I’ve lived in Minnesota for all 25 years of my life. Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, home to the best state fair in the country (don’t bother telling me otherwise), and possibly the most underrated metropolitan art scene there is. One of the lesser known great elements of Minnesota is our bar scene. No matter the type of drinker or foodie you are there is surely a bar in the Twin Cities that will tickle your fancy. Now even though I’m 25 years of age, meaning I’ve only be able to drink (legally) for all of 4 years, I’ve spent all 4 of those years exploring the great bar, restaurant, and nightlife scene in Minneapolis and St. Paul. While we have some great breweries in the Twin Cities as well, those will not be counted among the bars in this article as the microbrew scene deserves a list of its own.
So for the purpose of keeping criteria focused the main establishments I discuss here are bars in the Twin Cites that serve beer/wine and spirits as well has have a food menu. This will be a 10 part series, so you guys can start enjoying these great bars just like I do. At the end I’ll release the list in its entirety so you crazies out there can bar crawl binge your way through it just like I know you will anyways. So without further ado, the top 10 bars in the twin cities ladies and gentlemen:
Best Overall Bar Minneapolis
Uptown – Minneapolis
While there are many other bars that are truly great, Lyndale Taphouse just crushes the bar game. The environment of the Lyndale Taphouse is great and fits everyone from parents and kids to recent college grads to grandparents (I know because we took my late grandmother there and she loved it). The staff is great from the hostesses, to the waiters and waitresses, to the cooks in the back. They have enough TVs where you can go and watch a the game and see every great moment but not so many that you have an epilepsy episode while you eat (I’m looking at you Buffalo Wild Wings).
Service is always top notch, they never make you wait and the seating arrangement fits any taste (booth, high-tops, bar, etc.) and the space feels very open as opposed to crammed. Additionally, they’ve always got a great mix of music and it’s loud enough to hear and enjoy in the background but not so loud that you’re shouting at your acquaintances as you enjoy your food and drink.
The beer list is excellent. They always have a great mix of local and non-local beer on tap, the essential staples are always there as well as new and fresh beers for when you are feeling a little more exploratory. If you’re more of a spirits guy or gal, the bartenders are experienced and friendly, and understand that you come for a good stiff drink which ensures your whiskey sour is always two parts whiskey one part sour, the way it should be.
Lastly the food menu is excellent. Their brunch is literally THE BEST, they have a breakfast burrito the size of your head for those Sundays that you’re recovering from a night of bad choices and an eggs benedict that would make a five-star chef proud. Their regular menu is in-depth enough that you have great options without being inundated by choices. I highly recommend their Taphouse Nachos for an appetizer, you may not need a meal afterwards but trust me, you’ll leave just as fulfilled.
Don’t fret you cake-eater suburbanite elitists, the Lyndale Taphouse also has a sister bar, the Prairie Taphouse, resides in Eden Prairie in a less exciting and fun location with similar food, drink, service, in a less appealing environment. But hey, at least you don’t have to leave the suburban bubble you live in!
Looking for other great bars in the Twin Cities? Check out my other “best of the Twin Cities” bars: