Minneapolis is the next BIG food city

You know all about the Exodus story in the Torah, right? The one celebrated every year over a gigantic meal? Now there’s another exodus occurring over food, but this one’s right in our own backyard. It may not be as momentous, but it does promise better eating (sorry, matzoh). The Moses of this story is a chef by the name of Gavin Kaysen, and the flight is taking place from NYC to Minneapolis.

Gavin Kaysen was the Executive Chef for Daniel Boulud in New York City, Food & Wine Magazine’s “10 Best New Chefs” in 2007, and the James Beard Rising Star Chef in 2008. He’s been a judge on many Food Network cooking shows; he’s judged Top Chef on Bravo and he even competed on Iron Chef against Michael Symon, and won. These accolades only sum up a small part of Chef Kaysen’s abilities in the kitchen.

One day in 2014, Gavin decided to leave NYC behind, and bring his talent to the culinary scene of Minneapolis with the opening of Spoon and Stable. In a 2014 interview with Eater, he mentioned, “I watched the [Minneapolis] scene here grow and I wanted to be a part of it.” But he didn’t only bring his cooking chops, he brought the culinary spotlight to a city with an extensive underground food scene. This made it possible for the outside world to finally see what Minneapolis was “cooking up”, and trust me, people are noticing. Minneapolis is the next best food city.

For example, every year there are more and more Minneapolis restaurants getting smacked with James Beard nominations. In 2013 there were five nominees in finalist categories and in 2015, there were 16 (including semifinalists). Places like Revival (Thomas Boehmer and Nick Rancone) are getting featured in Food & Wine Magazine and Jim Christensen of Heyday was named one of the “10 Best New Chefs” this past year by the very same publication.

When cities get noticed this quickly, it’s hard for them to not be compared to the colossal New York City food scene. The reason for this is because of New York’s access to authentic food from around the world. The Twin Cities are slowly improving on that front. We have ethnic food popping up from everywhere you can think of, from Caribbean comfort food at Marla’s Caribbean to an international street food sampler, World Street Kitchen. The Midtown Global Market boasts 11+ specialty food stores and over 18 ethnic restaurant stalls/shops. Every time you turn a corner in Minneapolis a new authentic Pho place pops up. That’s actually a thing.

Minneapolis is not only a unique culinary scene, but in our opinion, it is the next big food city. Just coming from New York this last Fall, we think the signs are obvious and right in front of our faces. Great, established chefs are moving here. Restaurants are popping up left and right and being recognized for their superior work. Minneapolis deserves a seat at the culinary table, and now we’re closer than ever.

Here are our recommendations of places you need to be eating at, now:


211 North First Street • Minneapolis, Minnesota • 55401


If you can get in, go. There’s something about the quality of food here that makes you think you’re eating in New York City, but with constant Minnesota reminders (like creamed spinach with fried cheese curds).


4257 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409

This is a staple that must be thrown into your favorite restaurant rotation. It’s just one of those places that feels like an extension of your home, but with way better food.


2743 Lyndale Ave S #5, Minneapolis, MN 55408

If you haven’t been here, you need to try it this week. It’s a quick-serve style restaurant that has street dishes from several cultures. How could that be bad?


3753 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409

Casual dining that cares.


2700 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Food that pushes the boundaries of what you know. If you want an experience, something you can’t get around the corner, come here.