Best Lakeside Restaurants in Duluth/Two Harbors

May 24, 2011 12:35 PM

Though the Duluth/Two Harbors area can be a little intimidating in the freezing winter months, no matter what time of year one attraction of the area keeps people coming back: Lake Superior. And as temperatures rise, the cool breeze off the lake becomes a welcome break from sweltering summer days and sparkling blue water offers fantastic views for locals and visitors alike. How better to take full advantage of the North Shore’s lakeside location than enjoying delicious food while taking in the view? Check out these suggestions to take full advantage of your next visit to the area.

grandmas2 Best Lakeside Restaurants in Duluth/Two Harbors

(credit: Grandmas Restaurants)

Grandma’s Saloon & Grill

522 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802

A Duluth staple since 1976, Grandma’s still remains a can’t-miss Northern Minnesota locale. With home-cooked American cuisine, floor-to-ceiling antique décor and central location in Canal Park, you’re guaranteed a Duluth experience. Plus, the patio view of the Aerial Lift Bridge and entrance to the Duluth harbor is the best in town.

mexico lindo copy Best Lakeside Restaurants in Duluth/Two Harbors

(credit: Mexico Lindo)

Mexico Lindo

600 E Superior S
Duluth, MN 55802

If you’re looking for a restaurant that offers something different than wild rice and walleye cakes, check out the new location of Mexico Lindo in Duluth. The original location in Cloquet grew so popular that the restaurant decided to expand– adding fantastic patio lake views and delicious Mexican fare to the Fitger’s shopping and dining complex. For a location approximately 2,000 miles from the actual country, this is a good Mexican option minus the trek, plus the view.

 Best Lakeside Restaurants in Duluth/Two Harbors

(credit: New Scenic Cafe)

New Scenic Café

5461 North Shore Drive
Duluth, MN 55804

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, travel to the New Scenic Café (located between Duluth and Two Harbors) for an eclectic dining experience. The restaurant, which prides itself in collections of local art, a front yard herb garden and a unique menu, offers tasty seasonal-inspired cuisine you won’t be able to find elsewhere. Though reviewers mentioned there is often a wait at peak meal times, the unique experience and gorgeous lake views make a trip to this hidden gem necessary.

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(credit: Portland Malt Shoppe)

The Portland Malt Shoppe

716 E Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802

For a classic Duluth summer experience, look no further than the Portland Malt Shoppe located on the western tip of Lake Superior. This former-gas-station-turned-malt-shop has served Duluth residents ice cream, floats and malts since 1989, and has a huge following in the area. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait on a hot summer day, but the opportunity to sample a delicious treat while strolling along Lake Superior will be well worth it.

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(credit: Nokomis Restaurant)

Nokomis Restaurant and Bar

5593 North Shore Drive
Duluth, MN 55804

Lauded by many as a “culinary destination,” Nokomis is a foodie’s dream along the scenic North Shore highway. Head chef and owner Sean Lewis gained experience in the Nashville and Chicago dining scenes before heading to the North Shore, which allowed him to hone his skills and put together an ever-changing menu with unique meals. Another bonus: almost everything on the menu can be made vegetarian, a rarity in the mostly meat-centric North Shore restaurant scene. With a beautiful patio and commendable service, Nokomis is worth the drive and higher price point.

 Best Lakeside Restaurants in Duluth/Two Harbors

(credit: Kamloops Restaurant)

Kamloops at Superior Shores Resort

1521 Superior Shores Dr
Two Harbors MN 55616

For a true north-woods feel, look no further than Kamloops. This restaurant, located on the second floor of Superior Shores Resort, offers authentic Minnesota fare, such as Swedish pancakes and walleye bites. The cuisine is accompanied by sweeping views of Lake Superior on and is an easy drive from downtown Two Harbors.

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(credit: Larsmont Cottages)

Ledge Rock Grille

596 Larsmont Way
Two Harbors, MN 55616

If you’d like a lake view for more than just a meal, check out the Ledge Rock Grille, located in the Larsmont Cottages on Lake Superior. The Larsmont Cottages, inspired by Scandinavian fishing villages, are available to rent year round and offer amenities such as weekend bonfires and their own restaurant and ice cream shop. If you’re interested in just a meal with a view, the Ledge Rock Grille is open to the public and offers a cozy dining room with a fireplace, as well as the only display kitchen on the north shore.

blackwoods copy Best Lakeside Restaurants in Duluth/Two Harbors

(credit: Blackwoods Restaurant)

Black Woods Bar and Grill

2525 London Road
Duluth, MN (also locations in Proctor and Two Harbors)

For a restaurant with a true local identity, check out Black Woods Bar and Grill in Duluth. Black Woods is a family-operated establishment and takes pride in using fresh local ingredients. They have an extensive seafood and meat menu and cook many items in their signature wood-fire stove, so be prepared to chow on a heartier fare if you choose this restaurant. Like what you see, but won’t be in Duluth? Lucky for you, Black Woods also has two other locations: Proctor and Two Harbors.

little angies1 Best Lakeside Restaurants in Duluth/Two Harbors

(credit: Grandmas Restaurants)

Little Angie’s Cantina and Grill

11 E Buchanan St.
Duluth, MN 55802

Already been to Grandma’s and want to try something else in Canal Park? Just a block away, Little Angie’s Cantina, an offshoot of Grandma’s, adds a little spice to the usual North Shore cuisine. Sit on the patio and enjoy sizzling Tex-Mex cuisine and tasty margaritas, as well as phenomenal views of the lake and lift bridge. It offers a different option without going out of your way.

va bene Best Lakeside Restaurants in Duluth/Two Harbors

(credit: Va Bene Caffe)

Va Bene Berarducci’s Caffé

734 E. Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802

“Authentic Italian food” and “Duluth” usually aren’t words used in the same sentence, but at Va Bene that’s what you’ll get. This cozy Italian dining establishment is locally owned and makes their own sauces, dressings, breads and desserts on site. Though slightly more expensive, the fantastic patio views of the lake paired with delicious food and fantastic service makes Va Bene worth it. Don’t forget to grab some gelato as you leave!

— Karis Hustad is an intern with WCCO.COM.

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