The Tastiest Places To Eat In North Dakota, USA

Steak with grilled mushrooms, tomato and potato toppings
Steak with grilled mushrooms, tomato and potato toppings | Photo by Krystel Heddy on Unsplash
A. J. Samuels

North Dakota is known not only for its wide open spaces, but the vibrant culture of cities like Fargo and Bismarck. There are also plenty of excellent restaurants serving up various cuisines, including intricate pastries and cakes, traditional German dishes and South Asian curries. Here are the best.

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Würst Bier Hall

The Würst Bier Hall is a German-style bierkeller with a reputation as the best place in Fargo for connoisseurs of quality ales, lagers, and ciders. Located on First Avenue North, not far from the junction with Broadway and the Fargo Moorhead Opera, the Würst Bier Hall offers classic German fare, such as bratwurst, smoked venison, currywurst, brined meats, and schnitzel, to accompany the drinks. The selection of beers includes brews from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Ireland, as well as craft beers from across the United States that offer everything from fruity flavors to richer aromas. You can also try out some Downtown Fargo Punch, a mixture of fruit punch, the German Franziskaner Hefeweizen beer, and Cider Boys Peach County cider.

Hotel Donaldson

The restaurant at the Hotel Donaldson in downtown Fargo is the ideal place for fine dining. The hotel was constructed in 1893 following a fire that destroyed much of the downtown area. It was originally built for the curiously named International Order Of Odd Fellows, a group who promoted truth, love and justice with roots in England in the late 17th century. In the mid-1910s, the Hotel Donaldson was established, before new owners took over in the new millennium and with a new renovation in 2003. Today, there are artworks exhibited throughout the hotel and restaurant. Moreover, the dining room has space to seat 120 and boasts a menu based upon artisan producers and locally sourced ingredients. Favorites include ribs braised in root beer, bison steaks, and filet mignon.

Vinyl Taco

Vinyl Taco is on First Avenue North, close to the Plains Art Museum and the Fargo Public Library and not far from the Red River of the North that separates North Dakota from Minnesota. The restaurant serves up Mexican cuisine and a huge range of cocktails while playing classic tracks from the likes of Fleetwood Mac and David Bowie from vinyl records. The menu is packed with top-notch Mexican street food, including tacos, enchiladas, guacamole, chimichangas, and fajitas. The crispy fish specialty tacos, made with crusted whitefish, fried capers, tartar and serrano avocado salsa, are a particular favorite among patrons. There are also 17 different types of tequila to go with your Mexican fare, and cocktails including the Manhattan, margarita, and the Mexican mule.

Peacock Alley

The Peacock Alley has been serving up excellent food and drink in downtown Bismarck since the end of Prohibition in 1933. Located in what was the lobby of the Patterson Hotel, which dates back to 1911, the space is rumored to have been a speakeasy and brothel during the Prohibition period. Founder Edward Patterson was a prominent figure and former boxer who brought celebrated fighters such as Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis to his hotel, and presidents including Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. The Peacock Alley restaurant is widely regarded as a place to find innovative and high-quality cuisine. Visitors will also find the very best steaks from North Dakota cattle.


Mezzaluna is a restaurant with a reputation for fine dining located close to the Fargo Theater, which is an Art Deco building dating back to 1926 and a cultural focal point in Fargo. Mezzaluna itself is based in the Lofts on Roberts Alley that were originally built as warehouses and offices in 1917. Chef Eric Watson focuses on producing top-quality American cuisine using the best local ingredients. Top dishes offered are prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, artisan cheeses, pan-seared scallops, bacon-wrapped chicken, maple-glazed salmon, and rack of lamb encrusted with pistachios.

The Toasted Frog

The Toasted Frog has been a huge success following its opening; there are now two branches of the restaurant, the original in downtown Grand Forks, and the second in Bismarck. The laid-back restaurant and lounge invites diners to sample a martini from a menu of more than 30 variations of this cocktail before heading to the dining room. On the menu, prepared by chef Scott Franz, is an eclectic mix of culinary styles. Items range from Vietnamese style shrimps and pork belly to wood-fired lobster tails or wood-fired pizza.

Passage to India

Passage to India is the leading Indian restaurant in the state of North Dakota. Patrons come from across the country to sample the food with a Kingfisher or Taj Mahal lager or perhaps a bottle of an excellent Californian vintage. On the menu are dishes such as samosas, pakoras, and shrimp, chicken, and lamb kebabs prepared in the tandoor oven, as well as vegetable curries with lentils, chickpeas, eggplant, and cauliflower. For the more carnivorous diner, there is chicken, lamb, or seafood curries such as rogan josh, saag, tikka masala, biryani and the ultimate vindaloos; all of them served up with plenty of naans and rice.

Pirogue Grille

Pirogue Grille in Bismarck opened in 2005 under the leadership of Stuart and Cheryl Tracy. Chef Stuart previously worked in leading kitchens across the country aiding the Pirogue Grille in winning a reputation for the superb food on offer. The restaurant has been profiled on regional television and in magazines such as Business Jet Traveler. The Grille was named in Midwest Living as having one of the best burgers on the menu, while named it the very best restaurant in the state of North Dakota. On the menu are tempting dishes including loin of lamb with a lemon, fig and balsamic sauce, filet of beef with house-cured pancetta and shallot and herb butter, and wild salmon served with tangerine vinaigrette.

The Bistro

The Bistro in Bismarck was established in November 1996 in a building that was once a carriage house, and has been serving up high-quality food there ever since. Today, the elegant restaurant interior features cherry-wood panels and paintings of Greek gods. Located not far from the Bismarck Civic Center, the Bistro offers a menu that combines Italian, Greek and classic American dishes. Diners can choose from meaty items such as filet mignon, New York strip steak, veal scaloppini, smoked and grilled pork chops, and seared kangaroo tenderloins. Additionally, a wide variety of pasta dishes are available, including spicy chicken tortellini, andouille baked gnocchi, and classic lobster ravioli.

Nichole’s Fine Pastry

Nichole’s Fine Pastry is undoubtedly one of the most popular pastry shops in North Dakota. The shop offers exquisite Continental-style pastries and cakes, as well as sandwiches, soups and salads, desserts and gelato for lunch. Located in downtown Fargo on the historic 8th Street, just off the Main Avenue close to Island Park, Nichole’s Fine Pastry has a cake menu that includes numerous indulgent delights. Cookie trays and frangipane tarts, cupcakes in many different flavors, carrot cake and lemon curd layer cake, chocolate feuilletine cake and Black Forest cake adorn the menu. If you drop in for lunch the dishes on offer include New England clam chowder, roast pork on grilled cranberry wild rice bread, or vegetable salads.

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