Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

Exploring the Local Flavors of Minneapolis: A Foodie's Guide

a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant

Great food and great cities have a way of going hand in hand. Chicago has deep dish pizza, Philadelphia has cheesesteaks, Buffalo has chicken wings, and New Orleans has gumbo. 

So, what is Minneapolis’ best known food? If you’re thinking of Jucy Lucys, you’re not wrong. But, you also may be missing the bigger picture. The fact is, the Minneapolis food scene is bustling with a plethora of unique and diverse culinary treasures. It goes way beyond cheese stuffed burgers — although let’s not downplay the delectable combination of meat and cheese.

There are so many must-try restaurants in Minnesota that we’ve compiled a list, answering once and for all the question that many outsiders ask, “Does Minneapolis have a good food scene?”

5-8 Club or Matt’s Grill

If you’ve ever enjoyed a stuffed burger, you have either the 5-8 Club or Matt’s Grill to thank for it. Which one, you ask? That debate has been raging on for nearly 70 years! Both of these neighboring Cedar Avenue establishments claimed to have invented the Jucy Lucy back in the 1950s. 

No matter whose side you’re on, one thing’s for sure — these burgers are juicy, cheesy, and a Minneapolis original. So head to the 5-8 Club today to see where it all started. Or, make that Matt’s Grill…?

Monte Carlo

While the Jucy Lucy may be the most iconic food Minneapolis is known for, there are many more unassuming restaurants around town, some of which have been delighting customers for well over a century.

Founded in 1906, Monte Carlo has always stayed true to its roots — serving mouthwatering steaks, pork chops, seafood, and signature chicken wings out of its quaint little dining room. If you’re not paying attention, you could easily speed right past this 3rd Avenue gem, but you’d be wise to circle back around. Not only is the food exceptional, but there’s a real charm about Monte Carlo, from its cozy confines to its skyscraping liquor collection lit up behind the bar.

State Fair Food

Okay, this is technically more St. Paul than Minneapolis — and you can only get it once a year — but the state fair is so ingrained in local culture that it had to make the list. So, what makes the Minnesota State Fair so popular? Yes, there’s fun attractions and some interesting people watching. But the real draw is the huge variety of scrumptious (and sometimes bizarre) foods!

Enjoy a famous Pronto Pup smeared with ketchup and mustard, or perhaps an enormous turkey leg. Or, go for a salty side dish like french fries or deliciously squeaky cheese curds. Want something a little lighter? Try an ear of buttery-sweet roasted corn! 

If you’re feeling a little daring, go for the deep-fried alligator bites or a fried candy bar on a stick — or see what kind of dent you can put in a bucket of Sweet Martha’s cookies. Whatever you’re craving at the fair, the whole food scene is delightfully Minnesotan, and something that should most certainly be factored into Twin Cities cuisine.

Kramarczuk's Deli

Another staple of the local food scene, Kramarczuk’s going steady since 1954. In those days, founders Wasyl and Anna Kramarczuk were primarily serving Eastern European immigrants in the area. Over the years, more and more people came to appreciate their flavorful, high quality food. Today, Kramarczuk’s includes a market, bakery and restaurant. It serves mouthwatering cabbage rolls, pierogies, pastrami and reuben sandwiches, sausages and more. 

Kramarczuk’s even caught the attention of celebrity restaurateur Guy Fieri, who featured it on an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" in 2010.

Wrecktangle Pizza

When Chef Jeffrey Rogers wanted to get back into the restaurant industry, he found inspiration in Detroit, where square cut deep dish pizzas have carved out an identity of their own. He soon brought Detroit style pizza to Minneapolis, founding Wrecktangle Pizza in 2019. In just a short time, Wrecktangle has grown into a Minneapolis favorite, requiring two vendor locations, a restaurant and a food truck to keep up with demand.

In early 2023, Wrecktangle’s “Very Nice Breakfast Pizza” won Good Morning America’s “United States of Pizza” contest, drawing even more attention to the brand. This special pizza is made with cheddar jack cheese, scrambled eggs, sausage gravy, bacon jam and fried sage leaves — just one of the many exciting creations on the menu.

Graze Provisions + Libations

To round out this list, we’re highlighting not just one more restaurant, but five. How is this possible? Because they’re all in the same place!

Graze Provisions + Libations isn’t just one of the best restaurants in the North Loop of Minneapolis, it’s one of the most exciting food collectives in Minnesota. Graze has everything you could ever want, from award-winning Chef Yia Vang’s Union Hmong Kitchen to Viva Taco’s Mexican-Vietnamese fusion, low-country barbeque at The Fabled Rooster, Soul Bowl's fresh and customizable soul food, and unforgettable burgers, sandwiches and snacks at Two Mixed Up

This diverse, chef-inspired food is taking the Twin Cities by storm, quickly becoming a standout in the vibrant North Loop neighborhood. It’s a great place to experience the melting pot of culture and cuisine that is Minneapolis.

Interested in visiting Graze? Learn more about this amazing local food hall and start planning your trip today!