Hot List: Downtown Courtyard Fun

downtown cor

The butcher’s tale

When the butcher and pig closed during the pandemic, downtown goers felt its absence. Fortunately, the space has been brought back to life with a similar concept – with a little more fun, and less intense twists. In keeping with tradition, order the sausage sampler platter and the old-fashioned dish. // 1121 Hennepin Ave. Watches:

Sushi Takatsu

The air pass requires a private guide to dine, but we’d be remiss not to highlight this sushi niche. For less than $10, you can fill up on a plate of flavor-packed sushi and miso soup—just be sure to arrive early and save your place in line. // 733 Marquette Ave. S., Baker Center Skyway. Watches:

801 Chophouse

When you’re craving a classic steak dinner, nothing else will do you any good. 801 Chophouse is what you think of when you imagine the perfect steakhouse: excellent steaks, plenty of hearty red wine and bourbon, and personalized service. // 801 Nicolette Mall. Watches:


Stop by Noa, the California-inspired restaurant in the center of IDS, for lunch, after-work snacks, communal dishes, and craft cocktails. (Skip the buzz? They have mocktails too!) The menu features everything from maki to street tacos to root beer floats, perfect for summer happy hour. // 77 Seventh St. – IDS Center. For hours:

Soka Café // Four Seasons Hotel

The new café, led by Gavin Kaysen, is bright and sunny, perfect for a quick pre-work breakfast or a Saturday dessert. Brighten your mornings with freshly roasted coffee and gourmet pastries. // 245 Hennepin Ave. Watches:

North Lobe

Coble House Social

Located in the North Loop, this small cocktail bar feels like a true hidden gem for after work gatherings or special occasions. Order one of the house spin cocktails and snack on some cute tacos for happy hour. // 213 3rd Ave. N. Watches:

Breakfast Bar in Minnesota

Southern Style All-Day Breakfast – Need We Say More? Start the weekend off right with chicken and waffles, and three wings perfectly marinated on buttermilk waffles. You can also replace the pancakes with savory French toast for a twist. // 319 1st Ave. N. For Hours:

The rooftop at the Hewing . Hotel

Locals love the warm and welcoming Hewing Hotel as much as its out-of-town guests. In the summer, head up to the rooftop lounge for a Minnesota bar snack: cheese curds! // 300 Washington Ave. N. Watches:

Beef Wine Bar

Tucked away behind J.D. Hoyt’s, Bev’s Wine Bar is a low-key place to enjoy a great glass of wine or a cold beer, whether in the dimly lit bar or on the small patio. Ask your server for their recommendations and get sipping in style. // 250 3rd Ave. N.

Wrecktangle Pizza

Wrecktangle Pizza doesn’t just make great pizza with flashy names and exciting ingredient combinations – the store keeps extra fun with secret must-order menu items. // 729 Washington Ave.N. For several hours:

Billy Sushi

Apps at this sushi destination are called Conversation Starters, and the hamachi jalapeno, yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and citrus sauce, will definitely start the party. // 116 1st Ave. N. For Hours:

Rice Bagel Company

There’s a reason Rise often goes out the door on the weekends. The folks at Rise prioritize fresh, organic ingredients and know their way around the breakfast sandwich. Try the Wonton Bagel and see what we mean. // 530 North 3rd Street for hours:

Loring Park


Pop star Justin Bieber showed up at this Loring Park Vietnamese restaurant while in town, and we totally get it. Order pho, com tam (roasted pork with jasmine rice and fried eggs), or the classic Banh Mi – if anything remains! // 113 W. Grant Street Watches:

Nicolette Diner

Operating 24-7-365, this restaurant, which will soon be relocated from Eat Street to the old Ichiban sushi spot, serves everything from classic breakfasts to handcrafted cocktails. The sandwich offerings are not to be missed; The tuna melts and reuben tastes just as good for lunch as it is at two in the morning. // 1333 Nicolette Mall. For hours:

Mississippi Riverfront + East Town

Owamni by The Sioux Chef

Located in the Water Works Park Pavilion, Owamni has become a dining destination. It’s authentic food made with decolonized ingredients – dishes that tell a story with every bite. Start with Game Tartare and continue with a salad made with seasonal ingredients, or a side of hand-harvested wild rice. // 420 AM 1st Street Watches:

Jeff Urban Cucina

Choose creamy and sweet homemade horchata. Staying on the riverside patio and watching excellent people. // 219 SE Main Street Watches:


Order takeaways from the downtown outpost of this popular Argentinean restaurant (for good reason!) and pop out to Mill Ruins Park to enjoy pizza and empanadas as the sun sets. // 530 S 4th Street Watches:

Spice and Tonic

In the mood for Indian food? Head to Spice and Tonic for the freshest ingredients and flavors. The seafood specialties are a crowd favorite – and don’t forget to add an oven-baked flatbread or two to your order! // 903 Washington Ave. S. for watches:

This article originally appeared in the June 2022 issue of St. Paul’s Journal. Read more on Downtown Minneapolis, Summer Style 2022, sponsored by the Midtown Council MPLS, here.

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