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Restaurants in Minneapolis-St Paul

Traditional Minnesota food conjures up images of hamburger casserole (locally referred to as 'hot dish') and 'jello salad' (jello filled with sliced bits of fruit). However, the restaurant scene in Minneapolis is quite trendy, and visitors will have no trouble finding any kind of cuisine they desire, ranging from Peruvian to sushi.

Dinkytown and Stadium Village (near the University of Minnesota) provide a variety of low-priced options for the collegiate crowd, while Northeast Minneapolis has a wide range of ethnic spots, ranging from Mexican and Ecuadorian to Middle Eastern and Polish.

Downtown, the options are even more varied: Nicollet Avenue is known as Eat Street for its eclectic fare, including many Southeast Asian options.

During the day, 2nd Avenue and Marquette Avenue become a foodie's paradise, as dozens of food trucks of varying descriptions descend on the curb to provide the city's office workers with fresh food.

A particular specialty of Minneapolis is the Juicy Lucy, a type of hamburger where the cheese is sealed into the meat patty rather than put on top. Two local restaurants, Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club, both claim to be the inventors. However, local loyalty is split down the middle and either venue provides a filling experience.

$$$$$ | American

Mickey's Diner

While it may not be haute cuisine, Mickey's Diner is a landmark on the St Paul map. The quintessential greasy spoon is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and isn't shy about much of anything. They'll boast about their thick milkshakes, juicy burgers, and cranky waitresses with equal fervour. The iconic dining car is done up in a distinctive art deco style, and has been featured in several movies, including The Mighty Ducks and A Prairie Home Companion.

Address: 36 W. 7th Street, St. Paul
Telephone: (651) 698-0259

$$$$$ |

Loring Pasta Bar

The decor in this Dinkytown restaurant shouldn't be missed. It's both chic and whimsical and totally unlike any other eatery in the Twin Cities. The three-storey dining room is light and airey during the day, but packed at night when the Loring hosts live music, which is almost nightly. The menu is aimed at the university crowd as it's right on the edge of the University of Minnesota campus, but with a sophisticated flair. It heats up on weekends with salsa nights.

Address: 327 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis
Telephone: (612) 378-4849

$$$$$ | Steakhouse

Manny's Steakhouse

Manny's Steakhouse in downtown Minneapolis is focused on the best: the best cut of meat, the best liquor, and the best service possible. This comes at a price, of course, as Manny's is one of the most expensive restaurants in the Twin Cities. Loyal patrons insist you get what you pay for though, as the food is excellent and the portions huge. The tables are close together and the atmosphere is usually bustling, so it isn't the place for a quiet, intimate meal.

Address: 825 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis
Telephone: (612) 339-9900

$$$$$ | International

Midtown Global Market

The Midtown Global Market is an international hodgepodge of of freshly-prepared food from every corner of the world. Visitors can sample fare from Mexico, Italy, Israel, Sweden, Vietnam, and other exotic locales. The market also features specialty groceries and eclectic international shops, making it a one-stop shop for food, gifts, and more. Stalls trade Monday to Saturday 10am-8pm, and Sunday 11am-6pm.

Address: Lake Sreet & Chicago Avenue
Telephone: (612) 872-4041

$$$$$ | Fusion

Chino Latino

This popular Minneapolis restaurant in the heart of Uptown blends Latin and Asian cuisine for a mixture that seems to please everyone. The food is served family-style, and includes diverse options like Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Philippine Paella. Reservations are recommended, and there are several dishes that must be ordered in advance, including Fidel's Capitalist Pig Roast (Havana-style suckling pig) and the Cuy Disponible (guinea pig).

Address: 2916 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
Telephone: (612) 824-7878

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An American expat currently living in South Africa, Anya Klaassen has travelled widely as a musician and writer.

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