The Hot List: the pleasures of the downtown patio

North Loop

The frank house

This friendly brunch brasserie has one of the greenest terraces in the city center. The leafy trees adorned with twinkling lights provide welcome shade during the day and a faint-worthy ambiance at night. Pair a specialty beer with one of the pub’s iconic rotobirds or grab some fresh crowlers to go. Interior, terrace, take away //

Ascended Bagel

Recently appointed to Food and wineIn America’s best bagel list, these artisanal delicacies are worth getting up early and standing in line, both of which may be needed to grab a dozen (or just one sandwich) before they sell out for the day. Pro tip: Sneak in on a weekday when everyone’s working. (And don’t forget to grab Rise’s signature spice blend on the way out!) Go out //

NOLO’s kitchen

Your friendly neighborhood restaurant takes on a cosmopolitan twist at NOLO’s Kitchen. Open from breakfast to the closed bar, NOLO’s offers a modern take on comfort food for every meal: French toast with salted caramel butter, open-sided stuffed egg sammie on brioche, and butter-topped ricotta gnocchi. miso brown. Take in the view of NoLo and the sounds of live music on its beautiful rooftop patio. Interior, take away //


The downstairs cocktail bar Parlor may be known for its legendary burger, but upstairs Borough offers small plates that defy expectations on a loading dock patio with an atmosphere to spare. Get all the outdoor breezes with no rain delay guarantee. Interior, terrace, to take away //

Smack Shack

You sink your teeth into a roll of fresh, buttered lobster. The breeze blows, the summer sun warms your skin, and you wash off the seafood with a sip of ice cold Moscow Mule. No, you are not on Cape Cod. You are on the terrace of Smack Shack, the NoLo seafood hideaway. Editor’s Pick: Splurge on the boiled crab legs (and pretend you’re in the Hamptons). Interior, terrace, to take away //


Dinner for a special occasion with a patio suitable for puppies? Take your steak here and eat it too. While you can’t go wrong with a tenderloin, the menu’s worst-kept secret is the famous “Pekingese” chicken wings. Wash them down with a classic martini, a pairing as iconic of the city as the Spoonbridge and cherry. Interior, terrace, to take away //

Red rabbit

Sister of Red Cow, Red Rabbit had a lot to prove when it debuted on the NoLo restaurant scene in 2016. In classic younger sibling style, Red Rabbit quickly stole the show with crispy fire pizzas. of wood, authentic pasta and dishes to share. From patio rammers like the frosé and palomas to more elegant sippers like the Campari spritz, the cocktail program here is not to be missed. Interior, terrace, to take away //


Managed by mother-daughter team Supenn and Cyndy Harrison, Sawatdee opened in 1979 as Minnesota’s first Thai restaurant. Unlike your typical warehouse-turned-restaurant, Sawatdee’s NoLo Dining Room features a gold leaf ceiling and etched glass goddesses. Signature dishes include Rama Thai Delight and Pad Thai. DYK? Supenn will teach you how to prepare her food with cooking classes that will (hopefully!) Resume this summer. Keep an eye on their social networks. Interior, take away //

Eastern Town


Cool off in the oasis of the 4,000 square foot FINNEGANS Yard, safe from all sides of mood killers like wind and road noise. CEO and co-founder Jacquie Berglund recommends citrus beers to enjoy in summer. Try the flagship Clustertruck IPA or the Tipped Cow seasonal farm beer. Bonus: feel good while drinking your craft beer: 100% of the profits go to feed the hungry. Interior, terrace //

Central core

British pub

International travel might not be the order of the day, but you can still jump in the pond this summer by visiting our very own Brit’s Pub. Get a taste of British culture while bowling on the pub’s green roof, and don’t be discouraged: the famous British Scottish Eggs are a must order. Best Kept Secret: Brit’s is great for trying international whiskeys, not only the mainstays of Scotland and Ireland, but also winners from Japan, Taiwan, India and even Wales. Interior, terrace, to take away //


From all-American burgers to fresh sushi rolls, CRAVE has something for even the pickiest of your party. The large open-air rooftop overlooking Hennepin Avenue makes a table at CRAVE one of the best seats in the city center for summer dining. Interior, terrace, to take away //


One of the very few heated glass roofs in downtown Minneapolis, UNION offers a winning combination of American fare with year-round skyline views. Discover Beyoncé and the Golden Girls on consecutive weekends at her iconic brunches. Interior, terrace, to take away //

Loring Park

Eskers Grove

Once declared by our own Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl as the ‘best museum restaurant in the country’, the Walker’s chic trouser restaurant (balanced by understated comfort favorites) continues to surprise and delight, thanks to the culinary direction of Chef Sherzad . Kordien. Enjoy an outdoor summer party overlooking the sculpture garden, or pick up a few items to take away and enjoy your stretch on the expansive sloping lawn. Interior, terrace, to take away //

Lurcat Café and Bar

Choose your scenic poison: a patio overlooks Loring’s tangle of greenery and footpaths; the other is an alley imbued with an atmosphere of yesteryear. It’s open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., so make your reservation before you miss out on the seasonal burrata, heirloom tomatoes, and arugula pesto salad. Interior, terrace, to take away //


Jefe Urban Cocina

At the end of the stone arch bridge in St. Anthony Main, you’ll find this upscale taqueria featuring rainbow-colored margaritas – oh, and some jaw-dropping Mexican fare. For non-drinkers, homemade horchata hits the mark. The riverside patio is almost always crowded (and for good reason), but the vintage bench at the Dragon Lounge is something to write home about as well. Interior, terrace, to take away //

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of Magazine Mpls.St. Paul. Learn more about downtown Minneapolis, 2021 summer style, sponsored by the mpls downtown council, here.

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