Great food is quickly becoming one of St. Louis Park and Golden Valley’s claims to fame. From where to find a menu entirely for dogs to where you can order “adventurous wursts,” here’s your list of must-visit restaurants.
Don’t let anyone tell you that American food has to be boring. These restaurants put delicious spins on the classics.
If you’re a dog owner, there’s one place you simply must go (with your dog in tow): The Block Food + Drink in St. Louis Park. Not only does it feature a heated, dog-friendly “paw-tio” where all doggos are welcome, but it also has an entire menu just for dogs featuring dishes like Nala’s turkey muttloaf, the NE pup burger and homemade “pupcream.” So order something for your pooch and the broasted chicken for yourself (try it “hot chic crispy” for extra zest!). If you also enjoy an adult beverage and a clever play on words, The Block is known for its “block-tails,” which are unique cocktail creations with excellent names. Try out the “Ginny from the Block” or the “I Love It When You Call Me Hot Toddy.”
Over at Mill Valley Kitchen in St. Louis Park, healthy dishes made from local, sustainably sourced ingredients is the name of the game. Featuring only the finest meats and seafood, the restaurant prides itself on its fare inspired by the California coast. Every dish is designed to enhance a healthy lifestyle, and there are a variety of options to accommodate special dietary needs, like vegan and gluten-free. If you need a menu suggestion, we recommend the miso-glazed sea bass with some maple panna cotta for dessert.
If you’re a meat eater, you’ll love Doolittles Woodfire Grill in Golden Valley, which features woodfired rotisserie cooking — in other words, meat grilled over an open flame. The result is a savory, wood-roasted flavor that adds an extra dimension to an already epic meal. First timers should try the woodfired smokehouse spareribs or the woodfired spit-roasted chicken. If you’re looking for a more “traditional” dish, you can’t go wrong with the smoked bacon jam burger.
Golden Valley’s New Bohemia Wurst and Bier House bills itself as “the New American Craft Bier Hall,” and it couldn’t be truer. Exhibit A: The 36 rotating beers on tap — 23 of which are local Minnesota beers. And it only gets better from there. New Bohemia also offers 24 different kinds of sausages, all of which are locally made from all-natural, whole cuts of meat with no artificial flavoring and zero nitrates. And these aren’t your standard sausages — try the Juicy Lucy brat stuffed with provolone and pepperoncini or a mac and cheese stuffed brat. If you’re a soft pretzel connoisseur, make sure to get a giant Bavarian pretzel. It’s made by hand in the traditional German style and comes with pepper jack cheese sauce for dipping. For the bold, there’s a whole section of the menu called “adventurous wursts,” which features items like the lamb gyro brat served with cucumber sauce, the smoked elk brat, the wild boar brat and the Louisiana alligator bayou brat.
There’s nothing more authentic than México City Café in St. Louis Park. Owner and head chef Julio Margalli grew up in Mexico City, where he learned the ins and outs of traditional Mexican cooking from his mom and grandmother — and that means making everything with care and using only the freshest ingredients. That’s why you won’t find any freezers or microwaves inside the restaurant and everything is made to order. On the menu, you’ll find the classics, like burritos and enchiladas, as well as traditional Mexico City street tacos with a modern twist.
If you’d rather be sipping a mouthwatering margarita, straight tequila or mezcal with your Mexican meal, Rojo Mexican Grill in St. Louis Park is a must-visit. Known not just for its novel culinary creations and traditional Mexican dishes, Rojo is also home to an extraordinary collection of tequila and mezcal. You can choose from nearly 60 types of tequila and almost 50 varieties of mezcal, so no matter your personal palate, there’s a drink for everyone. Try a flight of your favorite brands or enjoy one of Rojo’s signature strawberry jalapeño margaritas.
Ann Ahmed, owner and executive chef of Lat14 Asian Eatery, drew inspiration from her real-life experiences to create this gem in Golden Valley. Ahmed was born in Laos and later spent part of her childhood in a Thai refugee camp until her family moved to Minnesota when she was 4. After arriving here, she spent most of her childhood in the kitchen cooking with her mother, which taught her that food is one of the most powerful ways to bring people together. With that in mind, she set out to create a restaurant that brings people together with a menu full of unforgettable food inspired by her Asian culture. The result is Lat14, which lets you experience the flavors of several Asian countries that sit along the 14th parallel north — specifically Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. You can’t go wrong with any meal, but our favorites include the Thai basil duck, the snow crab wontons and the bacon pineapple fried rice.
For another Asian restaurant that blossomed from strong family values, check out Nong’s Thai Cuisine in Golden Valley. The restaurant’s namesake, Chef Nong, was born and raised in Thailand, and started cooking at just 12 years old, taught by her grandmother and mother. The eldest of five, she walked to the corner market near her family’s home in Bangkok every day to get fresh ingredients she could then use to cook for her family to make sure her siblings would be well-fed and prepared to succeed in school. Fast-forward to today and Chef Nong is still whipping up the same recipes passed down to her from generations before — but now everyone in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot can enjoy her cooking, not just her family. The Pad Thai and the drunken noodles are among the best dishes offered at Nong’s, and you can spice either one up with tofu, mock duck, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp or calamari.
When the pizza cravings hit, Red’s Savoy Pizza in St. Louis Park needs to be at the top of your list. For more than half a century, Red’s has been serving up ‘Sota-style pizza. What’s ‘Sota-style, you ask? Thin crust, passive-aggressive sauce (it’s “Minnesota Nice” but with a kick), real cheese and piled high with toppings, then cut in square slices. And yes, the square slices make all the difference.
If a progressive pizzeria is more your style, Luigi’s Best in St. Louis Park was made for you. That’s because this isn’t just any old pizza joint. Luigi’s Best operates on four important principles — quality, sustainability, equity and wellness. Quality means that Luigi’s only uses the best ingredients available. Sustainability means it does all it can to make sure it’s not harming the environment, like operating out of a mixed-use building and only using takeout containers and utensils that are compostable. Equity means that Luigi’s welcomes all people, regardless of race, religion, gender identity or sexual preference (Luigi’s is also an LGBT-owned business). Finally, wellness means that all of Luigi’s ingredients and menu options are chosen specifically to support your wellness.
One word: Cheesecake. Muddy Paws Cheesecake in St. Louis Park has the most extensive list of cheesecake flavors you can imagine. It boasts 36 traditional flavors, such as banana cream, chocolate marble, key lime and caramel pecan. Then there are the 157 specialty flavors, including chimpanzee (chocolate banana), deadhead (tie-dye cheesecake), Elvis (peanut butter banana), hurricane (rum, lime, pineapple, orange), tequila lime and white Russian. Each day, it has 25 flavors on hand that are available by the slice or whole. We’ll say it: Order the whole.