The 10 Best Restaurants In Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth, Minnesota | © JamesDeMers/Pixabay
Jess Dawdy

With a mixture of well-established favorites and innovative newcomers, Duluth’s restaurant scene continues to surprise and impress visitors. The city’s restaurants are embracing the locavore movement and craft breweries are becoming increasingly popular. From fine-dining to low-key cafés, there’s no shortage of places to unwind after a day exploring the best of Minnesota’s renowned natural scenery in Duluth.

Sunset Over The Port Of Duluth

At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Café

At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Café specializes in international cuisine prepared using fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant is dedicated to producing a true farm-to-table menu, with a garden found on-site where broccoli, radishes, fresh herbs, rhubarb and other ingredients are grown. The interior is welcoming and cozy, with comfortable booths and a warm fireplace. The menu features American classics, as well as a few global dishes like Baja Fish Tacos and Thai curry. The varied drink menu includes a fantastic selection of teas and coffees, in addition to creative cocktails, local beers, and wines by the glass or bottle.
At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe, 1902 East 8th Street, Duluth, MN, USA, +1 218 724 6811

Vegetables are grown on-site

Bellisio’s

Bellisio’s is known for its authentic Italian cuisine and extensive wine menu. Designed to recreate the atmosphere of a charming Italian hillside restaurant, the restaurant’s interior is casual yet classy with seating also available on a lovely outdoor patio. The menu offers a selection of paninis, burgers, and pastas. The knowledgeable staff recommend pairings from an outstanding wine menu. The restaurant offers over 500 labels, with 125 different wines available by the glass.
Bellisio’s, 405 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN, USA, +1 218 727 4921

Bellisio’s offers over 500 labels

Black Woods

Black Woods is a locally-owned restaurant that serves up American cuisine in an intimate setting. Originally opened in 1994 in Two Harbors, the restaurant has expanded to include several locations across Northern Minnesota. In addition to ribs, steaks, flatbreads, rotisserie chicken, fish, pasta and seasonal specialties, the restaurant is known for its early afternoon and late night Happy Hour specials. Stop by on Sunday for their popular breakfast and try the Crabby Ben, which consists of jumbo crab cakes on grilled English muffins with farm-fresh basted eggs, covered in house-made Hollandaise sauce and served alongside breakfast potatoes.
Black Woods, 2525 London Rd, Duluth, MN, USA, +1 218 724 1612

Rotisserie chicken is a popular dish on the menu |
Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau/Flickr

1. Duluth Grill

Diner, Restaurant, American

Omelets feature on the menu
© nemoelguedes/Pixabay
Duluth Grill is an unassuming diner known for its enormous menu of dishes prepared with locally-sourced, organic ingredients. The restaurant’s simple interior features a view of the open kitchen behind the counter, with seating in spacious booths. There’s a garden in the parking lot, bee hives on the roof, and even small items such as the ketchup, coffee mugs and syrup are made locally. Breakfast is served all day and includes an excellent choice of pancakes, omelets, and other egg dishes. The lunch and dinner menus focus on sandwiches, burgers, and comfort food classics.

Fitger’s Brewhouse

Fitger’s Brewhouse offers a menu of artisanal pub fare. Fitger’s Brewhouse emphasizes local ingredients, including grass-fed beef sourced from the restaurant’s own herd of Scottish Highland cattle. The menu also offers an excellent selection of vegetarian entrées, such as the popular Harvest Moon Wild Rice Burger which is served on multigrain bun and comes with a variety of different veggie toppings. Often credited with sparking Duluth’s reputation as an exciting craft beer city, the restaurant offers a selection of a dozen different handcrafted brews, ranging from English-style ales to dark German lagers.
Fitger’s Brewhouse, 600 E Superior St, Duluth, MN, USA, +1 218 279 2739

Fitger’s offer a selection of different handcrafted brews

New Scenic Café

Opened in 1999, the New Scenic Café is an intimate, contemporary American restaurant. Located on the scenic North Shore of Lake Superior, the café is surrounded by a charming garden of herbs, vegetables, and flowers. Inside, the atmosphere is equally welcoming with warm, wood-paneled walls decorated with local artwork. The restaurant’s menu changes with the seasons, incorporating local ingredients wherever possible. Expect entrées like the leek frittata with butternut squash, roasted cauliflower, rye, carrot purée, creamed leek greens and red quinoa, or an egg sandwich served on ciabatta with sweet harissa, creamed leek, and spinach.
New Scenic Café, 5461 North Shore Drive, Duluth, MN, USA, +1 218 525 6274

The cafe is surrounded by a herb garden

Northern Waters

Northern Waters is a unique restaurant specializing in smoked meats and fish. Opened in 1998, the restaurant draws on Lake Superior region’s long-standing history of smoked preservation to create modern flavors and products. Owner Eric Goerdt has been studying fish smoking for more than two decades, and strives to constantly push the boundaries of smoking techniques. The menu features gourmet deli sandwiches, as well as takeaway smoked fish and meats. Located within walking distance of Lake Superior, customers often take their meals to enjoy lakeside. Go for the Pastrami Mommy, a quarter pound of Bison Pastrami, provolone, pepperoncini and fresh greens on Red Mug rye with mustard and mayo.
Northern Waters, Dewitt-Seitz Marketplace, 394 S Lake Ave #106, Duluth, MN, USA, +1 218 724 7307

Lake Superior is a short walk from the restaurant

2. Uncle Loui's Cafe

Bar, Cafe, Diner, American

Pancakes feature on the menu of Uncle Louis
© Aimee Plesa/Flickr
Uncle Loui’s Cafe is a low-key café known for its affordable breakfast and lunch specials. The diner-style food is hearty and satisfying, featuring breakfast basics like steak and eggs, alongside Greek-inspired dishes like the gyros omelette made with gyro meat, onion, tomato, and gyro sauce. The menu also includes generously-portioned pancakes, eggs, sandwiches and melts. Like the food, the décor is simple and down-to-earth, with green stools lined up along the bar and an open kitchen. Opened in 1993, the café suffered a serious electrical fire in 2007 but it was up and running again with six months, spurred on by customer demand.

Va Bene

Va Bene takes its name from an Italian expression meaning ‘it goes well’, fitting for a restaurant that combines beautiful views with outstanding cuisine. Seating is offered at tables overlooking Lake Superior or street side on a front patio that’s perfect for people-watching. The menu focuses on cuisine from the Apennine Peninsula and Sicily regions, with sauces dressings, and breads all made from scratch with imported Italian items. The extensive pasta menu can be prepared with gluten-free pasta upon request. Be sure to save room for the gelato/sorbet bar which features a rotating selection of flavors, such as Mackinaw Island fudge and Madagascar bourbon vanilla.
Va Bene, 734 E Superior St, Duluth, MN, United States, +1 218 722 1518

Va Bene has a sorbet bar

Zeitgeist Arts Café

Zeitgeist Arts Café offers innovative American cuisine in a unique setting. The café is part of the Zeitgeist complex, a two-level space that also houses a movie theater and art gallery. An initiative of the Zeppa Center for Arts and Community, all the profits from the complex go towards the organizations community-oriented projects. The menu includes a variety of burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads and rice bowls. The restaurant also offers an exceptional brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday, featuring dishes like Pork Belly Hash and Croque Monsieur Benedict, along with Bloody Mary’s prepared with housemade bacon-infused vodka.
Zeitgeist Arts Café, 222 E Superior St, Duluth, MN, USA, +1 218 722 9100

Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, Duluth

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