What is this?

A small website that tries to highlight all the cool places to eat and drink in Minneapolis.

Notoriety and marketing dollars get the limelight, but when the attention is dominated by restaurant groups, it leaves little room for small operations. It’s not newsworthy when a place continues to serve solid food and memorable experiences for years, but it’s still worthy of applause.

It’s so exciting to experience something truly unique, unexpectedly delicious, or simply bizarre. I’m still finding new places I’ve never heard of. Hopefully you can use this as a compass to help you find whatever kind of experience you’re seeking!

Where does the data come from?

The boring stuff for each location is pulled from Google.

Categorizing everything was done manually. It took a lot (see: absolutely bonkers) amount of time. Despite the commitment, it’s weirdly enjoyable and somewhat cathartic.

Smaller parts of the site are done with data analysis and computations, like the “nearby locations”.

Only Minneapolis? Why not St. Paul?

Yup. There’s so much to cover in Mpls alone — no lack of diversity or interesting experiences, but who knows what the future holds!

Who made this?

Just some guy living in Minneapolis that loves restaurants, web development, and organizing lots of intangible data.

Have you visited all of these places?

Not all, but many.

I’m currently at 362 of 901 – 40%. (36 of 37 dive bars, though!) For any place I haven’t been, I’ve done my best to scour restaurant websites, Yelp images, and Google reviews to try and decipher all I can.

I once had a goal to visit every location — we’ll see if that becomes a reality!

So, this is just Yelp, right?

Nah! Crowd-sourcing has its place, but it’s difficult to get a fair perspective when reviews are swayed by overzealous patrons that use it as an act of revenge for a poor experience.

Why not just use Google?

Google is great for raw data, but searching by keywords is unreliable.

I have searched for “family friendly restaurants” and got a place with no kids menu and $18 entrees.

Who do you want to shoutout?

Thanks for asking! Here are some resources I enjoy that you should check out:

  • Heavy Table – They’re independently funded and create great journalism-focused content on food in Minnesota. Their newsletter is well-written and includes custom illustrations of their adventures.
  • Racket – Local publication that’s writer-owned. They have a monthly restaurant round-up that I enjoy, along with colorful commentary on all-things Twin Cities.
  • @jdhovland – JD has a huge passion for local food and an admirable adoration for tracking his adventures in spreadsheets, but nothing will rival his unabashed love for his dog, Nova!
  • Jason DeRusha – All-around good guy and food lover that’s very visible in the Twin Cities media scene.
  • Stephanie March – Food and dining editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Her weekly post via “The Feed” has excellent bite-sized info on culinary current events.
  • Eater Twin Cities – Despite being owned by a parent company, Eater Twin Cities has some good lists that I’ve used as a guide.