2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners

 

FOOD

Red Cow Oskar Blues Burger at Red Cow // Photo by Brian Kaufenburg

Red Cow Oskar Blues Burger at Red Cow // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Burgers – Red Cow

Packing in the protein (and flavor) is Red Cow with their fresh and feast-worthy burgers. From a 60/40—60 percent beef and 40 percent ground bacon—to a turkey burger dressed with cilantro-lime aioli and arugula, you’ll find something to gratify that burger craving.

 

 

 

Taco Cat Taco // Photo by Sasha Landskov

Taco Cat Taco // Photo by Sasha Landskov

Tacos – Taco Cat

In a town full of terrific taquerias, this indie bike delivery service has peddled their chicken tinga and grilled steak tacos straight to the top of your list.

 

 

 

 

A PIZZA LUCÉ pizza // Photo courtesy PIZZA LUCÉ Facebook

A PIZZA LUCÉ pizza // Photo courtesy PIZZA LUCÉ Facebook

Pizza – Pizza Lucé

Pizza Lucé is something of a pizza empire in Minnesota, with multiple locations in the greater metro area, plus one in Duluth. Lucé’s list of innovative pies, including meaty creations, vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options, and gluten-free versions, slaps other slices away.

 

 

 

 

Revival Barbeque Chicken // Photo courtesy Revival Facebook

Revival Barbeque Chicken // Photo courtesy Revival Facebook

Barbecue – Revival

What’s the only thing that could make us not order fried chicken at Revival? One (or let’s face it, more) of Thomas Boemer’s smoked delicacies. The restaurant’s pork belly, shoulder, ribs, and brisket all easily rank among the best in town.

 

 

Images of Ramen Kazama. All photos taken by Eliesa Johnson.

Ramen – Ramen Kazama

The Twin Cities’ ramen scene has exploded with great options in the last few years, but no one nails shoyu and tonkatsu with confidence like Kazama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sea Salt Eatery // Photo via Sea Salt Eatery Facebook

Sea Salt Eatery // Photo via Sea Salt Eatery Facebook

Seafood – Sea Salt Eatery

What’s better in the summer than an oil tin of oysters, a basket of fried fish, a counter full of hot sauce, and a cold beer in the park? Nothing, evidently, as you’ve voted Sea Salt your favorite place to indulge in the spoils of the ocean.

 

 

 

The Anchor Fish & Chips // Photo via Anchor Fish & Chips Facebook

The Anchor Fish & Chips // Photo via Anchor Fish & Chips Facebook

Fish Fry – The Anchor Fish & Chips

With perfectly battered filets of wild Alaskan cod and classic hand-cut chips at the restaurant and food truck, it’s always “fry-day” at The Anchor Fish & Chips.

 

 

 

 

Red Cow Fries from the Red Cow North Loop - Photo courtesy Red Cow Facebook

Red Cow Fries from the Red Cow North Loop – Photo courtesy Red Cow Facebook

Fries – Red Cow

Whether regular or truffle-parmesan, next to one of their KOABD-award winning burgers or as a cocktail snack, the fries of your dreams are at Red Cow.

 

 

 

 

 

An order of chicken at Brasa in St. Paul // Photo by Dan Murphy

An order of chicken at Brasa in St. Paul // Photo by Dan Murphy

Gluten-Free Offerings – Brasa

You only have to steer clear of the cornbread and the sandwiches. Otherwise, everything on Brasa’s menu, from rotisserie meats to red beans, is on the table for the gluten-sensitive.

 

 

 

 

One of the vegetarian offerings at Pizza Lucé // Photo via Pizza Lucé Facebook

One of the vegetarian offerings at Pizza Lucé // Photo via Pizza Lucé Facebook

Vegetarian Offerings – Pizza Lucé

If you forgo the carnivore’s lifestyle, dining out can oftentimes make for a selection of boring dishes. But not so at Pizza Lucé, with fresh salads and veggie-loaded slices, meatless eating is no sacrifice at all.

 

 

 

 

The Blue Door Pub logo // Photo by Brian Kaufenburg

The Blue Door Pub logo // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Wings – Blue Door Pub

Sweet, saucy, smoky, Southern fried, or spicy—scrumptious chicken wings have roosted a winning home at the Blue Door Pub.

 

 

 

 

 

A steak at Manny's // Photo via Manny's Steakhouse Facebook

A steak at Manny’s // Photo via Manny’s Steakhouse Facebook

Steak – Manny’s Steakhouse

For meat lovers, there’s nothing more satisfying than biting into a juicy steak. And according to readers, for a place that’s a cut above the rest, Manny’s is where it’s at.

 

 

 

 

Revival's fried chicken // Photo via Revival Facebook

Revival’s fried chicken // Photo via Revival Facebook

Fried Chicken – Revival

Regular, Tennessee Hot, or Poultrygeist (if you’re a masochist), the best fried chicken in town is only the beginning of the culinary splendors at Revival.

 

 

 

 

 

Natedogs Hotdogs // Photo via Natedogs Hotdogs Facebook

Natedogs Hotdogs // Photo via Natedogs Hotdogs Facebook

Hot Dogs – Natedogs

Nathan Beck knows his hot dogs. And clearly our readers agree, having voted the wieners from his iconic orange food cart as the best in Minnesota.

 

 

 

The exterior of Izzy's Ice Cream // Photo via Izzy's Facebook

The exterior of Izzy’s Ice Cream // Photo via Izzy’s Facebook

Ice Cream Shop – Izzy’s Ice Cream

High on the list of quintessential Minneapolis experiences is walking to Gold Medal Park on the muggiest day of summer and lounging in the grass with a cone of Izzy’s.

 

 

 

 

Cafe Latte dessert // Photo via Cafe Latte Facebook

Cafe Latte dessert // Photo via Cafe Latte Facebook

Dessert – Cafe Latte

Creamy and dreamy cheesecakes and fudgy and caramelly turtle cakes have foodies saying that Cafe Latte is rich with top-notch desserts.

 

 

 

 

 

Spoon and Stable's bar // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Spoon and Stable’s bar // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Service – Spoon and Stable

You’d be hard-pressed to find another restaurant around town that will serve your culinary desires better than the team at Spoon and Stable. Their attention to every detail and extensive knowledge of what they offer make them the best spot for a service-centered dining experience.

 

 

 

A BLT brunch plate at The Copper Hen // Photo via Copper Hen Facebook

A BLT brunch plate at The Copper Hen // Photo via Copper Hen Facebook

Brunch – The Copper Hen

When it’s time to refuel after a late night out, brunch is your saving grace. And when the time calls, The Copper Hen will satisfy your needs with their decadent menu: Farmhouse B.E.L.T., biscuits and gravy, and even buttermilk pancakes with cinnamon whipped cream. We’re in.

 

 

 

 

 

Patrons eating lunch at the Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub // A Growler Magazine Photo

Patrons eating lunch at the Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub // A Growler Magazine Photo

Lunch Spot – Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

All too often, midday meals are consumed at the desk in front of a computer screen, rather than at a table with other humans. But when you do step out of the office for a meal and lunch beer, Northbound is the go-to place.

 

 

 

Late night dining at Pizza Lucé // Photo via Pizza Lucé Facebook

Late night dining at Pizza Lucé // Photo via Pizza Lucé Facebook

Late Night Dining – Pizza Lucé

Whether you’re a part of the after-bar crowd or just have a midnight hankering, this joint has pleased your palate, from the pasta to the deli-style hoagies, apps to desserts, and of course, ‘za.

 

 

 

Twin Cities Burger Battle Patties being grilled // Photo via TC Burger Battle Facebook

Twin Cities Burger Battle Patties being grilled // Photo via TC Burger Battle Facebook

Food Event / Dinner Event – Twin Cities Burger Battle

Rain couldn’t keep the hungry foodies away, for over 2,000 people came out to this year’s Twin Cities Burger Battle. While attendees crowned Casper’s & Runyon’s Nook as people’s choice and McKinney Roe of Minneapolis won in the judges category, the Twin Cities Burger Battle snags first prize from Growler Nation.

 

 

An El Burrito Mercado dish // Photo via El Burrito Mercado Facebook

An El Burrito Mercado dish // Photo via El Burrito Mercado Facebook

Mexican Restaurant – El Burrito Mercado

Whether it’s a breakfast of chilaquiles con huevos, lunch with tacos al pastor, authentic market groceries, or the hand-crafted goods you’re looking for, female-operated El Burrito Mercado has you covered.

 

 

 

Pho 79 on Minneapolis' Eat Street // Photo via Pho 79's website

Pho 79 on Minneapolis’ Eat Street // Photo via Pho 79’s website

Vietnamese Restaurant – Pho 79, Minneapolis

Bun Thit Nuong all summer, Pho Tai Nam all winter. Even on a street full of it, nowhere satisfies our cravings for big bowls of rice noodles like Pho 79.

 

 

 

 

A dish from Afro Deli // Photo via Afro Deli's Facebook

A dish from Afro Deli // Photo via Afro Deli’s Facebook

African Restaurant – Afro Deli

Since 2010, Afro Deli has been introducing the Twin Cities community to Somali cuisine fused with American and Mediterranean influences. Everything is made fresh and prepared halal, from the delightful sambusa to the hearty Afro steak dinner, making this the perfect stop to experience the flavors of East Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

A Masu dish // Photo via Masu Facebook

A Masu dish // Photo via Masu Facebook

Japanese Restaurant – Masu

There’s nothing subtle about Masu. The loud design, the intensely porky tonkatsu ramen, the crispy, soy-kissed robata, and over-the-top sushi rolls—it all adds up to your favorite Japanese eats in town.

 

 

 

A Sawatdee dish // Photo via Sawatdee's Facebook

A Sawatdee dish // Photo via Sawatdee’s Facebook

Thai Restaurant – Sawatdee

No one has been serving Thai in the Twin Cities longer than Sawatdee, and the six-location stalwart has the satay, laab, and stir fry that keep you coming back.

 

 

 

 

An India Palace dish // Photo via India Palace's Facebook

An India Palace dish // Photo via India Palace’s Facebook

Indian or Nepalese Restaurant – India Palace

When you crave the heat of the tandoor, the fluffiest naan, the tangiest vindaloo, or most comforting masala, there are five locations of India Palace bringing tastes of the subcontinent to the entire metro.

 

 

 

 

The Naughty Greek Crew // Photo via The Naughty Greek Facebook

The Naughty Greek Crew // Photo via The Naughty Greek Facebook

Mediterranean Restaurant – The Naughty Greek

Family recipes with a dash of heartfelt passion is The Naughty Greek’s secret sauce to creating authentic Athenian street food worthy of the best Mediterranean restaurant award. Affordable food done superbly well, pork gyros, mezze platters, and pillowy loukoumades all make feeling naughty oh so good.

 

 

 

Kebabs grilling at Holy Land // Photo via Holy Land's Facebook

Kebabs grilling at Holy Land // Photo via Holy Land’s Facebook

Middle Eastern Restaurant – Holy Land

With two Minneapolis locations, a widely-distributed brand of hummus, food truck, and a booming catering business, Holy Land is succeeding in its vision of spreading the “original flavors of Old World cuisine.” One bite of a chicken kufta kebab has you saying Holy Land is where it’s at.

 

 

 

The exterior of Cossetta Alimentari's at the intersection of Chestnut Street and West 7th Street in St. Paul // Photo via Michael Hicks, Flickr

The exterior of Cossetta Alimentari’s at the intersection of Chestnut Street and West 7th Street in St. Paul // Photo via Michael Hicks, Flickr

Italian Restaurant – Cossetta

With Italian traditions since 1911, Cossetta has expanded into a market, pastry shop, fine-dining restaurant, and cafeteria-style eatery, satisfying your carb-craving delights. And that famous family-recipe sausage? Talk about delizioso.

 

 

 

 

A Hola Arepa nightscene // Photo via Hola Arepa Facebook

A Hola Arepa nightscene // Photo via Hola Arepa Facebook

Latin or South American Restaurant – Hola Arepa

It wasn’t but a few years ago that most people in the Twin Cities had no idea what an arepa was. Now we’re taking our out-of-town visitors straight to Eat Street for yucca, rum drinks, and Latin specialties at Hola Arepa.

 

 

 

 

 

Meritage's outside seating area // Photo via Meritage Facebook

Meritage’s outside seating area // Photo via Meritage Facebook

French Restaurant – Meritage

Duck a la presse, trout meunière, moules frites, cassoulet, escargot, bouillabaisse—all of your French favorites and the wines to match are at Meritage.

 

 

 

 

 

An evening party at The Black Forest Inn // Photo courtesy The Black Forest Inn

An evening party at The Black Forest Inn // Photo courtesy The Black Forest Inn

German Restaurant – Black Forest Inn

Sure, Germany is over 4,000 miles away from Minneapolis, but if you’re craving traditional German tastes, Black Forest Inn is it. Spätzle, Sauerbraten, potato salad, it’s all sehr gut.

 

 

 

 

 

The outside of Kramarczuk's on a snowy day // Photo via Kramarczuk's Facebook

The outside of Kramarczuk’s on a snowy day // Photo via Kramarczuk’s Facebook

Eastern European / Russian Restaurant – Kramarczuk’s

It has a James Beard Award as an “American Classic,” and there aren’t many phrases that describe Kramarczuk’s better. From cabbage rolls to varenyky and goulash, this deli houses the tastes of Eastern Europe.

 

 

 

A dish at Little Szechuan // Photo via Little Szechuan Facebook

A dish at Little Szechuan // Photo via Little Szechuan Facebook

Chinese Restaurant – Little Szechuan

Experience true Szechuan flavors without ever leaving the metro. The St. Paul location just became the first in the Twin Cities to practice the 1,700-year-old Szechuan hot pot tradition, making Little Szechuan an authentic Chinese experience.

 

 

 

Kramarczuk’s Delicatessen // Photo courtesy Kramarczuk’s

Kramarczuk’s Delicatessen // Photo courtesy Kramarczuk’s

Delicatessen – Kramarczuk’s

Kramarczuk’s: where your wildest sandwich dreams come true. Salami, pastrami, turkey, Polish pickles, scratch-made bread—all of it makes your mouth water.

 

 

 

The exterior of Lowry Hill Meats Butcher Shop // A Growler Magazine Photo

The exterior of Lowry Hill Meats Butcher Shop // A Growler Magazine Photo

Butcher Shop – Lowry Hill Meats

Eric Sather is not only curating an all-local selection of top-quality meat, but is turning out some of the tastiest sandwiches in Minneapolis to boot.

 

 

 

 

 

A collection of cheese from Surdyk's Cheese Shop // Photo by Kevin Kramer

A collection of cheese from Surdyk’s Cheese Shop // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Cheese Shop – Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop

With more than 350 varieties of cheese from across the globe, Surdyk’s provides a vast one-stop shop for party planners and cheese lovers.

 

 

 

 

The entrance to Spyhouse Coffee // Photo via Spyhouse Coffee Facebook

The entrance to Spyhouse Coffee // Photo via Spyhouse Coffee Facebook

Coffee Shop – Spyhouse Coffee

If high-quality, freshly brewed drinks and a laid-back atmosphere are what you’re looking for, the cool metro collective known as Spyhouse Coffee is the caffeinated answer.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Aaron Davidson

Local Coffee Roaster – Peace Coffee

Peace Coffee’s mission is to make organic fair-trade coffee that sustains the livelihoods of the people who grow, roast, and sell it, to protect the environment that produces it, and to delight taste buds. For a brew above the rest, it’s Peace Coffee.

 

 

 

A crowd at the St. Paul Farmer's Market // A Growler Magazine Photo

A crowd at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market // A Growler Magazine Photo

Farmers Market – Saint Paul Farmers Market

In the urban terrain of downtown St. Paul, sights and smells transport us to an agricultural bonanza, with rows of rhubarb, fresh flowers, beef, honey, and other local produce, making this farmers market the cream of the crop.

 

 

 

The Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-Op // Photo courtesy the Mississippi Market

The Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-Op // Photo courtesy the Mississippi Market

Grocer / Co-op – Mississippi Market

Since 1979, Mississippi Market has been a St. Paul source for organic produce, sustainable meats, and baked goods. When you need to get your hands on quality food, this is the co-op you trust.

 

 

 

 

 

Cupcakes at Woullet Bakery // Photo via Woullet Bakery Facebook

Cupcakes at Woullet Bakery // Photo via Woullet Bakery Facebook

Bakery – Wuollet Bakery

You rely on Wuollet for custom cakes for weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions. Not only that, but the family-run bakery also tempts you with muffins, croissants, tea breads, and buns worthy of applause.

 

 

 

 

An array of donuts from Glam Doll Donuts // Photo via Glam Doll Donuts' Facebook

An array of donuts from Glam Doll Donuts // Photo via Glam Doll Donuts’ Facebook

Donut Shop – Glam Doll Donuts

“Treat yo’self (glamorously), and life will be sweet.” Don’t mind if we do! Glam Doll’s cake-raised-filled-fritter-tastic goodness treats take home the sweet prize of best donut shop.

 

 

 

 

The Curious Goat Food Truck Logo // A Growler Magazine Photo

The Curious Goat Food Truck Logo // A Growler Magazine Photo

Food Truck / Cart – The Curious Goat

If you’re in search of a food truck, keep your eyes peeled for the orange mobile from Ian Gray. Slinging cheese curds, pork nachos, and goat burgers, these meals on wheels are stellar.

 

 

 

 

 

Sea Salt Eatery // Photo via Sea Salt Eatery Facebook

Sea Salt Eatery // Photo via Sea Salt Eatery Facebook

Seasonal Restaurant – Sea Salt Eatery

Summertime, and the eatin’ is easy at Sea Salt. With Minnehaha Falls rushing in the background, enjoying your catfish po’ boy or basket of oysters makes this restaurant a summery staple.

 

 

 

 

The Butcher and The Boar Exterior // A Growler Magazine Photo

The Butcher and The Boar Exterior // A Growler Magazine Photo

Fine Dining – Butcher & the Boar

Where would you go when someone else is picking up the tab? Why, straight to the sausage platters, mammoth ribs, and extensive bourbon list at the modern chophouse favorite, Butcher & the Boar.

 

 

 

A late night exterior shot of Young Joni's // Photo by Dan Murphy

A late night exterior shot of Young Joni’s // Photo by Dan Murphy

New Restaurant – Young Joni

Perhaps no restaurant has been cited more often in the last year as pointing to the emergence of the Twin Cities dining scene. Ann Kim has people flocking to Northeast for Korean-inspired pizzas and woodfired meats. Adam Gorski’s back bar is the stuff of Minnesota dreams.

 

 

 

Bartender Ian Lowther at work in the Red Cow Restaurant // A Growler Magazine Photo

Bartender Ian Lowther at work in the Red Cow Restaurant // A Growler Magazine Photo

Restaurant – Red Cow

Winner winner, Red Cow dinner. When our readers crave gourmet burgers, piles of poutine, and killer cocktails, they head for Red Cow.

 

 

 

 

More 2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Winners:

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5