Category: Recommendations

Andrew Zimmern’s Favorite Foods at the Minnesota State Fair

What to Eat at the Minnesota State Fair I like to stick with tradition when it comes to the State Fair, never passing up an opportunity for cheese curds, a foot-long hot dog, an ice cold 1919 root beer and a bucket of Sweet Martha’s cookies. Fair food doesn’t need to be, and probably shouldn’t…  Read More

Hai Hai

At Hai Hai, chef Christina Nguyen and her partner Birk Grudem—the duo behind the wildly popular Hola Arepa—are serving some of the most interesting and celebrated food in the Twin Cities these days. Located in Minneapolis’ Northeast neighborhood, it’s been packed since the doors swung open in 2017. Not only was it named one of…  Read More

Centro & Popol Vuh

The newest darling of Northeast Minneapolis’ brewery district, chef Jose Alarcon’s homage to his heritage is one part casual taqueria and one part upscale Mexican fare. Let’s be honest, it’s always great to have options. On the Centro side, satisfy your midweek happy hour needs with carnitas or barbacoa street tacos and a pitcher of…  Read More

The Zimmern List Las Vegas: Chubby Cattle

Tune in for The Zimmern List in Las Vegas, May 15  9/8c on Travel Channel! I love Las Vegas. Don’t hate me. For decades, Vegas was essentially food negligent. There were some decent steakhouses and lousy casino buffets. Folks went to Vegas to gamble, see a show and lower themselves slowly into the hot tub…  Read More

The Zimmern List San Diego: ¡Salud!

¡Salud! Tacos The Zimmern List: San Diego premieres April 2  9|8c on Travel Channel! To fully experience San Diego you need to spend a day in Barrio Logan, a neighborhood on the rise transformed by a vibrant art and food scene. After a stroll through the art-filled Chicano Park—home to a massive display of murals…  Read More

The Zimmern List Portland, ME: Eventide Oyster Co.

Eventide’s Brown Butter Lobster Roll A city that’s tethered to the ocean and everything it produces, Portland, Maine is the pearl of New England. Fresh seafood is the heart and soul of all the great restaurants in this town, from casual dockside butter-drenched lobster rolls to wood oven-roasted Maine mussels at local stalwart Fore Street.…  Read More

The Zimmern List New Orleans: R&O Restaurant

Po’ Boys at R&O Restaurant There is no city in the world like New Orleans. Its history, culture and cuisine truly make it a magical and captivating place. From muffuletta sandwiches at Central Grocery to oysters Rockefeller at Galatoire’s, even the most touristy restaurants are irresistible. On my last visit, I discovered a new favorite…  Read More

The Zimmern List Austin: Fresa’s

Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon Surrounded by a super sized state best known for its uniquely Texan way of doing things, Austin is an oasis of freethinkers and creatives with a vibrant music, film, technology and food scene. Austinites have a taste for experimentation that borders on the delirious and it’s reflected in their food—from traditional barbecue…  Read More

The Zimmern List Los Angeles: Night + Market Song

Night + Market Song Los Angeles is the hottest food city on the planet. These days, it’s not just entertainers but also food entrepreneurs who are arriving in throngs to realize their dreams, creating a diverse restaurant scene where people are willing to take risks. Visiting the city and not eating Thai food is a…  Read More

Doug Flicker Revives Neighborhood Dive Bar with Excellent Food

Bull’s Horn Food & Drink Minneapolis has no shortage of throwback dive bars that embrace a no-frills come-as-you-are vibe, with self-service popcorn machines and cheap drinks. Even with a faint hint of stale cigarette smoke lingering, the nostalgia keeps the bar stools filled. The problem is, most of them don’t—or can’t—serve food beyond a frozen…  Read More

Linden Hills’ Stunning New Argentinian-Italian Restaurant

Martina Located in Linden Hills in the old Upton 43 space—which got stripped of its sterile Scandinavian decor for a more inviting dining room modeled after traditional estancias, or Argentinian ranches—Martina may be new, but its seafood-centric menu has earned its place among the city’s great restaurants. It’s the first solo endeavor of chef Daniel…  Read More

Modern Mexican Food with an Elegant Bistro Vibe

Pajarito Just over a year old, Pajarito’s contemporary Mexican cuisine is still satisfying a packed house every night. Located on St. Paul’s West 7th St. in the historic Glockenspiel building, it’s proven to be the right combination of quality ingredients, superb flavors, affordable plates, great service and a sophisticated, inviting atmosphere. I love a cheap…  Read More

Grand Cafe is a game changer.

Grand Cafe Important restaurants keep exploding all over the Twin Cities. Grand Cafe joins the list that includes Spoon & Stable, Heyday, Bellecour, Corner Table and many new to the scene like Kado No Mise and Martina, that are proof positive Minnesota is ground zero for some of the best food in America.   Photograph…  Read More

Andrew Zimmern’s Favorite Thai Food in the Twin Cities

On’s Thai Kitchen Located in Midway on University Avenue, On’s Thai Kitchen always makes it onto my list of top 10 favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities. There are many excellent choices for Thai cuisine in my hometown, but none transport me to Thailand quite like On’s. The 105-item menu has many recognizable standbys like fresh herby…  Read More

Flaky Croissants & Savory Scones at My Neighborhood Bakery

Honey & Rye Located less than a mile from the office, Honey & Rye has been a favorite since it opened four years ago. All of our carb-loving dreams came true when that retro-era corner dry cleaners transformed into a neighborhood bakery. It’s not a run-of-the-mill bakehouse or one that stocks its cases with trendy…  Read More

The Food Building’s Artisan Food Producers

The Food Building The brainchild of Kieran Folliard, the city’s famed serial food entrepreneur who made a name and fortune from Kieran’s Irish Pub and 2 Gingers whiskey, the Food Building brings together two top makers in the Twin Cities, Red Table Meat Co. and Baker’s Field Flour & Bread. An accessible food production hub…  Read More

Uncomplicated Satisfying Italian Food at Red Rabbit

Red Rabbit The newest member of the Red Cow family—owner Luke Shimp’s insanely popular burger-centric restaurant with several Twin Cities locations—Red Rabbit strays from the elevated bar food vibe to offer Italian classics, pizzas and wood-fired plates. Located on Washington Avenue with an easily recognizable red tufted exterior, it’s a welcome addition to the North…  Read More

Tacos, Tamales & Tortas

El Taco Riendo There are a handful of spots in the Twin Cities that I can rely on for excellent Mexican food, and El Taco Riendo is one of them. Located on Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis, the fast casual restaurant has a Chipotle-style ordering system where your meal is made fresh in front of…  Read More

Delicious Bowls of Authentic Vietnamese Beef Pho

Pho 79 As the cold weather settles in, all I’m craving is a steaming bowl of pho with rich, flavorful beef broth. Lucky for me, the Twin Cities are a pho-lover’s paradise. And in a town chock-full of great Vietnamese restaurants, it’s difficult to name the best, so I won’t go there. What I can…  Read More

Andrew Zimmern’s Favorite Sandwich Shop in Minneapolis

France 44 Cheese Shop Located at 44th and France in Linden Hills, this expansive corner shop is half wine and liquor emporium, half specialty cheese, meat and sandwich shop. In the gourmet grocery, you’ll find knowledgeable staff at the cut-to-order cheese counter who can help you select the perfect amount of cream or funk for…  Read More

Exceptional Wood-Fired Cooking at Young Joni

Young Joni Young Joni’s presence on my list of must-try restaurants should come as no surprise. What chef Ann Kim and her team have accomplished is exceptional and worthy of all the national attention—which includes recognition from GQ and Eater as one of 2017’s best new restaurants in the country. And while this may be…  Read More

Pushing the Boundaries of Fine Dining

The Travail Collective When you hear 3-hour 20-course tasting menu, my guess is you are not envisioning a restaurant with giant stuffed animals in the rafters of the dining room, or one with a raucous atmosphere where the chefs are also the waiters and food runners, and often microphone-wielding MCs who encourage group participation in…  Read More

Unideli Ramen Inside Minneapolis’ Best Asian Marketplace

United Noodles & Unideli If you follow my social media or watch my shows, you know I’m obsessed with Asian cuisines—Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean… I love it all. And while there are plenty of great spots in the Twin Cities to indulge, I’m cooking it at home more often than not. Mastering the…  Read More

Gavin Kaysen’s Stunning French Bistro & Bakery in Wayzata

Bellecour My friend Gavin Kaysen’s latest project, Bellecour, is an absolute stunner. The award-winning chef’s return to the Twin Cities in 2014 to open Spoon and Stable came with unprecedented buzz—a few years later and it’s still near impossible to score prime time reservations—but the announcement of Bellecour sent diners into a frenzy, with more…  Read More

Wood-Fired Pizza Perfection

Pizzeria Lola Since it opened in 2010, Pizzeria Lola has always made it onto my top-ten list of favorite pizza joints, not only in the Twin Cities, but in the entire country. Chef Ann Kim is a perfectionist when it comes to her crust and an artist when it comes to toppings. The menu offers…  Read More

Bar La Grassa’s Dependable Italian Classics

Bar La Grassa This ode to Italy isn’t your grandparent’s eye-talian eatery. With moody date-night lighting beaming from chandeliers, a steel pasta bar that provides the best seats in the house, and a broad range of shareable plates, Bar La Grassa is one of the great Italian restaurants in the Twin Cities with consistently good…  Read More

The Best Authentic German Bakery in Minneapolis

Aki’s BreadHaus In the midst of Oktoberfest season—now a worldwide trend no longer reserved for Munich—it’s only appropriate I share my favorite German bakery. In the Twin Cities, most steins of beer this month seem to be accompanied by one of Aki’s famed pretzels, and for good reason. Located in Minneapolis’ Northeast neighborhood, Aki’s BreadHaus…  Read More

Black Sheep Coal-Fired Pizza

Black Sheep Pizza One of my favorite pizzerias in the Twin Cities, Black Sheep Pizza brings something different to the table. While I love traditional Neapolitan-style, blistery thin crust pies, Black Sheep’s coal-fired pizza—with its chewy, crisp, sturdy and slightly charred crust—has a nostalgic East Coast vibe that always hits the spot. The menu is…  Read More

Andrew Zimmern’s Go-To Restaurant for a Late Night Meal

112 Eatery Located a few short blocks from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis, James Beard award-winning chef Isaac Becker’s first restaurant is a favorite amongst chefs and service industry folks. That has as much to do with their steak tartare, famous 112 cheeseburger and foie gras meatballs, as it does with their night owl hours…  Read More

Doug Flicker’s New Destination Restaurant at the Walker

Esker Grove The Walker Art Center, a contemporary art mecca with a newly refinished sculpture garden, is one of the Twin Cities’ most beloved cultural assets. Add a beautifully designed restaurant with a menu from one of the country’s best chefs, and you have a winning combination, whether it’s date night, happy hour or brunch…  Read More