I had the opportunity to make a quick trip to Minneapolis this past weekend before the weather got too cold. When people think of Minneapolis, MN, they normally think cold and snow, but there is so much more. There is great food, amazing coffee, and eclectic breweries.
Here are some of the spots I hit (including some from past weekends in MN):
6 Smith (Wayzata) — This is the perfect place to take your parents to dinner (especially if they’re paying). Lots of great plates including their bourbon bacon appetizer, delicious prime rib eye, and grilled branzino. They have a great out door patio so when it’s nice out, go and get a dozen oysters and a glass of white wine and enjoy the beautiful view of the lake.
Bar la Grassa (North Loop) — This restaurant is the perfect Italian restaurant with an American flare. The bustling energy right when you walk in is palpable. I recommend sitting at the bar area facing the kitchen, if possible. You can see all of the hard work they put into for just one dish. They have three sections of their menu: bruschetta, pasta, and main entree’s. One of the best things about their menu is that they give you the option to do half portions of pasta if you can’t decide. That’s exactly what we did. We ordered two bruschettas; one caramelized onion and goat cheese and the other spiced carpaccio and arugula. I had tears in my eyes. The bread was crunchy yet soft in the middle and the flavors coming from the toppings were powerful yet not overwhelming. The pasta was just as amazing. We ordered garganelli with braised lamb, smoked spaghetti alla chitarra with lobster, and calamarata with raw tuna. This place is a MUST.
The Bachelor Farmer (North Loop) — If you want farm to table, this is your place. They change their menu literally daily based on what comes in from the local farmers. We came for an appetizer but the entrees around us looked just as amazing. We ordered a meat plate with all the leftover parts from the pig that they order on Sundays. Sounds kinda odd, but the flavors were bursting. The fat and salty flavors along with the different textures were unlike anything I’ve ever had. Plus, the staff was engaging and more than happy to answer any questions (of course, I had a few). If you have dinner reservations elsewhere in the North Loop, at least stop by for an appetizer and a glass of wine.
Spoon and Stable (North Loop) — This restaurant had a similar vibe to The Bachelor Farmer but a little more upscale. I felt under dressed in jeans and a casual sweater and the crowd was a little older than my 22 year-old self. With that being said, their food is AMAZING. I ordered the Alaskan halibut with green tomato curry. It was light and flaky and full of flavor. I highly recommend if you’re looking for a fancy dinner with a nice atmosphere.
Cooks of Crocus Hill (North Loop) — If you are looking for a fun date night, this is the perfect spot. They have interactive cooking classes that are SO fun. Luckily, I snagged the last two tickets for their Asian food cooking class on Friday night. They split all of the students up into four groups and each group made a part of the dinner. I was thrilled to be assigned the coconut curry asian dish. Cooking was fun and relaxed and even though my date could barely cook (he tried), he had a great time. After you’re done cooking with the group, you all sit down and enjoy the meal. Not only do you get good food and wine, you learn how to cook creative meals and meet wonderful people.
Coffee / Brunch / Lunch
Fairgrounds (North Loop) — I stopped by Fairgrounds to get a little work done and have a matcha. They have a great vibe with open windows and well decorated furniture and walls. Their menu includes breakfast and lunch including breakfast tacos, breakfast sandwich, acai bowl, chop salad, and kale and quinoa bowl. They have seriously delicious coffee, matcha lattes, and interesting elixirs including a coconut charcoal latte and Vietnamese cold brew.
Spyhouse (North Loop) — This coffee shop specializes in sourcing, roasting, and brewing the best coffees they can find for their customers. I bought an almond milk latte which was absolutely delicious, but definitely on the pricier side. I assume that’s because they source the best coffees out there.. It was a great coffee with a nice atmosphere, but might be a bit too expensive for my budget.
The Bachelor Farmer Cafe — This cafe is right next to the main restaurant and has a great almond milk latte for a nice price. I do not recommend the cold brew, tasted quite sour. But if you need a place to plug in your headphones and get an avocado toast, this is your place.
Rise Bagel Co. — I can’t begin to explain how good this breakfast bagel sandwich was. Not only do they use organic ingredients and free range eggs, but it’s freakin’ delicious!!
Crisp and Green (North Loop and Wayzata) — I was craving a massive healthy salad or smoothie and was told to try Crisp and Green. It did not disappoint. They have large make your own salads and a menu with salad suggestions. All of their ingredients are fresh and ordering is quick and easy. It is very similar to SweetGreen.
Cov (Wayzata) — I have only been to Cov in the summer when it is beautiful and sunny. I sat outside and enjoyed the view of the lake and the breeze. I wouldn’t say it’s the best food in the world, but it definitely has a good menu so that anyone can eat there.
The Red Cow (North Loop) —A great place for a hangover brunch or for a game-day. It’s not what you think though, their food is amazing and also has such a fun atmosphere. You can go the route of eggs and bacon or a burger and fries or a nice big crisp salad. They have it all.
Modist (North Loop) — I loved this brewery. They have an outdoor patio and a very cool indoor area where you can see the fermentation tanks. I couldn’t stray away from the coffee beer. It wasn’t a porter or a stout, but a lager that was infused with coffee beans. At 6.5% ABV, this beer was delicious and gave a nice caffeinated buzz!
Inbound (North Loop) — This brewery was a little outside of the North Loop near Target Field. I is a little bit bigger than Modist and has a larger beer selection. They have milk porters on nitro tap and those are my all time favorite. They’re heavy so definitely go drink them on an empty-ish stomach. Also, a wide range of IPAs from fruity and light, to bitter and hoppy.