Wander Minnesota: Dining Al Fresco In Minneapolis

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Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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(credit: CBS)

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In just two weeks, the Minnesota State Fair opens. In other words: while warm weather can go into the fall, the official end of summer isn’t far away. Time to enjoy some patio and/or rooftop dining! Here are a few suggestions on the Minneapolis side of the river to get you going. Don’t worry, St. Paul, your turn is coming next week.

When Psycho Suzi’s moved locations a year or so ago, she added considerable outdoor seating. Combine that with the tiki drinks, and you’re set.

North Loop’s newcomer Borough makes fine use of a loading deck re-purposed into outdoor dining. Given its newness and rave reviews, it might be best to go early.

Eat Street is home to some great outdoor dining options. Icehouse has an off-street dining deck, overlooking a cozy mini-park, where you can comfortably enjoy the ham and cheese sandwich made with cheese curds. Just down the street is the Black Forest Inn, which transformed a sad little alley space into a beautiful beer garden.

Maybe, instead of a patio, you’d rather be up on the roof to enjoy a broader vista. That’s doable. Brit’s Pub. Brit’s Pub gives you not only rooftop dining, but lawn bowling. Solera doesn’t have lawn bowling, but it does have delightful tapas. Stella’s Fish Cafe in Uptown has a highly in-demand rooftop spot, so go early, or plan to wait. Over on Washington Ave. So., JJs Coffee and Wine Bar, inside Open Book, recently opened a rooftop bar for kicking back after a long literary day.

Maybe you’d like your al fresco dining to be a little more nature-centric. Lucky for you, Minneapolis has several fine choices. It’s hard to go wrong with a visit to Sea Salt Eatery, located in Minnehaha Park, close to the falls.

The Chain of Lakes host some casual eateries right on the lakeshore. At Lake Nokomis, visit the newly opened Sandcastle. Lake Calhoun has Tin Fish, the lake’s counterpart to Sea Salt Eatery. And Lake Harriet has Bread & Pickle, which has three “seasonal” menus for the summer months and uses organic products when possible.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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