Waterholes on the Waterfront – St. Paul’s Magazine

Lake Minnetonka

Fan . Restaurant

Van (above), hiding in plain sight in Spring Park, surprised many when he appeared on the James Beard Award longlist, but not his fans. They knew that the intimate room, superb wine list, and thoughtful and innovative dishes from Chef Eric Scarr were to be commended. Large windows allow you to view the bay from comfortable, air-conditioned seats. 4016 Shoreline Doctor, Spring Park, 952-381-9042

Gianni’s Steak House

Wayzata may be home to many new restaurants, but sometimes you have to go old school. The patio in front of Gianni’s is where you’ll spot the rich enjoying their famous martini, steak, and spinach salad. Summer Sundays are an important thing in this lake town. It’s when everyone comes back from the booth and goes out to dinner, which makes for a fun night out on Lake Street. 635 E Lake Street, Wisata, 952-404-1100

Unlimited Licks

Excelsior’s favorite seasonal ice cream shop is now run by the next generation of the family. Kids brought in new flavors, fresh goods and made eating ice cream more sustainable using compostable cups and spoons. Grab your scoop and head to the city docks to see the boaters and fun makers. 31 Water Street, Excelsior, 952-474-4791

Stillwater/St. Croix

Baba’s rooftop at Water Street Inn

The historic inn has a new rooftop patio with stunning views spanning the entire city of Stillwater and the famous lift bridge. Grab pizza, pasta, and salads, or grab some snacks and a bottle from the great wine list. 101 Water Street, 651-493-6000

proper stillwater

Back locally at this high street pub where the bar is filled entirely with spirits made in Minnesota only: From your favorite city distilleries like Tattersall and Norseman to bottles from outside pioneers like Vikre, RockFilter and Far North, your brew will have a distinct flavor of Minnesota. Modern bar food plays alongside local mushroom cioppino and a hot chicken sandwich with Cry Baby Craig sauce. 227 Main Street, 651-342-2053

PD Babe

PD Pappy (below) packs in every summer, from bikers to boaters to anyone looking for a Big Brutus burger and some live music (no cover charge at all). This patio is so close to the river that when the Saint Croix River swells, it’s actually in the river. Nobody minds. 422 E. Mulberry Street, 651-430-1147

Other water spots

Charlie in Prior

With a beacon that transports you from land and water, Charlize is the centerpiece of summer life on Pryor Lake. A large dining room upstairs attracts families for American pub fare, while three on-site bars ensure everyone is entertained. Boat There are free berths and a food delivery service next to the pier if you want to get back on the water. Live music is played most weekends during the height of summer. 3950 Green Heights Tr. Sue, Prior Lake, 952-226-5253

Birch on the lake

Upstairs, the supper club rejects the idea that you need a dark, clubbing vibe, instead embracing the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the lake. Downstairs, brewery activity flows into one of the metro’s best little lakeside patios. Wherever you are seated, you can enjoy an innovative and fresh beer alongside our signature Buckhorn fried chicken. Birch loves to party, so watch live music and themed nights all summer long. 1310 Waizata Street. W, Long Lake, 952-473-7373

Chef Shack by City

After your gourmet weekend meal at Chef Shack’s Wisconsin headquarters, you’ll likely want to stretch your legs. Dine on the tasting menu and sip all the good wine, then walk the neighborhood to Lake Pepin Boulevard along the river. Even better, you can grab a spot at the nearby Bay City Campground and spend an entire weekend there. 6379 Main Street, Bay City, Wisconsin, 715-594-3060

Japanese miso

Of course you can hustle with everyone else on the sidewalks in downtown White Bear Lake, but if you’re looking to enjoy a night out of the party zone, consider Mizu. The small Japanese restaurant near the water has a small deck from which you can enjoy gyoza dumplings, roasted hamachi collar, pig belly ramen and plenty of sushi. The creative rolls and fresh sashimi here are tops in Metro North. 4475 Lake Ave. S., White Bear Lake, 651-653-4888

Lunch with a side of the beach

Lola’s Lakehouse (below) has spent 14 years on the lake, and they all had a good time. The boat deck is the most popular place to meet friends and neighbors for fresh oysters and fireworks-based shrimp. Happy Hours are legendary, not just for the under $10 menu but for the spicy margaritas and house bootleg mixes. 318 E. Lake Street, Waconia, 952-442-4954

city ​​water

+ Sea salt restaurant / waiting in line is part of the summer fun. Order a drink and take advantage of it. Must-see water: Minnehaha Falls. What to eat: Pooh Boy lobster

+ Bread and Pickle Your favorite food stops music and movies on the band’s cover. Must-see water: Lake Harriet. What to eat: Grilled fisheye sandwich with dill tartar sauce

+ Sandcastle/Chef Doug Flicker runs this sandy summer location. Must-see water: Lake Nokomis. What to eat: Hot dog flash dog with kimchi

+ Dock and Paddle / Live music and a covered deck overlooking the lake make this a sure bet. Water to see: Lake Como. What to eat: a Cuban-Caribbean sandwich with Puerto Rican roast pork

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