Lake Harriet’s west side has the much-awarded Tilia, serving creative twists on New American cuisine like chicken liver mousse, bass tartare and hanger steak. Unless you arrive just as the doors open, there is often a line for tables. Nearby, The Harriet Brasserie is also whipping up seasonal, New American plates like clam and bison sausage, duck tacos, Norwegian salmon and the tantalizing lobster and pork belly entrée. Martina’s Argentinean menu by award-winning Chef Daniel Del Prado has a dazzling array of meat and seafood, like mackerel, tiger prawns, swordfish, octopus (with bone marrow!), pork chops and an 80-day aged bone-in NY steak. (Dinner only.) If you just want a treat, Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream Shop has been a Twin Cities staple for homemade ice cream for decades. Rosalia has excellent Sicilian and wood fired style pizzas, along with Mediterranean fare also from Chef Daniel del Prado. Grab coffee and Turkish inspired food and pastries at Cafe Ceres. Find traditional Thai recipes and tons of flavor at Naviya's Thai Kitchen.
On the east side, Tenant Restaurant has strict seating times, so plan ahead. Open in 2017, the hype here is still strong for its $80, six-course, seasonal tasting menu (no substitutions, though they can accommodate allergies). The menu is far too variable to call out any one dish, though scrolling through their Instagram feed will give you an idea of what to expect. A wine paring is available. Neighborhood mainstay Café Ena serves Pan-Latin dishes, with a lot of seafood and meat at casual night out prices. Sun Street Breads serves a bakery-fueled menu of breakfast plates, sandwiches, soups and pastries till 2pm. Thursdays are pizza night (5-8pm). Revival serves Southern comfort food like wings, shrimp and corn pudding, and several presentations of chicken, with accompaniments like waffles or dumplings. More comfort food is available at C & G’s Smoking Barbecue, including family-priced sandwiches, ribs, wings, tips and fish or chicken slabs. Get an incredible meal at Brasa, their menu is inspired by flavors of the southern U.S., Caribbean and Mexico. Warm up at Patisserie 46, where you can find some of the finest baked goods in the city.
Khaluna is a Laotian restaurant by celebrated Chef Ann Ahmed and features incredible food and an all around atmosphere that will have you beating the winter blues.
Do some shopping
Shopping options in the area are also generous. Southwest of the lake is the 50th and France shopping hub, with upscale chains and boutiques like, Athleta (chain women's sportswear), Nani Nalu (swimwear), Coccinella Mediterranean Heritage (home goods and specialty items) and Bluebird Boutique (women’s clothing).
To the west of the lake is Wild Rumpus (children's bookstore), Heartfelt (toys, gifts, crafts), Queenie and Pearl (vintage women's clothing), Hunt & Gather (antique and vintage goods), Comma (bookstore), France 44 (extensive selection of wine, beer, spirits, and gourmet food.) and Heart of Tibet (cultural gifts, clothing, jewelry, textiles and more).