Dominated by Latinx and East African fare, the eating options along East Lake Street are literally staggering (because you’d be in a walking food coma if you tried to sample them all too quickly).
The deliciousness at Somali/Middle Eastern Hamdi Restaurant, includes a wildly popular goat dish which often sells out, so plan for lunch or an early dinner. Quruxlow is a no frills, super authentic Somali food spot, and Hufan Restaurant and Cafe is a family run place with delicious East African flavors, including unique offerings like goat and camel meat platters. Try out one of their refreshing fruit smoothies as well.
There’s great Mexican cuisine up and down Lake Street, but that glorious path was largely paved two decades ago by Pineda Tacos, serving great value plates of tacos, tortas and burritos. It’s not on the menu, but if you want the biggest burrito you’ve ever seen in your life, order the “burrote.” Sonora Grill took Lake Street’s Mexican scene to the next level with chef-driven, Latin fusion takes on tacos (“carmelos”), sandwiches (“bocadillos”), meat skewers (“pinchos”) and a variety of seafood dishes. A local favorite, Taqueria La Haicienda is the place to check out for the most authentic Mexican cuisine. They are consistently on lists for top tacos in the city. Try their signature al pastor taco, which consists of tender pork strips with pineapple and onions. Taqueria y birrieria las cuatro milpas is a hidden gem for authentic dishes from Jalisco, Mexico. They're famous for their birras tacos, a fried, juicy, cheesy taco made from a meat stew that is served with a consomé broth for dipping. And last but certainly not least, Taco Taxi is a beloved fast casual spot with a simple menu of Mexican staples. Their family recipes have been handed down from generation to generation and are sure to hit the mark.
(If you're looking to really get in on the food scene check out this East Lake Mexican Restaurant Tour by Eater Twin Cites!)
To satisfy any sweet cravings make sure to visit La Michoacana Purepecha. They serve naturally made frozen ice cream treats and more with a vast selection of flavors.
Midtown Global Market has well-executed Mexican, Middle Eastern, Italian, Indian, Korean, Moroccan, Chinese, East African, a brewery, ice cream and baked goods all under one roof. Be sure to make a stop at Manny's Tortas, which is a staple at the market. Their Tortas come in variety of meats to choose from and selection of delicious toppings. Mercado Central is the place for a number of great authentic taco, burrito, pupusas, tortas, juices and grocery/bakery options. The best part is you can find it all in the same building.
Authentic and flavorful Nepalese, Indian and Tibetan food can be found at Himalayan Restaurant. Many attest that the buffet is among the best deals in the city.
The Hi-Lo Diner does many things well, but you haven’t lived until you’ve tried a “High Top” (various selections, all piled onto fried pastry dough for a savory-sweet result that will make you scream for more).
Urban Forage Winery & Cider House’s taproom is open Wednesday through Sunday evenings. They host trivia every Thursday and wine tours/tastings every Sunday.
The Schooner Tavern is classic Lake Street, because it's one of the oldest pub houses in Minneapolis. Along with a wide variety of imported, specialty and craft beer and wines, this place has tons of fun including bar bingo, pull tabs, pool, and live music shows. East Lake Brewery is located inside Midtown Global Market and focuses on creating hop-heavy ales and award-winning sour beers. Enjoy the friendly service and relaxed atmosphere inside or out on their patio.
You’ll find Dogwood Coffee beans in a lot of restaurants and cafes in Minneapolis, but one of their store front coffee bars is off of East Lake Street. Dogwood takes care to focus on the roasting process and the result is one of the smoothest cups of coffee you’ve ever had.