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: 907 W Belmont Ave, Chicago P: 773-525-7900 Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-Midnight, Sat-Sun: 11AM-2AM
Philly’s Best is hands down one of the best restaurants that offer the Philly style cheese steak in the Chicago area. There are 3 locations, but our go to is the one on Belmont avenue; situated between Sheffield avenue & Clark street in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Once inside, any true philly steak enthusiast will quickly notice the authenticity of this place’s attitude; in comparison to OG steak places in Philly (Pat’s & Geno’s). The sandwiches themselves stack right up to the originals and they serve some pretty good pizza as well, if you’re on a budget don’t worry; you’ll leave full for about $10. If you’re ever near Wrigleyville or the Lincoln Park area i’d highly recommend a visit, you definitely wont be disappointed.
As Minneapolis’ bar scene becomes more and more introverted, the old diamonds in the rough are beginning to reclaim their old shine. Dive bars like Liquor Lyle’s, Mortimer’s, Gringo’s & C.C Club are busier than ever proving that it’s not all about the trendy spots. Situated on 28th Street and Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis’ Lyn-Lake neighborhood, the C.C Club maintains a staple, statue like presence in the area. Popular for it’s happy hour specials (2 for 1s) the corner bar also serves up some damn good “dive” food (cheese curds, burgers etc). Pool tables, dart boards, and video games complete the scene; along with plenty of thirsty locals looking to have a good time. A perfect place to pregame or grab a last call, don’t be surprised if you bump into someone you know after a few visits. If you’re ever near 28th & Lyndale and in need of a drink, stop on into the C.C Club.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A lot of people in Minneapolis would consider good cafe’s a dime a dozen, sure there are local favs like Spyhouse or Namaste; but sometimes I enjoy a more low key setting. The Nicollet Cafe on Franklin Street & Nicollet Avenue is slowly becoming a “go-to” place for a good cup of coffee and a quiet space to work. Decent specials, abundant seating and a diverse crowd are all positive things the Nicollet has to offer. If you’re looking for a little something to eat, they also serve sandwiches and breakfest to the shigrin of the Starbucks across the street. In an area saturated with cafe’s, The Nicollet is a nice change of pace from your typical coffee shop; if you’re ever in Steven’s Square stop in for a cup of Joe or a bite to eat.
Jake Heinitz (Greenroom) was recently called upon by Complex Mag to highlight some fun spots in Minneapolis. A list clearly built by a local, Jake throws in a few overlooked locations, with the south side being a hot spot. Taco Cat, Glam Doll, Icehouse, Victor’s 1959 Cafe, Familia Skateshop and B.Resale all get worthy nods among the others, click the link below and check out the list for yourself.
When people think of Eat Street, classic American diners are pretty much an afterthought. Sure, the Bad Waitress sits on 26th & Nicollet offering up great food, but the lower portion of Eat Street has been neglected. This all changed a few weeks ago when the long awaited Nicollet Diner opened its doors after a grueling remodel. The restaurant has that classic diner feel that you find at other places like Uptown Diner & Mickey’s, but remains relatively low key at the moment, meaning you’ll be able to find a seat quickly, if not instantly. Their menu isn’t necessarily special, but a good diner can easily get away with simply offering great breakfast, good burgers and quality shakes, after all; who cares when all you want to do is soak up last night’s party with fried goodness. Sure, I’ve eaten at better diners, but one can do faaarrr worse when hung over; the food was great and the service was adequate. If you live in Loring or Stevens Square, or if you’re simply in the area, stop in and grab a bite to eat, we guarantee you won’t regret it.