As blossoming food cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul are home to some incredibly trendy restaurants. Due to their popularity, it’s often difficult to experience some of the best food the cities have to offer without making a reservation, sometimes weeks ahead of time.
Luckily, many of the Twin Cities’ restaurants either don’t take reservations or are just far enough under the radar that you’ll never need one. We’re here to show you 15 mouthwatering restaurants in the area, listed in no particular orde,r that you’ll never need a reservation to experience:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Brasa Premium Rotisserie
Brasa Rotisserie has locations in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul and proudly serves up casual comfort food, taking flavor inspirations from the Caribbean, Mexico, and the southern United States. All of their food is completely natural, with most of their ingredients either locally sourced, organic, or both. Since it's such a casual stop, and the Minneapolis location is so small, you'll never need a reservation, but you may face up to a twenty minute wait. If that's too long, you can always order food to-go. Brasa Premium Rotisserie Minneapolis, 600 East Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414.
Brasa Premium Rotisserie brisket. Worth every succulent bite.
2. Broders' Pasta Bar
Don't get us wrong; Broders' gets very busy on special holidays like Valentine's Day, where you'll see lines out the door. Usually you can score a table in the south Minneapolis restaurant that's been around since 1992. Fresh pasta is made on the premises and is certain to wow your taste buds. Broders' Pasta Bar, 5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419.
Broders' antipasti are not to be missed.
3. Can Can Wonderland
Hamline-Midway in Saint Paul is lucky to have Can Can Wonderland: a cornucopia of art, play, and absolutely wonderful food. The building features an 18-hole mini-golf course.
The Big Blue (left) sandwich is made with smoked brisket, bacon, blue cheese, provolone, horseradish sauce, and is served on marble rye bread. The Bahn Mi is a different take on the Vietnamese sandwich, as a hot dog with cilantro, pickled carrots and daikon radish, jalapeno, and a special sauce piled on top. It's a whole new world for your taste buds at Can Can Wonderland.
4. Handsome Hog
Handsome Hog is another Saint Paul favorite that doesn't accept reservations! Located in the growing neighborhood of Lowertown, Handsome Hog takes southern comfort to a whole new level. Their favorite ingredients? Pork and bourbon. Handsome Hog, 203 6th St E, Saint Paul, MN 55101.
Hush puppies at Handsome Hog are just one of the appeals of the no reservations restaurant.
5. Hi-Lo Diner
This diner was transported from Pennsylvania all the way to Minneapolis. Crazy right? It's currently a city favorite, known for its creative take on classic dishes with no reservations. Hi-Lo Diner 4020 East Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406.
Hi-Tops are a Hi-Lo specialty. They're a hunk of hot and fresh fried dough (like a donut, but not) and are piled high with either sweet or savory toppings. The Gary Coop'er is served with buttermilk fried chicken, country gravy, maple-bourbon syrup, and micro-arugula, so you know.... it's healthy.
6. The Happy Gnome
A Saint Paul staple in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood, The Happy Gnome has been leaving the state capital's citizens satisfied for over a decade. The bar has 89 craft beers on tap, 250 varieties of whiskey and scotch, with top-notch cuisine to match. It's not your average bar. It's so very much more. You can make reservations for the restaurant via OpenTable, but most days you shouldn't need it. The Happy Gnome, 498 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102.
Short Ribs at The Happy Gnome. Delectable.
7. KinhDo Vietnamese Restaurant
KinhDo is a small, unassuming Vietnamese restaurant on the corner of Hennepin and 27th in Uptown. Minneapolitans flock to the restaurant for its variety of Vietnamese and Chinese food offerings, with an abundance of vegetarian options. You won't need a reservation to eat in the restaurant, but take-out is always an option. Kinhdo Restaurant, 2755 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408.
KinhDo's Egg Drop Soup will cost you less than $8.00 for a large serving. It's the Vietnamese comfort soup that is way better than any American chicken noodle soup you can find in a Campbell's can.
8. Hola Arepa
Hola Arepa started out as a food truck, serving Venezuelan stuffed arepas on the streets of Minneapolis. The food truck's popularity grew quickly, leading to a brick and mortar location. Arepas are basically corn-meal cakes stuffed with savory delights. You won't need a reservation to enjoy them. Follow the food truck, or check out the restaurant as soon as possible. Hola Arepa, 3501 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408.
All arepas at Hola Arepa are served with a side of Yuca fries and your choice of aioli verde or chimichurri. Both the black bean and sweet potato and the black bean and queso fresco arepas can be made vegan upon request, making the restaurant a perfect place for everyone to eat.
9. The Lotus
Family owned and operated for more than 25 years, The Lotus began its journey near Loring Park where its original location remains, sending authentic Vietnamese takeout to hungry Minneapolis residents. Within the past year, a second, more sit-down friendly Lotus location opened up in Uptown, next to the Uptown Transit station. It's the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail, eat some pho, and take in all that Uptown has to offer. The Lotus Uptown, 2841 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408.
The Lotus' spring rolls with shrimp are a fan favorite.
10. Manning's Cafe
The Como neighborhood in Minneapolis' hole in the wall has been open since 1932 and much has remained the same. The interior of the restaurant might be dark and look a little dingy, but if you're looking for a fantastic burger in Minneapolis, it's the place to be. You might be the only restaurant patron under the age of 60, but there's a reason this restaurant has been a part of the city for more than 80 years. Give it a chance. Manning's Cafe, 2200 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.
11. Pig Ate My Pizza
Have you been dying to get tickets to experience Travail Kitchen and Amusements but haven't been able to afford the astronomical ticket reservation price? Look no further than their sister restaurant located in the old Travail location,. It's called Pig Ate My Pizza. The masterminds of Travail couldn't possibly serve up just plain old pizza. You'll find creative pies that you won't anywhere else in the world. Pig Ate My Pizza, 4154 W Broadway Ave, Robbinsdale, MN 55422.
The Diana Ross pie needs to be in your life, as does every other pizza the Pig Ate My Pizza has to offer.
Just another phenomenal restaurant in Minneapolis that doesn't accept reservations. Revival started with a Minneapolis location and has recently opened a second location in Saint Paul so both cities can enjoy a laid back environment serving divine southern food. Revival Minneapolis, 4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409.
You can order your chicken southern fried, Tennessee hot, "poultrygeist," or gluten friendly at Revival and choose your portion size.
13. The Rabbit Hole
This Korean fusion restaurant hidden inside of Midtown Global Market is the place to be. The Rabbit Hole prides itself in serving Korean street food you never knew you needed in your life, and always has a funky and cool cocktail for the side. The only time you'll need a reservation is if you're in a group of five or more. Get ready for the kimchi. You're in for a good time. The Rabbit Hole, 920 East Lake St Suite 101, Minneapolis, MN 55407.
The Appa Goober is a popular burger served at the Rabbit Hole. The six ounce beef patty is topped with smoked bacon, Bleu Cheese, Gruyere, caramelized onions, arugula, tomato jam, a fried egg, and kimchi aioli, a thing you didn't know you needed in your life until now.
Tilia is a warm and cozy restaurant in the heart of the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis. Just driving by, you might miss it, which is what makes the place oh so special. Their brunch is incredibly popular, featuring dishes like the Reuben Benedict (top), poached eggs served upon corned beef hash croquettes, caraway cabbage, and Swiss hollandaise; and Slow Poached Eggs In Parmesan Cream (bottom) served with caramelized tomatoes, tarragon, and grilled bread. You've never had brunch like this. Tilia, 2726 W 43rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55410.
15. Ward 6 Food & Drink
Ward 6 opened in 2012 and has quickly become a necessary stop in Eastside Saint Paul. Neighbors Eric and Bob dreamed up this place to dedicate to craft beer and only the most excellent food. We couldn't agree more. Ward 6 Food & Drink, 858 Payne Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55130.
Ward 6's shrimp and grits features shrimp cooked in a creole sauce, served over hot grits, two sunny side up eggs and a house-made biscuit on the side.
Making reservations are always a hassle. We’re lucky to have so many restaurants in Minneapolis and Saint Paul where you can enjoy a delicious meal with no reservation. What’s your favorite, easy-to-access restaurant in the city? Let us know in the comments!