Restaurants in Minneapolis

By | April 1, 2021

Pre Covid, Minneapolis offered a variety of restaurants – upscale, neighborhood, multi-chain operations, buffets, restaurants offering almost every conceivable cultural food choice – as well as dessert bars and wine bars. It seemed that new restaurants were opening weekly and as many closing weekly.

Eating out in Minneapolis was not always like that; Choices were fewer and restaurant openings and closures seemed to be rare. The restaurant scene was, however, memorable with offerings for the most fickle.

For Example:

  • Charlie’s Cafe Exceptionale (operated by Charlie and Louise Sanders) – upscale, the place for the “two martini lunch” and completion of many business deals, and also a lazy-susan on each table featuring Charlie’s scrumptious potato salad.
  • Harry’s – on 11th Street – great food, the important people ate on the second floor
  • Curly’s, Freddies (all men?) Murrays, favorites of many (only Murrays and the Silver butter knife steak remain.
  • Nankin (by the Chalfens) and John’s Number One Son were the favorite Asian spots
  • Rainbow (in Uptown) Chris, George and John Legeros catered to late nighters, breakfast meetings and everybody!
  • Hasty Tasty – the other Uptown favorite – in the basement.
  • Cafeterias – the Forum (spectacular Art Deco architecture), Millers, Becky’s,(Clayton Sonmore offered great food with a religious decor).
  • Fast Food – White Castle was the first – offering 5 “sliders” for 25 cents with a special of 5 “sliders” for 12 cents. After WWII McDonald’s, Burger King and others followed.
  • Normandy – the other “breakfast meeting” location and massive popovers!
  • Shieks – Good food accompanied by popular music offerings before it specialized on men and women.
  • Waikiki Room in the Nicollet Hotel
  • Norse Room in the Leamington Hotel
  • Italian Food aficionados frequented Mama D’s, Mama Rosa’s, Vescio’s, Totinos, and DiNapoli.
  • Perkins – started by Wyman Nelson in the sixties, and expanded rapidly thereafter.
  • 620 Club – “Where Turkey is King,” a favorite of Sids on Block E. Max Winter owned the Vikings also.
  • Delicatessens – Oh do we miss them!
    • Lincoln Dell – The most popular – desserts, bread, omelets, etc., etc. oh la la!
    • Bernie’s – Across the street in St. Louis Park.
    • Plitman’s and Malcopfs (sp) – Plymouth Ave, until the fire and riots in 1968.
    • Brothers – Downtown Locations
    • Abrams – on Lake St .and Emerson (a one way street for homeward bound Minneapolis residents) served corned beef and challah for take out drivers.
  • Currans – The drive in restaurant for south Minneapolis
  • Covered Wagon – the lunch spot for public employees
  • White House (The one in MPLS!) burned a couple of times…
  • McCarthy’s (Wayzata Blvd., Highway 12, now 394) – Almost in Minneapolis
  • Fuji Ya – Japanese food eaten while sitting on the floor
Charlie’s Cafe Exceptionale

I could go on and on but

  1. I am hungry
  2. I am drooling
  3. The above list is a pretty good sampling

You will notice that most of these restaurants were located in downtown Minneapolis. Why? There is an interesting explanation… See the Liquor Patrol Limits blog.

Continued here > Liquor Patrol Limits.