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Best Eats In Mankato For Training Camp

July 31, 2011 12:23 PM

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

It’s already one of the most talked-about training camps in Minnesota Vikings’ history. The will-they, won’t-they of this year’s season was more drama than players, teams and fans probably wanted but with that behind us, it’s time to get ready for some football. The 46th annual Vikings training camp will begin in Mankato on Monday — and fans are more eager than ever to get a first glimpse.

But with a shortened schedule and more than 60,000 visitors expected, football fans will need some serious fuel. Luckily, I have a few close, personal sources that have scouted the best eats in this fine city and are kind enough to share their favorites. So without further ado, here are a few places you might want to check out. Skol Vikes!

boomtown Best Eats In Mankato For Training Camp

(credit: Boomtown)


1600 Warren St. #17 | Mankato, MN

OK, truth be told, Boomtown features pretty typical bar food but you can’t find a better place to grab a quick meal, stop by for a drink and come back later for a rocking good time. Known as the place to be during Training Camp, this is truly where the Vikings fans go to unite.

number 4 Best Eats In Mankato For Training Camp

(credit: Number 4)

Number 4

124 E. Walnut St. | Mankato, MN

Don’t let the name fool you — this place is not about some dusty old quarterback. Number 4 American Bar & Kitchen is all about the four elements “necessary for culinary perfection: Air, Fire, Earth and Water.” The menu is a mix of classic American fare with a twist and a few new concoctions full of flavor. Check out their Monday Burger Night for a delicious burger and fries for $6.95, from 5 p.m. to close.

tav on the ave Best Eats In Mankato For Training Camp

(credit: Tav On The Ave)

Tav On The Ave

1120 E. Madison Ave. | Mankato, MN

Tav on the Ave is a must in Mankato. It’s well-known for its famous giant wings, the sports bar atmosphere and, of course, the giant plasma TVs. The bar opened in 1988, after remodeling the former Stone Toad. With a large selection of beer and some great happy hour specials (even late night), Tav is a great place for training camp travelers. Try their infamous Long Island Iced Tea — if you dare!

olives Best Eats In Mankato For Training Camp

(credit: Olives)


20 Civic Center Plaza | Mankato, MN

If you’re looking for a break from bar food, look no further than Olives by Massad’s — a lovely family-owned Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Mankato. For lunch, you can’t go wrong with the tasty lunch buffet — a steal at $8.95 — with an array of salads, pre-made sandwiches, make-your-own sandwiches and homemade soup (plus all the hummus and Baba Ganoush you can eat!).

pagliais pizza Best Eats In Mankato For Training Camp

(credit: Pagliai's Pizza)

Pagliai’s Pizza

524 S. Front St. | Mankato, MN

If you’re looking for some of the best pizza in town, go to the experts. Pagliai’s has been making pizza since 1969, proudly claiming the title of “Mankato’s Oldest Pizzeria.” The menu features a variety of ‘za, delicious hot “poorboy” sandwiches and even spaghetti dinner. And don’t forget the garlic bread with cheese.

charleys Best Eats In Mankato For Training Camp

(credit: Charley's)


920 E. Madison Ave. | Mankato, MN

For more than two decades, Charley’s has been serving up some great food with a supper-club feel. The restaurant and lounge is located on the top of Madison Avenue hill and is one of the local favorites for celebrating all of life’s big events (like a new Vikings quarterback).

wagon wheel cafe Best Eats In Mankato For Training Camp

(credit: Wagon Wheel Cafe)

Wagon Wheel Cafe

609 S. Front St. | Mankato, MN

For a few days, the training camp schedule is a bit of an early wake-up call for fans. And on those days, they’ll need a great breakfast to start the day. For a good ol fashioned greasy spoon b’fast on the cheap, stop by Wagon Wheel Café. Open only for breakfast and lunch, but if you’re looking to save some cash this is the place.

Have other favorite spots in Mankato? Let us know by commenting below.

View Comments
  • Terri Luense Robbins

    cant forget Jakes stadium pizza, right across the street from campus!!! dont have to drive anywhere to get to it. been there for a long time too!! was a favorite of ours when we went to school in the 80’s and still is!!

  • Phil Usher

    Take a 10 minute drive southwest of Mankato to the Dam Store near Rapidan. Great burgers made fresh and the best pies around.

  • Kate

    For a quick, budget-friendly meal – hit up the food court at the River Hills Mall. There’s a place called Massad’s – order the Chicken Schwarma. To. Die. For. If you have a big appetite and want something healthy, the Massad Salad is the most delicious salad in Mankato. Sooo good – and big enough to share. Seriously, people. This place is soooooo good!!

  • Matt

    I’m not surprised it missed this list, but if you are looking for Chinese, CHINA WOK on Madison ave. It’s about $6 for a full meal and it’s worth every penny. I graduated from MSU in 05 and every time I’m in town me and my wife go back. I recommend the Beef and Broccoli

  • Andy

    For great pizza check out Toppers Pizza – 386-8282. Best Buffalo Chicken Pizza in town. The Topperstix are incredible! They have great hot Grinders, Chipolte Chicken is my favorite. They deilver and are right next door to Kwik Trip as you turn on Stotlzman to head to Training Camp.

  • Me

    This has to be the first “best of” list that actually sounds legit. The other lists always sound like the blogger was paid to promote the spot.

  • This guy

    Agree with Kate, Massad’s is excellent! It has the same owners as Olive’s. Mexican Village on Madison Avenue is always great, too. Blue Bricks, downtown is one of my favorites as well.

  • sarah

    can’t forget MAZTALAN for your mexican dish needs!! Best mexican place in mankato HANDS DOWN!!! Margarita specials on thursdays!! NO i don’t work there, i love the food!

  • Mike

    The pulled turkey sandwich at Club 500 downtown is a very nice low fat meal. Get it with buffalo sauce and cole slaw.

  • D

    Really the best place to eat is Mexican Village on Madison Ave! Really you can’t get better place to have a Mexican Dish! It tops out all of the places here in the cities. Of course you can’t go wrong with driving up to North Mankato and going to Big Dog Sports Cafe, or going for a drive out to Madison Lake to go to Trailblazer. Owned by the same folks and have amazing service and food! No I was not paid to say this, but they can pay me in food from their restaurants anytime :)

  • Bryan

    What about Mettler’s? Great burgers and of course the view. AAHHH yes the view!

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