Ngon Bistro (Vietnam)
799 University Ave W, St Paul • 651-222-3301
This upscale Vietnamese restaurant regularly hosts beer-tasting dinners that bring together local breweries, local purveyors, and most importantly, local eaters. Ngon’s owner spent time working at Great Waters Brewpub in downtown St. Paul and his restaurant’s thoughtful beer selection reflects that. If Lift Bridge Farm Girl Saison paired with pho-spiced organic beef short ribs sounds up your alley, plan a trip to St. Paul.
Sen Yai Sen Lek (Thailand)
2422 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis • 612-781-3046
Thai street food including dumpling soups, satays, kale wraps with dried shrimp, and sticky rice dishes are the stars of this sustainability-driven, cute-as-a-button, family-friendly Northeast Minneapolis spot. Asian beers like Lion Stout from Sri Lanka and Chang Lager from Thailand are always available in bottles, and local taps rotate with craft brews from NorthGate, Indeed, Flat Earth, and Boom Island.
Nomad World Pub
501 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis • 612-338-6424
This popular West Bank bar claims you can “travel the world and never leave your barstool,” and we can attest to accuracy of that statement. There’s not much in the way of nibbles (unless their food truck, Mr. Mustachio’s, happens to descend upon Nomad’s busy bocce ball courts), but is there a lot in the way of beer. Go to England with Well’s Banana Bread Beer, on to Thailand with Singha Lager, then wind up in Belgium with a Kwak.
111 Kellogg Blvd, St Paul • 651-224-2019
As the name suggests, this Downtown St. Paul bar and restaurant features Latin-Asian fusion food. When it comes to beer, however, their focus is decidedly local. A perfect spot to hit before Wild games in the winter and take advantage of the free shuttle to the Xcel Energy Center. Prefer to head there this summer? Make sure to arrive early for happy hour beer and barbacoa tacos on the patio.
World Street Kitchen
2743 5th Ave S, Minneapolis • 612-424-8855
How many restaurants in Minneapolis serve sparkling sake cocktails AND 40 ounces of High Life? Just one. That would be World Street Kitchen, the popular food-truck-turned-even-more-popular-brick-and-mortar restaurant in Uptown. Pair a beer from Laos with a burrito from Thailand, or wash down a southern-fried, Moroccan-spiced sandwich with a German dunkel—just remember to save room for WSK’s awesome homemade soft serve.
201 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis • 612-746-0304
Sure, Ginger Hop’s sunny, tropical cocktails have their charms, but after a few bites from a bowl of spicy and fragrant Penang curry or a sloppy-good kimchi Reuben, you’ll realize beer is the only answer. (Or maybe you knew that all along.) Choose from a dozen taps featuring beers from Stone, Summit, and Lagunitas. Ginger Hop also offers bottled organic porter and a decent gluten-free option.
Sapor Café and Bar
428 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis • 612-375-1971
One of the more established restaurants in the hot-to-trot North Loop neighborhood, Sapor doesn’t always get the love it deserves. But if you want a less rowdy and more refined hangout where you can get some nosh and a craft beer before a Twins game, this place is a gem. You’ll find brews from Furthermore, Rush River, and close-neighbor Fulton on tap.
123 Third Street N, Minneapolis • 612-746-5533
It may be one of downtown’s swankiest and most-celebrated spots, but there is a casual element to Saffron, too. Instead of doing the tagine-and-bottle-of-red routine, sit at the bar, order up a lamb bacon BLT, and try beers from Greece, Ireland, or the Great Lakes. Cap off your night with an expertly-mixed Old Fashioned made with blackstrap bitters.
791 Raymond Avenue, St Paul • 651-888-2255
This small, vintage-decorated storefront on Raymond in St. Paul is teeming with DIY spirit—and the satisfying scent of fried food. Vegetarians will rejoice over all their tasty options including beet-and-curry-tinged falafels. Craft beer enthusiasts will be happy to find Lake Superior Oatmeal Stout on the short, but well-chosen drink list.