The 10 Best Restaurants In North Loop

The iconic Grain Belt Beer sign sits on the edge of Minneapolis North Loop along the Mississippi River
The iconic 'Grain Belt Beer' sign sits on the edge of Minneapolis' North Loop along the Mississippi River | © Michael Hicks / Flickr
Haley Henschel

The North Loop was once a mere trolley route through a portion of Minneapolis, Minnesota, but over time it evolved into one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city. Pay a visit to this historic district and you’ll find that it’s a hub of hip eateries serving some of the finest fare in the state, whose collective awards could rival those of much larger locales. Enjoy our guide to 10 of the best restaurants in the North Loop.

1. Bar La Grassa

Bar, Italian

Interior of the Bachelor Farmer
Courtesy The Bachelor Farmer
Bar La Grassa has an extensive list of pastas: try the cavatelli with braised rabbit; gnocchi with cauliflower and orange; mushroom and taleggio agnolotti; and paccheri with saffron milk-braised chicken. A long lineup of bruschetta is the other star of the menu, with inventive varieties ranging from charred red onion with goat cheese, to white anchovy and avocado, to roasted shishito peppers with chocolate tapenade.

2. Origami Restaurant

Restaurant, Japanese

For the best sushi and Japanese cuisine in the North Loop, Origami Restaurant is the place to go. There’s an izakaya style menu that features Japanese dishes similar to those of Spanish tapas: enjoy small plates like gyoza (dumplings), edamame and sashimi.

3. Sapor Cafe and Bar

Restaurant, American

Smack Shack began as a food truck in 2010, becoming a brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2013
© bradleypjohnson / Flickr
Sapor Cafe and Bar, bearing the Latin word for ‘flavor’ in its title, truly takes its namesake to heart. Ethnic fare from around the world inspires intricate dishes like the house-smoked beef brisket with cherry-bourbon barbecue sauce, hush puppies and mustard slaw, and the pancetta burger on a brioche bun with Fontina cheese, roasted garlic-tomato aioli, caramelized onions and arugula, among others. The restaurant has amassed quite a few awards since it was founded in 2000—most recently, the Star Tribune named it the Best Restaurant for a First Date in 2014—but the food and the cozy ambiance shouldn’t get all the credit, for the service is genuine and incredibly attentive. Sapor’s co-founder and hostess Julie Steenerson was even semifinalist for a 2013 James Beard Award for Outstanding Service.

4. Toast Wine Bar & Cafe

Wine Bar, Wine

Toast Wine Bar & Cafe highlights wines from organic, biodynamic wineries. Accompany your drink with cheeses, olives, crostinis, cured meats, pizzas or polentas. When the weather is fair, request a seat on the alley-like patio studded with twinkling strings of lights. The atmosphere will sweep you away to the cafe-lined, cobblestone side streets of Europe.

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