Foodie Weekend in Minneapolis-Saint Paul
Spend a weekend eating your way through the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro region’s vibrant food scene. This weekend itinerary ensures you get a taste of all the best restaurants, cooking classes, food tours and more.
Kick off your weekend with a retro-inspired breakfast or brunch at Cahill Diner in Inver Grove Heights. From the colorful vintage decor to the 1950s tunes, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The menu features diner favorites made from scratch with fresh ingredients, like apple fritter French toast, omelets and biscuits and gravy. If you’re in the mood for lunch fare, try the half-pound Angus burger with fries and a malt.
Spend your afternoon exploring Bloomington’s Mall of America, which is more than just a shopping destination — it’s also a delicious experience for food lovers. The mall is home to 50 restaurants, ranging from fast food to upscale full-service dining. Celebrate the beloved candy-coated chocolate candy at M&Ms World, which features fun interactive experiences and Minnesota-themed candy murals. At the Fair on 4, you can sink your teeth into elevated versions of fair foods, including cheese curds produced at a Minneapolis creamery and hand-dipped corn dogs made with local artisan sausages. Want to try some farm-to-table, Midwest-inspired food instead? Visit Cedar & Stone, Urban Table within the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America for an exceptional and flavorful meal or quick appetizer to refuel your shopping.
Learn some new culinary skills over dinner with a cooking class at Cooks of Crocus Hill. The local retailer has locations in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Stillwater, and each offers a lineup of hands-on cooking classes led by trained chefs. From global cuisine to seasonal meals, you’re sure to find an option that piques your appetite, and the “date night” classes include a glass of wine or beer.
Treat yourself to brunch at the Mad Hatter Restaurant & Tea House in Anoka. Located in the historic Woodbury House on the Rum River, the menu highlights traditional breakfast cuisine, plus local favorites like Swedish meatballs and a signature chicken salad. For a real treat, make a reservation for the three-course tea service, which includes an assortment of scones, finger sandwiches, miniature desserts and unlimited hot tea.
Next, indulge in some culinary sightseeing on a Taste Twin Cities Food Tour. Several itineraries are available, including a Heart of Saint Paul tour highlighting the city’s history and diverse cuisine, a Minneapolis Riverwalk that combines a riverside stroll with tasty local specialties and a Craft Brew Hop delving into the region’s dynamic craft beer scene. You can reserve a spot on one of the regularly scheduled public tours or book a private tour.
Finish the day with a memorable meal in Minneapolis Northwest. Captain Crab in Brooklyn Center specializes in build-your-own seafood boils — pick your catch from selections like crab, lobster, shrimp and clams, then choose your seasoning and spice level. At Rolls & Bowls Asian Cook House in Brooklyn Park, you can customize your own bowl or order from the menu of Asian fusion cuisine including sushi, poke bowls and ramen. Another delicious Brooklyn Park option is Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine, which serves unique Thai fusion dishes, sushi and craft cocktails.
With entertainment, shopping and dozens of food vendors, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is a feast for the senses (and your stomach!). The festival grounds evoke a 16th century European village, and you can try period foods and beverages like turkey legs and honey mead. You’ll also find classic carnival food such as blooming onions, mini doughnuts and roasted corn, plus British specialties including scones, meat pies and bangers and mash. The festival runs through Oct. 3, 2021.
Wind down with some local sips and tasty bites in Waconia. Iron Tap features 38 craft beers on tap, in addition to craft cocktails and award-winning cheese curds. Patio seating is available, plus there’s a seasonal rooftop with a view of downtown. Lola’s Lakehouse also offers great outdoor seating options, with a deck overlooking Lake Waconia. The menu includes seafood appetizers like lobster guacamole, fried calamari and fresh oysters, plus seasonal cocktails and a unique wine list. Vandy’s Grille specializes in house-smoked meats, as well as local fish like walleye and panfish. Cocktails highlight Minnesota-made spirits, and the dining room offers views of the Island View Golf Course.
Wrap up your foodie weekend with dinner at a chef-driven restaurant. St. Louis Park’s Wok in the Park is an Asian fusion bistro by Chef Jacob Johnson with a menu influenced by Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and French cuisines. Everything is prepared in-house using high-quality ingredients, local produce when it’s available and sustainable seafood. Golden Valley’s Lat14 Asian Eatery is inspired by Chef Ann Ahmed’s connections to Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines and their neighboring countries. Expect flavorful small plates, unique entrees (try the bacon pineapple fried rice and braised duck ramen) and innovative craft cocktails.