Best Restaurant in Minneapolis and Saint Paul

MINNESOTA - Whether you live in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, you can visit plenty of great restaurants.  But if you are searching for the best restaurant in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, here are a few tips.

Best Restaurant in Minneapolis and Saint Paul
Photo: Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis

1. Hai Hai in Minneapolis

Located in Northeast Minneapolis, Hai Hai is an Asian street food restaurant.  It takes its inspiration from Southeast Asia and Thailand and features a colorful interior and giant fronded trees. It's also a craft cocktail bar and offers app discounts. Its menu is constantly changing and includes new dishes.

The food at Hai Hai is good, but its desserts aren't great. Its menu includes water fern cakes, crackly egg rolls, and Laos and Cambodian pork dips. They appear to be the weak link, but Hai Hai is a good value overall. The restaurant has a craft cocktail program and a happy hour with drinks at the bar for $4 and $5. The menu also includes $6 food items. You can get a pork belly slider and pork ribs adobo during happy hour.

2. Demera Ethiopian Restaurant in St. Paul

At 823 W. University Avenue, Demera is a neighborhood eatery specializing in classic Ethiopian dishes.  This East African eatery also features takeout and serves a variety of beverages, including cocktails and Ethiopian coffee. This restaurant features a menu stuffed with meats and vegetables and dishes with exotic ingredients. For the first-time visitor, Ethiopian cuisine can be intimidating. But it isn't impossible to find a restaurant that serves authentic dishes. Thankfully, the city of Saint Paul is home to several excellent options.

Mesob Ethiopian is an excellent option for those who want to try out Ethiopian food for the first time. It's a full-service eatery that offers an elegant setting. Their menu includes traditional Ethiopian fare along with some other dishes. It's also located in a neighborhood bit off the beaten path.

3. Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis

Located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, Spoon and Stable is a restaurant that features French-inspired American cuisine. It also has two private dining rooms. The restaurant has received national recognition, specializing in local, seasonal ingredients.

The chef of Spoon and Stable is Gavin Kaysen, a James Beard Award-winning chef who has worked in some of the world's best kitchens. He was most recently at New York's Cafe Boulud. Kaysen's brother helped create some art pieces on display at the restaurant. The restaurant is also known for its warm hospitality. It has become a popular destination for families to celebrate a special event or milestone. Its menu includes bison tartare, roasted duck breast, and pork schnitzel. In addition, the restaurant has two private dining rooms that are perfect for a group of 25 guests. The restaurant also offers desserts.

4. Nixta Tortilleria & Mexican takeout in Minneapolis

Whether you're looking for Mexican takeout in Minneapolis or St. Paul, Nixta Tortilleria & Mexican Takeout is a great place to get authentic Mexican food.  Located in Northeast Minneapolis, this neighborhood has long been home to immigrant communities. It's also one of the most vibrant food corridors in Minneapolis. The area has been home to many fine restaurants and bars.

Nixta Tortilleria and Mexican Takeout is a five-star restaurant that serves authentic Mexican cuisine. The menu includes classic staples as well as ever-changing daily specials. Their tortillas are made from heirloom corn varieties from Mexico. They use a time-honored technique called nixtamalization to loosen the outer hull of the corn. The process increases the nutritional value of the corn and makes grinding it easier.

Nixta's tortillas are a favorite among locals. They are sturdy yet soft. They are made with nixtamalization, which means they are coarser than flour. Nixta's tortillas are a great accompaniment to any meal. They also offer family meal kits twice weekly, containing proteins, rice, and adornments.

5. Handsome Hog in St. Paul

Handsome Hog is located on the corner of 6th Street East and Sibley Street, a modern, chef-driven, semi-upscale eatery. It's open for lunch, dinner, and cocktails. It offers a wide selection of local craft beers, perfectly paired wines, and an impressive cocktail list.

The Handsome Hog also offers a full-service patio overlooking Mears Park. Its most impressive feature is a small room with an impressive bourbon selection. The restaurant boasts an "upgraded" bar with more whiskey and booths. The room also has a wall display that looks like a hotel hallway.

The Handsome Hog has other merits, as well. In the kitchen is a full-time "Charcu-Artist" who can create charcuterie plates on demand. There's also a wall display that looks like a corporate boardroom, and the restaurant aptly decorates the ceiling with plastic plants. It's also worth mentioning that Handsome Hog has some of the best services in the Twin Cities. The one server we encountered was knowledgeable, and one, in particular, had a good grasp of the restaurant's offerings.

6. Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis

Founded in 1999 by chef Alex Roberts and his wife Margo, the Alma Restaurant and Hotel in the University neighborhood of Minneapolis is Minnesota's oldest four-star restaurant. The restaurant has been a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award for outstanding restaurant three times.

The Alma Restaurant has a fully stocked bar. The wine pairing is $32 for four pours. The acoustic ceilings add a contemporary touch. The most expensive item on the menu is the "Alma burger" (served on a bun) for $22. The Alma Cafe has an "Alma" menu, as well. There is no shortage of places to eat in the Twin Cities. The area has plenty of options, and Alma is no exception. The restaurant also serves a bakery breakfast with each stay. The Alma Cafe serves signature plates, pescatarian, and vegan options and offers gluten-free and low-fat options.

7. Kramarczuk Sausage Company in Minneapolis

Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kramarczuk Sausage Company is a family-owned East European establishment that has been crafting homemade sausages, smoked meats, and pastries for over 55 years. This time-tested Polish deli carries Eastern European staples such as borsht, pierogi, and Cossack buns. They also offer imported European foods and baked goods such as babka.

The family-run restaurant has received multiple "Best of the Twin Cities" awards from 1982 to 1990. It has also been designated an "American Classic" by the James Beard Foundation. It also has an in-house bakery and an outdoor cafe. The restaurant employs 21 people at its Minneapolis location. Kramarczuk Sausage Company has expanded to include a restaurant, bakery, and kiosks inside the new Twins Stadium. Its sausages are a local favorite for grilling. The Sausage Company also offers Hungarian and Polish sausages. The Sausage Company is also a Minneapolis Landmark.

8. Meritage in St. Paul

Located in the heart of downtown St. Paul, Meritage offers a unique spin on French cuisine.  Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant has received numerous awards for its cuisine and service. In addition to its French-inspired fare, the restaurant boasts a sophisticated beverage program. The drink menu includes a solid wine list of over 200 selections. It also has a selection of non-alcoholic options and an impressive cocktail list. In addition to wine, Meritage has several booze-based beverages such as cocktails, beer, and martinis.

The restaurant also boasts several accolades, including the aforementioned Award of Excellence and being a semi-finalist in the James Beard nomination process. In addition to its impressive menu, the restaurant also offers al fresco patio seating. They also offer live music and an oyster-sucking contest to boot. They also have a wine list with exciting items, including a sommelier-curated 100-varietal wine list. They also offer a small but thoughtful selection of wines by the glass. As a result, Meritage also recommends its patrons charge responsibly.