From Eat Street to Sweet Martha’s cookies, the Twin Cities is known for a sprawling food scene.
It can be difficult to tackle the full scope of food options we have here, so A&E turned to two Twin Cities-based Instagrammers who are well-acquainted with the scene: Madison Bessinger of @madisoninmpls and Elle Yorobe of @whats.elle.eating.
“I really like to go anywhere from a taco truck… to a fine dining course meal,” Bessinger, who also runs online restaurant guide madisoninmpls.com, said. “I’m not really picky at all.”
Yorobe is a similarly adventurous eater who uses her platform to share new finds with her followers.
“I love being able to try new things that other people won't try unless they see a picture on Instagram,” Yorobe said.
According to Yorobe and Bessinger, craft cocktails are the latest trend at Twin Cities restaurants. Fresh, bright drinks make for great refreshments (and Instagram posts) on summer evenings.
“There are places that do super fun summer cocktails, like Hola Arepa,” Bessinger said. “Hai Hai has really awesome cocktails as well.”
Another Instagram-worthy drink? Intricate latte art, of course. The trend has finally made its way to the Twin Cities.
“I’ve seen it in places like New York, but I’m finally seeing it here, too,” Yorobe said. “Cafe Astoria has those really pretty lattes, and those are really colorful too.”
The trick to trying new cuisines is, of course, not spending your entire paycheck on a few meals. As Instagrammers who post flat lays of their meals a few times a week, Bessinger and Yorobe know this dilemma well.
Bessinger favors happy hours for some of the best deals in the Twin Cities, for both drinks and small plates.
“We also have some great date night options here,” Bessinger said. “There’s a date night at Bryant Lake Bowl on Monday nights. You can get a bottle of wine, two entrees and [a round of] bowling for $28 [per couple].”
If you’re living on or near campus, you also have a variety of affordable meals less than a mile away. Check out places like Brasa and Spitz to switch things up from your typical lunchtime Chipotle order.
“Dinkytown and Northeast have been popping up with places that offer the best bang for your buck,” Yorobe said. “At Rusty Taco, you can get tacos at a pretty good price. The Cove has poke bowls, which I like and can be pricy, but it’s not bad for the price.”
Here are the bloggers' ultimate dining picks, perfect for a summer dinner on a patio or a laidback Sunday brunch:
Both food mavens pointed towards the latest addition to Lyn-Lake’s offerings. Meyvn, with its deli-inspired morning bagel shop, bar and full menu in the evening, opened just days ago. You might recognize the Meyvn team from popular St. Paul spot Saint Dinette.
“[The bagels] are wood-fired, so they taste different but in a good way,” Yorobe said.
If you follow any food Instagrammers, you’ve probably seen the Argentinian-inspired plates from Martina. Both Yorobe and Bessinger rave about the spot.
“I was skeptical at first… I thought it was just a hyped thing,” Yorobe said. “But everything I’ve had has been so good.”
Sometimes, the hype is truly worth it.
“It’s in North Loop,” Bessinger said. “It’s a fast, casual Asian street food restaurant, so they have so many dishes that are filled with flavor.”
Bessinger specifically pointed to dishes with brisket and papaya as her favorites to order.
Centro at Popol Vuh
Centro, Northeast’s latest taco endeavor, offers fresh flavors, craft cocktails and a raw bar. Each taco ranges from $3 to $5. For $3, the Nopales taco even features cured cactus.
“It’s fun in the summer to get a group of people together and order a bunch of tacos to try,” Bessinger said.