Restaurant – Red Cow
Sure it’s fun to save up for a once-a-year dinner at the hot and new fine dining spot, but when Growler readers are craving a satisfying meal made with quality ingredients on any ol’ day of the week, they turn to Red Cow. No white linens or rarified menus—just a comfortable atmosphere and downright, tasty burgers, fresh salads, and a hearty brunch.
New Restaurant – Hi-Lo Diner
A gleaming diner car with great cocktails, breakfast classics done with care and panache, great burgers, and the finest pie on Lake Street—no new restaurant has captured our attention this year like the feel-good, updated throwback of the Hi-Lo Diner.
Seasonal Restaurant – Sea Salt Eatery
Is there any greater summertime joy than to sit in the park with a plastic cup of cold white wine, with a tin full of oysters and a po’ boy on the way, all with the rush of Minnehaha Falls in the background? In Minneapolis, if it’s summer, it’s time for Sea Salt.
Food Truck – The Anchor Fish & Chips
With food truck offerings becoming more elaborate and expansive with each new season, your favorite, The Anchor, is a paragon of simplicity: the perfect battered Atlantic cod and classic hand-cut fries. Besides a cup of mushy peas, what more do you need?
Burger Joint – Blue Door Pub
Not only do you want a juicy lucy, but you want it topped with pastrami and cream cheese, or Canadian bacon and pineapple, or mornay sauce with a cup of au jus, or one of the other heart-stopping renditions that can only be had at the Blue Door Pub.
Taquería – Taco Cat
A man, a plan, a bike, tacos. The cult-favorite palindromic delivery service has chained up its single speed at Midtown Global Market, where it’s now serving tacos and burritos that rival the best in the Metro.
Pizzeria – Pizza Lucé
Minnesota has some great pizza joints, but there’s one that takes the cake—or rather, pizza pie. With a crisp wheat-based crust, Pizza Lucé’s creations can satisfy the carnivorous meat lover to the vegan-focused diner. On top of all that, there are gluten-free versions and the option to build your own pizza. Now, that’s amore.
Barbecue Joint – Bark and the Bite
Proper infusion of the smoke, knowledge behind the slow and low technique, and skilled hands behind the seasonings, sauces, and sides. These are the elements that make up the magical mixture of great barbecue. And the place you deemed as the best in the land—and lip smackin’ good—is food truck and Northeast Minneapolis takeout counter, Bark and the Bite.
Vegetarian-friendly restaurant – The Duluth Grill
If you’re vegetarian, eating out can be a disappointing prospect. Too often restaurants’ vegetarian dishes are sad afterthoughts. But at The Duluth Grill, vegetables take center stage in a number of substantial dishes that leave vegetarians nourished and satisfied.
Brunch Spot – Hi-Lo Diner
You could go classic—eggs, hash browns, bacon. Or you could tackle a Hi-Top—a gigantic puff of fried dough with toppings that range from pulled pork to pico de gallo. Either way, with a morning cocktail, you’re in for a stellar brunch at Hi-Lo Diner.
Butcher Shop – Von Hanson’s Meats
T-bone steaks? Check. Double-smoked bacon? Sure thing. Sage and onion stuffed chicken breasts? You betcha. With personalized service and a wide selection of quality products in a old-fashioned meat market environment, Von Hanson’s strives to “meat” the needs of every carnivore.
Cheese Shop – Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop
Asiago, and Gruyere, and manchego, oh my! With hundreds of varieties of cheese from all over the world, Surdyk’s is the place we go to for dairy decadence. And better yet, Surdyk’s shop also has a curated selection of specialty grocery items to accompany your cheesy party platters.
Bakery – A Baker’s Wife
The simplest things are often the hardest to perfect, which makes the plain cake donuts at A Baker’s Wife downright miraculous. If you’re stopping by for their wonderful breads, cakes or pastries, it may be impossible not to grab a couple donuts for the ride home.
Donut Shop – Glam Doll Donuts
If there’s anything better than seeing their bright pink box appear next to the office coffee maker, it’s going to Glam Doll, getting a Femme Fatale or a Dark Angel (or let’s be real, probably both) and a cup of coffee, and starting the day in a retro, sugary rush.
Coffee Shop – Spyhouse Coffee
Everything about Spyhouse, from their coffee to the atmosphere in their four Twin Cities locations, is refined down to its most basic elements. When you strip away all the frills, what you’re left with is a truly unique and genuine experience.
Grocer / Co-op – Mississippi Market
Started in 1979, Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op is your trusted grocer for organic, locally-grown produce, sustainable meats and seafood, and fresh, made-from-scratch deli and bakery foods. And with three St. Paul locations, it’s easier than ever to get your hands on quality food.
Farmers Market – Minneapolis Farmers Market
Nestled in the concrete jungle of downtown Minneapolis is the seasonal oasis of fresh vegetables, fruits, and farmstead products for all to enjoy. From sunflowers to squash, potatoes to pastries, the Minneapolis Farmers Market is the bounty of the county, or should we say, state.