Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota. With expert seafood, Italian delights and typical American wood-fired steaks, Fargo provides a range of cuisine suitable to anyone. We explore 10 must-visit restaurants.
Operating since 1970, Fargo Cork’ n Cleaver is Fargo’s premiere steakhouse. The restaurant features hand-cut steaks, prime rib, fish, seafood, and pasta. The Corks Signature salad bar also includes fresh vegetables, salads, fruit and dressings made from scratch. Each Thursday evening, the restaurant hosts a music night showcasing local folk, jazz, blues and rock players. This is the perfect location to eat delicious food in front of a crackling fireplace, while enjoying some evening musical accompaniment.
Doolittles Woodfire Grill first opened in 1989 and has steadily grown into the well-known restaurant it is today through the commitment of its loyal and dedicated employees. Restauranteurs Lynn Reimer and John Sheehan have taken ownership over the excellent menu. It has evolved over the years to include wood-fire rotisserie cooking. This method of cooking involves grilling meat over an open flame for a savory, wood-roasted flavor. The rotation produces self-basting so that the skewers become juicy and succulent. Furthermore, the outdoor firepit creates a relaxing atmosphere in which to wine and dine on any occasion.
Mezzaluna is hidden behind the historic Fargo Theatre off Broadway in Downtown Fargo. Executive chef Eric Watson provides artisan food and drink using locally sourced products. He has created a menu based on traditional American food like the house-ground burger or grilled duck confit. The loft were Mezzaluna is located was built in 1917 as the Smith, Follett and Crown office and warehouse. With large windows, brick, simple stone trim and wooden joists, beams and flooring, Mezzaluna’s interior is contemporary yet rustic. They also believe in giving back to the community and the team regularly participate in culinary charity events in the Valley.
On Main Avenue in Fargo is Block 6, home to one of the best restaurants in town: the VIP room. The building is beautiful on the inside and out with exposed brick walls, warm lighting, and artworks by Sandy Dahl. The lunch menu is revisited weekly with something different available each day. The Italian vegetable soup with sausage and the ham and swiss cheese sandwich served on a croissant are both highly recommended. The chef and owner Gordy Richardson is known for his special dining events. One of these was the ‘Celebration of France’ for which five main courses and two appetizers were served with a selection of French wines.
Located on Broadway, Spicy Pie Pizza is the perfect place for a late-night Pizza. The restaurant interior is casual yet modern. There are innovative details like the chairs with kegs as legs, tables decorated by local artists, and a giant graffiti wall where guests are able to show off their creative talent. Spicy Pie Pizza makes their dough from scratch using flour from the North Dakota Mill, with Grande cheese and Alta Cucina tomatoes — the Gold Standard in the industry. The team also fries their own tortilla chips, taco shells and tostadas every morning. Meanwhile, their grinder buns are made from scratch in Quality Bakery in South Fargo.
HoDo Restaurant & Lounge, Fargo | Image courtesy of Hotel Donaldson
In 2003 the Hotel Donaldson underwent a three-year renovation to become the exceptional place it is today. The HoDo Lounge, located inside this charming hotel, is known for its art, music, and carefully curated selection of wines, scotches and cordials from around the world. This place was built in 1893 as one of the first buildings to rise after a fire destroyed much of Fargo’s downtown. The original owners, the International Order of Oddfellows are still very much active today. Since reopening, the Hotel Donaldson has developed a reputation for delicious cuisine. Their enthusiastic support of the region’s literary and visual arts are demonstrated by their display of regional artwork.
Passage to India focus on homemade delicacies using hand-grown spices and fresh ingredients. Their famous lunch buffet offers more than 20 items made from scratch by their expert chefs. All three chefs are experts in preparing traditional North and South Indian cuisine with recipes that have been handed down through the generations. While coconut milk and yogurt are an important part of many of the dishes, Passage to India also uses healthy alternatives such as ground almond or cashew purees. Although they offer a selection of delicious meat curries, Passage to India pride themselves on their commitment to vegetarian and vegan options.
Opening in June of 1999 Granite City Food and Brewery has grown to include 30 restaurants in 13 states. Granite City has won awards nationwide for Best Restaurant, Best Patio, Best Beer, Best Burger and is the prestigious Nations Restaurant News Hot Concept Winner. The team is passionate about delivering a creative menu with fresh recipes made from scratch. Try the grilled chicken and asparagus linguini, the barramundi buerre blanc or the range of burgers, flatbreads, salads and steaks. The signature brews are made on site and include The Duke, The Bennie and The Stout.
The Simeonidis brothers arrived in North America in 1963 from a small farming town in Drama, Greece. After several years, the second generation of Simeonidis — Archie, his daughter Marie and her husband Geoff — decided to form a partnership and embark upon their own American dream in the form of the restaurant Santa Lucia. They currently own and operate the Fargo establishment serving original family recipes, and regularly serve their famous dishes at festivals around the state. Serving an array of specialities from pizza to pasta, Santa Lucia has garnered a well-deserved fantastic reputation.
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Taking pride in authentic Chinese cooking, Lucy’s North China Cuisine prepares a range of dishes using recipes taken directly from the homeland of owner Lucy Penny. Food is always prepared fresh and chefs allow diners to make requests in order to appeal to each customer’s individual tastes. The success of Lucy’s is due, in large part, to the value placed on freshness. Everything from the dumplings to the noodles are made by hand. Many of the dishes that Lucy serves in her restaurant are the same things she ate as a young girl in Northern China, a region known for the influence of Korean cooking on its cuisine.