Travel For Two
The Coziest, Social Distancing-Friendly Restaurants in Minneapolis-Saint Paul
Outdoor firepits, live tunes and plenty of food you’ll want to write home about. At these nine restaurants, you can keep your distance, no matter if you dine in or take out.
Although the snow and freezing temperatures in the Minneapolis Saint-Paul metro region won’t be going anywhere for a while, there is some good news — there are plenty of cozy restaurants that’ll help you beat the cold while enjoying a hearty meal.
From outdoor firepits and live music to downright delicious dishes, here are the coziest, social distancing-friendly restaurants where you can dine in or take out.
Bars and Breweries
Sipping an adult beverage is a great way to keep warm in the winter. No matter where you are in the metro area, there’s a must-try neighborhood bar or brewery near you.
Take a trip back in time with a visit to the prohibition-themed Volstead House Whiskey Bar & Speakeasy in Eagan. Its cozy, old school atmosphere and top-shelf beverages aren’t the only things to get excited about. It also has outdoor firepits and heaters so you can keep your distance outside, plus occasional live music. Order a tequila old fashioned and pair it with the duck wontons or the bacon bourbon burger.
For your next date night, you’ll want to go to Parlour in Minneapolis, which is known for its intimate vibes and killer craft cocktails, such as the “Babs,” the “All Hot & Bothered” and the “Migrating Coconuts?” It also serves up a burger like no other — the Parlour burger is topped with ribeye and brisket.
Craving a cold beer on an outdoor patio? Even in the dead of winter? OMNI Brewing Co. in Minneapolis Northwest has you covered. Its heated outdoor tent means you can have patio beers year-round. Reservations are required for a spot in the tent, so book ahead. The brewery also regularly hosts food trucks — just check the calendar to see which trucks will be on-site and when.
At Forgotten Star Brewing Co. in Fridley, you can pair your pint with a leisurely skate around the brewery’s ice-skating rink in its parking lot. After a few laps, grab another beer and unwind on the brewery’s cozy outdoor patio complete with heat lamps.
Would you like a side of ice with that? The Block Food + Drink in St. Louis Park recently partnered with Minnesota Ice to create the “Ice Games” — two beer pong tables and two cornhole sets sculpted entirely out of ice. The games are all outdoors and reservations are required and can accommodate groups of up to eight people. Every group gets access to firepits, a free s’mores kit for each person and two “all-inclusive resort” cocktails made with Red Bull Tropical and Maestro Dobel tequila.
Igloos and Rooftops
For a dining experience you won’t soon forget, reserve an igloo at McCoy’s Copper Pint in Shakopee. Each igloo includes a heater and can host up to eight people. Reservations are required, so book ahead. Pro tip: Dress for the elements — warm coats, boots and blankets are recommended.
If one igloo outing isn’t enough, Nacho Mama’s also offers reservable igloos on its alleyway patio in downtown Stillwater. And when it snows, the igloo takes on a snow globe-like aesthetic that will leave you in awe. Reservations are also required, so book ahead!
For those who prefer a more expansive setting and stunning river views, Papa’s Rooftop at the historic Water Street Inn in Stillwater is the place to be. Note that the kitchen is closed for the winter months so only drinks are currently offered, but there are 11 cocktails to choose from. Cozy up by the firepit and order a hot cocktail, such as the “Invierno” or the “Butterscotch Hot Buttered Rum.”
Dinner and a Show
Missing live music? Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club in Fridley is embracing live shows in our “new normal” with indoor and outdoor performances that follow extensive health and safety precautions. The jazz club’s new outdoor Crooner’s Mainstage Tent offers socially distant seating in a cozy, climate-controlled space and features a romantic backdrop of Moore Lake. For more live tunes, you can head inside to the socially distant Dunsmore Jazz Room, which also offers a beautiful lakeside backdrop. Spend the night enjoying outstanding eats as you listen to a highly curated lineup of some of Minnesota’s top jazz, R&B and roots performers. The club currently only offers full table service for parties of two or four (no single seats).