Minnesota is no stranger to great food! As home of the Juicy Lucy, we sure know what makes a burger great – and we’re no stranger to tacos, pizza, or BBQ either! No matter what kind of food you like, there plenty of little food towns all across our state, dying to serve you up some of their finest fare while you visit. Check out these eleven little towns and find out for yourself:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Known as the "Biggest Little Town in Southern Minnesota" Harmony is one of the best little food towns, too! The town is home to about 1,000 people and several great restaurants. Have a hankering for a great burger? Head to On The Crunchy Side American Bar and Eatery. Are you looking for a good cup of coffee and a slice of pie? Easy peasy! Stop in at The Village Square of Harmony for a great cup of joe and a slice of your favorite sweet treat.
2. Two Harbors
A drive up to the North Shore is sure to include a stop to Betty’s Pies, but Two Harbors has even more great food to offer up. Louise’s Place in downtown Two Harbors is a wonderful local eatery offering cuisine from breakfast tacos to salads to meatloaf sandwiches. This cozy diner will leave you bursting at the seams! If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, check out Splashing Rock. With breathtaking views of Lake Superior, there isn’t a bad item on the menu. Try the vegetable and provolone strudel on your next visit!
A tiny tourist town of 2000 inhabitants, Nisswa is located in the Brainerd Lakes area and is home to more than lakes and hiking trails! Some of the best restaurants are located right in Nisswa. For the most delicious burger in the area, head to Ganley's Restaurant. This longtime Nisswa staple serves outstanding patty melts. Make sure you get a malt to wash it all down!
4. New Ulm
This small town is mostly known for two things—Hermann the German statue and Schell’s Brewery! However, we’re here to tell you that this town is packed full of wonderful restaurants. Lamplighter Family Sports Bar & Grill is known for their wonderful service and large portions - and their awesome French dip sandwich! If you’re thinking that German fare might satisfy your taste buds, stop in to Veigel’s Kaiserhoff for some wienerschnitzel or bratwurst and hot German potato salad. Yum!
This tiny town has a big list of great eateries! From burgers to pizza to seafood, Staples has something for every craving. If you’re into burgers and beer, check out the dive bar Twisted Sisters for the best burgers you’ll find in this area. If pizza is your thing, try Giovanni's or Tower Pizza. You can't go wrong with either one!
Nestled in the bluffs of the Root River Valley is the hidden gem of Lanesboro. With a population of around 750 people, this tiny town has no shortage of great eateries. For a hearty meal, check out Old Village Hall Restaurant. The slow roasted beef brisket with mashed potatoes will haunt your dreams. You'll find even more comfort food at Pedal Pushers Cafe, a bright spot with a menu full of fresh, delicious food.
Known for its beautiful lakes and great hiking trails, Ely is also home to some fantastic restaurants. Top on our list is Gator’s Grilled Cheese Emporium. From standard grilled cheese to unusual combinations, you can satisfy just about any grilled cheese inspired craving here. If you’re craving a burger, head to Boathouse Brewpub and Restaurant, where you’ll find choices of burgers, fish and various sandwiches, along with beers brewed right on site!
Located in northwestern Minnesota, the small town of Crookston has a population of nearly 8,000. But that doesn’t mean they lack good eating! First, head to Happy Joe’s where you can try the taco pizza. For drinks and a game of pool, head to I.C. Muggs. Top it all off with a sweet treat at Widman’s Candy Shop. May we suggest the chocolate-covered potato chips?
9. Grand Marais
Located on the shores of Lake Superior, Grand Marais is home to around 1400 people - and several amazing restaurants! Hughie’s Taco House is a local favorite, serving up the best homemade flour tortillas in town. There isn’t a shortage of cafes and restaurants serving locally caught fish, either! Try Angry Trout Cafe for a variety of freshly served fish. And before you leave town, you
must stop in at World's Best Donuts. It's a Grand Marais tradition!
10. Red Wing
On the banks of the Mighty Mississippi lies the town of Red Wing. While the population is growing, Red Wing has a small-town feel that will leave you with a smile. Another thing to feel happy about while visiting? The tasty dining spots around this town. For example, Smokin' Oak Rotisserie & Grill is a great spot for all things BBQ. From the house ribs to the Southern-style brisket dinner, you are certain to find something you love. Other Red Wing favorites? Kelly's Tap House, Bev's Cafe, and Jimmy's Pub - to name a few!
Wabasha is largely known as being the filming location for Grumpy Old Men, but did you know that they have a wide variety of great restaurants? For a delicious meal that tastes like it came straight from grandma’s oven, head over to the Pioneer Supper Club. And the Silver Star Saloon & Grill is a must-eat location if you love great appetizers and even better main courses! Wabasha may be small, but it knows good food!
Know of any other small towns in Minnesota that have amazing restaurants? Let us know in the comments below.