Decent burger joints are not dime a dozen. Sure, you can grab any old burger just about anywhere, but a quality patty with quality ingredients surrounding it isn’t always the easiest find. Over the last few years, Red Cow restaurants have began to make their mark in neighborhoods across the Twin Cities, one visit and you’ll understand exactly why. At their downtown location, rustic meets trendy decor envelops the dining room, kind of awkward at first; but really easy to get passed, especially when the food arrives. The proscuitto topped Barcelona and the bacon filled 60/40 are my favorites, but the Ahi Tuna and Vegey burgers are great, healthier options. The restaurant walks a tight wire, the dining room is perfect for date night, while the not so far bar doubles as a solid back drop for a few early drinks with friends. I can only imagine this location becoming even more crowded as the North Loop and Saint Anthony Main neighborhoods continue into full scale gentrification, but you can bet they will ALL be fed well. Cost comes with quality and location, this is not your $5 corner burger joint, but I assure you that your $12 will not be spent in vain. Check one of their locations out for yourself, click the link below for more information.
The city of Chicago is well known for its hot dogs, polishes & pork chop sandwiches; but only few places cook ’em like the guys at Jim’s. Indeed there are various locations on just about every side of Chicago, but the original location near Maxwell Street is the truly great one. Open 24 hours, 365 days a year; the original Jim’s is a mecca for drunken bar goers of all ages, wasted college kids and pretty much anyone looking for good food at too cheap of a price (yes too cheap). That other place down the street (Maxwell’s) might have the best dogs on the block but Jims’ polishes & pork chops blow theirs out of the water. We’ve made many a drunken stops at Jim’s and I can’t remember an occasion when anyone was unsatisfied upon leaving, if you can’t find 1 thing on their menu that you like; you might not be human (or just vegetarian). If you’re ever near U.I.C’s campus or heading south on 94 from downtown, make the stop; it’ll be worth every penny.
Standing right in the heart of downtown NE lies Masu. After passing by Masu well over a dozen times, we finally made our way inside for some sake and noodles. After entering the restaurant, we couldn’t help but notice the unique layout. In the center of the restaurant, there is an enormous curved bar followed by a handful of neon bright Pachinko games tucked in the back corner. If you are looking for more of an intimate setting, the left side of the restaurant has just what you need.
Masu has it all really: it is an aesthetically pleasing restaurant with delicious food, great sake, and an attentive staff. When it comes down it it, we plan to be back for seconds. Most importantly, If you’re looking for a decent bowl of pork belly ramen – look no farther.
Location: 825 Washington Ave SE #104, Minneapolis P: 612-378-3243 Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10:30AM-10PM, Fri-Sat: 10:30AM-Midnight
Cane’s is one of those places that you might pass everyday without noticing it, but once you stop in you’re hooked, possibly for life. Situated in Minneapolis’ Stadium Village neighborhood, Cane’s has quickly become a local favorite among hungry University of Minnesota students. Originally based solely in Louisiana, Cane’s specializes in premium chicken; they only have chicken strips and chicken sandwiches…that’s it. The simplicity of the menu adds to the greatness of the restaurant, you know the chicken’s good when that’s all they serve. For all my sauce savvy eaters beware, Cane’s strictly prohibits any other condiment but their own “Cane’s Sauce” which tastes like a mixture of familiar flavors (Thousand islands?), but is still very much a mystery. This place wont put too much of a beating on your wallet either and I’ve found it to be a great hangover cure as well. Stop in and get a taste of what you’ve been missing.
Location: 500 E Lake Street, Minneapolis Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11AM-11PM, Fri-Sat: 11AM-Midnight
Located in Minneapolis’ Phillips West neighborhood, A&Js is far from new to any southsider with a craving for fried chicken. As a loyal customer I may be biased, but I’ve grown to appreciate this place for it’s consistency. They offer the gamut of “southern cooking” including fried chicken, tilapia, catfish, collard greens, mac & cheese, perch, and even fried okra. This isn’t your crowd funded, yuppie hangout where “world class” chefs find their roots, it’s simply good ass street food that fills a much needed greasy void in our new, ritzy surroundings. You wont be paying $9 for 4 wings here, and you wont have 8 sauce selections, but you can rest assured that your wings will be good! Their menu is expansive and they have a surprisingly large delivery range, your best bet is the wings or the catfish, but there are definitely a few hidden gems. Phillips West & East are often overlooked, but A&J’s is worth a visit for anyone in the area looking for a quick bite. Click the link below for a peek at their menu.
Location: 2622 N Clark Street, Chicago P: 773-477-7444 Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10:30AM-4 AM, Fri-Sat: 10:30AM-5 AM
The Weiners Circle is definitely a top 10 hot dog shack in the city of Chicago. Situated just south of Chicago’s bustling WrigleyVille corridor, this place can get pretty out of control around bar close, which makes for an interesting experience. During the day you’ll get the toned down version but venture here late on a Friday or Saturday night and i guarantee you’ll leave full and with a smile on your face. Obscene comments, offensive remarks and all; this place actually has some pretty good food. The char-broiled cheddar burger is a personal favorite but i’ve heard good things about their char-dog as well. The Weiners Circle recently inked a deal with Tru Tv for a reality show so be on the look out for that, check out the clip below if you want to see what you’re in for.
Location: 800 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Hours: MON-FRI 8-8 SAT-SUN 9-5
Be’Wiched is a full on gourmet deli located in the warehouse district of Minneapolis. On a hungry afternoon driving around, this place happened to catch my eye. Come to find out, the place has been rated the #1 deli to grab a sandwich by multiple critics. Mike Ryan and Matthew Bickford are the master chefs behind the place. Both have culinary backgrounds which they decided to use to create these delectable sandwiches. I ended up ordering the classic pastrami, and god damn I have never tasted something so fresh and delicate. The sandwiches are priced around $10 a pop, so they are a little spendy, but worth it in my eyes.
Before Eat Street was well…..Eat Street, The Bad Waitress stood prominently at the corner of 26th & Nicollet as a sign of things to come. As the strip grew (Icehouse, Eat Street Social, Black Sheep etc) The Bad Waitress maintained it’s glory as the areas go-to diner. Minneapolis’ Whittier neighborhood has always been known for it’s wide range of international eats, Thai & Chinese places sit side by side with Mexican & Middle Eastern eateries; while The Bad Waitress embodies the American diner style of restaurant. As with most diners, cool nostalgic posters, toys & records from America’s past adorn every wall; giving you plenty to look at while waiting and eating. Setting itself apart from other diners in Minneapolis, The Bad Waitress strictly buys local; assuring you that everything you eat was in fact produced in the great state of Minnesota. Another cool touch is the comic book & monster themed tables (The Invisible Girl table is primo) that allow for super quick service, our food was laid before us in what felt like one blink of the eye. With all of the great things that can be said about The Bad Waitress, i did leave with 1 pretty insignificant gripe. Other breakfast places like My Kitchen, Uptown Diner & Mickey’s offer more bang for your buck, we know ridiculously large portions are now frowned upon; but when you’re hungover and in need of a monster meal, having to order twice can be dissappointing. All in all, The Bad Waitress is a great place to eat with great service and a cool atmosphere (prime location); however, if you find yourself looking for a feast on a budget, you may want to look elsewhere.
Location: 16180 Flying Cloud Dr, Eden Prairie Hours: 11AM-10PM Daily
When it comes to acclaimed burger joints in Minnesota, the Twin Cities metro usually garners most of the mentions, but a little known spot in Eden Prairie is a MUST stop for burger lovers. The restaurant known as The Lions Tap is situated along the Minnesota river in an area that can only be described as rural (not suburban). Their claim to fame is perfectly made medium rare patties with precision, no frills, no bullshit, no “jams” or “aiolis,” just good ass burgers. Their menu only extends to five burgers and 1 side, crinkle cut fries that always come out perfect, just like the burgers. One of the few mom & pop shops to beat McDonalds in court (undisclosed settlement), it’s no longer about funds, it’s all about the love at the Lions Tap. Although technically a brewery, this is a family establishment, so be mindful of dinner rushes and weekends to avoid crowds. If you have the time, I highly recommend you take a trip to the southwest ‘burbs to enjoy this gem, click the link below for more information.
Located in downtown St. Paul, Mickey’s Diner is quite possibly Minnesota’s most iconic diner. The classic box car was originally designed in New Jersey then transported to Minnesota in 1939. Known for their pancakes and breakfast plates, this is a place where a slim wallet can take you far. Milk shakes and malts are a must with any burger, everything is cooked to order so you’ll know it’s fresh when it hits the table. If it’s hockey season beware, things can get crowded quick, Mickey’s is a very small diner so make the trip during off hours. Click the link below for their official website.