Those of you who know me well know I am a total foodie. I LOVE good food and I really enjoy trying new restaurants and finding awesome places to frequent. Today I want to give you guys a list of six places here in the Twin Cities that, if you haven’t already checked out, you really should! I have personally visited each one numerous times and am excited to share with you guys why I love them. In no particular order, let me tell you about six awesome restaurants you need to try.
1. The Grandview Grill
1818 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul
This place has been here for as long as I can remember, and for a good reason – they have some of the best breakfast food EVER. Until recently, this place was known as the Copper Dome – you’ll still see this name featured in the stain glass window above the front door. The Grandview Grill is an awesome, dark, old breakfast nook, filled with old kitchen decor and walls covered in newspaper clippings of infamous events from Saint Paul’s history. Their menu is astounding, featuring one whole page of pancake options, one of crepes, and one of omelettes. The food is also cheap, and the portions are huge. I guarantee you’ll leave hungry. Personally, I recommend the Nutella and Peanut Butter Crepes, or the Farmer’s Omelette – but after years of eating here, I haven’t found anything that I didn’t like. The service is outstanding and we’ve never had a bad server. Weekends can lead to a longer wait, so if you plan on visiting on a Saturday or Sunday, I’d check it out after 10 AM.
2. The Newsroom
990 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Such a cool bar! The place features a center bar made to look like a big ship. It’s also a huge restaurant, so you’ll never have trouble finding a seat. It’s a great place to check out before or after a Timberwolves or Twins game. During weeknight happy hour, they feature some really cool small plates for cheap – which include street style tacos and really good sliders. I’ve also had two different salads from their menu, and loved both. We went here for a company lunch one afternoon and everyone in our group of eight raved about the food. They also have a great beer selection, as well as some really good house-recipe cocktails. The menu seems to update frequently to feature new items based on seasonally-available ingredients. Although a little on the expensive side for a full dinner, it’s still a better deal than most places downtown – and the food is outstanding. The young, outgoing staff is always willing to make suggestions and clearly knows the menu well. Awesome spot if you find yourself downtown.
3. Broders Pasta Bar
5000 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis
This is a great date-night place if you’re looking for a spot to take your beau for a delicious dinner. Broders features homemade pasta and sauce that is to die for. They have an extensive wine list, as well as a good beer selection. Even the bread and oil that starts off the evening is mouth-watering. Best of all, this place features a pretty decent price tag, especially when compared to the other restaurants in the South Minneapolis neighborhood. They have a very cute patio that is lit with Christmas-style lights, but it is small and virtually always full. The entire restaurant isn’t huge, so plan on waiting if you’re visiting on a weekend – but trust me, this dinner is worth it. The atmosphere is candle-lit and quiet, perfect for a night out with your date. Service was incredibly professional and we were very impressed.
4. Nona Rosa’s
4168 West Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis
Another favorite Italian spot, this place was actually recommended to me by a coworker when I mentioned that I wanted a new date-night restaurant to check out. He wasn’t kidding: the family-style restaurant does everything right. The service was outstanding, the wine list blew me away, and our meals were delicious. My chicken Marsala was the best I’ve ever had, and came with bread and a generous portion of salad. My boyfriend had the chicken parmesean and also loved it. The best part – this place features homemade gelato, with flavors that change daily. I recently noticed that they currently have a Groupon available, so it’s a great time to give them a try! We also saw some featured weeknight specials that make dinner a steal – so check out their website for other specials. You won’t be disappointed!
5. The Nook
492 Hamline Avenue South, Saint Paul
If you’re looking for a great burger, you’ll find it here. They make a juicy lucy that might be better than Matt’s or the 5-8 Club, and that’s saying something. Frequented by the nearby high school students, this place features a true bar-style atmosphere, with a few TVs and a typically louder environment. A simple bar has a good selection of beer options, but the food is great. The prices reflect a hole-in-the-wall bar, but the food is much better. All of their sides, from cheese curds to fries, will blow you away. This place always has a wait, so be prepared. I can’t say I’ve tried a ton of the menu, because their burgers are that good. Stick to the good stuff and try a cheese-stuffed burger: you won’t be disappointed.
6. Boca Chica
11 Cesar Chavez Street, Saint Paul
If you like Mexican food, this will be your new favorite place. I promise. One of my favorite things about this place is that it has had the same staff since I was in high school – and they truly care about your dining experience. The atmosphere is casual, so no need to dress up. The restaurant is big enough to seat two full dining rooms, as well as a fun, colorful bar. The margaritas are great and made by hand (none of that sugary, pre-made mix crap that hurts your stomach) and the food is truly authentic. They also have a cool patio, and although they’re located on a very busy street, they have their own parking lot which helps cut some of the traffic noise if you do decide to dine outside. The guacamole is outstanding and clearly homemade, a must-try. If you’re looking for dinner suggestions, my favorites are the Chimichangas and the Flautas. I’ve also been told that their soups are outstanding. They can alter anything on the menu to be as spicy (or as mild) as you’d like, so don’t be afraid to ask! I’ve also heard (although never tried) that they have a great lunch buffet.
So, next time you’re looking for a night out, try one of these places! You won’t be disappointed. I have many more favorite spots, so don’t worry – I’ll continue to offer suggestions. What are some of your favorite local restaurants? What do you look for when you try a new dinner spot? Leave me some comments below!