If you’re like us, you love checking out off-the-beaten-path restaurants that, while they don’t get much fanfare, serve up tasty homestyle meals. These experiences often end up being some of the best adventures, but every once in a while, it’s nice to go for something a little more tried-and-true. In addition to our hundreds of unknown cafes and diners, Minnesota is also home to some pretty famous restaurants. They may sometimes have long lines, but you won’t regret stopping for one second.
1. Matt's Bar — Minneapolis
As the birthplace of the Jucy Lucy, Matt's Bar is one of Minnesota's most famous restaurants. There is often a line of people out the door waiting to have a taste of the classic cheese-filled burger. But the wait usually isn't too long — and it's totally worth it.
Address: 3500 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis.
2. Duluth Grill —Duluth
Having been featured on the Food Network, Duluth Grill has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. But this spot is a longtime favorite of those in the know, thanks to its casual feel and excellent menu. If you're in the mood for some amazing, homestyle food, you won't mind the wait.
Address: 118 S 27th Avenue West, Duluth.
3. Al's Breakfast — Minneapolis
Al's Breakfast is a longstanding Minneapolis favorite where, by the very nature of the restaurant, there is almost always a line. The tiny restaurant only has a few stools at its counter. Guests must line up along the back wall to await their turn for food. But it's totally worth it once you have a taste of the classic breakfast items on offer here. Plus, it's a Minneapolis tradition that everyone should experience at least once.
Address: 413 14th Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis.
4. Blue Door Pub — St. Paul
With three locations in the Twin Cities, Blue Door fans have plenty of options when it comes to choosing their favorite spot to grab Blue Door's famous blue cheese-stuffed burger. The original location in St. Paul is small, so there is often a wait. But the line goes pretty fast, and you can always duck into the Mall of St. Paul next door if you want to wait for things to die down.
Address: 1811 Selby Avenue, St. Paul.
5. Pizzeria Lola — Minneapolis
The centerpiece of this beautiful pizzeria is the huge, wood-fired oven that stands in the middle of the dining area. From there, handmade pizzas topped with delicious, fresh ingredients are served. This popular spot is one of many incredible pizza places in Minnesota, and it's well worth waiting if you find yourself in a line.
Address: 5557 Xerxes Avenue South, Minneapolis.
6. Butcher & the Boar — Minneapolis
Butcher & the Boar is often cited as one of Minnesota's best restaurants. The classy atmosphere mixed with the meat-focused menu creates an experience that feels more special than a typical restaurant visit. This popular spot is definitely worth visiting if you're interested in savory flavors served in an elevated atmosphere.
Address: 1121 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.
7. Spoon and Stable — Minneapolis
Spoon and Stable is a popular restaurant that is located in what was once a horse stable. Today, they serve up dishes using seasonal ingredients. The restaurant is quite popular, but any line that forms is more than worth waiting in. You'll forget all about it once you take your first bite.
Address: 211 North 1st Street, Minneapolis.
8. The Bachelor Farmer — Minneapolis
This casual restaurant has made a name for itself by offering guests delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients. Every season of the year offers unique dishes, and ingredients harvested in warm months are preserved using traditional methods for use in the winter. All in all, this popular restaurant is a celebration of local agriculture and Minnesota heritage.
Address: 50 North 2nd Avenue, Minneapolis.
9. Jax Cafe — Minneapolis
Jax Cafe has been in Minneapolis since 1933, with the history of the building going back decades further. Over the years, it has become a beloved Minnesota restaurant known for its amazing steaks and seafood. Whether you have to wait in line during busy times or happen to sneak in during a quiet hour, you're guaranteed to have a great meal in a comfortable, old-school atmosphere here.
Address: 1928 University Avenue Northeast, Minneapolis.
10. Tilia — Minneapolis
Tilia is a Minneapolis restaurant that has been recognized for the past several years as one of the best places to eat in Minnesota — and in the country. Its chef is a 2017 James Beard Award nominee, which goes to show you just how special this place is. Excellent ingredients are artfully transformed into some of the best food you'll ever have. This well-known restaurant may sometimes come with a bit of a wait, but it's so worth it.
Address: 2726 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis.
Would you add any famous restaurants to the list? Let us know in the comments below!