Travail Kitchen & Amusements, 2010: The ceaselessly inventive ownership trio — James Winberg, Bob Gerken and Mike Brown — are continually reinventing the tasting-menu format (the restaurant’s third home opens in March) while maintaining their outlandish sense of humor.
Surdyk’s Flights, 2010: This Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport favorite proved that local fixtures could transcend the usual airport Brand X dining format, and led to a wide swath of Twin Cities culinary names at MSP. Closed (unfortunately) in Terminal 1, still going strong in Terminal 2.
Patisserie 46, 2010: When Chicago baking veteran John Kraus relocated to Minneapolis, he brought with him a passion for French pastries and breads that instantly elevated the local baking scene, and sparked his second effort, Rose Street Patisserie.
Tilia, 2011: Steven Brown helped to redefine what it is to be a neighborhood restaurant with this playful Linden Hills gem, where Reubens are treated with the same reverence as hamachi crudo.
The Bachelor Farmer, 2011: The kitchen’s farm-to-table mentality, first led by chef Paul Berglund — and now Jonathan Gans — is helping to determine what it is to cook (and eat) in this place called North. Its daytime cafe, opened in 2016, is a counter-service role model.
World Street Kitchen, 2012: Brothers Sameh Wadi and Saed Wadi, operators of one of the city’s first food trucks, were among the first to transfer that business to an instantly beloved brick-and-mortar outpost. It was quickly followed by several other significant truck-to-permanent-address transitions, including Smack Shack (2013) and Hola Arepa (2014).
Burch Restaurant, 2013: With a pair of favorite Minnesota formats under one roof — contemporary steakhouse and wood-fired pizzeria — chef Isaac Becker skillfully delivered what has become a widely copied format, the dining twofer.
Spoon and Stable, 2014: Gavin Kaysen’s return to his hometown yielded this instant North Loop institution. Kaysen followed with two more four-star efforts, Bellecour (2017) and Demi (2019).
Revival, 2015: Southern food had never really found an audience in chilly Minnesota, at least until Thomas Boemer (with his business partner, Nick Rancone) turned to the cherished foods of his youth, kicking off a fried chicken craze, helping to boost the city’s cheeseburger obsession ignited by Parlour.
Young Joni, 2016: The third collaboration between spouses Ann Kim and Conrad Leifur (following Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza) innovated on many fronts while grabbing national headlines, plus a 2019 Best Chef: Midwest award for Kim from the James Beard Foundation.
Grand Cafe, 2017: Chef Jamie Malone’s meticulous and fun-loving ode to modern French cooking made such a favorable first impression that within months it landed on the cover of Food & Wine magazine.
Hai Hai, 2017: Spouses Christina Nguyen and Birk Grudem channeled their extensive travels through Southeast Asia into this barnburner of a destination, where vivid flavors, colorful cocktails and affordable prices reign supreme.
Martina, 2017: Chef Daniel del Prado used his buzzy Linden Hills restaurant as a highly personal platform to salute the Italian-influenced cooking of his Buenos Aires youth. Del Prado followed it up with his equally impressive Colita.
R.I.P.: Let’s not overlook the ones we lost: Piccolo (2010-2016), Heidi’s Minneapolis (2010-2013), Brasserie Zentral (2014-2016), Heyday (2014-2018) and the Lynn on Bryant (2012-2014).