12 Bucket List Worthy Restaurants To Try In Minnesota, One For Each Month Of The Year
There are hundreds of amazing restaurants in Minnesota. It would take years to visit all of them – and in that time span, even more would open up. That’s why we created a list of 12 tried-and-true Minnesota restaurants for you to visit this year, one for every month. These restaurants serve up delicious food in comfortable, welcoming environments. You’ll find everything from steak and chicken to breakfast and pie – and beyond. There’s a lot to savor about these spots, and you’ll soon see why when you visit. Read on below to see the full list of the best restaurants in Minnesota that we recommend trying this year:
1. January - Lindey’s Prime Steakhouse
3600 Snelling Ave N, Arden Hills, MN 55112, USA
A trip to
is a great way to start off the year. This old-school spot has been around forever, and it’s easy to see why. The casual atmosphere is welcoming to all, and the small menu contains just a few phenomenal items. If you’re a prime rib fan, pop into this spot for meat cooked just how you like it served alongside a salad and bottomless bread and potatoes. You won’t be able to stop thinking about how great this meal was.
2. February - Brigitte’s Cafe
42 32nd Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301, USA
To get you through Minnesota’s long winter, try a February trip to
in the St. Cloud area. Here, you’ll find a casual diner setting that draws people in from all around. Friendly staff makes you feel right at home, as will the bustling dining room. Then, you can fill up on your favorite comfort foods: breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, and more. This will become one of your favorite spots to visit when you’re in central Minnesota.
3. March - Kaffe Stuga
43821 Forest Blvd, Harris, MN 55032, USA
is a longstanding spot in the east-central Minnesota community of Harris. For those in the know, this is a go-to spot for outstanding home-cooked food. The menu is full of homestyle favorites, from breakfast classics to burgers and sandwiches to roast beef, pork chop, and fried chicken dinners - and more. Any time you stop here, you’re guaranteed friendly, fast service and fantastic food. That’s why we recommend heading that way this March!
4. April - Brass Rail
36868 MN-65, Grandy, MN 55029, USA
In April, head on over to the tiny unincorporated community of Grandy, Minnesota. Though rural, you may find that many other people have stopped in to enjoy a meal at
as well. That’s because this restaurant’s award-winning broasted chicken is considered some of the best in the state. Platters come with chicken, potatoes, and slaw. It’s a winning combination that is sure to keep you full for the rest of the day. Not only that, but it’ll keep you coming back again and again.
5. May - Rapidan Dam Store
54116 Glory Ln, Mankato, MN 56001, USA
As Minnesota’s weather warms up, many seasonal restaurants open their doors again. In Mankato, the
Rapidan Dam Store
is a favorite. This little roadside spot looks unassuming. But inside, you’ll find some truly tasty meals. The restaurant’s most famous offerings are its pies, so do be sure to order a slice (or two!) before you go. If you’re planning a late spring trip to Minneopa Falls, this is a must-stop spot along the way. (Editor’s Note: The Rapidam Dam Store is temporarily closed)
6. June - Leo's Grill & Malt Shop
131 Main St S, Stillwater, MN 55082, USA
As summer starts, head on over to Stillwater to browse the charming downtown streets and stroll along the St. Croix River. When it’s time to eat,
Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop
is always a good choice. It’s a charming diner with an old-school vibe. Interesting old signs and art decorate the walls, and the menu is full of American fare favorites. There’s nothing more delicious than a burger, fries, and a malt from this delicious spot.
7. July - Lakeview Drive Inn
610 E Sarnia St, Winona, MN 55987, USA
In July, head down to Winona, where you’ll find the oldest drive-in restaurant in the state.
This charming spot
opened in 1938 and is still going strong as a family-owned and operated restaurant today. Pop in on a sunny summer day for a burger and fries, cheese curds, a hot dog, or any number of other tasty offerings. Don’t forget to finish off your meal with a shake, a banana split, or an ice cream cone. You can’t go wrong with anything you get at this landmark Winona, Minnesota, restaurant.
8. August - Gordy's Hi-Hat
415 Sunnyside Dr, Cloquet, MN 55720, USA
Finish off the summer with a trip to
in Cloquet, Minnesota. This restaurant opened in the 1960s retains the classic diner vibe inside and out. It’s a great place to stop for a bite on your way to and from the North Shore. The small-town vibe combines with the tasty menu full of burgers, chicken, fries, and more to create a family-favorite northern Minnesota restaurant. It’s a must-stop spot for summertime travelers, and we guarantee you’ll love it.
9. September - Rustic Inn Cafe
2773 MN-61, Two Harbors, MN 55616, USA
As summer comes to a close, it’s fun to visit cozy spots like the
Rustic Inn Café
. This spot in Two Harbors is a great choice for those headed up to the North Shore to see the leaves change. The cozy cabin vibe is welcoming - especially as the weather cools - and the food is fantastic. You can’t leave without trying a slice of pie. There are many options on the menu. In September, try giving the apple pie a whirl. It’ll be a perfect, flavorful way to top off your trip to the North Shore. You’ll want to come back again and again!
10. October - Trestle Inn
9459 Co Hwy 7, Finland, MN 55603, USA
Where better to be when the leaves change than in the middle of a national forest?
is a little-known spot hidden inside Superior National Forest. It’s casual and rustic, with classic comfort foods filling much of the menu. Stop in for a burger, a chicken sandwich, fish, or any of the other wonderful menu items. If you’re out for a fall drive in northern Minnesota, you might want to stop at this hidden restaurant with beautiful surroundings this October.
11. November - Yarusso Bros. Italian Restaurant
635 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130, USA
Yarusso Bros. Italian Restaurant
has served up fantastic spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, and more. It’s St. Paul’s oldest family-owned Italian restaurant, and it’s one of the coziest places to go as the weather starts to get cold. Stop in for a welcoming meal consisting of pasta, handmade meatballs, chicken parmesan, sandwiches, and more. You’ll find all of your favorites here. Stop in for a warm, comfy dining experience, and leave knowing that you’ve just had some of the tastiest Italian food around.
12. December - Duluth Grill
grill, 118 S 27th Ave W, Duluth, MN 55806, USA
Many people visit Duluth for the holiday season. After all, Minnesota’s North Shore is absolutely beautiful under a blanket of snow - especially when dazzling Bentleyville lights up the night. When you’re there in December, make time to pay a visit to Duluth Grill.
This award-winning restaurant
has outstanding food all day. Many especially love coming for breakfast, when you can get mouthwatering biscuits and gravy, omelets, waffles, eggs benedict, and more. There’s a reason this restaurant comes so highly recommend - it’s that good!
What do you think? Are there any more you’d add? Let us know in the comments or by filling out our
nomination form. And if you’re interested in some of our other suggestions for the year, take a look at our list of hikes to take in Minnesota every month.
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More to Explore
The Best Food in Minnesota
What are the most iconic foods in Minnesota?
These are the most iconic foods in Minnesota:
Wild Rice Soup. Wild rice is a Minnesota staple and this soup has made its way onto the menu of many of the state’s restaurants.
Tater Tot Hotdish. This is Minnesota comfort food at its best. Tater tots mixed with meat and cheese and baked in an oven.
Juicy Lucy. This state makes hamburgers stuffed with cheese known as the Juicy Lucy and it’s all over Minnesota.
Krumkake. The Scandinavian roots of many of the locals comes out in this wafer-like confection that is rolled and often filled with cream.
Discover several more of the most iconic foods in Minnesota.
What are some hidden gem restaurants in Minnesota?
Here are some hidden gem restaurants in Minnesota:
Maiv’s Egg Roll Basket. Located in Maplewood, this little spot serves several varieties of egg rolls, from traditional veggie, chicken, and pork to pizza and fruit egg rolls.
Tendermaid. This burger joint in Austin, MN has loose-meat burgers that are as messy as they are delicious.
Mabel Murphy’s. This European-style pub serves delicious sandwiches, seafood, and steak, all in a cozy, comfortable setting.
D-Spot. This Oakdale restaurant has over 70 varieties of chicken wings for you to sink your teeth into. From savory to spicy, you’re sure to find a flavor you’ll love.
Learn more about these and several other hidden gem restaurants in Minnesota.
What are the most historic restaurants in Minnesota?
The most historic restaurants in Minnesota include:
Mickey’s Diner. This old diner in St. Paul is on the National Registry of Historic Places and has appeared in several feature films.
Forepaugh’s Restaurant. Originally a home that was built in 1870, this place became a restaurant in 1976 and has been serving delicious food in historic surroundings ever since.
Band Box Diner. This Minneapolis diner was opened in 1939 and became a chain for a while, but it’s now back to this one iconic location.
Pickwick Restaurant & Pub. Located in Duluth, this restaurant originally opened in 1888 in another spot but has been at its current location since 1914.
Find out more about these and several more of the most historic restaurants in Minnesota.