MINNEAPOLIS (Hoodline) — Spending time in North Loop? Get to know this Minneapolis neighborhood by browsing its most popular local businesses, from an Italian wine bar to a brewery. Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit in North Loop, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. Read on for the results.
1. Bar La Grassa
Topping the list is wine bar and Italian spot Bar La Grassa, which offers desserts and more. Located at 800 Washington Ave. North, it’s the most popular business in the neighborhood, boasting 4.5 stars out of 1,152 reviews on Yelp.
This spot serves up traditional Italian fare. Expect menu options like spaghetti with veal and pork; gnocchi with cauliflower and orange; and crab ravioli. Antipasti, bruschetta and filled pasta dishes are also on offer. Thirsty? Grab a glass or bottle of red or white wine. (Check out the menu here.)
2. Spoon and Stable
Next up is bar and New American spot Spoon and Stable, situated at 211 N. First St. With 4.5 stars out of 723 reviews on Yelp, it’s proven to be a local favorite. The business is currently located in what once was a horse stable dating back to 1906, according to the restaurant’s website.
Family owned and operated, chef and owner Gavin Kayser focuses his fare on the seasonality of the Midwest. The cuisine is inspired by the culture of France. Menu options include red wine poached eggs, bison tartare and duck eggs Benedict for brunch, and ricotta tortellini, braised veal belly and raw oysters for dinner.
Thirsty? Check out the bar menu, which has a number of signature cocktails on it, including the whiskey-based Brainstorm with Jameson, Cocchi Americano and Benedictine, or the ginny Bee’s Knees with solar honey and lemon.
3. Red Cow
Pub and New American spot Red Cow, which offers burgers and more, is another top choice. Yelpers give the business, located at 208 N. First Ave., 4.5 stars out of 681 reviews. This family-owned and operated business was conceived around the kitchen table, according to the spot’s website, and is named for red wine and beef patties.
This establishment hangs it hat on a variety of beef-centric plates and dishes, including burgers and entrees. Hone in on The Impossible Burger with fontina, garlic mayo and truffled shallots. Soups, salads and appetizers finish off this spot’s menu.
4. Smack Shack
Smack Shack, a bar and traditional American spot that offers seafood and more, is another neighborhood go-to, with four stars out of 829 Yelp reviews. Head over to 603 N. Washington Ave. to see for yourself.
On the menu, you can find fare like shrimp and grits with andouille sausage and a toasted baguette; diver scallops with smoked corn and oyster mushrooms; steamed mussels in coconut curry; shrimp-and-lobster-stuffed salmon with wild rice and lobster cream sauce; and lobster poutine with Cajun fries and Taleggio gravy.
5. The Freehouse
Finally, there’s The Freehouse, a local favorite with four stars out of 517 reviews. Stop by 701 N. Washington Ave., Suite 101, to hit up the brewery, breakfast and Cajun spot next time you’re in the neighborhood.
The Freehouse has breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, as well as a wide variety of libations. Expect notable menu options such as The Rooster Booster with three eggs made any way, toast and jam of the week for breakfast; The Merc Burger with provolone and American cheeses, mustard mayo and house pickles for lunch; or the SoCal Shrimp Tacos with shrimp, cabbage, jalapeños, chili aioli and cilantro for dinner. (Here’s the full menu.)