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Best of the Twin Cities 2020: Food & Drink

Noah Lawrence

Noah Lawrence

Best not sugarcoat this: Nothing about 2020 could be considered an “average” year, including the realm of food and drink! Some of The Best establishments may be hibernating right now, while others have remained alive by shifting to service modes that don't match the descriptions and categories in which they’re being recognized; still, so many (!) have stayed afloat, ready and waiting to share their (cited) hospitality with you. 

Only in a few gut-wrenching instances did we lose honorees entirely. These winners achieved a lot as they were, and we’re of the mindset that the work they put in shouldn’t – and won’t – go unacknowledged. 

That said, all of this year’s Food and Drink winners have been recognized for the banner years and senses of place they contributed to long before some dude ate a mid-rare pangolin (or bat), the world went rogue, and dining rooms began closing and reopening, then closed again to deep clean so they could reopen again. Please check websites or call before heading out to visit IRL; things change hourly.

Click here to browse our entire Best Of issue

Best New Restaurant: Demi

Best Restaurant in Minneapolis: Grand Cafe (yes, again)

Best Chef: Yia Vang

Best Restaurant in St. Paul: Magic Noodle

Best Restaurant in the ’Burbs: Vann 

Best Restaurant Worth the Drive: Lakeview Drive Inn

Best Fine Dining: Bardo

Best Splurge: Shellfish Tower at 4 Bells

Best Italian Restaurant: Giulia

Best Latin American Restaurant: Mañana Restaurant y Pupuseria

Best Indian Restaurant: Namaste India Grill & Brew House

Best Mediterranean: Olive & Lamb

Best Middle Eastern: Afandina Cafe

Best East African Restaurant: Dilla Ethiopian Restaurant

Best Vietnamese Restaurant: iPho by Saigon

Best Chinese Restaurant: Grand Szechuan Restaurant

Best Korean Restaurant: Kimchi Tofu House

Best Thai Restaurant: Thai Cafe

Best Vegan: Fig & Farro

Best Vegetarian: Himalayan Restaurant

Best Restaurant for a First Date: Sandcastle

Best Restaurant for Romance: Gardens of Salonica

Best View: Aster Cafe

Best Service: La Tapatia

Best Place to Eat Out with Your Kids: Gandhi Mahal

Best Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners: Sea Salt

Best Prix Fixe Menu: Restaurant Alma

Best Gluten-Free Menu: Colita

Best-Kept Secret: Savory Bake House

Best Dining Trend: Tiny Restaurants

Best Diner: Band Box Diner

Best Late-Night Eats: Flameburger

Best Airport Eats: Leeann Chin

Best Bagels: Asa’s Bakery

Best Bakery: Rose Street Patisserie

Best Barbecue: Smoke in the Pit

Best Bar Food: Iron Door Pub

Best Bartender: Our guardian angel, Eagles Club #34

Best Bar Trend: Non-alcoholic Cocktails

Best Beer: Lift Bridge Silhouette

Best Beer (Limited Release): Crankin’ Foamers from Fair State Brewing Cooperative

Best Beer Selection in a Bar: HopCat

Best Beer Trend: Brewery Collaborations

Best Biscuits: Standish Cafe

Best Bloody Mary: Icehouse

Best Breakfast: Al’s Breakfast

Best Breakfast on the Go: The Chewery

Best Brewery: Barrel Theory Beer Company

Best Brunch: Modern Times

Best Burger: Dipped & Debris

Lolli Morlock

Lolli Morlock

Best Cafe: Duck Duck Coffee

Best Candy Store: Candyland

Best Cheap Eats: The Fremont’s Two-Dollar Tuesdays

Best Chocolate: Legacy Chocolates

Best Cocktails: Travail Kitchen and Amusements

Best Coffee Roaster: Roots Roasting

Best Coffee Shop: Northern Coffeeworks

Best Cookbook: Fish by Jon Wipfli

Best Delicatessen: Sikora’s Polish Market & Deli

Best Dessert: Horchata Pot de Creme at Hola Arepa

Best Distillery: Dampfwerk Distilling

Best Dive Bar: Northeast Yacht Club

Best Doughnuts: Mel-O-Glaze Bakery

Best Drunk Food: A Slice of New York

Best Farmers Market: Midtown Farmers Market

Best Food Truck: Animales Barbeque Co.

Best Fried Chicken: Soul Bowl’s Big K.R.I.T. Sandwich

Best Fries: The Naughty Greek’s “Naughty Fries”

Best Gimmick: Extreme Christmas

Best Hangover Cure: Go dutch with your hookup at May Day Cafe

Best Happy Hour (After Work): Memory Lanes

Best Happy Hour (Late Night): The Lowbrow

Best Hot Dog: Uncle Franky’s

Best Ice Cream: Treats 

Best Instagrammable Food: Black Walnut Bakery

Best International Grocery: United Noodles

Best Liquor Store: Morelli’s Market

Best Lunch: Zettas

Best Margarita: Centro at Popol Vuh

Best Martini: Meritage

Best Meatless Burger: Mac Attack at Trio Plant-Based

Best Mocktails: Marvel Bar

Best Neighborhood Bar in Minneapolis: Lakes and Legends

Best Neighborhood Bar in St. Paul: The Spot Bar

Best Neighborhood Grocery: Dragon Star Oriental Foods

Lolli Morlock

Lolli Morlock

Best New Bar: Meteor

Best New Brewery: Falling Knife Brewing Co.

Best Pancakes: Granola Cakes at Bryant-Lake Bowl

Best Party Bar: Honey

Best Patio/Outdoor Seating: Muddy Waters Bar & Eatery

Best Pho: Pho Pasteur

Best Pizza: Boludo

Best Pop-Up Restaurant: Queer Soup Night

Best Pub: The Prodigal Public House

Best Ramen: Zen Box Izakaya

Best Salad: Farmers Market Salad at Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza

Best Sandwich: The Cubano at Manny’s Tortas

Best Seafood: Grand Catch

Best Skyway Eats: Afro Deli

Best Smoking Patio: 331 Club

Best Speakeasy: Volstead’s Emporium

Best Sports Bar: St. Paul Tap

Best State Fair Food: Jalapeño Cheese Curds at Miller’s Flavored Cheese Curds

Best Steak: Lindey’s Prime Steak House

Best Suburban Brewery: Lift Bridge Brewing Company

Best Sushi: Momo Sushi

Best Tacos: Tacos El Kevin

Best Taproom: Urban Growler

Best Tea Shop: Jinx Tea

Best Transformation: Revolution Hall to Potluck

Best Wine Bar: Bar Brava

Best Wings: Cedar Inn

Best Winter Drinking: City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival