This year 2013 is coming to a close. It was a crazy year that started with the winter that would never end (snow in May?), was filled with changes large and small (healthcare reform anyone?) and saw the close of many beloved bars and restaurants. Thankfully, there are more than a couple hot spots that opened in 2013 and are poised to become local favorites for years to come. No matter what the coming year brings, these bars, lounges and eateries will be here to help us through.
116 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
While it’s not quite as extravagant as the fictional Tangiers from Martin Scorsese’s 1995 classic “Casino,” this lounge is still a swanky, sexy spot to enjoy drinks, food and one of the best happy hours in the North Loop. Located in the beautiful Hennepin Steam Building, The Tangiers glows in the middle of Minneapolis’ hottest neighborhood.
7th Street Social
2176 W. 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55116
In a neighborhood with a noted lack of quality eating and drinking establishments, 7th Street Social shattered expectations with a from-scratch menu, original craft cocktail menu and respectable wine and beer list. The upscale, but still casual setting and a happy hour that features some of the best food specials in St. Paul, 7th Street Social is a welcome and needed addition to the neighborhood.
The Torpedo Room
18 W. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
For the long Minnesota winter, The Torpedo Room is the perfect place to warm up. Flaming drinks light up the tiki-style addition to Eat Street Social and make every night a vacation, but without the regrettable next morning. This is a tiki bar for people who enjoy quality of place and product; the best of the craft-cocktail craze in a relaxing setting that stops short of being kitschy.
Related: Best Secret Bars in Minnesota
Marin Restaurant and Bar
901 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Heath-conscious cuisine is only part of the draw at this Hennepin Avenue bar and restaurant. Great drinks, excellent happy hour and weekly wine specials, lively events and DJ sets all ensure that this latest drinking and dining installation at the Le Meridien Chambers hotel is the one that will stick around. More than just a hotel bar, Marin is the place to be before or after a show.
395 N. Robert St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
Proving that you don’t have to go to swanky, pretentious restaurants and bars to find locally sourced food and drink, the Minnesota Saloon is an everyman sports bar that serves exactly that. Every beer on tap is Minnesotan, and the burgers, salads, sandwiches and soups are made from local ingredients. It is a great place to watch the game (no shortage of screens or games being shown) while supporting local business.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.