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

112 Eatery

The award-winning 112 Eatery has an indulgent menu with dishes like the lamb scottadito with goat’s milk yogurt; tagliatelle with foie gras meatballs; cauliflower fritters and a 112 cheese burger—all at incredibly reasonable prices. For something sweeter try the tres leches cake or chocolate torte with malted chocolate ice cream.

Bar La Grassa

Bar, Italian, $$$
Interior of the Bachelor Farmer
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.
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Sun:
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Mon:
5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tue:
5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri:
5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sat:
5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Interior of the Bachelor Farmer Courtesy The Bachelor Farmer

The Bachelor Farmer

The Bachelor Farmer serves dishes featuring ingredients picked from its rooftop garden and has an elegant, sunny setting. Its Nordic-inspired menu pays tribute to the state’s culture while celebrating the farm-to-table movement. Enjoy entrees such as poached eggs with hen of the wood mushrooms, cipollini onions and mustard greens; smoked duck breast with butternut squash-oat porridge and red Russian kale; and pork shoulder with pork belly confit, hakurei turnips and their greens, and fresh soybeans.

The Bachelor Farmer, 50 2nd Avenue N, Minneapolis, MN, USA, +1 612 206 3920

The exterior of Borough in the North Loop © Tony Webster / Flickr

Borough

Borough has an expert barkeeper and a worldly pastry chef who work together to craft an exciting menu that’s constantly changing with the seasons. If available when you dine, order the smoked pork belly with celery root, apple, Gouda and hazelnut, or the venison with Brussels sprouts, squash, Stilton and red wine.

Borough, 730 N Washington Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, USA, +1 612 354 3135

Interior of the Freehouse Courtesy The Freehouse

The Freehouse

The Freehouse is a brewpub which serves entrees like the turkey burger, made with peanuts, curry, pepper jack cheese and poblano pesto aioli; and the cheese curds with hard cider batter, apple sauce and quince jam. If you’re feeling even adventurous, try the Korean Rockefeller oysters with kimchi, doenjang and tempura flakes, or the oxtail croquettes with blue cheese and pear. The Freehouse’s breakfast menu is just as funky, featuring dishes like the fried gnocchi with mushrooms, pesto, bacon, arugula, toast and a poached egg – a local favorite.

The Freehouse, 701 N Washington Avenue #101, Minneapolis, MN, USA, +1 612 339 7011

HauteDish

HauteDish’s small plates are artfully prepared: choose from hearty yet complex options such as the pumpkin stew with panang curry, blue prawn, king crab and sticky rice, or the steak and potatoes with bone marrow, Texas toast and gremolata. If you’re seeking something truly special, however, order the famous HauteDish entree with Tater Tots, porcini, short rib and green beans.

Haute Dish, 119 Washington Avenue N, Minneapolis, MN, USA, +1 612 338 8484

Sapor Cafe and Bar

Restaurant, American, $$$
Smack Shack began as a food truck in 2010, becoming a brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2013
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.
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Smack Shack began as a food truck in 2010, becoming a brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2013 © bradleypjohnson / Flickr

Smack Shack

Smack Shack ensures the seafood it serves is sustainable, partnering with the Minnesota Zoo’s Fish Smart program to do so. For a taste of some the finest seafood in the North Loop, you’d best try the lobster mac & cheese, fried oyster sliders or go all-in with the scrumptious, lobster boil drenched in butter.

Smack Shack, 603 N Washington Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, USA, +1 612 259 7288

Interior of Smack Shack Courtesy Smack Shack