Minneapolis and Saint Paul are serving up some of the best food in the country. If you have trouble narrowing down what to eat and what best exemplifies the Twin Cities, here are the 18 dishes you have to eat in Minneapolis and Saint Paul before you die:
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1. A Juicy Lucy at Matt's Bar (Minneapolis)
Anyone who knows anything about food in Minneapolis knows that Matt's Bar claims to have made the first ever Juicy Lucy: a cheeseburger made with two patties melded together with a glob of molten cheese in the center. It's a Minneapolis claim to fame, and even if it will clog your arteries, it's totally worth it. No good origin story of something as delectable as the Juicy Lucy is without controversy, especially in regards as to who made the first one and the better one. Matt's Bar, 3500 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407.
2. Or a Juicy Lucy at the 5-8 Club (Minneapolis)
Was Matt's Bar the original creator of the Juicy Lucy or was this heart attack inducing burger created at the 5-8 Club? The world doesn't actually know, but Minneapolitans have taken sides. The 5-8 Club has certainly been in business longer, since it started as a speakeasy in 1928. It has taken time to grow and is now a small Minnesotan chain with four locations. Which restaurant has the best Juicy Lucy? Eat one at both the 5-8 Club and Matt's Bar to form your own opinion. 5-8 Club, 5800 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417.
3. Flourless Chocolate Cake from Mon Petit Cheri (Minneapolis)
Mon Petit Cheri is easy to pass by. On the ever busy Franklin Ave in the heart of the Seward neighborhood, stands this small, unassuming bakery. Take one step inside, and you'll know you've found something special. The cutesy cafe is decorated with antique baking utensils; whisks hang from the ceiling and rolling pins hang from the walls. Each table is sealed with pages from vintage cookbooks. The bakery has a solid breakfast and lunch menu, with a case of baked goods that rotate on a daily basis. Their flourless chocolate cake is so rich and decadent, you'll want to keep the whole thing for yourself, rather than share. Mon Petit Cheri, 2401 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406.
4. Fish and Chips from The Anchor Fish and Chips (Minneapolis)
Any restaurant with "fish and chips" in the name better make excellent fish and chips. The Anchor Fish and Chips lives up to its name. Their cod is perfect fried and well seasoned and is served with a sizable portion of chips. It's a popular place for citizens of Northeast Minneapolis to hang out and have a pint or two. If the wait to get inside is too long, the food truck is often times parked out back for you to get your fish and chips fix. The Anchor Fish and Chips, 302 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.
5. Pizza At Cossetta Alimentari (Saint Paul)
Cossetta is a Saint Paul staple. The pizzeria serves up slices as large as the plate cafeteria style and are worth every greasy, cheesy bite. Cossetta contains an excellent pastry and gelato selection as a market within the building, and a restaurant on the third floor. Cossetta isn't just a place to grab a bite to eat, it's an experience. Cossetta Alimentari, 211 7th St. West, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102.
6. Cubano at Victor's 1959 Cafe (Minneapolis)
Who knew you could find a little piece of Cuba in South Minneapolis? Victor's 1959 Cafe serves up the best authentic Cuban food around. The medianoche cubano has been re-romanticized since Jon Favreau's 2014 feel-good film, "Chef." Victor's slow cooks their pulled pork on site, buys their ham locally, and serves up the warm sandwich on Cuban bread with the usual mustard, pickles, and Swiss cheese. It's worth every single juicy, savory bite. Victor's 1959 Cafe, 3756 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409.
7. Gyro At Naughty Greek (Saint Paul)
The Naughty Greek serves up traditional gyros that are made with 100% pork, rather than lamb or beef. They keep things simple by also having one spit of chicken, while also serving up a slew of vegetarian dishes. Get a little bit of Greece yourself in Saint Paul. The Naughty Greek, 181 North Snelling Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104.
8. Breakfast Sandwich From Alma Cafe (Minneapolis)
Restaurant Alma is all the rage in Minneapolis these days. It feels almost impossible to get into the restaurant for dinner. Luckily, the cafe, located within the same building makes the delicious and creative food a bit more accessible. Their fried egg sandwich is served on a ciabatta roll with mortadella, bacon, and smoked gouda. It's a breakfast sandwich dreams are made of. Restaurant Alma, 528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.
9. Smoked Brisket from Handsome Hog (Saint Paul)
Minnesota might be far away from The South, but that doesn't mean chefs in Saint Paul can't serve up some extraordinary barbecue. Handsome Hog is a pork and bourbon-centric located in the up and coming Lowertown neighborhood of Saint Paul. The menu rotates seasonally, but the forever staple at Handsome Hog is their smoked brisket. The juicy delectable strips of brisket are served upon a slice of Texas toast with a side of grilled corn on the cob and house made pickles. The barbecue sauce that comes along the dish is perfection. Get to Handsome Hog early to assure they don't run out of brisket for the evening! Handsome Hog, 203 6th St E, Saint Paul, MN 55101.
10. Falafel from Holy Land (Minneapolis)
Holy Land is a deli and market located in both North East Minneapolis, as well as a small location within the Midtown Global Market. Its origin is one of the American dream; a family coming to America to seek prosperity, and finding it by sharing their food and their culture with those around them. Holy Land serves the best falafel around. Holy Land, 2513 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418.
11. Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe (Saint Paul)
Izzy's is famous for their Izzy Scoop. In what other ice cream shop can you order a single scoop and always be guaranteed another tiny scoop of any flavor on top of the larger one? It's magical for any ice cream lover. Arguably the most popular flavor at Izzy's is the salted caramel, for it's perfect combination of sweet with just a hint of salt. Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe, 2034 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104.
12. Walleye Dinner from The Tavern On Grand (Saint Paul)
If you ask a resident of the Twin Cities about the most notable dish at The Tavern on Grand, they're going to tell you about their distinctive walleye plates. Walleye are the state fish of Minnesota, and therefore must be prepared with the utmost respect. The restaurant serves about 2,000 pounds of walleye in a week and restaurant patrons can choose to have theirs served one of three ways: grilled, fried, or blackened. The Tavern on Grand, 656 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105.
13. Mac and Cheese Donut from Glam Doll Donuts
Mac and cheese in the form of a donut? You heard that right. Glam Doll's spunky and adventurous attitude brought this savory treat to their Northeast location, served with a side of vegetarian chili. You need to eat it to believe it. Glam Doll Donuts, 519 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.
14. Breakfast from Mickey's Diner (Saint Paul)
Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best dishes. Mickey's Diner has been open since 1939 and serves food 24 hours a day in the railroad diner car designed diner. Breakfast is served all day and all night. Many recommend a simple breakfast of two eggs served your way, hash browns, toast, and your choice of meat. Don't mess with the classics. Mickey's Diner, 36 W 7th St Saint Paul, MN 55102.
15. Margherita Pizza from Punch Pizza
In his 2014 State of the Union address, former President Barack Obama mentioned this local chain for paying its employees a livable wage. Punch Pizza is more than how well it treats its workers. It's one of the few places in Minneapolis where you can eat an authentic Neapolitan pizza without an Italian wanting to lecture you on what real pizza is. They cook up their pies in an 800 degree oven for 90 seconds. The classic Margherita is the one to eat.
16. Turtle Cake from Cafe Latte (Saint Paul)
Cafe Latte is famous for their incredible cakes. The turtle cake is a fan favorite; the three layer chocolate cake is frosted with a dark chocolate fudge, a smooth and rich caramel, and topped generously with pecans. The original served at the restaurant is incredible, but the cafe has kindly linked the recipe to their notorious cake on their website. Cafe Latte, 850 Grand Ave Saint Paul, MN 55105.
17. Tater Tot Hot Dish from Haute Dish
Hot dish is a Minnesotan thing. Anywhere else in the country, a hot dish might be referred to as a "casserole," but don't you dare attempt to use that word in Minnesota. Haute Dish, located in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis, takes Midwestern cooking and turns it into something else entirely. Their tater hot dish is made with short rib and giant cheesy tater tots. It's miles away from the tater hot hot dish your mother made, and a million times better. Haute Dish, 119 N Washington Ave, Minnaepolis, MN 55401.
These are just a handful of best dishes in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. What are your favorite things to eat in the cities? Tell us in the comments below!