15 Best Restaurants in Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Best Restaurants in Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Pinkcandy / shutterstock.com

Downtown Minneapolis is part of the Central Minneapolis community in Hennepin County.

As a business and cultural district, Downtown Minneapolis offers a vibrant atmosphere where tourists can grasp the local scene well.

Also near the area are several industrial and historical districts that tell the rich story of how Minneapolis came to be.

Beyond that, you’ll also find hundreds of restaurants that showcase the city’s passion for food in the US and worldwide.

Check out 15 of the best restaurants in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Zelo

Appetizer at Zelo
Foursquare City Guide

Indulge in authentic Italian cuisine when you swing by Zelo at Nicollet Mall in the historic downtown district.

As you enter the restaurant, you’ll be treated to a warm and cozy atmosphere with ambient lighting, wooden floors, and leather couches.

The laid-back setting perfectly accompanies Zelo’s handcrafted meals and authentic wine collection.

Pasta at Zelo
Foursquare City Guide

In 1999, Rick Webb opened Zelo, which has grown into a popular downtown restaurant known for its seared ahi tuna, linguini primavera, and wild mushroom flatbread, among others.

For dessert, help yourself to a serving of caramel sea salt custard, budino, warm vanilla cake, pumpkin butter cake, and more.

Strawberry shortcake at Zelo
Foursquare City Guide

Smith & Porter Restaurant + Bar

Glass of wine in Smith & Porter Restaurant + Bar
Foursquare City Guide

Roaming the streets of Downtown Minneapolis can be tiring and sometimes even lead to a grumbling stomach.

So if you ever need a quick bite before resuming your tour, you might want to check out the menu at Smith & Porter Restaurant + Bar on 2nd St.

Treat yourself to a wide selection of classic and inventive American dishes prepared using only the finest ingredients.

While you’re there, order Chef Brown’s signature dishes like brick-roasted lemon herb chicken, plum-glazed eggplant, tandoori cauliflower steak, and much more.

Smith & Porter Restaurant + Bar also offers a variety of cocktails, martinis, rosé, and wines that complement their delectable desserts and snacks.

Rusty Taco

You can find a taco shop almost everywhere you turn when exploring the streets of Downtown Minneapolis.

If you’re looking for the best one, you’ll find it on E Hennepin Ave.

Rusty Taco has been in the business since 2010, serving only authentic flavor to its patrons and a great dining experience.

Of course, it wouldn’t be possible to call it a Mexican restaurant without live music and bright colorways adorning the walls.

Rusty Taco has nearly every taco combination, including picadillo, Baja shrimp, roasted pork, beef fajita, BBQ brisket, and more.

At night, this Mexican restaurant also makes the perfect place to hang out and share a couple of beers and margaritas with your friends as you chat the hours away.

Murray’s

Seafood dish at Murray’s
Foursquare City Guide

If there’s one restaurant in Downtown Minneapolis that you shouldn’t miss, it’s Murray’s along South 6th St.

Since 1946, Murray’s has served the people of Minneapolis with the iconic Silver Butter Knife Steak.

The retro neon sign outside the restaurant is enough to entice you to enter its doors, and once you do, you’ll enjoy the aroma of pan-seared meat.

Steak at Murray’s
Foursquare City Guide

Kick off your dining experience by ordering a plate of arancini, stuffed mushrooms, Maryland crab cakes, and hickory smoked shrimp.

If you’re planning to stay a while, you might want to pick from their wine and cocktail selection with famous concoctions like Redwood Sazerac, Maui Waui, and Moscow Mule, among others.

Manny’s Steakhouse

Steak at Manny’s Steakhouse
Foursquare City Guide

There are a lot of great restaurants in Downtown Minneapolis, some even globally recognized for serving premium-quality meals.

If you want to grab a seat at a critically acclaimed restaurant in the area, Manny’s Steakhouse on S Marquette Ave is one place you should visit.

Manny’s Steakhouse is a local landmark destination thanks to its heritage beef: USDA-certified and 100% genetically verified black Angus beef.

Besides beef-inspired meals, you might also want to try other dishes like shrimp scampi, lamb and veal chops, thick-cut salmon, and more.

As a great steakhouse, Manny’s also prides itself on having a fantastic bar where you can order your favorite drinks and hang out with your friends.

Keys Cafe Minneapolis

Enjoy the clear skies and cool air while sipping freshly brewed coffee accompanied by baked goods at Keys Cafe Minneapolis on 9th St.

The family-owned restaurant is a favorite spot for many because of its cozy atmosphere and a great selection of baked goods, desserts, and breakfast food.

Every day, Keys Cafe offers pastries prepared by full-time bakers from scratch, making every bite worth savoring.

Take your pick from a wide selection of flavored round cakes, sheet cakes, fruit pies, cupcakes, cookies, sticky buns, and much more.

You’ll even have a blast with sandwiches, wraps, burgers, chili, and combinations that satisfy your cravings.

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse

Cheesecake at Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
Foursquare City Guide

Downtown Minneapolis celebrates cuisines curated from all over the world.

If you want to taste something international, swing by Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse on Hennepin Ave.

Fogo de Chao brings the churrasco grilling tradition from Serra Gaucha to Downtown Minneapolis, offering a different take on classic steak grilling.

Sample the Churrasco experience by ordering best-sellers like the bone-in beef ancho, picanha, costela, and alcatra.

Fogo de Chao also has a market table and feijoada bar, where you can grab a plate of fresh seasonal salads, smoked salmon, cured meats, and a bowl of seasonal soup.

For dessert, you can’t possibly miss their signature Papaya Cream, fresh papaya blended with vanilla ice cream topped with canella pastry crisp.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

Steak at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Foursquare City Guide

Steakhouses are everywhere in Downtown Minneapolis.

If you’re on a mission to try eating at each one, add Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse to your list.

Located along 2nd Ave, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse offers its customers a sophisticated yet welcoming atmosphere, which will only make you want to stay longer inside the restaurant.

Seafood at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Foursquare City Guide

Grab a steak knife and fork, and enjoy the juicy USDA prime beef served with your favorite drink.

Besides their signature sizzling steak, they also prepare other dishes like fresh seafood, sides made from scratch, and desserts.

Make the most of your dining experience by ordering the filet, ribeye, or even the New York strip and T-bone.

Dessert at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Foursquare City Guide

Brit’s Pub and Eating Establishment

Indulge in dishes from the UK while spending some much-needed quality time with your friends at Brit’s Pub and Eating Establishment.

This restaurant in Nicollet Mall is a little corner that pays homage to the UK and its influence on other parts of the world.

Enjoy the wood-clad setting with a relaxing vibe when you dine and play in this one-of-a-kind restaurant downtown.

Start with a basket of King’s Wings or the Royal Sampler before moving on to favorites like the London Broil, Shepherd’s Pie, or The Brit Dip.

After your fix, go to the rooftop and have a friendly game of lawn bowling with your friends or family.

Hell’s Kitchen

Meal at Hell’s Kitchen
Foursquare City Guide

Grab a bite of your favorite American meals when you swing by 9th St and enter the doors of Hell’s Kitchen.

The dishes at Hell’s Kitchen are anything but gruesome, and you definitely won’t be hearing Gordon Ramsay shouting at the kitchen staff.

Instead, you’ll be treated to a quirky and lively atmosphere that you’ll find underground in Downtown Minneapolis.

Dessert at Hell’s Kitchen
Foursquare City Guide

Help yourself to a hefty serving of toasted sausage bread, deviled eggs, and nachos before moving on to all-day breakfast specialties like bison benedict, breakfast burritos, walleye hash, and eggs.

If the great food’s not enough for you to have a good time, wait ’til you hear live performances from local talents!

The Capital Grille

Salad at The Capital Grille
Foursquare City Guide

There are a lot of great restaurants in downtown Minneapolis; one of them is the Capital Grille.

This restaurant prepares its soups, salads, main courses, and desserts using only the finest ingredients possible.

You might find it hard to choose your meal, but you can ask for the chef’s suggestions to get you started.

Drinks at The Capital Grille
Foursquare City Guide

For example, you can try the sliced filet mignon with cipollini onions, wild mushrooms, and fig essence.

Otherwise, try a serving of the porcini-rubbed bone-in ribeye with 15-year-old balsamic vinegar.

The Capital Grille also offers cheesecake, a classic creme brulee, or coconut cream pie for dessert.

Afro Deli and Grill

Taste the most fabulous African creations at Afro Deli and Grill on Riverside Ave.

The fusion restaurant takes inspiration from African, Mediterranean, and American dishes, combining them into one menu.

The restaurant is also family-friendly, so you can take your kids, who should find something they like.

Take your pick from specialties like the afro steak dinner, chicken fantastic, veggie curry, or even entree salads like the caesar and greek salad.

Make sure to grab a serving of baklava, tiramisu, tres leches, and much more for dessert.

Dave’s Downtown

Chicken salad at Dave’s Downtown
Foursquare City Guide

Picking a restaurant to have lunch in Downtown Minneapolis can be time-consuming, especially with the hundreds of choices you’re presented with.

So why not make it easier by going to Dave’s Downtown instead?

Located along 2nd Ave, Dave’s Downtown offers a wide variety of classic lunch meals that anyone can enjoy.

The restaurant has become a downtown staple since the mid-2000s and continues to serve customers freshly made dishes you won’t find anywhere else.

Tomato soup at Dave’s Downtown
Foursquare City Guide

Get yourself a serving of American classics, chicken noodle soup, breakfast platters, or even lunch favorites like wraps, grilled chicken, and much more.

You might also want to try the famous mushroom swiss burger or the chicken tender wrap.

My Burger

A burger at My Burger
Foursquare City Guide

It’s no secret that burgers are an American favorite, but there’s something about how it’s made that makes all the difference no matter where you’re from.

So if you ever find yourself craving a juicy burger in Downtown Minneapolis, you might want to check out My Burger along S Marquette Ave.

The burger joint first welcomed customers in 2004, serving a slew of homemade burgers the way they’re supposed to be.

Fries at My Burger
Foursquare City Guide

If you’re planning to stick around Minneapolis for a while, My Burger has a burger of the month on its menu, giving you a different creation every time you visit.

Other than that, there are also classic favorites like bacon cheese, avocado BLT, veggie burgers, and more.

While taking a big bite out of your burger, you might also want to order from the restaurant’s milkshakes and malts menu.

Dakota

Steak at Dakota
Foursquare City Guide

If you want to entertain yourself while enjoying the best dishes in downtown Minneapolis, head to Dakota at the Nicollet Mall.

Dakota doubles as a restaurant and jazz club, so you should hear soothing tunes as you eat.

Kick off your dining experience with deviled eggs before proceeding to the headliners like blackened trout, roasted duck breast, American wagyu, or fried chicken sandwich.

Likewise, don’t miss their desserts like the Mississippi mud pie, Dakota cheesecake, fig bar, caramelized banana crepes, and more.

After your fix, stick around and sip some drinks while hanging out with your friends.

Final Thoughts

The vibrant atmosphere of Downtown Minneapolis wouldn’t be complete without fantastic restaurants that offer local favorites.

If you’re having difficulty choosing which restaurant to dine in, stick to this list of the best restaurants in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Enjoy a great dining experience during your trip!

💌
Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
✍️
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.