A “Spirited” Guide to Minnesota’s Sweet Spot

From cocktails to mocktails, we’ve created the ultimate guide to finding the best libations in St. Louis Park and Golden Valley. You’re sure to be in good spirits with these thirst-quenching destinations.

Beer

Steel Toe Brewing is an award-winning family craft brewery with big dreams of staying small. They offer seven year-round brews, several barrel-aged beers that make regular appearances, plus a number of seasonals. At the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, their Dissent Dark Ale was awarded a gold medal, while their Provider, an English-style summer ale earned silver. You’ll find pints, sampler trays, 750ml bottles, and growlers for sale at the brewery. Local food trucks make frequent, regularly-scheduled appearances year round and four-legged friends are welcome on their expanded outdoor patio.

Under Pressure Brewing is a family (and dog) friendly brewery and blendery offering modern brews in a laid back, medieval-style setting. They offer over 20 beers on tap and an equal number of blended beers. Choose one of their sample flights or go all in with an 8-pint flight that’s perfect for sharing with friends. Stop and admire the suits of armor and giant tapestry adorning the walls, read a book from their library, or play one of their many games. Grab a bite to eat from a visiting food truck or order from one of the nearby restaurants. Join them on the patio for themed trivia nights, eating contests, sword fighting displays and more.

Yard House is a high-end sports bar in the West End offering more than 100 made-from-scratch dishes to tempt even the pickiest of eaters.  Beer lovers will be high-fiving over their selection of more than 100 of the best American and imported craft beers (ciders, too)! They also offer an impressive array of mules, mojitos, margaritas and more. Yard House is the perfect spot to hang out with friends and family and catch the game.

Brandy & Gin

Dampfwerk Distillery is a family-run distillery making classical German-style spirits, including fruit brandies, gins, aquavit, and herbal liqueurs, all with an unexpected American twist. A 3,000 sq. foot cocktail room features a fireplace, comfy seating, and an Instagram-worthy photo wall. At the bar, the focus is on neat spirits, sipping shots, flights, and classic cocktails designed to be enjoyed in the company of family and friends. Bring your pup and relax under the twinkling lights of their outdoor patio.

Gin & Vodka

Across the parking lot from Dampfwerk, you’ll find Copperwing Distillery, a grain-to-glass micro distillery making the finest artisanal spirits. They are your go-to place for gin, vodka, fresas (strawberry gin), bourbon, and their signature creation – vodskey®.  Vodskey®, made from Copperwing’s bourbon mash, is distilled like vodka, creating a clear, strong spirit with more flavor and character than traditional vodka. Their new House Calls line provides ready-to-drink cocktails in a bottle (anyone for an Old Fashioned?) and each week they offer a variety of flavorful cocktail kits for you to mix and enjoy in the comfort of your own home.  

Scotch, Bourbon & Rye

Lat14 Asian Eatery is known for its critically acclaimed fine dining featuring small, shareable plates inspired by Chef Ann Ahmed’s connections to Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, and their neighboring countries. This flavorful culinary experience is enhanced by the restaurant’s expansive cocktails offerings. A full bar features over 40 different types of scotch, bourbon and rye, an Irish whisky and five Japanese whiskies, not to mention an equally large selection of rums, gins, tequilas and over 50 cordials. Try them neat or in a cocktail.

Located on the 6th floor of the AC Hotel Minneapolis West End, REVEAL Rooftop Bar is THE place to watch the sunset. Their master mixologists will make you the perfect hand-crafted cocktail to sip as you soak in the views of downtown Minneapolis. Scotch, bourbon and rye drinkers will delight in the nearly 50 different types on hand, as well as an assortment of amaro and bitter amaro liqueurs. This stylish and energized bar, with its cozy couches and inviting nooks, also serves a variety of tapas, including flatbread pizzas, a hummus board, and chips with homemade salsas. If it starts to rain, they’ve got you covered – literally – with a retractable roof that makes this the perfect patio!

Tequila & Mezcal

Rojo Mexican Grill, known for their novel culinary creations and traditional Mexican dishes, is also home to an exceptional collection of tequila and mezcal. Guests can choose from nearly 60 different types of tequila, including blanco, reposado, añejo and extra añejo, and nearly 50 varieties of mezcal. Try a flight of your favorite brand or enjoy one of Rojo’s signature cocktails like their strawberry jalapeño margarita or “El Guapo,” a layered drink that combines Rojo Double Barrel Herradura Reposado, Nucano Mezcal, St. Germain, and a house-infused habanero simple syrup.

Wine

CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar is a contemporary restaurant offering vibrant American cuisine, fresh sushi, and cool sidewalk seating. As with its food, CRAVE’s cocktail game is exceptional, from their signature Smoked Manhattan to fruit forward favorites like their Pineapple Mojito and Blackberry Mule. But CRAVE particularly shines when it comes to their extensive wine list, offering a selection of over 80 reds and whites from around the world. Not to be left out, sake enthusiasts will delight in the nine varieties available to accompany CRAVE’s tasty selection of nigiri, sashimi and specialty rolls.

Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill is known for its woodfired rotisserie cooking, with signature dishes such as spit roasted chicken and smokehouse spare ribs. They offer over 60 wines by the bottle and 30 wines by the glass, from around the world, with offerings from California, Washington, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Join them on Mondays when bottles are half price.

At Mill Valley Kitchen, you’ll find fresh cuisine inspired by the California coast. The restaurant serves locally sourced, farm-to-table food in a cozy, fine dining atmosphere. Menus change seasonally and feature entrées such as miso glazed seabass with ginger-shiitake quinoa and herb roasted chicken breast with farro-mushroom risotto. Their wine list features over 70 selections, with an emphasis on the vineyards of California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

Mocktails

A number of eateries are offering up some thirst-quenching, highly inventive mocktails.

At the West End, head to  CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar, try the Blueberry Mint Fizz made with fresh blueberries and house-made blueberry puree, the Pineapple “Nojito” with house-made pineapple puree and vanilla demerara syrup, or the Cucumber Splash. Next door, check out The Loop West End, and try their Babe the Blue Mule, made with Cock ‘N Bull ginger beer and blueberry syrup, or one of their two basil-infused drinks, the Herbed Pineapple Limeade or the Strawberry Basil Soda. You’ll also want to stop by Punch Bowl Social and sample The Florist’s Tonic made with Seedlip Garden 108 Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirit or the Palm Tree Shade made with pineapple & tropical spice infused coconut water.

At Lat14, offerings include a virGIN & Tonic, a Lemon Spritz with tailor made lemon syrup and lemongrass and a Salted Guava with house made salted guava syrup, lime juice and strawberries. Three One Six Bar + Grill serves a non-alcoholic version of the Minnesota Bootlegger made with freshly-squeezed juices, as well as a Luna Paloma, Raspberry Fizz and Citrus Strawberry. And at Dampfwerk Distillery, enjoy an Evening in St. Louis Park, made with tea and sarsparilla syrup, or Keeping It At Bay, made with bay leaf syrup, lime, cucumber, and mint.

Local Favorites

Of course, no list would be complete without mentioning where to find some classic cocktails with a modern twist, such as Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas, Margaritas, and the Minnesota classic Bootlegger!

For the perfect Bloody Mary, head to JJ’s Clubhouse for their Big Ole Bloody served with a Miller High Life pony, or try the Bunny Mary at Bunny’s Bar & Grill, served with a Kramarczuk’s spicy beef stick and a snit of Coors Light. At The Block, choose from three different levels of bloodiness: Mary Mary Quite Contrary for Bloody Mary newbies, the Block Bloody made with their special homemade mix, and the Dragon Mary, crafted with habanero infused vodka and Sriracha for those who aren’t afraid of a little spice. For other bloody good options, stop by Schuller’s Tavern for bottomless drinks every weekend or Texa-Tonka Lanes, the Sun Sailor’s Reader’s Choice 2020 award winner for best Bloody Mary.

Not surprisingly, the Good Day Café, the quintessential brunch restaurant, has one of the biggest selections of mimosas. Choose one of their seven unique offerings, including the GDC Grand Mimosa made with Grand Marnier or the Man-Mosa spiked with Fireball whiskey. Meanwhile, The Block has five different mimosas, including a Poinsettia made with cranberry juice and a Strawberry Sunrise made with homemade lemonade and strawberries. On weekends, traditionalists will want to take advantage of the bottomless mimosa at McCoy’s Public House.

Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant offers the most flavorful margaritas in town. Choose from lime, strawberry, mango, raspberry, peach or passion fruit. Make it a Texas-style margarita by adding a shot of orange liqueur. Or try one of their 10 different signature margaritas, including their spicy, yet refreshing, Cucumber Jalapeño, Strawberry Mint, or their Piña Caliente, made with Patrón Silver, passion fruit, pineapple, and a chili lime rim. Other killer margaritas include Yard House’s pomegranate and salted watermelon margaritas and The Block’s Hot Block and Smoke Show margaritas, made with jalapeño-infused tequila and Fidencio Clasico Mezcal, respectively.

The official cocktail of Minnesota is the Bootleg (or Bootlegger). Made with your choice of gin, rum or vodka, this cocktail combines citrus flavors with mint. The Park Tavern makes their Bootleg with orange, lemon and lime juices, mint, fruit zest, and egg whites, while Bunny’s Bar & Grill serves theirs strictly with vodka and bootlegger mix topped with soda. Other places serving this native drink include Good Day CaféMcCoy’s Public House, and the Three One Six Bar + Grill.

It’s easy to see why we’re a true libation destination. We invite you to raise a glass (or two), but be sure to do so responsibly!

For a complete list of restaurants in Minnesota’s Sweet Spot, check out our Destination Guide. Be sure to follow or like us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for all the latest news. And don’t forget to tag your photos with #DiscoverSLP – we’d love to see them!