2015 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners


Best Burger Joint – Blue Door Pub

Blue Door

A burger from Blue Door Pub // Photo via facebook.com/bluedoorpub

While Blue Door Pub didn’t create the juicy lucy, they can certainly claim responsibility for pushing this Twin Cities staple beyond its humble beginnings. Not satisfied with just meat and cheese, Blue Door has stuffed just about every food imaginable between two patties, including pastrami, pickles and cream cheese, and pickled ginger and coconut-soaked mozzarella.

Best Taquería – Barrio

A carnitas taco at Barrio // Photo via facebook.com/BarrioTequilaBar

A carnitas taco at Barrio // Photo via facebook.com/BarrioTequilaBar

Killer queso, carnitas and chicken tinga, fresh guacamole and house-made chips, and so much tequila they need a ladder to reach it all. Each of Barrio’s locations is a crowd-favorite for ceviche, sopes, and, of course, tacos—the fuel behind oh so many of our happy hours.

Best Pizzeria – Pizza Lucé

pizza luce

Pizza Lucé // Photo via facebook.com/pizzaluce

Athena, Maximus, Ruby Rae—true Minnesotans know Pizza Lucé’s menu by heart. There’s nothing quite as good as the daily veggie slice and a local beer before a Twins game or after a night out in Duluth. Except, maybe, the daily meat slice.

Best Brunch Spot – Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters Brunch

Oatmeal at Muddy Waters // Photo via muddywatersmpls.com

Muddy Waters serves a high-octane brunch. Vinyl spinning, strong coffee, basil vodka in your bloody Mary, Billionaire’s Bacon coated in a thick maple glaze, and a breakfast pizza so satisfying you’ll no longer regret that last round of whiskey at the VFW last night.

Best Bakery – A Baker’s Wife

Baker's WifeLOW

A Baker’s Wife // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Bakeries used to be the glue that held together a community with fresh bread, melt-in-your-mouth pastries, and an array of sugary delights. A Baker’s Wife is just such a place still thriving today. Don’t be fooled by the bakery’s Plain Jane appearance: everything from their donuts to their lemon bars are fit for royalty.

Best Donut Shop – Glam Doll Donuts

Glam Doll

Glam Doll Donuts // Photo via facebook.com/GlamDollDonuts

Of all the fine shops in town to get you raised-glazed fix, Glam Doll serves up the donuts of your dreams. Their shop is bright and bubbly, but their donuts can be downright devilish. Apple-bourbon bacon fritters, spiced Mexican chocolate glaze, and a strong jolt of coffee: there’s no way you’d rather start the weekend.

Best Coffee Shop – Peace Coffee, South Minneapolis

Peace Coffee South Minneapolis // Photo via facebook.com/Peace-Coffee

Peace Coffee South Minneapolis // Photo via facebook.com/Peace-Coffee

Peace Coffee’s flagship shop opened in 2010 and has since become Longfellow neighborhood’s go-to place for cheerful baristas, impeccable lattes, and classes to learn anything and everything about coffee. Named Wonderland Park in honor of the amusement park that once drew visitors to the area, this little shop does the same—only with fresh-roasted coffee beans instead of fast rollercoasters.

Best Cheese Shop – Surdyk’s

Surdyks CheeseLOW

The cheese case at Surdyk’s // Photo by Aaron Davidson

As if one could choose a favorite part of their shop, the cheese case at Surdyk’s is your favorite in town. Whether you’re looking for a local favorite like Alemar, or an obscure French bleu, you can count on the mongers at Surdyk’s to keep you abreast of the finest fromage.

Best Barbecue Joint – Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub


The BBQ Meatball Hoagie at Northbound // Photo via facebook.com/NorthboundBrewpub

Pulled pork sandwiches are great and all, but they don’t hold a flame to the smoked porketta at Northbound. In fact, most meats pale in comparison to those found at this South Minneapolis brewpub. Their in-house smoking technique probably has something to do with it. That, and their homemade chips, house beers, smoked fish and cheeses…you get the point.

Best Butcher Shop – Kramarczuk’s

Daniel Murphy / Growler Magazine

Kramarczuk’s // Photo by Daniel Murphy

Kielbasa, krakowska, andouille to chorizo, Moroccan lamb to French apple—everyone in town knows it: Kramarczuk’s makes the best würst. And sausages only skim the surface of the magnificent array of meats at this Hennepin Avenue institution.

Best Farmers’ Market – St. Paul Farmers’ Market

STP Farm Market

Fresh peppers at the St. Paul Farmers’ Market // Photo via facebook.com/stpaulfarmersmarket

In the shadow of CHS Field, the St. Paul Farmers’ Market is your favorite place for local produce and farm-fresh ingredients. No Saturday or Sunday morning in Lowertown would be complete without perusing the aisles of this St. Paul mainstay. Not even Old Man Winter can hold back this farmers’ market, which continues to operate indoors during the snowy season.

Best Grocer/Co-op – Seward Community Co-op

Seward Coop

The bulk section at the Seward Community Co-op // Photo via facebook.com/Seward.Coop

Shining like a giant all-green Rubik’s cube in Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood, Seward Community Co-op has long been a beacon for healthy eating. Its bulk section contains every grain and legume you’ve never heard of, local produce dominates the aisles, and the hot and cold deli bars are pretty much the best solution to any lunch crisis. A second location just opened in South Minneapolis, which means more goodness for all.

Best Food Truck – Anchor Fish & Chips

Anchor Fish and Chips Food Truck

Fish and chips with curry gravy // Photo via theanchorfishandchips.com

Of all the mobile eateries roaming the streets, you’re most excited to spot the anchor on the black truck. Anchor is serving the finest battered fish this side of London. If there’s anything better than Anchor’s fish, it’s using their chips as an edible utensil for devouring a side of mushy peas.

Best Seasonal Restaurant – Sea Salt Eatery

Sea Salt

Oysters at Sea Salt // Photo via seasalteatery.wordpress.com

It happens every year. You go to Sea Salt around 2pm to avoid the crowd, get a plastic glass full of cold white wine, take a table in the shade, and listen to the rush of Minnehaha Falls. Then you tuck in to some oysters, crawfish etoufee, and a po’boy, and remember why you love summers in the city so much.

Best New Restaurant – Spoon & Stable

Spoon and Stable

The crew at Spoon and Stable // Photo by Eliesa Johnson via facebook.com/spoonandstable

It’s hard to imagine a restaurant opening to more fanfare than Spoon & Stable. But the plaudits for chef Gavin Kaysen’s homecoming are well justified. Precise, elegant flavors, late night ramen at the bar, Robb Jones cocktails, and Diane Yang pastries. With the closing of La Belle Vie, Spoon & Stable may be the new torch-bearer of Minneapolis fine dining.

Best Restaurant – Butcher & The Boar

Butcher & the Boar // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Butcher & the Boar // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Smoke, spice, salt, meat, bourbon, and more bourbon—Butcher & The Boar is your favorite restaurant in town. From the incredible sausages and sandwiches in the beer garden, to the gigantic chops and ribs in the dining room, the downtown Minneapolis eatery is a carnivorous fantasy land, with an impressive beer list to boot.

2015 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Award Winners: Beer, Spirits, Food, Culture

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