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CULINARY EXPLORATION IN MINNESOTA

   MINNEAPOLIS

MINNEAPOLIS = MINI APPLE

With the most food trucks per capita, and better variety than any other major city in the region, Minneapolis is the food truck capital of the mid-west. Every weekday in the warmer weather you can find the trucks around the city during the day and at tap rooms at night. What is a tap room, you ask? A Minneapolis word for a micro-brewery that can't serve food, thus promoting food trucks even more. Minneapolis is one of the better food cities in the country, and well worth the trip if you're up for a little cold weather adventure.

 

The Pig 

PIG'S PICKS

Where to find inside-out cheeseburgers, & fleets of food trucks in Minneapolis.

SURLY

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: BREWERY & PUB FOOD

WHEN: You're looking for a great beer hall and food

PRICE: $$ - $$$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

HOURS: 

Sun - Thur: 11:00am–11:00pm

Fri & Sat: 11:00am–12:00am

MAP IT: 

520 Malcolm Ave SE

Minneapolis, MN 55414

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Hog Frites

  • Chopped brisket

  • Cynic, Belgian pale ale

  • Bender, oatmeal brown ale

 

WHY: This is the microbrewery that started it all for Minneapolis. The man with the idea, Omar Ansari, started Surly with a small three-barrel system in his garage back in 2004. It took two years befoe he sold a single barrel, but in 2007 Surly was named the best microbrewery in the country.  Go on any night and you can expect a packed house and to wait a bit for a table. During the nicer weather Surly has a large patio area to grab a specialty brew while you wait.

PEEP'S HOT BOX

(FOOD TRUCK)

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: CREATIVE STREET FOOD

WHEN: You find yourself lucky enough to be by the truck.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

HOURS: 

Varies, check website.

MAP IT: 

Check website

WHAT TO ORDER: 

  • Menu changes frequently

WHY: This is one of my favorite food trucks,  their menu changes with the season and product availability. The dishes range from fried asparagus to banh mi sandwiches. Everything is chef inspired and you never know what is going to be coming out that window.  A word of advice from the Pig, if you see this truck, get in line!

MATT'S BAR

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: STUFFED CHEESE BURGERS

WHEN: You want hot molten lava inside your burger

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Cash only

HOURS:

Sun - Thur 11:00am–12:00am

Fri & Sat 11:00am–1:00am

 

MAP IT: 

3500 Cedar Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55407

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Jucy Lucy

  • A cold tap

WHY: The home of the original Jucy Lucy. What is a Jucy Lucy? It's not your slopy cousin from Cleveland, but rather a Minnesota specialty of a inside out cheeseburger. Yes, this little Minneapolis bar may not look like much when you stroll up, and that's the point, it isn't. It's a tiny bar with a tiny grill pumping out a huge Minnesota classic

QUANG

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: VIETNAMESE

WHEN: It's cold outside and you want a hot bowl of amazing soup.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS:

Sun 10:30am–8:30pm

Mon 11:00am - 9:00pm

Tue Closed

Wed - Fri 11:00am - 9:00pm

Sat 10:30am - 9:00pm

 

MAP IT: 

2719 Nicollet Ave

Minneapolis, MN 55408

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Pho

  • Bahn Mi

WHY: In my opinion, Pho is judged by the broth and theirs is deep and flavorful with great brown spice notes. The garnishes pull the ethnic specialty together. Don't miss out on their Banh mi, the bread is as good as I have seen. Quang is the best Vietnamese I have had in Minneapolis, or actually anywhere. 

HI-LO DINER

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: AN OLD CLASSIC DINER WITH A TRENDY TWIST ON FOOD.

WHEN: You cant decide between a doughnut or fried chicken.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Sun - Thur: 8:00am - 10:00pm
Fri & Sat: 8:00am - 12:00am

 

MAP IT: 

4020 E Lake St.

Minneapolis, MN 55406

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Gary Cooper

  • The Mini-Apple Bliss

WHY: This is an old 1957 Diner that started life in Pennsylvania and somehow landed in Minneapolis. Their menu is creative and refreshing. I was obsessed with the Hi-tops which are doughnuts that enjoy life as a base to savory and sweet toppings.  This was truly a unexpected treat. 

BIRCHWOOD CAFE

PIG SCORE: 3.85 / 4.0

WHAT: UPSCALE HIPPY FOOD

WHEN: You want healthy homemade food that taste great.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Monday - Friday 7AM–9PM

Saturday & Sunday8AM–9PM

MAP IT: 

3311 East 25th Street,

Minneapolis, MN 55406

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Avocado Toast

WHY: Everything is made from scratch, locally sourced and taste amazing. This is a great place for breakfast or lunch when your building up some local karma.

BUTCHER'S SALT

(FOOD TRUCK)

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: INSPIRED STREET FOOD

WHEN: You're downtown for lunch, and it's nice outside.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Varies, check website.

 

MAP IT: 

Check website

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Salted browns with an over easy egg

  • Sliders

WHY: The passion of the owner is apparent, this is a great restaurant whether it is on four wheels or not. Butcher's salt delivers well-seasoned quality food over and over again.

YOUNG JONI SPEAKEASY

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: SECRET BAR

WHEN: You're in the mood for a chill hangout.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

If the red light is on, they're open.

 

MAP IT: 

165 13th Ave NE

Minneapolis, MN 55413

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Jesse "THE BODY"  Ventura

  • Good Grief

WHY: It is a Minneapolis focused speakeasy. It feels like you just walked into your friends back shed for a drink, and he happens to be an amazing bartender. 

HOW TO GET IN: Walk around the main pizzeria and into the back alley. If you see a giant red neon bar of light, the speakeasy is open. Walk down and find the door.

BIBUTA

(FOOD TRUCK)

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHY: Yet another amazing Minneapolis food truck. Bibuta serves high-quality sushi from a food truck. Now I know this may feel a little like Russian roulette with food, but it's the best street sushi I have ever seen come out of a truck.

WHAT: STREET SUSHI

WHEN: You feel like something light and refreshing.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Varies, check website.

 

MAP IT: 

Check website

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Poki bowl

  • Sushi burrito

HOT INDIAN

(FOOD TRUCK)

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: INDIAN STREET FOOD

WHEN: You want to try something Indian, but are new to the game.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Varies, check website.

 

MAP IT: 

Check website

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Chicken Tikka Indurrito

WHY: This is a cool Indian fusion food truck. They take classic Indian dishes and turn them into approachable street food. Their standard is a burrito made with Rostis; a traditional Indian flatbread. These guys are ingenious and more importantly great cooks.

FOOD TRUCKS (SEASONAL)

PIG SCORE: 3.75 / 4.0

WHAT: EVERYTHING

WHEN: It's between April 1st and October 31st , and its lunch time.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: April 1st - October 31st

Mon - Sat 11:00am - 1:30pm

 

MAP IT: 

S Marquette Ave & 8th St

Minneapolis, MN 

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Choose from the many options

WHY: Minneapolis supports a thriving street food market.  The quality and diversity of the trucks is only matched by the quantity. Walk the streets  Marquette and 8th between 11 am and 1 pm during the warmer months, pick a truck, and enjoy your lunch out on the streets of downtown Minneapolis.

PATISSIER 46

PIG SCORE: 3.8 / 4.0

WHAT: A FRENCH PASTRY

WHEN: You're feeling Frenchy

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Sunday 7AM–2PM

Monday Closed

Tuesday - Saturday 7AM–6PM

 

MAP IT: 

4552 Grand Ave S.

Minneapolis, MN 55419

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Tartine

  • Baguette sandwich

  • Any

WHY: A local little French inspired bakery / café with a quaint atmosphere and top quality pastries. A fantastic place for a cup of coffee and a croissant. 

STEEL TOE BREWERY

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT: CRAFT TAP ROOM

WHEN: You're looking for a place to hang with friends and grab a beer.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

HOURS:

Mon 3:00pm – 8:30pm

Tue - Fri 3:00pm –10:00pm

Sat 12:00pm - 10:00pm

Sun  12:00pm - 6:00pm

MAP IT: 

4848 W 35th St

St Louis Park, MN 55416

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Size 7

  • Sommer Vice

11:00am–12:00am

WHY: As they put it, a small craft brewery with dreams of staying small. A single location where they brew some top notch craft beer. It may be a little out of the way but a great place to unwind if you're looking for quality beer.  

YO - YO DOUGHNUTS

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT: CRAFT DOUGHNUTS

WHEN: You have a hole in your life that only doughnuts can fill.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS:

Mon - Sat  6AM–5PM

Sun 7AM–1PM

 

MAP IT: 

5757 Sanibel Drive

Minnetonka, MN 55343

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Cookies & Cream

  • Maple Bacon Long john

WHY: These may be the best doughnuts in the Minneapolis area. Fun flavors, quality products and deliver on texture. Make sure you try the maple bacon long john, it has a full slice of bacon on top for a garnish.

TRU PIE

(FOOD TRUCK)

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT:  WOOD FIRED PIZZA

WHEN: You want a quality pizza.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Varies, check website.

 

MAP IT: 

Check website

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Margherita Pizza

WHY: This is a food truck with a real wood burning pizza oven in it. The pizza is as good as any wood fired pizza restaurant. I was surprised that pizza coming off a food truck rivaled that of VPNs, that is impressive. This is worth the wait, and worth tracking down.

UNITED NOODLES

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT: ASIAN FUSION 

WHEN: You want Asian, but are on a college budget.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

7 days  11:00am - 6:00pm

 

MAP IT: 

2015 East 24th Street 
Minneapolis, MN 55404

WHAT TO ORDER: 

  • Char sui (BBQ pork)

  • Takoyaki (Octopus dumplings)

 

WHY: It is actually called Unideli and it is located in United Noodles, the largest Asian market in Minneapolis. They have a creative menu that is very reasonably priced. After your done take a stroll through the market and pick up some of your cooking needs. 

SEBASTIAN JOE'S 

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

WHAT: SMALL BATCH ICE CREAM

WHEN: You're looking for quality ice cream.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Sunday - Thursday  7AM–11PM

Friday & Saturday 7AM–12AM

 

MAP IT: 

1007 W Franklin Ave

Minneapolis, MN 55405

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Nicolette Avenue pothole in a handmade cone

  • Pavoratti in a handmade cone

WHY: Handcrafting small batches of premium ice cream and waffle cones. It all started over thirty years ago with three Italian brothers who wanted to bring craft ice cream to the twin cities. The flavors are well thought out sophisticated flavors that even kids  love.

STANLEY'S NORTHEAST BAR

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT: A SECRET BAR INSIDE OF ANOTHER BAR.

WHEN: You're in the mood for a classic prohibition drink.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Monday & Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday - Saturday: 6pm - ?

MAP IT: 

Check website

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Davenport Double Standard

  • Ottoman Old Fashioned

WHY: This is a secret bar inside of a real bar. You could be in Stanley's for hours and never know there was a secret hidden in it. And once inside, you feel like you went back in time. 

HOW TO GET IN: Find the non-descript photo booth in the back of the bar. Go inside close the curtain and knock on the back wall. When the man on the other side greets you ask him to see some bar stools. 

FULTON BREWERY

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

WHAT: URBAN TAP ROOM

WHEN: You want to go out for a drink after work with friends.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Monday - Thursday 3–10PM

Friday 3–11PM

Saturday12–11PM

Sunday 12–6PM

MAP IT: 

414 N 6th Ave

Minneapolis, MN 55401

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Sweet child of vine

  • Lonely blonde

WHY: Fulton is the garage band equivalent of a microbrewery. They started 11 years ago in one of the owners single car garage. They are officially a tap room, which means you can purchase beer and growlers here, but not food. But that shouldn't bother you as they have paired up with a great selection of the top food trucks that park right outside nightly.

BOGART'S DOUGHNUT CO.

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

WHAT: SMALL BATCH DOUGHNUTS

WHEN: High quality doughnuts are required.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Monday - Friday 6:30AM–12:30PM

Saturday & Sunday 7:30AM–12:30PM

 

MAP IT: (2 locations)

904 West 36th Street 
Minneapolis, MN 55408

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Vanilla Bean Buttercream-Filled

WHY: Handcrafted classic old-world doughnuts. They have yeast-risen, brioche dough, and rich cake doughnuts. It's a small location, this is not a Starbucks grab a pastry, a cup of coffee while you sit and do your work, this is a grab your dozen and coffee to go.

MUDDY WATERS

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

WHAT: A COFFEE SHOP / BAR / GASTROPUB.

WHEN: You're not sure if you want coffee of a beer with your breakfast.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

7 days  -  8AM  - 2AM

 

MAP IT: 

2933 Lyndale Ave S.

Minneapolis, MN 55408

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Breakfast Pountine

  • Breakfast Burger

WHY: Because this place doesn't know what it wants to be, but does all three very well, and aren't we all a little like that at times? A great place to grab a  beer and or a breakfast sandwich.

REVIVAL

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

WHAT: SOUTHERN COMFORT

WHEN: You're looking for good fried chicken.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

7 Days  11AM - 10PM

 

MAP IT: 

4257 Nicollet Ave S.

Minneapolis, MN 55409

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Nashville Hot Chicken

WHY: You want some amazing Southern comfort food like hot fried d chicken.

AL'S BREAKFAST

(DINKYTOWN)

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

WHAT: DINER DIVE

WHEN: You need a cure for your hangover

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Cash only

HOURS: 

Monday - Thursday 6AM–1PM

Friday & Saturday 6AM–1PM, 6PM–1AM

Sunday 9AM–1PM

MAP IT: 

413 14th Ave SE

Minneapolis, MN 55414

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Corned beef hash

  • A Classic Breakfast

WHY: This nook in Dinkytown could be the smallest restaurant I have been in, it is only 10 feet wide and that includes the kitchen. Al's has been serving old school breakfast for over 60 years. The locals line up for their chance to get a stool, you will have to wait to get one of the 14 seats during prime time. Come in enjoy an quality breakfast and enjoy the tiniest restaurant in Dinkytown.

WORLD STREET KITCHEN

(FOOD TRUCK)

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

WHAT: FUSION STREET FOOD

WHEN: You're looking for a burrito with flair and flavor.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Varies, check website.

 

MAP IT: 

Check website

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Red curry burrito

WHY:These guys have a line from the moment they open the window. They build ethnic flavors in burrito formats making new adventures in food approachable.  If you missed the food truck or it is off season they have a restaurant that serves similar food as well.

ANCHOR FISH & CHIPS

PIG SCORE: 3.5 / 4.0

WHAT: IRISH FISH & CHIPS

WHEN: You're feeling a wee bit of the Iris

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Monday Closed

Tuesday - Thursday  4–10PM

Friday 4–11PM

Saturday 10AM–11PM

Sunday 10AM–10PM

MAP IT: 

302 13th Ave NE.

Minneapolis, MN 55413

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Fried Cod & Chips

  • A PiGuinness

WHY: This is the real deal. Crispy, juicy fried cod with hand cut fries. Do yourself a favor and ask for extra tarter sauce right away. 

BLVD. 

PIG SCORE: 3.5 / 4.0

WHAT: UPSCALE BISTRO

WHEN: You're looking for a nice place to eat. may be a little pricey.

PRICE: $$ - $$$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Monday - Saturday 11AM - 10PM

Sunday 9AM - 10PM

 

MAP IT: 

S Marquette Ave & 8th St

Minneapolis, MN 

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Blvd royal with cheese

WHY: High-end local, but the Royal with cheese is amazing! 

BAUHAUS BREW LAB

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

WHAT: MICRO-BREWERY

WHEN: A good beer is in your future, duh.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS:

Sunday - Tuesday Closed

Wednesday - Friday 4–11PM

Saturday12–11PM

 

MAP IT: 

1315 Tyler St NE

Minneapolis, MN 55413

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Wonderstuff, Bohemian Pilsner

  • Wagon Party, West Coast Lager

 

WHY: The location is very cool, they are in an old abandoned industrial warehouse still adorned with the cranes and the tracks. Brauhaus is a local microbrewery that practices their art in a classic German style with a modern playful twist. Be on the look out for live music.

PARLOUR

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

WHAT: GREAT UPSCALE BAR FOOD

WHEN: You're looking for a NICE dinner with friends.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Tuesday - Saturday 4PM–1AM

Sunday- Monday 4PM–12AM

 

MAP IT: 

730 N Washington Ave.

Minneapolis, MN 55401

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Cheeseburger

WHY: They have really solid food, but the one thing that is above all others is there cheeseburger. It is AMAZING, slightly expensive, but amazing. 

RED COW

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

WHAT: SOPHISTICATED BURGERS

WHEN: You want burgers but are also with wine people.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Monday - Friday 11AM–1AM

Saturday & Sunday 9AM–1AM

MAP IT: (2 locations)

208 1st Ave N

Minneapolis MN 55401

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Manhattan 2.0

  • Barcalona

WHY: Red cow uses a special blend of 21-day dry aged ribeye, chuck, short rib, and brisket. The grind actually has pieces of the rib eye in it, I'm not kidding, they have large delicious pieces in the burger. The block has a great balance of fat to lean, so many young chefs forget fat is flavor. Red cow has two locations and puts out, burgers for people who can appreciate better quality. 

THE MORAL OMNIVORE

(FOOD TRUCK)

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: VEG-CENTRIC STREET FOOD

WHEN: You want to impress that hippy vegetarian chick in your sociology class.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Varies, check website.

 

MAP IT: 

Check website

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Curried mushroom fries

WHY: 

Vegcentric is a serious trend with the Millenials and Gen next. Moral Omnivore takes an ethical approach to food, a little meat goes a long way. They try to buy local and be as sustainable as possible while serving great food. 

BLACK SHEEP PIZZA

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: COAL FIRED PIZZA.

WHEN: You're craving upscale quality pizza.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Sunday - Thursday 11AM–11PM

Friday - Saturday 11AM–12AM

MAP IT: (3 locations) 

2550 Nicollet Ave.

Minneapolis, MN 55404

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Sicilian

  • Fennel Sausage, Onion, & Green Olives

WHY: Coal fired was how pizzerias started in this country, and it provides a deep rich fla to the finished pizza. Really robust flavors. 

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