Category: Recommendations

I’m Obsessed with Kramarczuk’s Old World Eastern European Smoked Sausage

Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company Kramarczuk’s is an iconic Twin Cities restaurant and deli, serving Eastern European sausages and comfort classics for more than 50 years. Wasyl and Anna Kramarczuk moved to the United States from Ukraine in 1949. In the 50s, they bought an established butcher shop in Northeast Minneapolis, started making sausages and quickly became…  Read More

Andrew Zimmern’s Favorite New Foods at the State Fair

My Top 3 Favorite New Foods As you probably already know, I’m an evangelist for the classics. Despite my inherent bias, I still think it was one of the weakest years ever for new State Fair foods. There’s just too much gimmick—think deep fried red liquorice— too many unworthy things on a stick, too much…  Read More

The Perfect State Fair Food

Gizmo Sandwiches I would rather be at the Minnesota State Fair than anywhere else in the world. Why? The people, the food, the sense of community and tradition. Carla Wood and her Gizmo sandwich embody everything I love about the fair. The Gizmo is a ground beef and Italian sausage sandwich covered in their secret…  Read More

Andrew Zimmern’s Favorite Chinese Restaurant in Minneapolis

Shuang Cheng Everyone knows a Chinese restaurant like this one, armed with an enormous 400-item menu that mostly caters to a Westerner’s palate. And while Shuang Cheng offers a dizzying variety of dishes, it defies the stereotype that quantity does not equal quality.  I usually skip straight to the seafood page of the menu. If…  Read More

Seward’s Iconic Birchwood Cafe

Birchwood Cafe Few Minnesotans have done more for local farmers and purveyors than Tracy Singleton. You can bet everything served at her iconic Seward restaurant was grown organically, sourced ethically, and hails from some cool Midwestern farm. She’s long been an industry leader in sustainable, eco-friendly practices, and has used her restaurant as a vehicle…  Read More

The Twin Cities’ Best-Kept Culinary Secret

St. Paul’s Hmongtown Marketplace A pillar of the Twin Cities’ Hmong community—which is the largest in the country—the sprawling Hmongtown Marketplace in St. Paul is the next best thing to hopping a flight to Southeast Asia. This market and those making the food represent centuries of Hmong traditions. In warmer months, you’ll find people selling plants,…  Read More

Burgers Stuffed with Cheese & Ingenuity at Blue Door Pub

Blue Door Pub If burgers stuffed with cheese aren’t on your list when you visit Minnesota, then you’re not doing it right. We Minnesotans love to debate who does the best juicy Lucy. There are plenty of spots serving up classic beef burgers with a molten hot cheddar cheese filling, such as perennial favorites Matt’s…  Read More

Real-Deal Farm-to-Table Brunch

Wise Acre Eatery It seems just about every restaurant claims to be farm to table. In the case of Wise Acre, it’s part of the business plan. Depending on the time of year, 75 to 95 percent of ingredients originate on sister business Tangletown Gardens’ 100-acre farm in rural Plato, Minnesota, including Scottish highland cattle,…  Read More

Finally, a Worthy Bagel in the Twin Cities from Rise Bagel Co.

Rise Bagel Co. The Twin Cities are my second home, and I love living here, but over the years there’s been one gaping hole in the food scene and it was bagel shaped. As a Jewish kid from New York, I’m admittedly picky when it comes to bagels, and there wasn’t a worthy one in…  Read More

Revival is One of the Top 10 Barbecue Restaurants in America

Revival St. Paul This town was a barbecue waste land, until my friends Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone opened their second location of Revival in St. Paul and decided to add classic smoked meats to the menu, celebrating Boemer’s southern roots. The fried chicken and burger were reason enough to battle the crowds getting their southern comfort…  Read More

Impeccable French Tavern Fare at St. Genevieve

St. Genevieve I’ve often said that one of Minneapolis’ greatest assets in the food scene is chef Steven Brown, and his newest addition, St. Genevieve, is a testament to that. A Parisian-style buvette, it’s one of a slew of new restaurants in Minneapolis celebrating familiar, yet reinvented French fare—proof that the classics never go out…  Read More

Andrew Zimmern’s Go-To Spot for Island Vibes & Jamaican Jerk Wings

Marla’s Caribbean Cuisine Located just south of Powderhorn Park, Marla’s Caribbean Cuisine is justifiably famous for its incredibly fresh, spicy, from scratch, honest and delicious Pan-Caribe style food. Marla is a doyenne of jerk and an expert with the hallmark Caribbean mashup of Indian, Creole and Latin flavors.     I can typically take down…  Read More

The Best Macaroon I’ve Ever Eaten

The Salty Tart Chef Michelle Gayer is a James Beard Award nominee many times over, including being a 2017 semifinalist for “Outstanding Baker.” Open since 2008, Gayer and her team at The Salty Tart make everything from scratch everyday—from pastry cream-filled brioche to flaky layered croissants and buttercream-topped cupcakes to banana cream pies. Her macaroons are…  Read More

Steven Brown’s Perfect Neighborhood Restaurant

Tilia Chef Steven Brown is one of Minneapolis’ greatest assets. At Tilia, he’s taken the concept of a comfortable neighborhood restaurant and perfected it—from the cozy atmosphere and kitchen counter seating, to the affordable, yet insanely delicious menu. It’s a place I can take my kid for breakfast, my wife for lunch and my lawyer…  Read More

Taco Perfection on Lake Street

Pineda Tacos Minneapolis may not have a dependable taqueria on every corner like Los Angeles, but head to Lake Street and you’ll discover plenty of authentic options. Pineda’s is a hidden gem of a place. What this sparse taco shop lacks in ambiance, it makes up for with flavor. I usually go for an order of four…  Read More

Nico Osteria

Nico Osteria By Bob & Sue This Paul Kahan restaurant on Rush Street features imaginative Italian fare. Executive Chef Erling Wu-Bower, a James Beard finalist in 2017, brings his own interpretation to traditional dishes. Crudo selections included Suzuki bass with chili flakes, Madai snapper with a kohlrabi salsa verde, bigeye tuna with black olives and…  Read More

An Authentic Fish & Chipper in Northeast

The Anchor Fish & Chips Well before the influx of destination breweries and galleries re-energized Minneapolis’ artsy Northeast neighborhood, The Anchor Fish & Chips was battering Alaskan cod and frying hand cut chips for the locals. The narrow restaurant with tin ceilings and deep red walls lined with cozy booths has a real deal fish…  Read More

Andrew Zimmern’s Weekly Chinese Food Fix

Szechuan Spice Of all the great regional Chinese cuisines, Sichuan food holds a special place in my heart. While we don’t have as many great Chinese restaurants as I would like in Minnesota, we do have a few that absolutely blow me away and Szechuan Spice in Uptown is one of them. It’s best to…  Read More

The Stunning Transformation of a Minneapolis Staple

Alma: Cafe, Hotel & Restaurant After a major overhaul and grand re-opening, Alma is as gorgeous as ever, filling a hole we didn’t know we had in the Twin Cities dining scene. What was once solely a fantastic restaurant, owned and operated by James Beard award-winning chef Alex Roberts, is now an elegant, design-driven hotel,…  Read More

Where You Buy Your Meat Matters

Lowry Hill Meats When Erik Sather opened Lowry Hill Meats in the fall of 2015, let’s just say I was excited. There are less than a handful of great, old-world butcher shops in the Twin Cities, and LHM’s standard for every product they sell—from meat to eggs, cheese, spices and coffee—is exceptionally high. I always…  Read More

Sublime Slow-Roasted Pork

Brasa Rotisserie For years, Brasa Rotisserie has been the go-to for Creole-style rotisserie chicken and Southern-inspired sides. From the mind of James Beard award-winning chef Alex Roberts, Brasa is a casual, convivial spot where meals are best had family style. They’re known for a mash-up of Southern-Caribbean-Mexican-Creole dishes, like slow roasted pork doused with fresh…  Read More

A Pho Lover’s Paradise

Authentic Vietnamese Food at Quang Home to a vibrant Vietnamese community, the Twin Cities are a pho-lover’s paradise. Quang Restaurant is family owned-and-operated, always packed and serves some of the best traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup in America. Don’t let the line out the door scare you away—even at their peak hour, the wait will…  Read More

Deep-Fried Pizza Perfection

Mucci’s Italian Owned by local restaurateur Tim Niver, Mucci’s Italian is one of the best new restaurants to come to the Twin Cities. In a tiny, unmarked brick building in St. Paul, you’ll find incredible food and service in a beautiful, yet unpretentious setting. With lacquered wood tabletops, black leather banquettes and chairs, the cozy…  Read More

Minneapolis’ Best Latin American Street Food

Hola Arepa One of the most popular Latin American restaurants in the Twin Cities, Hola Arepa started out as a food truck, slinging their take on the satisfying Venezuelan sandwiches on the streets of Minneapolis. For those unfamiliar with their eponymous arepas, think hefty griddled cornmeal cakes stuffed with all sorts of ingredients, from Argentinian-style…  Read More

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza in the Twin Cities

Punch Pizza There are plenty of great pizza places in the Twin Cities, but Punch will always have a special place in my heart. Now with eight locations across the metro, their first location, which opened back in 1996 in St. Paul’s Highland Park, is my favorite. Co-founders John Soranno, who grew up in Milan,…  Read More

The Bachelor Farmer

Modern Scandinavian-Influenced Fare Located in a historic 19th-century brick-and-timber warehouse in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood, The Bachelor Farmer celebrates Nordic-inspired cuisine made with ingredients sourced from local farmers or grown on the rooftop garden. They created small masterpieces on top of a humble piece of toast before it became a culinary craze, so order a few toasts as an…  Read More

Uptown’s Favorite Neighborhood Eatery for Every Occasion

Heyday A Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2015, chef Jim Christiansen’s thoughtful food is hyper-seasonal (often foraged) and speaks to his stint at Noma, with dishes such as grilled lamb with winter radish and stewed local oats, and hake with cauliflower, smoked cod roe emulsion and herbs (pictured above). Christiansen skillfully balances flavor, texture,…  Read More

Gavin Kaysen’s Splurge-Worthy Fine Dining

Spoon and Stable After rising to chef stardom working for Daniel Boulud in NYC, Gavin Kaysen returned home in 2014 to open his first restaurant Spoon and Stable. Located in a beautifully renovated stable in the North Loop, it was the local restaurant opening of the decade. The hometown hero is one of the best…  Read More

One of the Most Unique Dining Experiences in the World

San Francisco’s In Situ By Bob & Sue By offering the signature recipes of many of the world’s greatest chefs, Michelin 3-star chef Corey Lee of Benu and his executive chef Brandon Rodgers have made In Situ, located in the renovated Museum of Modern Art, one of the most unique dining experiences in the world. The…  Read More

Surly’s Destination Brewery & Restaurant

Great Food Paired with Great Beer The folks behind Surly Brewing Co. are geniuses. Their new-ish destination brewery is an architectural stunner, with a wood and metal adorned taproom, glass-enclosed brewing facility, and a massive patio with fire pits and the occasional live music act. If I drank, I would be there all the time.…  Read More