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The 12 Best North Loop Minneapolis Restaurants (Local’s Guide)

best restaurants north loop minneapolis

If you ask us where to eat in most Twin Cities neighborhoods, we can give you a pretty quick answer. In North Loop Minneapolis, that answer is much more complicated…

Because this part of town has such an unreal food scene, the options can be overwhelming. Many of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities lie in this small section of downtown, including many of our all time favorites.

So, we’ve come up with our definitive list of the best restaurants in the North Loop. We’ve organized it by what you’re craving, because whatever that is, these awesome restaurants will hit the spot!

Map of Our Best North Loop Minneapolis Restaurants

All time great pasta: Bar La Grassa

north loop blg

Every time I go to Bar La Grassa, I wonder why I don’t go to Bar La Grassa more often.

This spot is one of the O.G.’s in what has since become a fierecely competitive Minneapolis Italian Food scene. But after all these years, Bar La Grassa still might have the best pasta in the entire Twin Cities.

  • Address: 800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: Bar La Grassa

Our personal favorite sushi: Billy Sushi

billy sushi north loop

If you’re in the mood for mind-blowing specialty rows and some of the freshest nigiri in town, then our resident sushi fiend will steer you towards Billy sushi. (His full review here.)

This is upscale sushi, in a laid-back, party atmosphere. You’ve got to experience (and taste it!) to believe it.

  • Address: 116 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: Billy Sushi

The most authentic sushi: Kado No Mise

kado no mise north loop

I know I just said that Billy sushi was our favorite, but that’s not a knock on an equally incredible sushi spot, Kado No Mise.

The distinction here? Kado No Mise is really more than a sushi spot. It’s a multi-course Japanese tasting menu that, unless you’ve spent years across the Pacific Ocean, will surprise and impress even the most experienced Twin Cities foodies.

  • Address: 33 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: Kado No Mise

For seafood: Smack Shack

north loop smack shack

Smack Shack is a food truck turned iconic North Loop Minneapolis restaurant.

Years ago, their authentic lobster rolls were one of the first anchors that cemented the North Loop as a food lover’s paradise. Today, those lobster rolls, seafood boils, raw bar options are just as popular as ever.

  • Address: 603 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: Smack Shack

North Loop’s most unique restaurant: Sanjusan

sanjusan north loop

Does anywhere else mix Italian food and Japanese food?

No?

We rest our case.

The fact Sanjusan also happens to be some of the most delicious food around is just icing on the cake. Or in this case, raw tuna on the pizza. (You can read more about that here.)

  • Address: 33 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: Sanjusan

The food critic’s favorite high end spot: Spoon and Stable

spoon and stable north loop

There’s not a more decorated chef in the North Loop than Gavin Kaysen. He won James Beard Awards as a “rising star” in 2008 and the “Best Chef in the Midwest” in 2018. Oh, and most importantly, he won an episode of Chopped! 😉

After returning home to Minnesota from a lengthy stint cheffing it up in New York City, Spoon and Stable was the first restaurant he opened, and this high-end dining is still wow’ing visitors to this day.

Oh, and if one of the best high-end menus in town isn’t enough for you, then you can always check out Spoon and Stable’s sister restaurant – Demi. It’s also located in the North Loop but focuses entirely on a tasting menu that’s even more high-end.

Award winning casual spot: Union Hmong Kitchen

On the other end of the North Loop Minneapolis celebrity chef scene you’ll find the relative new comer, Union Hmong Kitchen. That one is headed up by Chef Yia Vang, who was also nominated for a James Beard Award in 2022. And again, most importantly, was featured on Netflix’s hit show Iron Chef America. 😉

Union Hmong Kitchen brings mind-blowing flavors from Vang’s Hmong heritage, all in a casual, neighborhood hangout vibe. (U.H.K. is located in one of the Twin Cities’ coolest food halls.)

Best brewpub food: The Freehouse

best brewpub northloop - freehouse

The Freehouse is a North Loop staple, and it’s perfect for whenever you want to grab a beer and some bar food. But calling it “bar food” might be selling them a little short – this could be the best bar food you’ve ever had.

Take their crispy chicken tenders. They’ve ditched the usual and instead gone for the most amazing, hand-breaded version, which they mix with cajun spices and maybe the best ranch dressing in town. Or their brussels sprouts, which get elevated with local honey, toasted almonds, and goat cheese. (Both pictured above.)

They also brew their own beer, which you know is always the way to our hearts.

  • Address: 701 N Washington Ave #101, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: The Freehouse

The most expensive restaurant in the North Loop: Kaiseki Furukawa

Forget about the North Loop, Kaiseki Furukawa might be the most expensive restaurant in the Twin Cities. But it’s an experience like no other…

This mega-exclusive restaurant includes just 12 seats and only operates on Tuesday nights. The menu is seasonal and draws from Chef Furukawa’s decades spent studying under master chefs in Kyoto, Japan.

For the best burger: Parlour

best north loop restaurants - parlour

For my money, Parlour’s burger might be the best in town. And that’s saying something in a town that has endless options for some of the best burgers you’ve ever had.

  • Address: 730 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: Parlour

For old school vibes: Monte Carlo

The North Loop neighborhood is one of the fasted growing neighborhoods in not just the Twin Cities, but the entire country. With that, comes a certain amount of trendiness that’s seen in the number of hot, new restaurants popping up left and right.

But among all those, there’s one classic Minneapolis institution that will transport you back in time.

The Monte Carlo was established in 1906, and they’ve stayed true to their popular surf and turf menu for the past 120+ years. Copper topped bars, intimate booths, a beautiful patio, and some of the best wings in town… don’t forget about this reliable standby.

  • Address: 219 N 3rd Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: Monte Carlo

For cheese curds: Red Cow

Similarly, among all the North Loop innovation, there’s one option that never gets old – delicious, deep fried cheese curds.

You can get some of the best cheese curds in town in the North Loop, at Red Cow. But, true to its North Loop setting, Red Cow takes an innovate spin on the classic curd by adding some of the incredibly delicious “triple berry ketchup” to the recipe.

As a bonus, the rest of their burgers and bar food is some of the best around.

  • Address: 208 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: Red Cow

The best new restaurant in the North Loop: Guacaya Bistreaux

guacaya bistreaux north loop

Chef Pedro Wolcott is the newest entrant into the competitive North Loop restaurant scene, and he’s drawing on his unique background to offer a restaurant unlike any other in the area.

Having lived in Panama, Puerto Rico, and New Orleans, Chef Wolcot’s created a menu that blends those influences (plus his grandmother’s Afro-Carribean cooking!) into one of the most exciting menus in town!

  • Address: 337 N Washington Ave Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Website: Guacaya Bistreaux
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