Solid Midwest cuisine can be found throughout Minnesota with an emphasis on filling portions and belly-warming comfort food. In Minneapolis-St Paul, the whole world is on a plate thanks to the large ethnic communities there. In general, eating and drinking is a good value and there are shockingly friendly local bars in every town, but Minneapolis really shines in the nightlife department. From live music to theater and performing arts, the Twin Cities will not let you down after dark.
Bars and Pubbing in Minnesota
If you want to experience the best nightlife and culture Minnesota has to offer, head to Minneapolis-St Paul. The capitol is unquestionably the hub of the entertainment scene and is on par with America’s other top cities for fun after-dark. In fact, only New York has more theater seats than Minneapolis. Guthrie Theater (818 S. 2nd Street, Minneapolis) hosts one of the country’s leading repertory companies, while three other historic theaters including the State (805 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis) show a range of performances.
The Warehouse District is where you'll find the best bars and clubs in the state. First Avenue (701 1st Avenue N., Minneapolis) is the legendary club where Prince got started, and the live music is still cutting-edge. The Dakota Jazz Club (1010 Nicollet, Minneapolis) is another long-standing music venue downtown with an intimate setting. In Duluth, try the craft beers from Fitger’s Brewhouse (600 E. Superior Street, Duluth) or mingle with the locals of Rochester in Newt’s (216 1st Avenue SW., Rochester). Last call is often at 2:00 a.m. in the big cities, while smaller places typically close around midnight.
Dining and Cuisine in Minnesota
By and large the menus of most Minnesota restaurants are centered around typical American dishes. It’s cold up here, so you can expect to see some very large portions to help keep up the caloric intake. Meat, bread, potatoes, and vegetables are the mainstays, often in the form of burgers, steaks and cutlets. They sure know how to grill a patty, evident in the iconic Jucy Lucy cheeseburger done particularly at Matt’s Bar (3500 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis).
Minneapolis and St Paul have the most extensive ethnic dining thanks to the diverse population. Head down to Eat Street off Nicollet Avenue for a range of affordable Southeast Asian fare or go up to the Northeast district for Eastern European restaurants like Nye’s Polonaise Room (112 E. Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis). Look no further than Murray’s (26 S. 6th Street, Minneapolis) for a classic steak joint or Café Lurcat (1624 Harmon Place, Minneapolis) for a taste of New American cuisine after touring the Walker Art Center.
Duluth is another great city for dining in Minnesota. The bustling Canal Park district has plenty of well-known chains alongside local favorites like Grandma’s (522 S. Lake Ave, Duluth) and Lake Avenue Restaurant (394 S. Lake Ave, Duluth) with an awesome waterfront patio. Venture into the historic downtown area and you will find many more dining options at reasonable prices.