Enjoy a Meal and Boat Tour on the St. Croix River with your Dad! – Stillwater, MN

Enjoy a Meal and Boat Tour on the St. Croix River with your Dad! – Stillwater, MN

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10 Twin Cities Restaurants That Solve the Pre-Theater Dinner Dilemma

10 Twin Cities Restaurants That Solve the Pre-Theater Dinner Dilemma

Wrestaurant is a collaboration between Wrecktangle and First Avenue. | Darin Kamnetz

 

Where to grab a bite before the show!

Twin Cities Eater: The Twin Cities have no shortage of performing arts venues. From the historic halls of American Public Media’s Fitzgerald Theater to the soaring river views from the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie, there’s something playing somewhere every night of the week. Whether a pre-theater dinner or a quick bite after a matinee, these restaurants offer convenient eats for theatergoers of every palate, in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Wrestaurant at the Palace

Wrestaurant, a collaboration between Detroit-style pizza phenom and First Avenue, offers chef Jeff Rogers’ popular cheesy-edged pizzas (expect funky combinations like garlic butter and Oaxacan cheese; pastor bacon and pineapple relish; or broken spaghetti with black pepper and mascarpone) plus an expanded menu of sandwiches (pork belly Ruebens, artichoke parms, etc.), pastas, and salads. It’s a great option for a not-too-fancy meal that still feels like a special occasion.

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A photo of a restaurant dining room with long wooden booths, a row of small tables, a long bar, and slate blue walls.
Wrestaurant’s sunny dining room. 
Darin Kamnetz

Meritage

Meritage is a shining star of St. Paul dining, no matter the occasion. The bar is just a short jaunt to the Fitzgerald, offering impeccable service that’s mindful of curtain times. Order an array of snacks like escargot, French onion soup, and those famous fries served with Bernaise sauce in Meritage’s classy brasserie setting — if you haven’t made a reservation for the dining room, grab a seat at the crescent bar for oysters and cocktails.

 

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FOURSQUARE

A selection of oysters and crab legs on ice at a seafood counter in a restaurant.
Fruits de mer at Meritage.
 Meritage

Afro Deli

Abdirahman Kahin’s St. Paul staple, Afro Deli, is a great option for a pre-theater meal in a pinch — but fast service times don’t compromise quality on this menu of yassa chicken, flavor-packed beef sambusas, and bursting-at-the-seams Somali steak sandwiches. If you’re making frenzied dinner plans an hour before curtain time, head here, and save room for a slice of baklava or tres leches cake.

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FOURSQUARE

Sambusas on a wooden cutting board.
Sambusas at Afro deli
 Afro Deli

Zen Box Izakaya

Nestled in the corner of an old warehouse in the North Loop, the ambiance at Zen Box Izakaya still manages to be bright, warm, and friendly — it’s the perfect place to grab a drink and a meal before a show at the Guthrie Theater just across the street. Don’t miss the kimchi ramen, which boasts chewy, tender noodles and kimchi simmered in bone broth and draped in rich slices of pork chashu.

BOOK WITH OPENTABLE

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FOURSQUARE

Hands holding a bowl of ramen on a black background.
Fill up with ramen before a show. 
Zen Box Izakaya

Giulia

Giulia, the quieter relative of chef Steven Brown’s restaurants Tilia and St. Genevieve, offers Italian deliciousness pound for pound. Slip into a bar seat for a Caesar and a cocktail, a plate of silky sunchoke gnocchi, or a crackly pizza topped with chili and delicate shaved fennel. This menu is understated and skillful, and there’s enough seating that walk-ins are fair game (though no promises; call ahead).

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FOURSQUARE

The glossy bar at Giulia is framed with thick white columns, alcohol, and plants.
Grab a seat at Giulia’s bar. 

Giulia

Fhima’s

Fhima’s curved bar at the front of the restaurant makes for a lovely vantage point of the art-deco, French Moroccan-influenced restaurant. Pair a cocktail (or a glass of wine; the Fhimas are excellent curators) with paella or lamb shank confit.

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FOURSQUARE

A black and white photo of an art deco bar.
Fhima’s historic bar. 
Fhima’s.

Zelo

For exquisitely al dente fresh pastas, look no further than this Orpheum-adjacent Italian haunt. Order a few sides and a couple of half-portion pastas to share, or try one of the ever-changing dishes available from the specials menu.

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FOURSQUARE

A hand taking bread out of a wood-fired oven with a paddle tray.
Fresh out of the oven. 
Zelo

Manny’s Steakhouse

Manny’s Steakhouse offers a classic and classy steakhouse experience, if you’re in the market for a $84 bone-in ribeye. But you can grab a seat at the bar for a more casual dinner, too, like a New York-style steak sandwich or a towering wedge salad. Save room for an order of fresh strawberries and cream.

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FOURSQUARE

A plate of ribeye steak and a plate of french fries on a table covered with a white table cloth.
Ribeye and fries at Manny’s/ 

Sushi Train

Despite the gimmick, conveyer belt chain Sushi Train is a great spot to spot to grab dinner before a Minnesota Orchestra concert. With the usual maki and nigiri options as well as a few creative hits like the “Green Haven,” with serrano peppers and avocado, the food alone is worth a stop.

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Small plates of sushi on a white background.
Grab a plate off the belt. 

Sushi Train

The Butcher’s Tale

The Butcher’s Tale, which specializes in house-smoked meats and handmade sausages, offers a laidback steakhouse experience. Slip into the beer garden for an snacky pre-show meal of fresh oysters, smoked cheddarwurst, and fried chicken sandwiches — the restaurant offers one of the most extensive whiskey lists in the Cities.

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FOURSQUARE

A white plate of sausage and sauces on a wooden table.
Sneak into the Butcher’s Tale’s beer garden before a show. 

The Butcher’s Tale

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The Hook and Ladder 6th Annual Morel Feast – Minneapolis, MN

The Hook and Ladder 6th Annual Morel Feast – Minneapolis, MN

A feast of fresh foraged Morel Mushrooms and way more!

The Hook & Ladder Theater is proud to announce a sure sign of spring with the return of it’s Annual Morel Feast Fundraiser on Friday, May 31st, featuring another outstanding mix of local chef-talent with the focus on eclectic preparations of Minnesota’s state fungus, the mighty Morel!

As in past years, The Hook & Ladder Theater will be transformed for one-night only into a pop-up culinary exploration of this coveted rite-of-spring with live entertainment with Debbie Center and complimentary craft beers by Summit Brewing and a wide variety of complimentary wines & cocktails.

The 2024 Morel Feast will be safely held as an indoor/outdoor event and tickets will be limited with our friends at The Gentleman Forager providing us with fresh mushrooms!

Guests will receive a punch card upon arrival, each punch is good for (1) sample plate at every chef station, in addition to the apps, the salads, a variety of fried fresh Morel preparations and beverages!

Menu

6:00pm Cocktails & Snacks

Fresh Fried Morels, both Amish roll-butter and Maytag Blue-cheese

Fresh Sliced Rustica French Bread

Délice de Bourgogne Cheese

Complimentary Beverages

7:00pm Dinner Service

Fresh Micro-Greens with Firehouse Vinaigrette

Grilled Ukrainian (Kramarczuk’s) Prosciutto-wrapped Fresh-picked Asparagus Spears, Drizzled in a Lemon-morel Butter

Senterz’s home-smoked Morel & Swiss Sausage

6 Chef Preparations

Chef Sandra Sherva – Savory Bake House – Garlic goat cheese and morel mushroom ricotta tart in their signature cracked pepper shortbread crust

Chef Steven Brown -Tilia / St. Genevieve – Morel Congee, ramp kimchi, sweet chili crisp, egg

Chef Josh Brown – Bacio – Foie gras stuffed morels with Halibut, fava beans and truffled miso sauce

Chefs Parella, Cullen and Teiken – Canterbury Park – Morel paella

Chef Bob Samuelson – Palmer’s Bar & Grill – Roasted morels with compound butter/white wine sauce, over egg noodle

Chef Sean Sherman – Owamni by The Sioux Chef – Morel and toasted Cricket blue corn mini tacos, with maple guajillo salsa

PLUS… Chef Lutunji – Lutunji’s Palate – World-famous peach-cobbler!

Note: Some people are allergic to even the safest mushrooms. The first time you try a new wild mushroom, it is important that you eat only a small amount. Most wild mushrooms should not be eaten in large quantities since they are difficult to digest. Please consume responsibly. The Hook and it’s partners are not responsible for any adverse reactions brought upon by unknown allergies and/or over consumption.

Event

Morel Feast – 6th Annual Spring Fundraiser

Friday, May 31st, 6:00pm

Tickets

3010 Minnehaha Avenue

Minneapolis, MN

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ICYMI: The Convention Grill re-opens…finally! – Edina, MN

ICYMI: The Convention Grill re-opens…finally! – Edina, MN

After years of sporadic updates, the restaurant is making its much-anticipated comeback.

Convention Grill, closed during the pandemic, gets official reopening date. The Edina institution started serving burgers in 1934.
“Thanks to everyone who came out to welcome us back, and waited so patiently for a spot to enjoy your shakes, burgers and fries!
Loved seeing so many familiar faces — and so many new ones.”

What an incredible first day. Thank you!!!

Location

Perfect Patios for Fun Outdoor Options – Twin Cities, MN

Perfect Patios for Fun Outdoor Options – Twin Cities, MN

Saint Paul Brewing

Photo by Uche Iroegbu

If alfresco dining and drinking are on the agenda this summer, here are more than 50 Minnesota patios to consider…

Jason DeRusha’s Top Dozen

Saint Paul Brewing

St. Paul

Maybe the most unique patio in the Twin Cities, it’s more like a sculpture park nestled between 100-year-old brick buildings. It’s huge, it’s dog-friendly, and there’s a pizza oven in the bed of a 1976 Ford F250 with quality ’za, as well as great smoked-then-fried wings. A magical space with downtown views along the bike trail in Swede Hollow Park. 688 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul

All Saints

Minneapolis

If snacking on salt-and-pepper mushrooms with the best gimlet in town while sitting in a lounge chair around a fire pit is your idea of a good time, All Saints is the place for you. Lights twinkle through the trees, which provide enough buffer from the bustle of Hennepin Avenue in northeast Minneapolis to make you feel like you’re somehow home, yet far from it. 222 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

Boat Club Restaurant

Duluth

Most of Minnesota has lakes. Duluth has the lake. The Boat Club, in the lower level of the Fitger’s Brewery Complex, looks toward downtown and the lift bridge. What a spot to watch the sunset while eating the best seafood Duluth has to offer. It’s open for lunch and dinner with the full menu and often has live music on weekends. 600 E. Superior St., Duluth

Brunson’s Pub

St. Paul

A hidden gem on Payne Avenue, eastsiders know that Brunson’s Pub is the ideal hang. It’s a surprisingly large patio framed by tall ivy-colored walls, with some of the best sandwiches in St. Paul. A perfect burger and a pulled-bacon BLT, with a fried egg and avocado, are my favorites. You won’t leave thirsty: Brunson’s has 20 craft beer taps along with cocktails from its longtime bartender-slash-owner. 956 Payne Ave., St. Paul

Buddy Boy Fine Barbeque

Minnetrista

Whenever anyone asks me for my favorite barbecue, Buddy Boy is always among my top choices. Now, with a freshly constructed palace befitting the awesome smoked ribs at Buddy Boy, the new patio features live music every Saturday. It’s between Minnetrista and St. Boni, and trust me, the drive is worth it to sit under the summer sun enjoying the perfect balance of smoke and tenderness from executive chef Joe Cox. 8175 MN-7, Minnetrista

Due Focacceria

St. Paul

There’s something about the casualness of Due Focacceria that feels right. It’s a Mac-Groveland neighborhood restaurant where you can sit with your friends at a picnic table under the canopy overlooking Randolph Avenue. Get one of the sharing boards of ricotta cheese or Italian carne, or the octopus salad with fried pepperoni, pair it with an Aperol spritz, and then rub it in that your neighborhood is the best. 475 Fairview Ave. S., St. Paul

Gai Noi
Gai Noi

Gai Noi

Minneapolis

Ann Ahmed knows how to create an outdoor respite. Her patio at Khâluna makes you forget you’re across the street from a south Minneapolis gas station. Her rooftop patio at Gai Noi takes advantage of one of the coolest spots in the city: at the front door of Loring Park, with a glorious skyline view. Plus, it has excellent cocktails, all on tap for fast service. Dip your sticky rice in the tomato jeow and celebrate. 1610 Harmon Place, Minneapolis

Jax Cafe

Minneapolis

You’d never know you were in northeast Minneapolis, sitting alongside the stream of rainbow trout behind the iconic Jax Cafe. Trees and an awning provide shade, flowers bring the color. There’s even a fireplace out there. Net your own fish and have the kitchen prepare it, or order the legendary prime rib. 1928 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis

Lolito and LoLo American Kitchen

Stillwater

I love biking to Stillwater (I cheat by hopping on the trail in North St. Paul), and my final destination off the Gateway Trail is almost always the little back patio at LoLo. You can see the lift bridge on the St. Croix, and you can have a terrific cocktail with some fried Brussels sprouts and duck tacos. Then, get ready for the uphill ride back home. 233 Main St. S., Stillwater

Meritage
Meritage

PHOTO BY TONYA SUTFIN

Meritage

St. Paul

A trip to Paris on the streets of St. Paul: Meritage’s sidewalk patio is the most urbane spot in our capital city. You can gaze at the ornate brickwork of the Landmark Center, and you’re also right by Rice Park and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Choose from the best French wine list in the state, enjoy the most interesting oysters with perfectly crisp pommes frites and bearnaise sauce—it doesn’t get better. 410 St. Peter St., St. Paul

Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

Minneapolis

Lush landscape and terrific beer complement a menu of smoked meat sandwiches and brewpub favorites. It way overperforms what you’d expect. Easy to bike to in southeast Minneapolis, Northbound has a solar-powered installation on the pergola above the patio. Don’t miss the 18-hour porchetta sandwich with smoked Swiss, or one of the best fried chicken sandwiches in town. 2716 E. 38th St., Minneapolis

Pedro's Del Este
Pedro’s Del Este

PROVIDED

San Pedro Cafe and Pedro’s Pizza Lounge

Hudson, Wisconsin

Hudson, Wisconsin, has some terrific outdoor dining, but when I want to be transported to a warm-weather vacation, it has to be the patios at side-by-side restaurants San Pedro Cafe and Pedro’s Pizza Lounge (previously called Pedro’s del Este). Bold Caribbean flavors and bold flowers match at San Pedro. Next door, enjoy craft cocktails and lovely Spanish tapas as the sun sets on the patio. 426 Second St., Hudson, Wisconsin (San Pedro Cafe); 212 Walnut St., Hudson, Wisconsin (Pedro’s Pizza Lounge)

Eat Street Crossing
Eat Street Crossing

PHOTO BY KEVIN KRAMER

Minneapolis Restaurants

Butcher’s Tale

1121 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, butcherstale.com

FRGMNT Coffee

729 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, frgmntcoffee.com

Hai Hai

2121 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis, haihaimpls.com

Jax Cafe

1928 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis, jaxcafe.com

Eat Street Crossing

2819 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, eatstreetcrossing.com

Mara

245 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, fourseasons.com/minneapolis

The Market at Malcolm Yards

501 30th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, malcolmyards.market

Martina

4312 Upton Ave. S., Minneapolis, martinarestaurant.com

Sea Salt

4801 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis, seasaltmpls.com

Hewing Hotel
Hewing Hotel

PROVIDED

Rooftop Restaurants

B-52 Burgers & Brew

5639 Bishop Ave., Inver Grove Heights, b52burgersandbrew.com

Brit’s Pub

1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, britspub.com

Louis Ristorante & Bar

211 Seventh St. W., St. Paul, cossettas.com

Union Rooftop

731 Hennepin Ave., No. 1, Minneapolis, unionmpls.com

Hewing Hotel

300 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, hewinghotel.com

W.A. Frost and Co.
W.A. Frost and Co.

DARIN KAMNETZ

St. Paul Restaurants

Boca Chica Restaurant

11 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul, bocachicarestaurant.com

Brunson’s Pub

956 Payne Ave., St. Paul, brunsonspub.com

El Burrito Mercado

175 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul, elburritomercado.com

The Gnome Craft Pub

498 Selby Ave., St. Paul, thegnomepub.com

Groveland Tap

1834 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul, grovelandtap.com

Handsome Hog

173 Western Ave. N., St. Paul, handsomehog.com

Iron Ranger

1085 Grand Ave., St. Paul, ironrangermn.com

W.A. Frost and Co.

374 Selby Ave., No. 1825, St. Paul, wafrost.com

Joan’s in the Park

631 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul, joansinthepark.com

Moscow on the Hill

371 Selby Ave., St. Paul, moscowonthehill.com

Mucci’s

786 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, muccisitalian.com

Nico’s Taco and Tequila Bar

2260 Como Ave., St. Paul, nicostacobar.com

Osteria I Nonni

981 Sibley Memorial Highway, St. Paul, osteriainonni.com

O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co.
O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co.

PROVIDED

Breweries & Distilleries

Bad Weather Brewing Co.

414 Seventh St. W., St. Paul, badweatherbrewery.com

Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

1832 W. Michigan St., Duluth, bentpaddlebrewing.com

Bricksworth Beer Co.

12257B Nicollet Ave., Burnsville, and 305 N 5th Ave Suite 105, Minneapolis, bricksworthbeer.co

Forager Brewery and Cafe

1005 Sixth St. NW, Rochester, foragerbrewery.com

Fulton Taproom

414 N. Sixth Ave., Minneapolis, fultonbeer.com

Indeed Brewing Co.

711 NE 15th Ave., Minneapolis, indeedbrewing.com

La Doña Cervecería

241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis, dameladona.com

Saint Paul Brewing

688 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul, stpaulbrewing.com

Sociable Cider Werks

1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis, sociablecider.com

Surly Brewing Co.

520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis, surlybrewing.com

Utepils Brewing

225 Thomas Ave. N., No. 700, Minneapolis, utepilsbrewing.com

Waldmann Brewery

445 Smith Ave. N., St. Paul, waldmannbrewery.com

O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co.

600 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis, osdistilling.com

Macanda
Macanda

PROVIDED

Suburban Restaurants

Macanda

294 Grove Lane E., Wayzata, macandawayzata.com

Lucky’s 13 Pub (Mendota)

1352 Sibley Memorial Highway, Mendota, luckys13pub.com

Pittsburgh Blue Steakhouse

3220 W. 70th St., Edina, pittsburghbluesteak.com/edina

Stockyards Tavern & Chophouse

456 Concord Exchange S., South St. Paul, stockyardstc.com

Linden Hill Historic Estate Garden Party Tea – Little Falls, MN

Linden Hill Historic Estate Garden Party Tea – Little Falls, MN

Linden Hill Historic Estate Garden Party Tea

Saturday, May 11th, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

All tickets must be purchased in advance.

Seating is available for groups of up to 6 people

 The grounds will be open for self-guided tours before and after the tea service.

$40/Adults $30/Youth (12 & under)

Location

Linden Hill Historic Estate

608 Highland Avenue

Little Falls, MN

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