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Where to Eat and Drink Along the Mississippi River

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It's a hot (and humid) one out there today. If you want to take cover in some full-powered AC, you can head to just about any bar or restaurant. But if you want to stay outside while also getting some relief, it's time to head to the mighty Mississippi River, which kicks up enough of a breeze to keep outside seating at least a little bit cooler. In honor of all things breezy and beautiful, here are 9 of the best restaurants along the Mississippi , where you can sit and take in the scenery with a drink in one hand and a fork in the other, all while noshing on a basket of beer-battered cheese curds, a plate of fresh pasta, or an order of crispy flatbread.

Did we miss your favorite spot with a view? Let us know in the comments.


Sophie Rupp

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Sample Room

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Arrive to the Sample Room by car or boat (slips are rentable). The chef-driven menu features a number of tempting options, including pork belly confit with pear gastrique, roasted eggplant gratin, and bison-pork-beef three meatloaf. Stop by for happy hour (Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight) for $2 Grain Belts and $3 tap beers, wine, and rail drinks.

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge & Tiki Garden

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Step inside Psycho Suzi’s tiki-inspired restaurant and bar(s) and grab a seat outside on the deck, which is perched just above the Mississipi. Order the psycho zombie slushie and a basket of the Grain Belt-battered onion rings or cheesecurds, and for the main event, fill up with the Suzi burger. Psycho Suzi’s is open until 2 a.m. seven days a week, and its theme bars are open every Friday and Saturday night. Get there early to snag a seat outside.

Broadway Pizza

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Known for its thin crust pizza, Broadway Pizza also has awesome views of both the Mississippi River and downtown Minneapolis. Navigate through the extensive menu while sitting in the “dining car,” and make sure to try the famous thin crust pizza (the biggest seller is the classic deluxe). Broadway is open Monday through Saturday beginning at 11 a.m., and Sundays beginning at noon.

Nicollet Island Inn

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This romantic inn and restaurant is located on Nicollet Island, and while the restaurant itself doesn't have a direct view of the river, the Mississippi and sweeping views of the Minneapolis skyline are just a short walk away. The Nicollet Island Inn is open seven days a week for breakfast (brunch on weekends), lunch and dinner. Stop in for Sunday brunch, take a seat on the patio, and try the 3- or 5-course tasting menu (and be sure to get the crème brûlée French toast).

Pracna On Main

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St. Anthony Main’s oldest restaurant is home to 20 tap beers and baby corn dogs on a stick. Enjoy these puppies (pun intended) and the 1890 sandwich on Pracna’s sidewalk café, and take in the impressive views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline.

Aster Cafe

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Located on St. Anthony Main, Aster Café offers killer views of the Minneapolis skyline. Take in the scenery while noshing on sweet potato tots and the pear and prosciutto flatbread. Early riser? Swing by for brunch on Saturday or Sunday for the Minnesota malted waffle. Aster Café is open seven days a week, and happy hour specials are available Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. as well as Sunday evenings from 9 p.m. to close.

Sea Change

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Located in the Guthrie Theatre, this award-winning restaurant offers stunning views of the Mississippi River and the Stone Arch Bridge. Sea Change serves many sustainably-sourced seafood plates as well as some “not fish” options. Stop by for lunch and enjoy the calamari salad and arctic char, or make a night of it and opt for the prix fixe menu ($34 per person for three courses).

Osteria I Nonni

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Grab a glass of vino and take a seat on I Nonni’s lush outdoor patio. Order the polpetto appetizer (tomato braised prosciutto-mortadella meatballs) or opt for the burrata salad to start your meal off right. While it’s tough to choose a favorite, the mascarpone-stuffed cappeletti and the osso bucco with saffron risotto are notable dishes. Visit on a Tuesday with friends and try the Tasting Tuesday Menu: $39 per person for three courses.

Padelford Riverboat Company

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You can’t get much closer to the river than this. Hop aboard and cruise down the mighty Mississippi while taking in the views, drink in hand. Padelford offers a variety of meal cruises, including a sunset cruise (Tuesday and Friday evenings) and a Sunday brunch cruise, among others. Want to mix it up? Grab some friends after work for the margarita cruise (Wednesdays and Thursdays). Padelford Riverboats operate from June through October, and reservations are required.

Sample Room

Arrive to the Sample Room by car or boat (slips are rentable). The chef-driven menu features a number of tempting options, including pork belly confit with pear gastrique, roasted eggplant gratin, and bison-pork-beef three meatloaf. Stop by for happy hour (Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight) for $2 Grain Belts and $3 tap beers, wine, and rail drinks.

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge & Tiki Garden

Step inside Psycho Suzi’s tiki-inspired restaurant and bar(s) and grab a seat outside on the deck, which is perched just above the Mississipi. Order the psycho zombie slushie and a basket of the Grain Belt-battered onion rings or cheesecurds, and for the main event, fill up with the Suzi burger. Psycho Suzi’s is open until 2 a.m. seven days a week, and its theme bars are open every Friday and Saturday night. Get there early to snag a seat outside.

Broadway Pizza

Known for its thin crust pizza, Broadway Pizza also has awesome views of both the Mississippi River and downtown Minneapolis. Navigate through the extensive menu while sitting in the “dining car,” and make sure to try the famous thin crust pizza (the biggest seller is the classic deluxe). Broadway is open Monday through Saturday beginning at 11 a.m., and Sundays beginning at noon.

Nicollet Island Inn

This romantic inn and restaurant is located on Nicollet Island, and while the restaurant itself doesn't have a direct view of the river, the Mississippi and sweeping views of the Minneapolis skyline are just a short walk away. The Nicollet Island Inn is open seven days a week for breakfast (brunch on weekends), lunch and dinner. Stop in for Sunday brunch, take a seat on the patio, and try the 3- or 5-course tasting menu (and be sure to get the crème brûlée French toast).

Pracna On Main

St. Anthony Main’s oldest restaurant is home to 20 tap beers and baby corn dogs on a stick. Enjoy these puppies (pun intended) and the 1890 sandwich on Pracna’s sidewalk café, and take in the impressive views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline.

Aster Cafe

Located on St. Anthony Main, Aster Café offers killer views of the Minneapolis skyline. Take in the scenery while noshing on sweet potato tots and the pear and prosciutto flatbread. Early riser? Swing by for brunch on Saturday or Sunday for the Minnesota malted waffle. Aster Café is open seven days a week, and happy hour specials are available Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. as well as Sunday evenings from 9 p.m. to close.

Sea Change

Located in the Guthrie Theatre, this award-winning restaurant offers stunning views of the Mississippi River and the Stone Arch Bridge. Sea Change serves many sustainably-sourced seafood plates as well as some “not fish” options. Stop by for lunch and enjoy the calamari salad and arctic char, or make a night of it and opt for the prix fixe menu ($34 per person for three courses).

Osteria I Nonni

Grab a glass of vino and take a seat on I Nonni’s lush outdoor patio. Order the polpetto appetizer (tomato braised prosciutto-mortadella meatballs) or opt for the burrata salad to start your meal off right. While it’s tough to choose a favorite, the mascarpone-stuffed cappeletti and the osso bucco with saffron risotto are notable dishes. Visit on a Tuesday with friends and try the Tasting Tuesday Menu: $39 per person for three courses.

Padelford Riverboat Company

You can’t get much closer to the river than this. Hop aboard and cruise down the mighty Mississippi while taking in the views, drink in hand. Padelford offers a variety of meal cruises, including a sunset cruise (Tuesday and Friday evenings) and a Sunday brunch cruise, among others. Want to mix it up? Grab some friends after work for the margarita cruise (Wednesdays and Thursdays). Padelford Riverboats operate from June through October, and reservations are required.

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