When out-of-towners think about Minnesota cuisine, seafood doesn’t usually come to mind. But maybe it should. We may be landlocked, but we border one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes – not to mention the over 10,000 smaller ones within our borders. So we know a thing or two about great fish – and not just walleye, though there’s plenty of that as well. Here are 11 of Minnesota’s most unbelievably good seafood restaurants.
1. The Tin Fish, Minneapolis and Edina
The Tin Fish is a Lake Calhoun summer tradition with another location in Edina that's open year round. With a menu containing seafood staples like crab cakes and fish tacos, this is a great place to go when you have a hankering for something from the sea.
2. Northern Waters Smokehaus, Duluth
No surprise that the biggest city on the North Shore is home to one of its tastiest restaurants. At Northern Waters Smokehaus, they're committed to offering sustainable fish and meat dishes served up in a creative - and delicious - way. Try the Northern Bagel, described as, "Haus-smoked Traditional Atlantic Salmon layered with a very healthy dose of green onion cream cheese and served on a crisp, toasted, locally made Lake Superior Bakehouse bagel." Delicious!
3. Sea Salt Eatery, Minneapolis
Sea Salt Eatery is a summer staple for anyone spending the day at Minnehaha Falls. Kick back and enjoy the sun with a plate full of shrimp or with your hands wrapped around a classic po'boy.
4. Sea Change, Minneapolis
Sea Change is a Minneapolis eatery with a menu created by a James Beard Award-winning chef. Stop in for some sustainable seafood prepared in the most scrumptious way. Bonus: sit outside for an unbeatable view of the Stone Arch Bridge.
5. Tavern on Grand, St. Paul
St. Paul's Tavern on Grand is well known for having some mouth-watering walleye. Try it as a sandwich, on a taco, in a BLT, or just on its own - but
definitely stop in to try it.
6. Stella's Fish Cafe & Prestige Oyster Bar, Minneapolis
Located in the heart of the Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis, one trip to Stella's will have you coming back for more. This restaurant is known for scrumptious whole Maine lobster, king crab legs, oysters on the half shell, and more.
7. The Anchor Fish & Chips, Minneapolis
This chippy was named Minnesota's best fish and chips restaurant by WCCO viewers. It's easy to see why. Fresh Alaskan cod and hand-cut chips make this a standout restaurant in Minneapolis's Northeast neighborhood.
8. Angry Trout Cafe, Grand Marais
If you've ever been to Grand Marais, you've
probably stopped at Angry Trout Cafe at least once. Angry Trout is housed in a repurposed commercial fishing shanty right on the harbor. The fresh fish sandwich is made from fish caught by local fishermen right out of the lake you'll spend the whole meal admiring.
9. Oceanaire Seafood Room, Minneapolis
Oceanaire Seafood Room in Minneapolis flies in fresh seafood daily. It's a hot spot downtown that has been recognized by local and national media as having some of the most delectable seafood in the area. Crab cake, jumbo shrimp, king crab - it's all delicious.
10. Lemon Wolf Cafe, Beaver Bay
Way up in Beaver Bay, one of the North Shore's lesser known restaurants cranks out fresh-caught fish daily. If herring isn't your cup of tea, try out a classic walleye sandwich. There is nothing more Minnesotan.
11. Smack Shack, Minneapolis
Smack Shack started as a Minneapolis food truck in 2010 and has since graduated into a brick-and-mortar location in Minneapolis. They're best known for their incredible lobster rolls that could rival any roll coming out of Maine. Just look at the photo. Delicious, right?