Top 10 late-night restaurants in the Twin Cities
Fries at any hour are welcome, especially when they are as addictively crispy, perfectly salted and served with Barbette's creamy aioli. Their late-night menu also includes some white-wine-redolent mussels. From hearty sandwiches to light and crisp salads, there's something on this menu to serve any evening craving. At this boho chic neighborhood café in Uptown, food is served until midnight seven days a week. (1600 W. Lake St., Min-neapolis; 612.827.5710)
Used to be, in this town, that late-night dining meant snagging a table at Little T's for a burrito. But the 112 Eatery changed all that. Designed as a place for post-shift chefs to wind down, 112 Eatery serves full gourmet meals until close, which is midnight Monday through Thursday and 1 a.m. on weekends. So take a seat in one of the deep booths--the ones along the wall that make you feel like you're somebody--and order a few of the small plates, maybe the lamb scottadito with goat's-milk yogurt, the pan-fried gnocchi, the cauliflower fritters, or the sautéed sweetbreads in a clam-and-porcini sauce. The menu offers everything from a humble bacon-and-egg sandwich slathered with harissa to, say, a more haute monkfish served with roasted salsify and crab. The food at 112 is so good it's nearly impossible to find a table during peak hours without a reservation. But if you go late, you can reap the rewards of spontaneity. (112 N. Third St., Minneapolis; 612.343.7696)
Like traveling to the darkest depths of the sea and turning on a light, a nighttime visit to the downtown Minneapolis Pizza Lucé will yield some spectacular views of nightlife. Open until 2:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, the restaurant draws a crowd that's a late-night cornucopia of city life: hipsters looking to sober up after shows at First Avenue or the Fine Line; beer-slamming college students looking to score a cheap slice; a loud but friendly group of people on a performance high from the midnight open-mic cabaret Balls; and a random guy in a leather jacket doing the moonwalk. (What's his story? We may never know.) If the midnight pizza run is too clichéd for you, Lucé serves up a variety of rockin' sandwiches, many of them veggie and vegan, and pasta dishes you can load up with your choice of ingredients and sauces. (119 Fourth St., Minneapolis; 612.339.2400)
2. Haute Dish
Haute Dish offers a classy alternative to the chaotic bar-and-club scene along Hennepin and First avenues in downtown Minneapolis. Late in the evening the barstools are mostly all filled, but the crowds aren't crushing. The music is loud enough to give the place buzz but not so cranked up that you have to resort to shouting. After a night of drinking, the meat-heavy menu from chef-owner Landon Schoenefeld makes for some fine alcohol-tempering fare. Crackling fried chicken, on a bed of greens and shrimp-studded grits, satisfies late-night cravings. As does the Monte Cristo, which is sort of like a ham-turkey-and-Swiss French toast sandwich, enhanced at Haute Dish with a few slices of foie gras to add a little je ne sais quois. Also noteworthy: Haute Dish is conveniently located next to Sex World, in case late-night diners want to, uh, extend the evening even longer. (119 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8484)
1. Blue Door Pub
It used to be unheard of--a restaurant in St. Paul open after 8 p.m.? The line around the block day and night at the Blue Door tells a different story. Here you can order a "Blucy" (their term for a cheese-in-burger meal) until midnight. Combine breakfast and dinner with a Breakfast Blucy, a burger stuffed with cheese and topped with a fried egg and thick-cut bacon. Or just skip right to the Jiffy Burger: Topped with crunchy peanut butter, bacon, mayo, pickles, it's the right kind of wrong. Served with a side of Blue Door's exquisite French fries, it's about all a night owl could ask for. (1811 Selby Ave., St. Paul; 651.493.1865)
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