Foods Minneapolis is Known For

The Juicy Lucy, Tater Tot Hotdish, Lefse. You might be surprised by what we’ve got on our plates.

Matt's Bar Jucy Lucy, Photo by ©Jason Tesauro @themoderngent

Comfort food is our specialty, and you’ll find it in the form of dozens of different ethnicities and cultures. Flavor is never a concern, and boring doesn’t have a place at the table. Our favorite meals are delicious, home-grown and sometimes just a little outrageous. But we love it, and you will too. Discover the top foods that Minneapolis is known for.

Juicy Lucy

Minneapolis is home to the battle of the Juicy Lucys (or Jucy Lucys!). The rivalry between Matt’s Bar the 5-8 Club for the best cheese-stuffed burger in town is still in full swing. Locals each have their favorites, but we’ll let you be the judge. Some of our other favorite Juicy Lucy spots are The Nook and Blue Door Pub. You can even get one with peanut butter and bacon on top… don’t knock it until you try it!

Tater Tot Hotdish

Tater tot what?! You may know it as casserole, but in Minnesota its called hotdish and it is often accompanied by crisp, crunchy tater tots. Comfort food at its finest. We like The Bulldog or The Mason Jar.

Scandinavian food

Lefse, pickled herring, gravlax, Swedish meatballs. Our Scandinavian roots have made their mark in our food scene, and we’re definitely not complaining. For authentic breads, sausages and cheeses, and Scandinavian gifts, head to Ingebretsen’s. Head to FIKA, the Nordic-inspired café at the American Swedish Institute, for lunch or an afternoon pick me up and explore the museum afterward.

Wild rice

It’s the grain of Minnesota. From soups to pancakes, there’s nothing better than locally harvested wild rice to give you a hearty, flavorful meal. Try the wild rice burger from Common Roots Café, the wild rice pancakes from The Mill Northeast or our personal favorite, the wild rice porridge from Hell’s Kitchen.


Walleye is the most sought-after fish in Minnesota, and for good reason. Found in our lakes and rivers, walleye is the perfect complement to many of our traditional dishes. We recommend FireLake Grill House for their wild rice-crusted walleye, walleye fritters and walleye burger. It’s all authentic, fresh and delicious. 


No, not the kind you drink at. Though we have plenty of those too… We’re talking about good old-fashioned bars from brownies to lemon to carrot. When asked what we’re bringing to a family gathering, we’ll often just respond with “bars.” They know what we mean. For a bar plate sampler, head to Young Joni and order the Church Basement Cookie & Bar Plate. It even comes with a little glass of milk.

Cheese curds

What could make plain old cheese even better? Tossing it in the deep fryer. Often found as an appetizer or side dish, cheese curds are an important essential in Minnesota. Nothing pairs better with a beer than the crisp of a curd. Try Red Cow and dip them in their amazing berry ketchup. 


Home to a large Hmong and Vietnamese community, Minneapolis is a hot spot for pho, a popular Vietnamese noodle soup filled with rice noodles, vegetables, spices and meats. Try Pho 79Zen Box Izakaya or Quang Restaurant for some authentic, delicious pho and ramen. Pro tip: It’s pronounced “fuh” –- you’re welcome.

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