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The No-Reservations, Non-Prix-Fixe Guide to Valentine's Day Dinner in the Twin Cities

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Ah, Valentine's Day: quite possibly the most stressful dining-out day of the year. Around the Twin Cities, many restaurants have been fully booked weeks ahead for prix fixe (set menu) dinners. So, what if you want to go out—with friends, kids, by yourself, or, if you must, with a significant other—sans reservation? And, horror of horrors, order a la carte?

With that in mind, we present the no-reservations, non-prix-fixe guide to Valentine's Day dining in the Twin Cities. These ten spots are all no reservations (or have a special area reserved for walk-ins) and are offering their regular menu (some are also offering specials or, if you must, two-person prix fixe options). Plus, we've included a few recommendations on good places to take kids or for larger groups.

Did we miss your favorite no reservations spot? Let us know in the comments.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tilia

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2726 W 43rd St
Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612) 354-2806
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According to the Linden Hills favorite's Facebook page: "On February 14th, we are open for business as usual. We are not at into the overblown hype of Valentines Day Rip-Off menus with over priced wine pairings that take 6 hours and leave you tired, drunk and ready for a cot. Instead we are doing what we do best: Serving good food and good drinks at fair prices." On the current menu, that means dishes like sablefish crudo, chicken liver custard, and scallops with black rice, plus all the Tilia menu standbys. No reservations.

2. Broders' Pasta Bar

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5000 Penn Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 925-9202
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This Southwest spot is offering its regular menu or a four-course set menu ($60/couple). Get a front row seat to watch your housemade pasta cooking by pulling up a chair at the pasta bar, or go for a more intimate corner table. No reservations.

3. The Rabbit Hole

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920 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 208-0428
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This hot Midtown Global Market restaurant from the folks behind the Left-Handed Cook is already fully booked for Friday. BUT, they reserved a room for walk-ins, so take your chances and just relax with one of the excellent cocktails while you wait. They'll be serving up the regular Korean pub-influenced menu with a few extra specials.

4. Sonora Grill

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3300 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 722-2500
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This relatively new stand-alone restaurant from the popular Midtown Global Market stand would be a great place to go with a Valentine's Day group. Cocktails, caramelos (tacos), bocadillos (sandwiches), and a big, messy piece of elote - an ear of roasted corn covered with crema, cheese, and hot sauce. No reservations.

5. Birchwood Cafe

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3311 E 25th St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 722-4474
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Get your last taste of the Birchwood before it closes for its Kickstarter-funded remodel. With current dinner options like pulled pork pizza and a squash handpie, this Seward cafe has some great healthier options and is also ideal for a Valentine's Day dinner with kids. Plus, they'll have some special desserts for the occasion. No reservations.

6. Modern Café

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337 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 378-9882
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Going beyond this Northeast cafe's famous pot roast, the menu is filled with options, from fresh pasta with cured pork belly to chicken confit with roasted apple dumplings and parsnip broth. They will be serving the regular menu with a few extra specials. No reservations.

7. Sample Room

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2124 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 789-0333
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This Northeast spot is offering both its regular menu or a four-course set menu ($70/couple, plus a $25/person wine pairing available). Good for a couple or a small group of friends, the space offers lots of cozy seating, plus a charcuterie platter to share. No reservations.

8. Pig Ate My Pizza

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4154 W Broadway Ave
Robbinsdale, MN
(612) 246-9939
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Sister restaurants Travail and the Rookery booked their Valentine's Day dinners in minutes, but if you still want a little Travail touch to your Valentine's Day, things will be business as usual at Pig Ate My Pizza. No reservations, lots of creative pizzas. A good place for Valentine's Day with a kid or two.

9. The Blue Door Pub

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1819 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55104
(651) 493-1865
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If you want to escape Valentine's Day completely, a stuffed burger and a beer (or two) at Blue Door is probably the way to do it. No reservations.

10. Ward 6 Food & Drink

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858 Payne Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55130
(651) 348-8181
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This St. Paul under-the-radar hotspot is offering both its regular menu or a three-course set menu for two ($50/pair). Sticking to the regular menu is perfect for friends - or loved ones - who want some "food for drinking" (as the menu says). No reservations.

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1. Tilia

2726 W 43rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55410
According to the Linden Hills favorite's Facebook page: "On February 14th, we are open for business as usual. We are not at into the overblown hype of Valentines Day Rip-Off menus with over priced wine pairings that take 6 hours and leave you tired, drunk and ready for a cot. Instead we are doing what we do best: Serving good food and good drinks at fair prices." On the current menu, that means dishes like sablefish crudo, chicken liver custard, and scallops with black rice, plus all the Tilia menu standbys. No reservations.
2726 W 43rd St
Minneapolis, MN 55410

2. Broders' Pasta Bar

5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
This Southwest spot is offering its regular menu or a four-course set menu ($60/couple). Get a front row seat to watch your housemade pasta cooking by pulling up a chair at the pasta bar, or go for a more intimate corner table. No reservations.
5000 Penn Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419

3. The Rabbit Hole

920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
This hot Midtown Global Market restaurant from the folks behind the Left-Handed Cook is already fully booked for Friday. BUT, they reserved a room for walk-ins, so take your chances and just relax with one of the excellent cocktails while you wait. They'll be serving up the regular Korean pub-influenced menu with a few extra specials.
920 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55407

4. Sonora Grill

3300 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
This relatively new stand-alone restaurant from the popular Midtown Global Market stand would be a great place to go with a Valentine's Day group. Cocktails, caramelos (tacos), bocadillos (sandwiches), and a big, messy piece of elote - an ear of roasted corn covered with crema, cheese, and hot sauce. No reservations.
3300 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406

5. Birchwood Cafe

3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Get your last taste of the Birchwood before it closes for its Kickstarter-funded remodel. With current dinner options like pulled pork pizza and a squash handpie, this Seward cafe has some great healthier options and is also ideal for a Valentine's Day dinner with kids. Plus, they'll have some special desserts for the occasion. No reservations.
3311 E 25th St
Minneapolis, MN 55406

6. Modern Café

337 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Going beyond this Northeast cafe's famous pot roast, the menu is filled with options, from fresh pasta with cured pork belly to chicken confit with roasted apple dumplings and parsnip broth. They will be serving the regular menu with a few extra specials. No reservations.
337 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

7. Sample Room

2124 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
This Northeast spot is offering both its regular menu or a four-course set menu ($70/couple, plus a $25/person wine pairing available). Good for a couple or a small group of friends, the space offers lots of cozy seating, plus a charcuterie platter to share. No reservations.
2124 Marshall St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

8. Pig Ate My Pizza

4154 W Broadway Ave, Robbinsdale, MN
Sister restaurants Travail and the Rookery booked their Valentine's Day dinners in minutes, but if you still want a little Travail touch to your Valentine's Day, things will be business as usual at Pig Ate My Pizza. No reservations, lots of creative pizzas. A good place for Valentine's Day with a kid or two.
4154 W Broadway Ave
Robbinsdale, MN

9. The Blue Door Pub

1819 Selby Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55104
If you want to escape Valentine's Day completely, a stuffed burger and a beer (or two) at Blue Door is probably the way to do it. No reservations.
1819 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55104

10. Ward 6 Food & Drink

858 Payne Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55130
This St. Paul under-the-radar hotspot is offering both its regular menu or a three-course set menu for two ($50/pair). Sticking to the regular menu is perfect for friends - or loved ones - who want some "food for drinking" (as the menu says). No reservations.
858 Payne Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55130

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