One of the nation’s newest stadiums is home to this year’s Big Game, but it’s also located in Minneapolis’ East Town, a vibrant neighborhood with a host of walkable dining and drinking options. Other nearby neighborhoods, such as Dinkytown and Longfellow, offer a chance to eat and drink at some of the locals’ best-kept secrets. From classic diners to funky bar scenes to James Beard Award-winning dining, this area is fun, lively — and always delicious. Here are the best restaurants and bars to try when you’re gearing up for the year’s biggest sporting event.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink Near the U.S. Bank Stadium
In connected historic buildings that once housed a firehouse and a speedboat factory, Alma offers something for everyone. If you’re looking for a coffee shop that’s a grade above what’s in your hotel lobby, try the all-day café with bakery counter, bar and table service. If you’re in the mood to celebrate, make a reservation for a three-course prix fixe menu at the high-end restaurant. And if you want a unique place to stay, book a night at the seven-room boutique hotel upstairs. In every setting, owner Alex Roberts and his team keep the focus on quality and old-world hospitality.
This 14-stool diner served its first breakfast in 1950, and it’s still a favorite with students from the nearby University of Minnesota campus and locals who are in the know. Try blueberry-walnut pancakes, bacon waffles or the wildly popular Jose (hash browns topped with salsa, poached eggs and Cheddar cheese). The shoulder-to-shoulder environment encourages conversation about menu favorites, weather forecasts and the score of the latest Gophers’ game. If you’re in luck, co-owner Doug Grina will be working the flattop, barking out orders in his signature throaty growl. Come early – the lines get long, even on the coldest winter day.
Betty Danger's Country Club
When you get to the neon-lit Ferris wheel, you’re there. Make your way past the mini golf course and enter this “country club for the 99 percent,” located in the imaginary village of Mexhampton (actually Minneapolis’ Northeast Arts District). Owner Leslie Bock (also the creative force behind Tiki-themed Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge), has created a zany environment that features Tex-Mex cuisine with a preppy twist, served up alongside blessedly strong cocktails. Put on your favorite pearls and velvet headband, and be prepared to have a crazy good time.
Gay 90's Minneapolis
This bustling bar has been part of Minneapolis’ gay scene since the 1960s, and it has grown into a nearly venerable (but always fun) LGBTQ institution. If you notice its enormous neon sign lighting up Hennepin Avenue and wonder what’s going on inside, the answer is: just about everything. There are six different bars, a “straight friendly” atmosphere, plenty of dining choices and a good chance you’ll find a party vibe that’s right for you.
Interested in damn good food? Then head to this basement-level Hades-themed downtown spot, open from early morning until late night, seven days a week. Chef-owners Steve Meyer and Mitch Omer focus on housemade specialties, include can’t-miss, small-batch peanut butter. Breakfast is available all day, and weekends include a popular brunch with a “Jacked Up” Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar.
According to owner Dermot Cowley, this new contemporary American eatery is already being hailed as one of the most beautiful restaurants in Minneapolis. Its over-the-top design includes 23-foot ceilings and a floor-to-ceiling bar. Take the dramatic spiral staircase and snag a prime seat at the mezzanine level, which has a view of The Commons, a 4.2-acre, public green space next to the U.S. Bank Stadium.
This stylish, retro steakhouse is home to the famous Silver Butter Knife Steak. A downtown Minneapolis classic since 1946, Murray’s is known for prime cuts, buttery garlic toast and signature cocktails. Don’t miss the legendary 28-ounce strip sirloin for two, hand-cut by Boyd, Murray’s in-house butcher for 37 years.
Peppers and Fries
Just a 10-minute drive from East Town, there’s a newly rejuvenated dining district in the Longfellow neighborhood. (Route tip: take West River Parkway for a chance to see eagles flying over the Mississippi River.) One of the neighborhood’s anchors is this friendly, casual sports bar, run by a father-and-daughter team, Steve and Marie Frias. The menu features well-executed burgers and burritos, paired with craft brews and cocktails. Don’t pass on the fries, which are exceptionally good.
PinKU Japanese Street Food
This small space offers some of the biggest flavors in town. Chef-owner John Sugimura, who prides himself on an approachable, affordable menu, offers traditional Japanese sushi, snacks and drinks in just 960-square feet. Be sure to order one – or more – small plates of crispy dumplings and jumbo crispy shrimp with rice. After you eat, walk or drive along nearby SE Main Street for some selfie-worthy views of downtown and the historic Stone Arch Bridge. If you miss out during your visit, don’t worry — PinKU has plans to open a location in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport.
Spoon and Stable
James Beard award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen’s vision for a seasonal, French-inspired menu is beautifully realized in this former horse stable, built in 1906. Located in the heart of the North Loop Neighborhood, the ambitious restaurant is known for inventive cuisine and hard-to-snag reservations. Standouts include the Tamarind-Glazed Pork Chop, Dorothy’s Pot Roast (based on chef’s grandmother’s recipe) and Creamy Spinach Cheese Curds.