Munch Down in Minneapolis
Jucy Lucys, Deep-Fried Pickles and a Bit of Spam
What defines Minneapolis’ most popular foods? With choices ranging from juicy stuffed cheeseburgers to crispy fried pickles, we’re giving props to this Midwestern city that’s anything but traditional in its tastes. Whatever you have a hankering for, these must-visit eateries offer in abundance, so head on over for a generous sampling of iconic dishes.
You say Jucy (if it’s spelled correctly, you’re at the wrong place) and they say Lucy, everyone’s favorite Minneapolis munchie. While origin stories diverge—some say Matt’s Bar, others the 5-8 Club—both feature two smashed-down burger patties with cheese inside the meat, melted to a molten core when cooked, and oozing out in the most tantalizing way possible when eaten. While we may never know the actual creator, Matt’s Bar made some history of its own with a legendary drop-in from President Obama in 2014 (Check out the grin of one very satisfied POTUS below). Upstart competitors include the Nook Bar and the Blue Door Pub, featuring their trademarked Blucys, which go beyond blue cheese, to bacon-cheddar, herbed goat or ghost pepper varieties.
Stuffed with cheese or served with dressing, rounds or spears, fried pickles are genuinely addictive, especially during football season. They’ve been frying up breaded dill chips with a side of ranch dressing for decades at Hazel’s NE. Town Hall Tap stuffs hand-breaded pickle chips with cream cheese before frying, and serves with Sriracha cream sauce. Asian-fusion fans can find satay-battered and fried pickles with spicy ketchup or blue cheese dressing at Ginger Hop.
Beloved by locals and visitors alike is Al's Breakfast. Get ready to tuck into the restaurant’s famous pancakes loaded with Minnesota-fresh blueberries and walnuts.
Every town has its ‘za, and in Minneapolis, Red Wagon’s wood-fired artisan pizzas with chewy crusts and house-made sauce are a must-eat. Black Sheep, the first coal-fired restaurant in the Twin Cities, gets the nod for its smoky-flavored crust and creative toppings. For a slice of history, try Cossetta Pizzeria, serving crispy-crusted pizzas topped with house-made Italian sausage since 1911.
Even older is lefse, a thin potato Norwegian flatbread with roots in Viking times. Visit the Taste of Scandinavia Café for a plate of sweet Scandinavian lefse, filled with lingonberry cream cheese spread and sweet fruit, or try a savory ham and cream cheese lefse at Tullibee in the Hewing Hotel.
Spam is not a punch line here, but a worldwide sensation. Give Unideli’s Hawaiian-style Musubi SPAM and rice wrapped in seaweed at United Noodles Market a try.
Former President Barack Obama at Matt's Bar.