Twin Cities’ Best Restaurants
$ Entrées less than $10
$$ Entrées $10–20
$$$ Entrées more than $20
Best Sandwich in the Upper Midwest: The tuna confit at Be’wiched ($, 800 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612/767-4330, www.bewicheddeli.com, Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. closed) is unbeatable. Don’t like fish? Go for the house-cured pastrami.
Best Breakfast: You may have to wait in line at Hell’s Kitchen ($, 80 S. 9th St., 612/332-4700, www.hellskitcheninc.com, Mon.–Fri. 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m.) in Minneapolis, but you will understand why once your stack of ethereal lemon ricotta pancakes arrives.
Best Place for Vegetarians and Their Carnivore Friends: Brenda Langton’s two downtown Minneapolis restaurants, Café Brenda ($$, 300 1st Ave. N., 612/342-9230, www.cafebrenda.com, lunch Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.; dinner Mon.–Thurs. 5:30–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5:30–10 p.m.; Sun. closed) and Spoonriver ($$, 750 2nd St. S., 612/436-2236, www.spoonriverrestaurant.com, lunch Tues.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.; brunch Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; dinner Tues.–Thurs. 5:30–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5:30–11 p.m., Sun. 5–10 p.m.; Mon. closed), don’t take a hard line against meat, they just make tasty, healthy food everyone can enjoy.
Best Local, Seasonal Fare: Lucia Watson, the dynamo behind the Minneapolis institution Lucia’s ($$$, 1432 31st St. W., 612/825-1572, www.lucias.com, lunch Tues.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; dinner Tues.–Thurs. 5:30–9:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5:30–10 p.m., Sun. 5:30–9 p.m.; brunch Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; Mon. closed), has been garnering well-deserved attention for her sustainable take on cuisine for two decades.
Best Place to Live the Bistro Lifestyle: On a leafy street in South Minneapolis, Barbette ($$, 1600 Lake St. W., 612/827-5710, www.barbette.com, Sun.–Thurs. 8 a.m.–1 a.m., Fri.–Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m.) opens early to serve croissants and café au lait and serves perfect pommes frites into the wee hours.
Best Place to Taste Minnesota’s Immigrant Past: Links of Polish sausage and plates of butter-soaked pelmeni fueled Nordeast Minneapolis’s Eastern European immigrant families, and at Kramarczuk’s ($, 215 Hennepin Ave. E., 612/379-3018, www.kramarczuk.com, Mon. 7 a.m.–4 p.m., Tues.–Sat. 7 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.) they keep hungry tourists and locals fed, too.
Best Afternoon Tea: Grand Avenue’s Café Latté ($, 850 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651/224-5687, www.cafelatte.com, Sun.–Wed. 9 a.m.–10 p.m., Thurs. 9 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 9 a.m.–midnight) offers shoppers the perfect afternoon respite: a classically English plate of finger sandwiches and cakes.
Best Place to Feast and Toast and Dance and Drink All Night Long: Russians know how to keep the party going, and will be happy to show you at Moscow on the Hill ($$, 371 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651/291-1236, www.moscowonthehill.com, lunch Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–2 p.m.; dinner Mon.–Thurs. 5:30–10 p.m., Fri. 5:30–11 p.m., Sat. 4–11 p.m., Sun. 4–10 p.m.).
Best Place to Keep a Crowd Happy: When you’re feeding a crowd for breakfast or lunch, you’ll find options — and space — for everyone at Good Day Café ($, 5410 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley, 763/544-0242, daily 7 a.m.–3 p.m.).
Best Dim Sum: Jun Bo ($$, 7717 Nicollet Ave., Richfield, 612/866-6888, www.jun-bo.com, Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–11 p.m.) doesn’t look like much, but that’s because they’ve put all their effort into the best dim sum in the metro area — served all day, every day.
© Tricia Cornell from Moon Minneapolis & St. Paul, 1st Edition