Twin Cities restaurant recommendations please!
May 26, 2009 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Calling all Minneapolitans - looking for a restaurant recommendation.

I am looking for a restaurant in the Mpls/St Paul area which has a good view of a lake or the river. The restaurant must serve standard American food - steak, burgers, pizza, tacos etc. Price doesn't matter as much as the food. I know about Lord Fletchers in Minnetonka, Maynards in Excelsior and Sunsets in Wayzata and while these are good, something in either of the cities would be preferable to the suburbs. It's been years since I've lived there so I'm not fully up to date on all the restaurants. Any help much appreciated, thanks!
posted by triggerfinger to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: What about something down at St. Anthony Main? Vic's, Pracna, or Tugg's? I've always enjoyed Pracna, and a riverside table on a lovely summer evening is pretty nice.
posted by kingbenny at 1:00 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The View is right across the street from Lake Calhoun.

Joe's Garage overloooks Loring Park
posted by sanka at 1:02 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: Pracna's is probably your best option for river dining. avoid their curry sandwich though, it's terrible!
posted by Think_Long at 1:18 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: It's amazing how few restaurants meet this criteria. I assume there must be some sort of zoning rule that prevents commercial construction so close to the lakes/river.

Pracna is probably the best option.

The View has surprisingly good food and a decent wine/beer selection, but it's across Lake Street from Calhoun and the view isn't particularly good - you don't really see the lake that well.

I'm not sure if seafood meets your needs, but the Tin Fish is the only place I can think of that is right next to the lake - - it's right on the Pavillion. I've heard mixed things about it though.

There's also the Riverview Cafe on West River Road. American cuisine, and the food's ok. But there's a road and a lot of trees between you and the river, so I'm not sure if it really counts as having a water view.

I think the No Wake Cafe in St Paul is just a B&B now (I feel bad - the owner is a friend), and I don't think it's called that anymore. But that was right on the water.
posted by bonecrusher at 1:31 PM on May 26, 2009

Yeah - the No Wake is now the Covington Inn and they don't serve meals.
posted by bonecrusher at 1:40 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: Brian Oake on Cities 97 does a show from a lakeside bar/grill every Thursday called "Oake on the Water". I can't get to the site right now, but you may want to check out the list of places he will be this summer. Maybe check that list anyway to avoid the crowd if you will be going there on a Thursday.
posted by soelo at 1:47 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: Bonecrusher is correct. There are many places, including those listed above, that are by water, but not many that look right into the water.

You might try the Guthrie. There are a few places in either of its restaurants where you can see the river. But not throughout the entire restaurant, so you'd have to ask for special seating.

Nicollet Island Inn is the same way. With the right table, you can see part of the Mississippi.
posted by ochenk at 1:52 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: Joe's Garage has food that perfectly fits what you want, but it overlooks a beautiful park, not water. It is worth considering, though.
posted by cushie at 2:35 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: The Riverview Cafe bonecrusher lists is probably actually the Longfellow Grill. It's decent, but it's on a bluff, so you can't see much of the water.

Sea Salt Eatery is near Minnehaha Falls, and while you have to order at the counter, you can take your food to any picnic table and be within view of the falls. Note: it's a sea food place.

I think your best bet food-wise might be the Sample Room in NE Minneapolis, though you'll have to look out back for the river view.
posted by Maarika at 2:49 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: The Dock cafe in Stillwater has stunning views of the St. Croix river. It's a bit of a drive, but not much further than Lord Fletchers in the other direction.
posted by xotis at 2:58 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer: The Dock cafe in Stillwater has stunning views of the St. Croix river.

Beat me to it!

Also, I like the Sample Room, but it's a fairly good distance from the river, with parking and trees and whatnot between you and there.
posted by gimonca at 4:00 PM on May 26, 2009

Best answer:
It has been awhile since I lived there as well, but that never stopped an opinion.

I have to say the (new) Guthrie blew my socks off from a building perspective. If you have not seen it, find some reason to go walk around the river and visit the building. It has changed the river-space, and I think for the better.

The other surprise was Brits, across from Orchestra Hall. I used to own a stool at this place and when I visited last they had expanded the upstairs to include outside lawn bowling. Again, worth a visit. I am a fan of rooftop urban establishments and this is marvelous.

Lousy food choices but another perspective...
posted by fluffycreature at 7:09 AM on May 27, 2009

I think the problem is that most of the city lakes have public beaches and parks, and the rivers have the parkways, so there aren't many building sites for restaurants to be established. The Guthrie is a good idea . . . You'll have to go out onto the walkway to get the real view
posted by Think_Long at 8:51 AM on May 27, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone - this is a great bunch of suggestions. I've narrowed it down to Pracna's, The View, Joe's Garage and Maynards. I have yet to check out the Guthrie's restaurants though. It will come down to how picky my friend is about being near the water. If not, probably Joe's Garage. If so, Maynards if he doesn't mind the trek out to the suburbs and one of the city places if he does.

The link to Brian Oakes' program was great - it has all the restaurants they go to listed and for the record they are as follows:

Lord Fletchers
Captain Jack's (in Prior Lake IIRC)
PD Pappy's (Stillwater)
Lola's Lakehouse (Waconia)
Bayside (Excelsior)

So it looks as though even Cities97 couldn't find anything outside of the 'burbs either. Thanks again to everyone for the helpful replies.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:17 PM on May 27, 2009

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