Where to Eat at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP)

A person holding a burger with a bite out of it, cheese is oozing out of the center
Grab a cheese-stuffed burger famous around the Twin Cities
 Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

Nobody wants to hang out at the airport, but long lines, crowded flights, and the possibility of weather delays are always made better with a cocktail and a snack. In addition to some well-loved chains, there are a plenty of restaurants that local chefs have added some Twin Cities flavor to give travelers a taste of Minneapolis and St. Paul. We’ve got everything from bowls of fresh ramen, lobster rolls, coal-fired pizza, cheese-stuffed burgers, buckets of local beer and more.


Terminal 1, Lindbergh Terminal

Best Bets

It’s also the prettiest stop inside the airport
 Joy Summers/Eater Twin Cities

Angel Food Bakery

A breakfast savior at the airport, opening at 4 a.m. daily and serving grab and go sweets and breakfast treats. You know what makes every flight better? Doughnuts. Plan accordingly. [Terminal 1, Concourse E]

Meatball and ricotta straight from the coal-fired oven
 Black Sheep/Facebook

Black Sheep

It wasn’t easy to get a coal-fired pizza oven put into a massive airport, but Black Sheep Pizza managed to make it happen. The charred, crispy crust is topped with bright tomato sauce and other classic flavor combinations that made this Twin Cities mini-chain a hit. Try the meatball and ricotta pizza. [Terminal 1, MSP Mall]

Hi-Lo Diner

An airport outpost built to mirror the classic diner car in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood. An excellent stop for decadent breakfast classics or a good ol’ burger. Even if the seats are all taken, there are a few places available to lean and order a pre-flight drink. [Terminal 1, Concourse F]

Great burgers and killer cocktails
 Lolo’s American Kitchen/Facebook

LoLo American Kitchen

Tacos, Korean fried chicken wings, and bacon wrapped hot dogs are just a few of the dishes that you can find – along with a full bar featuring plenty of fine brown booze and stellar cocktails. [Terminal 1, Concourse E]

A brightly colored stand with a pink cover of PinkU inside the airport
A brand new sushi and dumpling stop at the airport
 HMSHost [Official]


A popular Minneapolis spot for crispy dumplings and Japanese street food just opened at the airport. [Terminal 1, Mall Food Court]

The Cook & The Ox

A new full-service restaurant put together by Jack Riebel, a locally loved chef who knows how to put together a great piece of charred meat. Grab some walleye cake supported eggs benedict for a taste of Minnesota. [Terminal 1, MSP Mall]


Decent ramen, quick service, and streamlined ordering via tablets. Always popular and not always easy to grab a seat. Look for a spot and plug in quickly. [Concourse G]

A white fast food stand with the green lit burger logo of Shake Shack
Started by people known for fine dining, this burger chain has landed a new Minneapolis outpost
 HMSHost [Official]

Shake Shack

Likely the best fast food burger at the airport. The chain was started in New York City, but is quickly expanding across the country. [Terminal 1, Mall Food Court]

By Location:

*Indicates Eater recommendation

Airport Mall

Caribou Coffee – Coffee, pre-security check

Stone Arch, MSP Mall – Local beer, bar food

*Black Sheep, MSP Mall – Coal fire pizza, full service, bar

Farmers Market, Baggage Claim, grab and go

*Smack Shack, MSP Mall – Lobster rolls and other dishes made all the better by lobster, full-service, bar

Starbucks, MSP Mall

Dunkin’ Donuts, MSP Mall

Auntie Anne’s, MSP Mall – pretzels known by mall goers everywhere

Moe’s Southwest Grill, MSP Mall – Mexican chain

Firehouse Subs, MSP Mall – Sub sandwiches

Chili’s, MSP Mall

*PinKU, MSP Mall – Based on a popular Minneapolis restaurant with crispy dumplings and Japanese street food.

*Shake Shack, MSP Mall – Beloved national burger chain

Lake Wine Kitchen + Bar, MSP Mall, Level 2 – Bruschetta and the like, wine

*Shoyu MSP Mall, Level 2 – Ramen, sushi, dumplings, full service and full bar

Leeann Chin MSP Mall, Fast food, Chinese

The Cook & the Ox, MSP Mall – Full service. A new full-service restaurant from a notable Minneapolis chef. [Terminal 1, MSP Mall]

Concourse A

*Blue Door Pub, Gate A1 – Local burger chain specializing in cheese-stuffed burgers

Concourse B

City Point Bar – A slim bar stand at the end of the concourse.

Concourse C

Chick-fil-A, Gate C13 – fast food, chicken in a biscuit from a controversial company

Smashburger, Gate C12 – Fast food burgers

Starbucks, Gate C12 – coffee

Twins Grill, Gate C11 – full service, sports bar

Vino Volo, Gate C6 – full service, wine bar

Concourse D

McDonald’s, Gate D1 – Fast food

*Republic, Gate D6 – full service, beer-centric, bar food with live music. There’s a small grab and go section, too.

Concourse E

Holy Land Deli, Gate E5 – Stand serving local Middle Eastern snacks, known for tasty hummus

*Angel Food Bakery, Gate E5 – Grab and go sweet treats, known for great doughnuts

Qdoba, Gate E7 – Fast food, Mexican

*LoLo American Kitchen, Gate E11 – Full service, American fare, craft cocktails

Concourse F

Panda Express, Gate F5 – Fast food, Chinese

Wendy’s, Gate F5 – Fast food, square burgers, frosties

People’s Organic, Gate F7 – Grab and go

Chick-fil-A, Gate F7 – Fast food, fried chicken

*Hi-Lo Diner, Gate F11 – Locally based diner with decadent breakfast options. Even when crowded, there are a few spots for leaning and sipping cocktails.

Concorse G

*Vero, Gate G15 – Pizza from James Beard Award winning chef Ann Kim.

Mimosa, Gate G3, Level 2 – French brasserie-styled full service restaurant and bar

Volante, Gate G12 – Full service Italian restaurant with pasta and paninis

Mill City Tavern, Gate G21 – Supposedly Minnesota fare, Swedish pancakes inexplicably have pumpkin seeds on them, but there’s a full bar and $27 meatloaf.

Cibo Express, Gate G12, Gate G18, Gate G9, Gate G22

FlyBar, Gate G9, Level 2 – Bar for drinking before flying

Twinburger, Gate G18 – Full service, Get a Minnesota-invented juicy lucy burger with the cheese stuffed on the inside.

Tagliare, Gate G18 – Quick service, pizza slices

World Bean, Gate G18 – Coffee

Minnibar, Gate G22 – Global sandwiches and a full bar

Terminal 2

Where to eat when flying out of the smaller, Humphrey terminal

Caribou – coffee

Cocina Del Barrio – full service, upscale Mexican, tequila

Minnesota Wild Bar and Restaurant – full service, sports bar

MSP MKT – grab and go sandwiches

Subway – fast food, sandwiches

Starbucks – Coffee

Surdyk’s Flights – grab and go and full service, quality sandwiches, cheese selection, wine



Minnesota: A Bite of History of the Green Bean Casserole…a Classic!

Minnesota: A Bite of History of the Green Bean Casserole…a Classic!

Green bean casserole may be a staple, made uniquely to each family and on many Thanksgiving plates, but you’ll mostly find it in the middle of the country.

Midwesterners consider the canned cream of mushroom soup, fried onions, and green bean dish to be an important part of the November/December holiday’s. Canned cream of mushroom soup, green beans, and crunchy onions: a classic!

Here, a historical article about the recipe and one creator:

Inventor of the green bean casserole, a Thanksgiving favorite, has died at 92.

Associated Press


SPAM Alert: Minneapolis, MN

SPAM Alert: Minneapolis, MN

Trendy chefs are celebrating SPAM coast-to-coast, and they’re leaving us in the dust.

Is there anything more Minnesotan than not appreciating how awesome we are? From F. Scott Fitzgerald to the Lakers to Lizzo, we have a weird habit around here of only recognizing how amazing our home-grown heroes are after the coasts bestow their seal of approval.

Well, something similar is afoot in the culinary world right now in regards to SPAM. Our local chefs need to get on it, so that all these coastal chefs aren’t bogarting all the SPAM future culinary relevance. My evidence:

Fancy Brooklyn Loves SPAM

Are you aware that the ultra-trendy Brooklyn, NYC restaurant Swell Dive has been making big news with their chicken-fried SPAM tacos? It’s true! Eater New York critic Ryan Sutton recently called them “fantastic”; “The fried shell packed a gentle crunch, while the industrial luncheon meat, cut as thickly as a Snickers Bar, exhibited the airy snap of an artisanal sausage. A shower of crispy onions imparted aroma and complexity.” That sounds like good SPAM that the Twin Cities would enjoy! But it’s not here.

Fancy Miami Loves SPAM

Meanwhile, Miami star chef Timon Balloo, of the wildly successful Sugarcane Raw Bar restaurants, is all about SPAM at his new restaurant Balloo. He’s even talking about making it himself from scratch. I mean, God bless him and all of his endeavors, but what are people in Miami doing making SPAM, when we make the actual hogs SPAM is made from? If anyone is making artisanal SPAM, I think it should be someone with a lot of Minnesota hogs at hand—you know who you are!

Fancy Los Angeles Loves Spam

Finally, have you asked yourself what fancy movie-star-wanna-be’s were doing all September? Eating SPAM of course, at the three-successive weekend SPAM pop-ups called MUSUBI MADNESS from the Hollywood tiki bar LONO. What was served at such a series of events? Via Delish (although they spelled it incorrectly as musabi throughout the entire piece, we corrected it for them): “A build-your-own musubi bar featuring global variations like Chili Verde Musubi, Filipino Lumpia Musubi, and American Burger Musubi, Korean Fried Rice Musubi, and Spring Roll Musubi” as well as, “a SPAM and shrimp corn dog served with banana ketchup; a SPAM-Infused Soft Serve Sundae that comes with topping options like furikake, teriyaki caramel, and vanilla-braised pineapples; SPAM-themed Tiki Cocktail made with rum, pineapple, Cara Cara oranges, and coconut creme and served over crushed ice.”

Yet, Fancy Minneapolis Loves Not

St. Paul’s Newest Cocktail Bar Focuses on Women-Run Distilleries

St. Paul’s Newest Cocktail Bar Focuses on Women-Run Distilleries

Just down the street from the Fitzgerald Theater and in the shadow of the State Capitol, the Celeste St. Paul Parlour Bar officially opened its doors on November 1.

Nestled on the first floor of the boutique Celeste St. Paul Hotel, the bespoke cocktail program places an emphasis on spirits from women-owned and operated distilleries. General manager Laura Needham, who has had culinary roles at The Bachelor Farmer and downtown Minneapolis’ Cosmos, has curated a lineup of unusual wines, as well as a menu of bar fare and light snacks.

The hotel and bar’s name pays tribute to the historic Beaux-Arts building in which they’re housed, formerly home to St. Agatha’s Conservatory of Music & Arts and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet who lived and worked on the grounds.

Built in one of the former parlors of the conservatory, the bar includes a small annex that can be sectioned off for special events and private gatherings: on the roster are partnerships with local caterers, wine and liquor tastings, chef pop-ups, and more.

Visit the Celeste St. Paul Parlour Bar on Exchange Street in St. Paul during afternoons and evenings, Monday-Sunday.


11 Icons of Twin Cities Dining – Minneapolis/St. Paul MN

11 Icons of Twin Cities Dining – Minneapolis/St. Paul MN

Murray’s Steakhouse

It’s no coincidence that the best eateries that stand the test of time are family owned. No one cares for the customer like those who have been raised in the hot kitchens and helping stock these perfectly worn bars. Murray’s treats everyone like a VIP. The boast that the steaks are so tender they yield to a butter knife are no joke. The dining room maintains the 1946 charm, but brings this beauty into the modern age.

The famous butter knife steak – Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities


Monte Carlo Restaurant

The hum of the Monte Carlo’s neon sign has remained a constant inside the fast-changing North Loop neighborhood. While this part of town now plays host to the hottest new eateries in Minneapolis, this steadfast crew continues to pour classic martinis and serve Cobb salads. The exquisite dining room and mirrored wall behind the bar lends elegance to every evening, while the side patio remains one of the best places to enjoy our briefest season.


Jax Cafe

There is a babbling brook where guests can fish for their own dinner, an historic bar with stained glass; a classic service style and enormous cuts of prime rib inside the dining room. Jax Cafe is classic Minneapolis dining. Whether celebrating a special occasion or just toasting a Tuesday night with a properly mixed Manhattan, Jax has been serving Minneapolis fine dining since the 1940’s.


Kramarczuk’s East European Deli

If only they sold that glorious perfume of the Kramarczuk’s in a bottle. Rye bread, garlic-potent Polish sausage, cabbage and all manner of pungent spices emanate from this historic deli and restaurant on Hennepin in Minneapolis’ Northeast neighborhood. When it opened in 1954, Kramarczuk’s mainly served the Eastern European immigrants of the neighborhood, but this institution pulls in fans from all over the Twin Cities, and the world.


5-8 Club

Another other iconic eatery that serves the Juicy Lucy. Note the spelling difference. They’ve brought “i” into the mix, as it, “I need to get down there now that this burger craving has been activated.” Both restaurants lay claim to the original cheese stuffed burger, but the main difference here is size. No one is leaving without big-time burger action at the 5-8, plus variety is king on this menu. . Opened at the peak of Prohibition, the 5-8 Club was a speak-easy. In the 50’s the burger of note was introduced.


Matt’s Bar

A cheeseburger by any other name is an inferior animal. Inside this working class bar, first opened in 1954, the menu is limited. Get the Jucy Lucy, maybe add onions, consider a side of fries to eat while waiting for that molten hot cheese to settle down.

Al’s Breakfast

Who doesn’t love finding a special, secret space inside the city? Every year new diners discover Al’s little alley occupying diner in Dinkytown. First opened in 1950 by Al Bergstrom, fans have been crowding into this narrow space for stacks of perfect pancakes ever since. Part of the fun is taking in the show of short order cooking and the no-nonsense interaction between the servers, customers and cook.


WA Frost & Company

St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill neighborhood is steeped in old world charm and elegance. With its stone walled basement, roaring dining room fireplace and the burnished wood bar diners could imagine themselves as visitors of another age.


Mancini’s Char House & Lounge

The red leather booths in the the lounge feel more like sitting on the throne of a swinging era. The Mancini family’s history is wound into the tapestry of St. Paul history – so much so that when the family patriarch passed away, West 7th was closed for the solemn procession. Dinner inside the steakhouse begins with a complimentary pickle tray and ends with one last bite of a seared meat in salt and peppery crust.


Cossetta’s Italian Market & Pizzeria

After a multi-million dollar expansion this restaurant complex bares little resemblance to the quaint family market that began this St. Paul tradition. However, take a moment to peruse the pictures inside. These aren’t just stock photos, but cherished memories of the family that still operates this business. Grab a wide slice of pizza or a hoagie the size of your head downstairs, hit up the swank Louis’ with the gorgeous rooftop bar view, shop the market stocked with imported goodies and fresh baked breads and finish every visit with a trip to the dessert wonderland downstairs.

Mickey’s Diner

There was a time when these dining cars dotted the countryside. Now, only a handful remain. The 1930’s built car in downtown St. Paul has all the charm of yesterdays with thick chocolate malts, burgers topped with a thin slice of orange cheese and breakfast served all hours of the day.

Summer’s over, which means it’s Booya Time!

Summer’s over, which means it’s Booya Time!

Apple Valley Fire Department Assistant Chief Chuck Russell, front right, and Firefighter Joe Landru, back left, stir giant pots of Booya that had been cooking for almost 11 hours at station 1 in Apple Valley during the 34th Annual Booya on September 15, 2012.
(Pioneer Press: Sherri LaRose-Chiglo)


What is Booya? (also spelled booyahboujaboulyaw, or bouyou) is a thick stew believed to have originated in Belgium, and made throughout the Upper Midwest. Found at church picnics, small county fairs or at private booya parties throughout northeast Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Booya can require up to two days and multiple cooks to prepare; it is cooked in specially designed “booya kettles” and usually meant to serve hundreds or even thousands of people. The name can also refer to a social event surrounding the meal.

In cooking booya, one makes a base or broth derived from meat bones, to which vegetables are added. Beef, chicken, and pork are popular varieties of meat for booya (with all three often in the same kettle), with vegetables such as carrots, peas onion, and potatoes also in the mix. A wide variety of seasonings are used, sometimes lowered into the kettle in a cheesecloth bag. Typical large-scale booya kettles can hold more than 50 US gallons (190 L) and are made from steel or cast iron to withstand direct heat and the hours (or days) of cooking.


So as the leaves are changing; the air is growing crisp. That can only mean one thing: It’s booya time! Here’s where to get a bowl of the thick, rich stew, boiled over an open fire.
Most events benefit nonprofit organizations:


Oct. 26: North St. Paul VFW Post 1350, 2483 7th Ave. E., North St. Paul; noon until gone.

Nov. 9: Dunham’s Bar, 173 Lothenbach Ave., West St. Paul; 11 a.m. until gone.

 | jfleming@pioneerpress.com


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