When people living in Minneapolis think of where to get a good cup of coffee in a comfortable setting, most would probably name one of the numerous shops in Uptown or the Northeast neighborhoods. Nestled in the Stevens Square neighborhood sits one of the city’s best kept secrets, the Boiler Room. Situated on 3rd Avenue near 19th street, the Boiler Room is slowly establishing itself as the areas “go to” coffee shop. Providing 3 house blends along with a plethora of other drinks including mochas, espressos and a variety of teas; I’ve found the Boiler Room to be much better than your average Starbucks or Caribou. They also serve up some awesome waffles, rice crispy treats, brownies, cookies and amazing muffins; the chocolate chip banana nut being a favorite. Free Wi-Fi (of course) and a homey atmosphere like your best friend’s basement will have you wondering where the last 4 hours went. If you’re ever near 3rd ave or the Stevens Square neighborhood make sure to stop in for a cup of Joe, you wont be disappointed.
The cheeseburger is about as American as it gets, whether you’re kickin back at a dive bar or eating at one of the fanciest places in town, you’re sure to find one on the menu. As we all know, Minneapolis is home to a unique brand of burger, the Jucy Lucy. While Marquee restaurants like Matt’s Bar and 5-8’s Club fight over inventors rights, one place in the Twin Cities has created an entirely new lane for the cheese-filled burgers. The Blue Door Pub has quickly risen the ranks to becoming the “go to” place to get “Minneapolis’ burger” or the popular blue-cheese filled Blucy, the good people at The Blue Door are taking things to the next level. The original St. Paul location is great (a tad small), but Minneapolis’ Longfellow location has them beat by a mile. The dining room is much larger resulting in shorter wait times and a more enjoyable atmosphere. Throw in $2 drafts from local brewers (Indeed, Summit) during happy hour (2PM-5PM) and a clear cut winner starts to emerge. The menu is chalk full of tasty Frankenstein like burgers, take the “Hawaiian” for example. This Jucy Lucy comes stuffed with pineapple, Canadian bacon and mozzarella cheese making for an extremely daunting sight when placed in front of you. Bacon Lucy? Sure, stuffed with cheddar and bacon it’s definitely a favorite among regulars. All in all, The Blue Door Pub is for the adventurous; Matt’s Bar retains it’s true spot as THE home of the Jucy Lucy, but The Blue Door Pub is for people who want to spice things up. If you’re ever in the Longfellow area, or if you some how manage to get a table in St. Paul; stop in and grab yourself one of the Cities’ best burgers.
Location: 244 Cleveland Avenue S, St. Paul Hours: Sun-Wed: 11AM-8AM, Thurs-Sat: 11AM-9PM
Minnesota’s burger scene is at an all time high, but you’ll probably get a different answer 9 times out of 10 when you ask people how they feel about our current situation. On one hand you’ve got $15 (sometimes more) behemoths, with amazing ingredients being slung in trendier areas like Uptown and the North Loop. On the other, you’ve got places like Snuffy’s Malt Shop in St. Paul. Inspired by 1950s diners of the past, Snuffy’s is a Minnesota classic with absolutely zero pretension, simply good food. You can probably guess by their name that the malts are good, but the burgers are a thing of lore. The menu is straight forward diner format, your burger options are wide and they also offer a plethora of other sandwiches for those looking to switch it up. Their most expensive burger falls at $8 and you can make it a double for only $2, convinced? If you happen to be near the river or St. Thomas make sure to stop by for a bite, click the link below for more info on their other locations.
Location: 1366 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago P: 773-697-7922 Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5PM-2AM, Fri: 3PM-2AM, Sat: Noon-3AM, Sun: Noon-2AM
In June 2012 Emporium opened it’s doors at the forefront of the then current “barcade” trend. Situated in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, just down the street from the bustling “6 corners,” Emporium established itself as one of CHI’s premier barcades. Location aside, they have an awesome beer menu, and if you’re into whiskey (we are), they have a separate menu dedicated entirely to the “Ruckus Juice.” When it comes to the games, these guys hit the nail on the head; you’ll find ALL of the classics: The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA JAM, and Street Fighter. If that wasn’t good enough, they have a separate room dedicated entirely to pinball and live music. Emporium is dope but beware, if you come here late on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll probably end up doing more waiting and watching than actual playing; so go early or on odd days if you’re there strictly for the games. This place is ideal for a pre-game before the night begins, I’d highly recommend a stop if you’re near “6 Corners”.
The Chicken Connoisseur is back at it again with episode 11 of his web-series, “The Pengest Munch.” This time he’s off to Mile End for a stop at FFC, the crep is top notch; but the restaurant not so much. Peep episode 11 above and stay tuned for more from the Chicken Connoisseur.
Location: Numerous (Best are 87th & Kedzie, 83rd & Ashland) Hours: Vary by location
Growing up in Minnesota, KFC and Popeyes were the marquis chicken places aside from a few token spots like El-Amins, Shorty & Wags, and Pizza Gallery. When i came to the city of Chicago, it was clear that one name rang loudest in the conversation over chicken; Harold’s. A Southside institution, Harold’s Chicken Shack has reached national acclaim for having some of the best wings, not only in Chicago; but in the entire United States as well. When driving on the Southside you’ll see a Harold’s in just about every neighborhood stretching down into the city’s south suburbs, you can find them all across the city but they are most prevalent out south. The chicken itself is great, Juicy, Crispy and lathered in a sauce locals have named “Mild Sauce”; it’s like a blend of BBQ, Honey BBQ and ketchup. They provide a variety of sauces but Mild is really the only way to go, if you’re ever in Chicago you CAN NOT leave without eating at one of the many around town. Thank me later.
The Pengest Munch is back with episode 10 at Morley’s. The Chicken Connoisseur links up with Bonkaz for a tour of Thornton Heath and some good eats. High scores across the board and you know the crep was on fleek. Check out episode 10 above and keep an eye out for the next installment.
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.
Tucked in the corner on one of Dinkytown’s busiest intersections, above the Kitty Kat Klub; lies one of Minneapolis’ best burger spots. At night the old school signs reading “Annie’s” in bright lights can’t be missed. Up the stairs and through the old parlor door, Annie’s interior looks as if it has never seen a makeover (in a good way). They have a decent variety of sandwiches, including a pretty good BLT; but everyone knows the burgers are the only way to go. No frills, no special sauces; just straight up hand/homemade burgers with lots and lots of cheese. Annie’s is a true parlor, they serve some of the city’s best malts and milkshakes to accompany any of the tasty burgers you decide to try. Overall this place is definitely the best spot for a classic “no nonsense” burger, the price is right and the service is fast; if you’re ever on campus make sure to stop in for a bite. You won’t regret it.