Sip in Summer

Nowhere beats the heat better than Twin Cities restaurants. Check out 30+ patios, river views, food trucks, ice cream shops, happy hours and more.

Enjoy the View
In the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the state boasting the headwaters of the Mississippi River, you don’t have to go far to get a water view with your meal. The St. Anthony Main neighborhood of Minneapolis boasts several favorite riverside spots for dining. Grab a burger and a beer at Tugg’s Tavern (www.tuggstavern.com) and enjoy some live music on the patio. Or pull up a chair on the tree-lined patio of Aster Café (www.aster-cafe.com) for a flatbread pizza or cheese plate with a glass of wine. Aster also features live music. On the other side of the river in Minneapolis, enjoy a view of the Stone Arch Bridge and St. Anthony Falls before a show at the Guthrie Theater at the venue’s sustainable seafood restaurant Sea Change (www.seachangempls.com). With James Beard Award winner Tim McKee behind the menu, this restaurant serves up clams, oysters, Arctic char, salmon and more dishes from the sea. Over to the west, Urban Eatery (www.myurbaneatery.com) boasts a view of Lake Calhoun. Start with edamame or cheese curds before enjoying a steak, burger or some fish and chips.


The Happiest of Hours
Whether you’re out celebrating, meeting friends, rewarding yourself after a long day or are just plain thirsty, there are plenty of occasions that call for a great happy hour. Widely recognized as having the best happy hour, at McCormick & Schmick’s (www.mccormickandschmicks.com) you can sip on handcrafted drinks, regional and international wines and craft and imported beers starting at $4. Plus, where else can you dine on a variety of menu items such as fish n’ chips, chicken wings, jambalaya, a cheeseburger or steamed mussels for under $6? For unbeatable handcrafted beers, check out Great Waters Brewing Co. (www.greatwatersbc.com), where on any given day you can find up to nine brews on tap for $2.50. Located in the heart of downtown St. Paul, this a great place to grab a drink and a $5 small plate before or after your outing. For those who find themselves racing to catch the last minutes of happy hour, check out Fuji Ya (www.fujiyasushi.com), where deals go until 7 p.m. As the most award-winning sushi restaurant (found in both downtowns), Fuji Ya offers an extensive variety of rolls, starting at just $3. You can also find sake, cocktail, wine and beer specials. For Latin-themed food and drinks, check out Barrio (www.barriotequilla.com) in either Minneapolis or St. Paul. Here you’ll find discounted tap beers, well drinks, margaritas and sangria, as well as small plates, tacos and enchiladas.

Savory Sips
When it comes to summer dining, nothing beats chilling on a patio with a sweaty glass filled with an ice-cold drink or staying out late and sipping cocktails at a happening restaurant. For a real thirst quencher, order the signature Big Ginger at one of our four famous Irish pubs: The Local (www.the-local.com) and Kieran’s (www.kierans.com) in downtown Minneapolis, The Liffey (www.theliffey.com) in downtown St. Paul or Cooper (www.cooperpub.com) in St. Louis Park. Made with 2Gingers whiskey, ginger ale and lemon and lime wedges, this crisp beverage takes the edge off of a hot summer’s day. For a little paradise in Minnesota, head to Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge (psychosuzis.com) in Northeast Minneapolis for a tiki-themed beverage like the Paralyzed Polynesian made with four (yes, four!) different kinds of rum. Chino Latino (www.chinolatino.com) in Uptown is well known for its inventive cocktails, not to mention great nightlife atmosphere. The Green Tease Me (sweet tea vodka, St. Germain and melon liqueur) or the Honolulu Hummer (banana-spiked rum blended with vanilla ice cream, served in a coconut!) are sure to knock your socks off.

On the Go
Take picnic dining to the next level lakeside or by the park. For a proper—but more ambitious—picnic, check out Bread and Pickle (www.breadandpickle.com) near Lake Harriet. Here you can pre-order a picnic basket filled with goodies, from fresh salads to a variety of sandwiches, local cheeses and ice cream and take it a short walk away to eat lakeside. For a twist on traditional concession stand dining, head over to the Lake Calhoun Pavilion for some fresh seafood at The Tin Fish (www.thetinfish.net). Here you’ll find a wide variety of grilled and fried fish and seafood, as well as burgers, salads and soups. Sea Salt Eatery (www.seasalteatery.com) redefines the term “picnic in the park,” serving wine and beer, oysters on the half-sell, po’boys and a daily changing menu that accommodates fresh seafood options. Located in Minnehaha Park, you can dine in a picturesque setting of limestone bluffs, river overlooks and a 53-foot waterfall.

Dining On Top
Catch an evening summer breeze while dining alfresco at one of these spectacular rooftop locales. Uptown’s Moto-I (moto-i.com), the first sake brewery outside of Japan, has an open plan terrace with a skyline view. Grab a bite of fried tofu lettuce wraps or a bistro steak from the happy hour menu. For a truly stellar dining experience, head to the Sky Bar at Uptown Cafeteria & Support Group (uptowncafeteria.com). Take the glass elevator (the Sky Car) to get an aerial view of the city skyline and order off the menu of comfort food favorites. Begin with the crab fritters, feast on buttermilk fried chicken and wash it down with a house wine. Head to downtown Minneapolis for an exotic experience at Solera (www.solera-restaurant.com), located in the heart of the theater district. Solera offers authentic Spanish cuisine from its tapas menu. The patio terrace’s panoramic views will keep you enchanted as you dine on gratin de escalivada, roasted vegetables and goat cheese. Also downtown you’ll find the ever-popular Brit’s Pub (www.britspub.com). Brit’s impressive rooftop boasts a manicured lawn bowling green and two patios with grand cityscape views. Tuck into traditional dining from the mother country with dishes like fish and chips, Shepherd’s Pie or bangers and mash. And don’t leave without downing a pint from the quintessentially English beer list.

WhereTraveler Staff
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