart and memory, begging for a return trip to recapture this one taste along. Add a beautiful patio in warmer months and Ngon is always a winner.

17. Butcher & the Boar

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1121 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 238-8888
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There's a sausage party going on in downtown Minneapolis and we're all invited. This spot was a hit from the word "go" and we haven't stopped loving the meaty menu accentuated by their fabulous bourbon drinks. Inside sports a full menu with more elevated dining options, while the outside beer garden party has paper boats with food fit for a few brews all year round.

18. Tilia

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2726 W 43rd St
Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612) 354-2806
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Chef Steven Brown has forever changed the Minneapolis dining scene. From the many restaurants he has helmed to the many more he is mentoring. Nothing compares to this singular Linden Hills place that serves the neighborhood. Whether looking for a special evening out, a comfortable lunch with the kiddos or the opportunity to geek out over flawless cooking technique, Tilia is the answer to every question. It's not fancy, it's just really good.

19. World Street Kitchen

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2743 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 424-8855
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Why settle for just one street food culture, when you can dip your tastebuds into the best from around the world? From brothers Sameh and Saed Wadi's food truck to this uptown hot spot, the Yum Yum bowls are piled high with savory ingredients atop tender rice and a quivering poached egg. The Moroccan Fried Chicken sandwich (aka The MFC) will banish all hunger from your being in a crispy, juicy, decadent manner. Vegetarians and omnivores fall hard time and again for the squash and mushroom tacos, so delicious you'll never miss the meat.

20. Zen Box Izakaya

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602 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 332-3936
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When Zen Box Izakaya first opened, we barely knew what an izakaya was. Nearly all Japanese restaurants in Minneapolis were serving singularly sushi. Now we know we couldn't live without a cold Sapporo in one hand and a piece of chicken kara age in the other. This is also ground zero for great ramen. Chef and co-owner John Ng has traveled all over Japan to feed his ramen obsession and brings all those flavors back to our chilly little burg in occasional specials and the yearly Ramen Attacks!

21. Nye's Polonaise

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112 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 379-2021
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Now that we know our pierogi and piano bar days are numbered, this restaurant is even more vital than before. There is no where else on earth like Nye's. From the glittery booths, to the red lights in the back and the Mad Men set style of the basement, this restaurant has served classic drinks to generations of Minneapolitans and soon will go dark, only to be replaced by condos. We owe it to ourselves and the grand history of this space to raise a martini high and give it a proper Polish funeral. Vodka, cabbage rolls, loud singing and laughter will drown out the encroaching bulldozer for now.

22. Quang Restaurant

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2719 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 870-4739
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Crawling into a booth inside Quang is the culinary equivalent of slipping it a roomy, warm sweater on a cold day. Giant plates of Vietnamese comfort foods are available for a shockingly small sum. A wind whipped face is quickly thawed over a massive bowl of their rich, brothy pho, perfumed with star anise, lime juice and cilantro.

23. Piccolo

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4300 Bryant Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55409
(612) 827-8111
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Just order one of everything. No matter what the menu lists for ingredients, everything inside Piccolo is a culinary treasure waiting to be unearthed. Chef and owner Doug Flicker has long been a part of the Minneapolis food scene and his talents have only been honed with every passing year. The plates here are a play on textures and flavors that can be unexpected and new. The astounding scrambled eggs with pickled pig trotters blows us away time and again (the only item that's remained on the menu from day one, because unlisting it would likely cause a riot.) Best of all, the modest sized plates, makes eating here affordable enough to frequent several times a year.

24. La Belle Vie

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510 Groveland Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 874-6440
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For years there have been vicious rumors regarding the demise of fine dining. True, many of the greats have passed into history, but La Belle Vie remains the shining beacon of greatness. Service that moves with Swiss watch precision delivers spectacular wine and the edible artwork that comes from James Beard Award winning chef Tim McKee and chef de cuisine Michael DeCamp. The full tasting menu is a glory to behold and a pleasure to be savored. Fine dining is alive and well amid the crystal, chandeliers and marble of 510 Groveland.

25. The 1029 Bar & Smack Shack

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1029 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 379-4322
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All great dive bars should come with a killer lobster roll. It's not a logical pairing, but when Josh Thoma first pulled his Smack Shack food truck into the kitchen at the 1029 Bar and started sharing dishes featuring the east coast caught crustacean, the genius was evident. Order up a pile of pasta, rendered gooey by a head mix of cheeses that includes pungent Taleggio and hunks of succulent lobster and pair with a great beer. Elbows on the bar, with a full view of the bullet hole riddled cop car door and the bevvy of bras and tell us this idea wasn't genius.

26. The Buttered Tin

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237 7th Street East
Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 224-2300
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For those days where everything goes wrong from the start: the dog ate your shoe, the fire alarm went off before the sun came up, everyone and everything is awful, there is an antidote. It is a meal inside this sunshine colored Lowertown restaurant and bakery. The Buttered Tin has a perfectly frosted cupcake to heal all cosmic boo boos. The breakfast and lunch are filled with familiar favorites like hash browns, poached eggs, bacon and wedge salads, except inside here, each is the best version possible. Seriously, there is bacon inside the pancake butter and syrup. Hearty and wholesome, like mom giving you a kiss and sending you on your way.

27. Sea Salt Eatery

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4825 Minnehaha Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55467
(612) 721-8990
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The warm months are fleeting and that's why we must seize every opportunity to enjoy the out of doors. Nothing says summer sanctuary like a meal at Sea Salt. Freshly shucked oysters arrived on piles of ice. Crawfish po' boys spill their contents all over the table. Fresh fish tacos are lively and lush. Add a pitcher of Surly and relax to the soothing sounds of nearby Minnehaha Falls.

28. Heyday

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2700 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 200-9369
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The dining room at Heyday captures the effortless cool, rock n roll aesthetic that is singularly Minneapolis. The service is easy and attentive. The cocktails are beautiful, but the star attraction here is co-owner and chef Jim Christiansen's food. He plays with expectations and keeps diners at the edge of their seat as they plunge fork into plate time and again capturing alluring flavors that are both familiar and new. The rabbit and carrots are two flavors that seem classic, but with his deft preparation, the carrot caramel, the tender rabbit, a stunning terrine; it's made into something unlike anything ever tasted before.

29. Gardens of Salonica

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19 5th St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 378-0611
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Even on a cloudy day, there's something about the interior of this restaurant that still feels like a sun drenched afternoon. Maybe it's the lively lemon spiked Greek soup, or perhaps it's the malt vinegar over the herb flecked, crispy. This family owned restaurant sources ingredients locally and whips them into Greek favorites like the tyro served with fresh, hot pita bread or the lamb as tender as a spring morning. Opa, indeed.

30. Burch Steak & Pizza Bar

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1942 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 843-1515
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When a steak craving hits, it's almost dangerous to dine out. There are only too many ways that an order can come out different than what is desired. That is why the steak menu inside Burch is ideal. No matter your preferred cut or source (grass vs. corn fed) the idea cut of meat is on the menu. Even more to branch out beyond the standard Midwestern sides and explore the entirety of this menu: the sea beans with crab meat continues to be one of the best bites of food to be found in the Twin Cities. House made sauerkraut is topped with a glistening poached egg. Tender and toothsome dumplings harbor wondrous caverns of flavor within them.

31. Restaurant Alma

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528 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 379-4909
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Chef and owner Alex Roberts' Restaurant Alma is a perennial favorite of those who love dining out. The dishes are served with a delicate touch, elegant and seasonally evolving. The golden, low light and manageable decibel volume and exquisite, affordable wine list makes this a favorite spot for dinners to linger over.

32. The Kenwood

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2115 W 21st St
Minneapolis, MN
Chef and owner Don Saunders restaurant just blocks from Lake of the Isles perfectly suits this beautiful part of town. Just as the tall green topped trees shelter the stately homes, his comely seasonal dishes hearten hungry diners. Brunch means black walnut flecked pancakes or a pretty plate of hash featuring house-smoked fish, crispy fried shreds of potatoes and celery root, poached eggs and radishes and pickled onions that adorn the plate like edible jewels. Dinner includes pheasant like grandmother never made it, delectable meat mixed with local bacon and properly cooked wild rice.

33. Birchwood Cafe

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3311 E 25th St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 722-4474
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Thank you, Birchwood Cafe, for giving us the savory waffle. Using local food is more than just a slogan or trend for this restaurant. They not only know their farmers, but partner with them, champion their efforts and organize crop mobs for harvesting the bounty of the seasons. Those crops are then incorporated into fresh, family-pleasing fare, including the aforementioned waffles.

34. Broders' Cucina Italiana

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2308 W 50th St
Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612) 925-3113
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Nothing satisfies like a perfect plate of pasta and the Broders family has been in the business for multiple generations. They have transformed their corner of South Minneapolis into an Italian eating destination. Broders' Pasta Bar remains one of the best, affordable date nights in town. Handcrafted noodles are draped in sauce and served with a generous pour of great wine in a cozy, comfortable room.

35. Heartland

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289 5th St E
Saint Paul, MN
(651) 699-3536
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When Lenny Russo has an idea, trend experts would be wise to listen to him. This is the chef and restaurant owner who was cooking entirely local Minnesota menus year round when the idea of January dishes seemed ludicrously limited to snow to rock salt. When he moved into the restaurant's current address, Lowertown was little more than the home of the farmers market. Now, his menus showcase the beauty of local food producers and the neighborhood is bustling with new action. It's like he knows just exactly what he is doing.

36. Jax Cafe

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1928 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 789-7297
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You can pick out your own fish from the babbling brook, get a perfectly ageless Manhattan and know without question that your prime rib will be cooked just as you like it. Little has changed inside this neighborhood institution through the years. The bar harkens back to a more elegant era. Rather than become a relic of bygone days, this restaurant continues to operate as a classic destination for perfect steaks, lobsters, weddings, date nights and an exceptional dining experience. [Photo courtesy Jax Cafe]

37. Matt's Bar

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3500 Cedar Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 722-7072
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We can argue over who first created the Jucy Lucy, but there is only one spot that serves the cheese stuffed burger the POTUS picked. We are going to have to side with the man on this highly, politically charged front. The grill, seasoned by years of searing beef patties and rendering onion shreds to savory alum candy kisses those modestly sized burgers like no other. The cheese is always consistently gooey and well contained. (The downfall of many an imitation Lucy - the molten cheese squirts out the back end, losing its burger integrity.) Despite their best warnings: we do not fear the cheese. We covet it.

38. Saffron Restaurant & Lounge

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123 N 3rd St
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 746-5533
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Despite our reputation for a collectively beige colored palate, Sameh and Saed Wadi knew that Minneapolis could take a little spice. There is nothing like the heady perfume that wafts from this Warehouse district restaurant. Begin with the octopus a la plancha, bathed in smokey saffron oil - or the positively perfect hummus, or the expertly mixed cocktails from the modestly sized bar. Actually, no matter where you begin or end on the menu at Saffron, there is no doubt that you will shuffle out into the chill of our nordic air a happier person.

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1. The Strip Club

378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106
It's a nightly dinner party thrown by your most charming and talented friends. Whether your agenda includes locally raised, craft cocktails, quality service, down home comfort food or refined culinary techniques, this team in St. Paul has your every dining out wish granted. This is ground zero for fantastic drinks, easy and fun service plus the food that will haunt your dreams long after the check is paid and gone.
378 Maria Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55106

2. The Bachelor Farmer

50 2nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Somehow hanging out in the proximity of Eric and Andrew Dayton has made us all a lot cooler. They appropriated our aw-shucks Midwestern style and transformed our food, art, aquavit and even afghans into the haute chic that grabs the attention of New York City. Paul Berglund's pristine plates offer clean flavors drawn from Nordic cuisine that has the entire world so smitten. Cocktails from Pip Hanson redefine what a drink can be, like nori steeped in Scotch, or low proof drinks that play with fermentation. Which is to say nothing of the glorious pastry creations from Khanh Tran. There is much talent inside these walls and we are better for it.
50 2nd Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401

3. Meritage

410 St Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Surrounded by black and white tile, the heady perfume of butter and the view of a sparkling city park outside the window, it's easy to image you're in a neighborhood brasserie in Paris. However, one of the most romantic dining destinations in the Twin Cities is Meritage in downtown St. Paul. Chef Russell Klein's fare is hearty in the winter, light and lovely in the summer and decadently briney around Oysterfest time. From the more casual raw bar with the beautiful cocktails to the intimate dining room with the fat book of beautiful wine offerings to a brunch worth lingering over, Meritage always pleases.
410 St Peter St
Saint Paul, MN 55102

4. Pizzeria Lola

5557 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
The crust is bubbled, charred and topped with your heart's desire. Whether you prefer the more basic pepperoni or three types of mushrooms, two funky cheeses and a dollop of truffle oil, no one makes a pie like Pizzeria Lola. Just be certain to save room for the olive oil and sea salt topped soft serve.
5557 Xerxes Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55410

5. Corner Table

4537 Nicollet, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Every neighborhood needs a great cafe: a space for celebrations, consolations, quick date nights or long evenings of catching up with old friends. Only one neighborhood is lucky enough to claim Corner Table, while the rest of us have to travel over there to experience their flawless service and ravishing cuisine. The often rotating menu keeps chef and co-owner Thomas Boemer creatively fulfilled and means that neighborhood diners can eat here several times a week and never run out of new flavors to try.
4537 Nicollet
Minneapolis, MN 55419

6. Kramarczuk's East European Deli

215 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
A great sausage is a postcard from a time and place. Subtle or powerhouse flavors are as much a familial calling card from the old world as a coat of arms. The Kramarczuk's family has been serving Polish, Hungarian, knockwurst, blood sausage, linguica, chorizo and many, many more inside their restaurant for sixty years. It's still the best cabbage roll in town. Plus, no one can resist that fresh bread smell.
215 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414

7. Travail Kitchen & Amusements

4124 West Broadway, Robbinsdale, MN 55422
There is nothing conventional about Travail Kitchen & Amusements: the chef/servers and playing with their food, the stuffed animals wedged in the ceiling, a Nerf gun delivery system. Compelling flavors lurk behind every turn - even when they're lobbing bread rolls at your head. It's the finest of dining, although it feels like a culinary play park. The music is loud, the textures and sensations are enough to induce a giggle fit and no one is ever the same after a full on Travail tasting menu.
4124 West Broadway
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

8. Manny's Tortas

920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Building an ideally structured sandwich is a science. One false move and your left with a lap of fillings or a pile of sodden lettuce. Manny Gonzales' tortas are exactly what a hand-held food should be. Hot items are layered on the bottom: griddled meats, a swath of creamy beans are separated by a gooey layer of cheese from the crispy lettuce, tomato, shreds of raw onion, pickled jalapenos, avocado and chipotle mayo. The toasty bread imparts a satisfying crunch before unleashing the onslaught of tangy, spicy, salty, savory flavors.
920 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55407

9. Barbette

1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Even as the Uptown landscape has changed over the years, Barbette continues to be the touchstone for area residents. The daily quiche, like a savory custard set atop a flakey crust beckons early day diners, along with fresh, dark brewed coffee. Lunch lingers over croque monsieurs and for happy hour the moules are basking in savory broth. No matter the hour or reason for visiting, one thing is certain, no visit is complete without a plate of their golden skinny French fries.
1600 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408

10. Sun Street Breads

4600 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419