31 March 2022
What exactly are iconic dishes?
They’re the go-to order at your favorite restaurant and the first you recommend to out-of-town guests. They’re the bites you’d stand in line for, even when it’s below zero, but won’t share. And they’re the culinary game-changers and true originals that have made the Twin Cities — and Minnesota — a food destination. They are the must-haves.
To make this list, we dined out — a lot. We debated even more. We painfully added and subtracted until the very last minute. Selecting only 40 dishes was brutal. Regrets? We’ll have a few. Some of your favorites might not be here, but like our dynamic food scene, the list will continue to evolve.
Today we are kicking off our Iconic Eats series with a focus on these Twin Cities gems. Next, we’ll leave the metro area in search of food finds that are worth a road trip. Future installments will showcase hallowed Minnesota restaurants that create an inimitable sense of place, where it’s more about the experience than a single dish. And we’ll also shine the spotlight on one of the biggest icons of them all — the Minnesota State Fair.
But first, here are the 40 iconic dishes from Twin Cities restaurants that you have to have, whether you’re a longtime resident, new to the area or just dropping by.
And, just in case you want your Minnesota flavors to go, we added 10 items — iconic, of course — that you can get in local markets to stock your pantry, fridge or freezer, allowing you to find comfort in the fact that Minnesota flavors are available whenever you’re hungry for a taste of home.