The best thing about moving, for me anyway, is discovering a new world of restaurants in your local ‘hood.

There’s simply nothing better than having a delicious meal, eating yourself into a food coma and knowing that sweatpants and a comfy couch are just a few blocks away.

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And for me and my fiance, we’ve landed in the perfect new neighborhood to try some (somewhat) hidden gems. Perhaps I was a bit out-of-the-loop, but as it turns out, south Minneapolis truly has some great dining.

While we’ve only been living in our new home for about a month and a half, we’ve already eaten our way around the block and then some. Here’s just a few of our favorites stops.

Al Vento
5001 34th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55417

This cozy little Italian restaurant keeps things fresh with an ever-changing menu and plenty of classic specials. Stop by Sunday or Monday for half-priced wine bottles all night or on Tuesdays for Date Night — four-course meals for the crazy pricetag of just $20 a person. The pasta here is fresh and filling — especially the tortellini. (They were giant!) The mother sauce (red sauce) is outstanding and the Sicilian stuffed mushrooms are a perfect start to any entree. I have yet to try out Sunday brunch but I hear it’s phenomenal.

Birchwood Cafe
3311 E. 25th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55406

I’ve been to Birchwood Cafe a few times now and every time I say the same thing: I want everything on the menu. And if it wasn’t for that whole “rising obesity in America” thing, I would totally do it. Everything at Birchwood seems to take this formula — start with a classic comforting dish, add a unique spin and of course, use the freshest ingredients possible. The result is utter and complete joy on a plate. Breakfast is heavenly with a variety of scrambles, freshly made pastries and some of the best waffles around. Stop in for lunch to enjoy a giant, delicious turkey burger or choose from their array of deli salads — all impeccable.


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Matt’s Bar
3500 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

I knew moving so close to Matt’s Bar would be trouble, and as my non-stop Jucy Lucy cravings will tell you, it is. The place is pretty much a dive but it doesn’t matter at all. The Jucy Lucys inside are enough to keep the masses coming. Get an order of fries for the table, a few of those perfectly melty, cheesy burgers and you’re set. Or go the route I have on a few occasions and skip the cooking, call Matt’s and get your order to go.

Longfellow Grill
2990 West River Parkway
Minneapolis MN, 55406

For a perfect lunch setting on a sunny afternoon, you can’t go wrong at Longfellow Grill. This urban eatery has a great patio for sipping cocktails, diving into homemade macaroni and cheese or enjoying a fresh, summer salad in the sun. The menu has something for everyone no matter what meal you come for and offers a great selection of sandwiches, burgers and classic entrees. Make sure you try the sweet potato fries with Longfellow’s chipotle pesto aioli — they’re ridonkulous.

Buster’s On 28th
4204 28th Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406

I cannot tell you how excited I was to find out there was a gastropub just down the street from my new house. I was even more elated to find out the pub was everything I was hoping for and more. The sandwiches and burgers at Buster’s are perfect for lunch — not to mention, the sweet potato fries (yes, I’m a tad obsessed) are a true treat to any meal. The Elian Gonzalez (Buster’s version of a “Cuban”) is a tasty mix of shredded pork and sliced ham on tasty focaccia bread. The turkey panini is a nice surprise with caramelized strawberries and balsamic cream cheese. All of the bread for Buster’s sandwiches are baked daily, right next door from A Baker’s Wife. And the beer? Well, that’d be worth a post of its own.

A Baker’s Wife
4200 28th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406

So speaking of A Baker’s Wife, if you’re looking for a tasty pastry any time of the day, look no further than this wonderful local shop. Between the cookies and cakes and the fresh-baked bread and croissants, this bakery has you covered. Try the American tea cakes or a sour cherry cream cheese danish and you’ll understand why this place is a neighborhood favorite.

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Beyond these spots we’ve also enjoyed the pizza delivery of Carbone’s (the thin crust pizza is delish!) and the awesome sushi happy hour at Midori’s Floating World Cafe. But I feel like we’re just scratching the surface. What’s your favorite south Minneapolis eatery? What should we try next?