February is fast approaching and with that comes the holiday of love. Whether you are in Minneapolis for Valentines Day, or just want to treat your loved one to a unique, romantic evening, we have got you covered. Here are a few of our favorite restaurants and date spots.
American, Cocktails - $$
The hip, chill, dark atmosphere of this restaurant has made it a very popular spot for late night eats and adventurous drinks. Their meat-heavy menu features classics like seared scallops and modern mash-ups like duck tacos. Make sure to try at least one of their signature cocktails or mocktails and experience creative mixology at its best!
Southeast Asian, Cocktails - $$
Located in an old gentlemen's club, one would never guess the restaurant's sordid past, were it not for a stripper pole worked into the bright green, tropical decor. The food is delicious with eclectic flavors and a nice array of options for any diet (carnivores, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free). The cocktails play with all of your taste buds, mixing sweet, sour, bitter, and umami into one beautifully garnished glass.
Pizza, Cocktails - $$
This newcomer of the Minneapolis restaurant scene has been getting a lot of press since opening last year and for good reason. The owners of this wood-fired pizza joint have elevated the standard and offered up a plethora of interesting flavor combinations. The dark, wood-filled interior is open, yet seems intimate. Make sure to make a reservation for a private table, as spots fill up fast, or meet some new friends at the communal tables. For a cozier experience, sneak around the building, through the alleyway, into the Back Bar, a speakeasy that is very Minnesotan.
Southern Food, Cocktails - $$
For a more casual date filled with comfort food and good cheer, head to Revival, with locations in South Minneapolis or St. Paul. The simple, modern interior keeps your focus where it should be: on the food. While Revival is known best for their fried chicken, make sure to try some of the delicious, decadent takes on the classic southern sides.
Sushi, Sake - $$
We can't put together a list of great date restaurants without including a great sushi joint. This uptown staple serves fresh and beautiful dishes and has an extensive saki menu. The cozy, dim interior has a classic Japanese vibe, while feeling modern. The best spots in the house are at the sushi bar, where entertainment is provided in the form of the artistry of sushi.
American, Cocktails - $$$
For art on a plate, head to the North Loop of downtown Minneapolis. Borough creates culinary masterpieces with seasonal ingredients in a warm, clean, modern atmosphere. For a cozy cocktail experience, head to the basement. Parlour is to cocktails what Borough is to food, flavorful, experimental, fresh new takes on the classics.
Broders Pasta Bar - 5000 Penn Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Italian, Wine - $$
This warm, intimate, rustic restaurant is a neighborhood gem. Although they don't take reservations and wait times can be long, the experience is worth the wait. With heavenly homemade pasta, balanced, flavorful sauces and high quality, fresh ingredients, meals here are the epitome of Italian dining.
American, Cocktails - $$
Another neighborhood gem, on the other side of town, is the Sample Room. With an ever-changing menu, this restaurant serves up experimental shared plates, with everything made from scratch with local, farm-fresh ingredients. The atmosphere is dark and candlelit, with walls adorned in local art.
Experience the movie experience like they did in the 1950's in this vintage movie theater. With offerings that include recent blockbusters, local films and rare art films, this cinema has something for everyone.
For the most intimate of movie-going experiences, visit this 90 seat Longfellow neighborhood treasure. This tiny theater plays classic films on two 35mm projectors.
This 1920's, silent-film era theatre is a walk back in time. Specializing in cinema classics, this theatre has an organist that accompanies silent films and plays before Friday and Saturday shows.
No visit to Minneapolis is complete without a show at this iconic music club and a selfie with the stars outside. Made up of two venues, the Mainroom is the larger of the two with touring national acts. The smaller, more intimate 7th Street Entry is the place to see smaller local and national acts before they hit it big.
The Dakota Jazz Club is a staple of the Minneapolis music scene and your best bet for live jazz. This intimate venue has great acoustics and a great view from every seat in the house. Part restaurant, they also have a chef-driven, new American menu.
Icehouse is another great restaurant/music venue/bar with an eclectic array of musical acts and a cool, industrial, urban atmosphere. A balcony overlooks the stage and every seat on the venue side of the restaurant has a great view. If you are feeling adventurous, order one of their signature sipping shots, drinks that tow the line between a cocktail and a shot.
For the indie/folk/americana fans, head over to northeast Minneapolis to the 331. This bar hosts nightly shows and never charges a cover. Get there a bit early if you want a seat or check out their schedule for other activities, like trivia, burlesque life-drawing lessons, and an adult spelling bee.
Sometimes you want more than a drink. Here are some bars that also provide entertainment.
Pat's Tap has the regular staples of any Minnesotan bar, craft beer and delicious burgers, but it has something that almost no other bar in town has...skeeball.
If you are a fan of arcade games, pinball, giant jenga, craft beer, and pizza, Up-Down is for you. It has all of the classic games in an industrial meets pop-art setting and it is the other place in town with skeeball.
For a more intimate arcade night, head over to Tilt Pinball Bar. This bar keeps it simple with pinball machines, hotdogs, craft beer, and a small cocktail menu.
About the Author: Sarah Holm is a writer, artist, and designer. More of her work can be found at www.sarahmholm.com