Could there be a better way than to spend a beautiful fall day inside the shiny new TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota, watching the Gophers play football?

It’s hard to beat. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your trip to the U, and some thoughts on dining options other than the Stadium.

104250554 Guide To A Gopher Game Day Eating Experience

(credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

TCF Bank Stadium
2009 University Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-5072

If you’ve ever driven through the East Bank of the U of M, you know it can be packed full of cars and pedestrians at normal times, never mind for a big event like a Gopher game. The U has an extensive list of recommendations for traffic and parking here. Most of all, allow plenty of time. And hope the light rail construction will be connected there as soon as possible.

That time-honored companion to football, tailgating, is alive and well at the U, as long as you pay attention to the rules as well as being sure to tailgate only in the designated parking areas.

If tailgating’s not your favorite way to dine, you have plenty of options within walking distance of TCF Bank Stadium.

gopher fb1 Guide To A Gopher Game Day Eating Experience

(credit: CBS)

Stadium Village
East Bank of University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis Campus
Cross Streets of University Avenue and Washington Avenue

Punch Pizza
802 Washington Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 331-3122
Open daily 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Just down the street from the stadium is Punch Pizza, a favorite of Twin Cities pizza-eaters with its wood-burning ovens fired up to 800 degrees for quick delivery.

bigten1 Guide To A Gopher Game Day Eating Experience

Photo Credit: Big 10 Restaurant & Bar

Big Ten Restaurant & Bar
606 Washington Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 378-0467
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.;
Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – midnight;
Sunday – 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Long-time University tavern Big Ten Restaurant & Bar still serves up solid bar fare including burgers and wings, but what you really want here is a sub sandwich, served hot and loaded with goodness.

Bun Mi
604 Washington Ave Se
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 886-3286
Hours: Monday – Friday 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

One of the better food bargains in Stadium Village is at Bun Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich shop (sandwiches served with a choice of, oddly, French fries).

Stub & Herb’s
227 SE Oak St
Minneapolis, MN
Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Another long-time Stadium Village resident is Stub & Herb’s, very popular with the college crowd. Sub & Herb’s offers bar food with some intriguing twists (curry burger, anyone?). There’s also a solid beer list, including several local beers, but be aware that any happy hour or other special pricing isn’t valid on game day.

Village Wok
610 Washington Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 331-9041
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. – 1:45 a.m.

The Village Wok has been feeding crowds of college students and game-day visitors for decades, and has an extensive menu of Chinese specialties in every style of Chinese cuisine.

gopherdinkytown Guide To A Gopher Game Day Eating Experience

Photo Credit: Dinkytown

Parking Lot: 5th Street between 13th and 16th Avenues
(612) 331 7200
Parking: $2 an hour

A short walk across the East Bank campus will bring you to Dinkytown, which has some restaurants well worth the walk.

Loring Pasta Bar
327 14th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 378-4849
Open Monday – Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.:
Saturday – Noon – 11 p.m.; Sunday – 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Loring Pasta Bar serves, as you’d expect, pasta, but it also several heartier entrees, like Beef Bourgignon. U of M students displaying their student IDs are eligible for a 30 percent discount.

Shuang Cheng
1320 4th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 378-0208
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.;
Sunday – Noon – 10 p.m.

Shuang Cheng is Dinkytown’s counterpart to Stadium Village’s Village Wok. But unlike the Wok, Shuang Cheng focuses on Cantonese food. While the menu has plenty of “Americanized” options, adventurous diners will find more authentic dishes too.

Annie’s Parlour
313 14th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 379-0744
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – midnight

Located on the second floor not far from Loring Pasta Bar, Annie’s Parlour has been serving up topnotch burgers, fries, and malts for decades. The homemade hot fudge is decadent all by itself. There’s a great outdoor patio for good weather visits.

Amy C. Rea lives with her family in the Twin Cities. She’s the author of Backroads & Byways of Minnesota and Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer’s Guide. She can also be found chatting about Minnesota travel topics at


Comments (2)
  1. John says:

    Once again Campus Pizza gets no love. They have fantastic pizza and a full bar, perfect before or after a Gopher game where no alcohol is allowed!

  2. Eric says:

    Campus Pizza
    Raisin Canes

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