9 Best Restaurants (right now) in the Twin Cities Gateway
Story by Stacy Brooks
The Twin Cities Gateway is one of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area’s best kept secrets. Each of the nine communities that make up Minnesota’s Twin Cities Gateway—Anoka, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, Mounds View, New Brighton, and Shoreview—has its own unique vibe. They also have something in common: great restaurants.
With its abundant dining options, narrowing down this list of great restaurants was no simple task. To select which eateries to feature, I focused on restaurants known for scratch-cooking (such as house-made soups, baked goods, smoked meats) that consistently prove they’re good at what they do (whether that’s burgers, curries, or pastries). I also included a wide range of cuisines (Mexican, Asian, Scandinavian, classic American, modern American with global influences) as well as a mix of casual and upscale places. Finally, to suit current times, I also made sure that these restaurants are currently open and offering to-go options.
From elegant white tablecloth establishments to low-key sports bars, and everything in between, here are the nine best places to enjoy a meal in the Twin Cities Gateway right now.
Barley John’s Brew Pub in New Brighton pairs local brews with sandwiches, pizza, and creative daily specials. Beers are brewed on-site, and include a smooth Wild Brunette Wild Rice Brown Ale, subtle Stockyard IPA, and seasonal selections. The artichoke dip includes wild rice to give the classic a Minnesota twist, soups are made from scratch, and the beer-marinated bratwursts are custom-spiced. The restaurant is currently open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Fridays and for dinner on Saturdays.
Bricks Kitchen & Pub in Blaine serves elevated pub fare like Wagyu beef sliders, bourbon shrimp, and a Rueben sandwich piled high with house-smoked pastrami. Pizzas are topped with specialty ingredients like fennel pollen and speck ham. The menu also offers a range of gluten-free and vegetarian items. The ever-changing tap list highlights craft brews, and some cocktails include local spirits. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and online ordering is available for takeout.
Club 300, located in Anoka’s historic former post office, is an elegant fine dining establishment serving Jamasian cuisine—a term coined to describe the menu’s blend of Jamaican, Asian, and American dishes. Whether you order the jerk chicken, red curry, or biscuits and gravy, you’ll be treated to bold flavors and beautiful presentations. Dinner is served Wednesdays through Saturdays, and brunch is offered on Sundays.
Fiesta Cancun Grill & Bar in Lino Lakes offers an encyclopedic array of Mexican fare in generous portions. From nachos to ceviche, burritos to enchiladas, seafood to steak, whatever you’re in the mood for is on the menu. For special dietary needs, there are plenty of vegetarian options, as well as salads, a la carte items, and build-your-own platters. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and online ordering is available for takeout.
Kendall’s Tavern & Chophouse, at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids, serves classic tavern food and wood-fired meats. Share the giant pretzel with a round of cocktails after a round of golf, or dig into the pan-fried walleye or whiskey-glazed pork chop for a cozy date night. The menu also includes half-pound burgers, salads, sandwiches, and flatbreads. Kendall’s is open for dinner Mondays through Thursdays, with lunch and dinner served Friday through Sunday. Online ordering is available for curbside pickup.
Krown Bakery & Eatery in Anoka is where to go for a coffee break, breakfast, or lunch. Baked goods are made with high–quality ingredients and natural flavors. The pastry case is filled with Scandinavian-style sweet rolls and classic European desserts, while the lunch menu includes paninis, salad, soup, and creative daily specials like a lefse-wrapped Swedish-style hot dog. The menu also offers several gluten-free and dairy-free options. Don’t forget to grab a loaf of bread to take home—the limpa (Swedish rye) is a customer favorite. Breakfast and lunch are served Mondays through Saturdays.
Maxx Bar & Grill in Ham Lake boasts a friendly sports bar atmosphere and delicious burgers. The Juicy Lucy is a local specialty: Two types of cheese and your choice of mushrooms, green peppers, or onions are stuffed inside the half-pound burger patty. The menu also includes a slew of specialty burgers and a build-your-own burger option, as well as broasted chicken, sandwiches, and pizza. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and breakfast is available on Saturdays and Sundays. Online ordering is available for curbside pickup.
Red Ginger China Bistro in Shoreview offers an impressive lineup of Chinese specialties, as well as a variety of pad Thai dishes. When live seafood is in stock, the lobster and crab go straight from the restaurant’s aquarium tank into the pot! Portions are generous, and you’ll find over a dozen vegetarian options in addition to chicken, beef, pork, and seafood entrées. Lunch and dinner are served Mondays through Saturdays, and dinner is served on Sundays. Online ordering is available for takeout.
Serum’s Good Time Emporium in Anoka lays claim to “the best wings west of Buffalo.” That’s not an idle boast: Customers gobble up one million wings each year! Wing flavor options include Habanero Hots, Ragin Cajun, spicy Szechuan, and, for tender palettes, milder options like honey mustard and ginger. The menu also offers burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. The building dates back to the 1880s, and the antique décor gives the bar a vintage vibe. Lunch and dinner are served daily, and outdoor seating is available. Order online for curbside pickup.
Plan A Trip
The nine communities that make up the Twin Cities Gateway are located north of Minnesota’s Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Among their appealing attractions they offer access to abundant outdoor recreation, including biking, golf, and hiking. Don’t miss the National Sports Center —the world’s largest amateur sports complex—for a wide range of recreational opportunities. Anoka’s historic downtown is home to antique shops, clothing and gift boutiques, and other local retailers.
There are dozens of accommodation options at a variety of price points in the Twin Cities Gateway, from national hotel chains to historic inns. Discover options on TripAdvisor for Anoka, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, Mounds View, New Brighton, and Shoreview.
Stacy Brooks is a Minneapolis-based freelance journalist focusing on food and travel. Her writing has been published in Hemispheres, Midwest Living, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Wine Enthusiast. She blogs at tangledupinfood.com.
The prime rib dinnner in the top image looks delicious. Which restaurant is it from?
The prime rib dinner in the top image is from Serum’s Good Time Emporium in Anoka.