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Hometown Hidden Gems: The Best Restaurants in Minneapolis and St Paul

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul have a lot going for them.  A thriving culinary and arts scene, beautiful lakes and recreation areas and some of the friendliest people in the country (Midwest Nice ain’t no joke!)

A visit to any of these one of a kind, off the beaten path restaurants in Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding communities will give you a taste of the unique blend of local flavors that make the Twin Cities a culinary destination!

Shantytown Burgers:  You like off the beaten path?  You can’t get much more off the beaten path than this!  Located in an industrial park on a nondescript street in Bloomington, MN (a suburb of Minneapolis) this local favorite has been serving up great hamburgers and shakes since the 60’s!  Serving a variety of creative, juicy burgers, homemade onion rings, shakes, malts and other satisfying greasy bar fare, this place is worth a stop if you are a foodie and you find yourself in Bloomington!

  • 8512 Pillsbury Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55420, 952-881-7223

Shantytown Burgers Bloomington

Mickey’s Dining Car: This iconic St. Paul dining spot has been serving up melt in your mouth greasy burgers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for over 70 years!  It has been owned and operated by the same family for three generations.  The setting is unique and historical-the diner is located in an old dining car designed to resemble a railroad dining car, and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.  As if the unique setting wasn’t enough to prompt a visit, the restaurant serves up satisfying, greasy hamburgers and thick milk shakes, making it a worthwhile stop on your Twin Cities visit!

  • 36 West 7th Street, St Paul, MN 55102, 651-222-5633

Mickeys Dining Car St Paul

Hell’s Kitchen:  No, not the same Hell’s Kitchen as on the TV show, but just as yummy and exciting!  As you enter this memorable Minneapolis dining establishment, you will notice dramatic red and black angels and demon-like decor.  Admire the decor now, because once your food arrives, your attention will be completely engrossed in enjoying the creative menu and homemade goodness that this restaurant is well known for.  My favorite meal here is breakfast.  Think homemade peanut butter and jams, caramel pecan rolls that will haunt your dreams and creamy wild rice porridge adorned with dried fruits.  As a bonus, hit the Angel Food Bakery upstairs for some creative, handmade cupcakes to go on your way out.

  • 80 S 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 612-332-4700

Hells Kitchen Minneapolis

Little Tijuana:  This restaurant has been serving up tasty tex mex fare with an attitude since 1964.  The restaurant is located on “Eat Street” in South Minneapolis, which a haven for Minneapolis foodies looking for a fix.  Among my favorites menu items are the deep fried chips and cheese and enchiladas and the salsa.  For those who aren’t into tex mex, the restaurant also offers a creative variety of burgers,  sandwiches and other tasty fare.  Make sure to check out the generous happy hour specials, which run from 11:00am-5:00pm and from 10:00pm to Midnight every day.

  • 17 E 26th St, Minneapolis, MN 55408, 612-872-0578

Little Tijuana Minneapolis

Broder’s Pasta Bar: Locals in the know will tell you that Broders is the best place for pasta in the Twin Cities.  When you dine here, you can salivate over an always seasonally changing menu of pasta favorites and risotto that are cooked up to order (no bland red or white sauces here!)  The egg pasta is handmade each and every day.  The pasta bar is a spin off from Broder’s Cucina Italiana, which has been serving up tasty Italian favorites right across the street for over 30 years.  A solid choice for top notch food in a cozy, neighborhood atmosphere in the Twin Cities.

  • 5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410, 612-925-9202

Looking for another hometown hidden gem for your transportation needs? Check out RelayRides, a peer to peer car sharing program.

Whether you are looking for a car to rent or would like to make a little extra cash renting yours, this is a great program! Check it out next time you need some wheels!

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