Best Of Secrets of the City Awards

Secrets of the City Award: Best Tap Room Snack

Aki's Breadhaus

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to.

Maybe you’re just sampling one tap room’s beer selection. Maybe you’re bouncing from tap room to tap room and sampling several different selections of beer. Either way, you should get some food in you. If you’re already at Fair State Brewing or on your way there, you’re in luck, because they’re located next door to Aki’s Breadhaus and their pretzels. And they have a door between them! Sometimes Aki’s will even set up a little table with pretzels and dip inside the tap room to draw in your eye (and beer filled belly). Our pro tip for these salty, crunchy, bready, fantastic snacks is to get the cheese dip and also know and accept that you’re going to get another one and maybe another one. (Be sure to see our pick for best food truck snack, too.)

Acki’s Breadhaus, 2605 Central Ave NE, MPLS; akisbreadhaus.com


Secrets of the City Award: Best Tap Room Snack—Food Truck

Bark and the Bite

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to.

Maybe you’re just sampling one tap room’s beer selection. Maybe you’re bouncing from tap room to tap room and sampling several different selections of beer. Either way, you should get some food in you. And if you happen to be at a tap room where the new Bark and the Bite BBQ food truck is parked (likely Fair State Brewing or Bauhaus Brewing), you have to get some of their Honey Spiced Hush Puppies. They little pieces of deep fried deliciousness go perfectly with a variety of beer and they’re sticky fried corn meal, which will help soak up some of the alcohol. The only thing that would make them better would be spicy BBQ sauce, which B&B has plenty of. And to make things even better, the half dozen times we’ve ordered from this truck, the two dudes running the truck—Chef Noah and Chris—have been enthusiastic, good natured, and patient when we maybe had too much to drink. (Be sure to see our pick for best non-truck tap room snack, too.)


Secrets of the City Award: Best Surprise Bar Tater Tot Hotdish

Bulldog NE

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to.

We’re a big fan of limited food menus, thanks to our inability to make decisions, especially when we’re hangry. So menus like at The Bulldog NE—that has brunch and different hot dogs and burgers and sandwiches and entrees and a bunch of other stuff—stops us cold in our tracks (or high top table seat, as it were). Thankfully someone recommended the Tater Tot Hot Dish, and it was outstanding. Beer-braised brisket, caramelized brussel sprouts, roasted mushroom béchamel, truffled tots—the dish is hearty and filling, but not greasy or gluttonous, which is great for lunch. We even threw a little Cholula on there! MPLS + STPL are tot towns, to be sure, but we haven’t had a totdish this good in a long time, we’ll definitely be making it a regular staple of our lunch fare.

The Bulldog NE, 401 East Hennepin, MPLS; thebulldognortheast.com


Secrets of the City Award: Best Summer Afternoon Coffee Drink

cafe horchata

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to.

Man alive, it’s been humid out, just brutal. And since we’re over caffeinated, we need something that will cool us down while it perks us up. Now, of course we’ve turned in the past to cold press—too much straight coffee, especially in the afternoon. We’ve also had a few crafty iced drinks, like Dogwood’s Cafe Miel, which are good, but just a little too sweet. Our best summer afternoon pick-us-up? The Café Horchata from Peace Coffee. The mix of Yeti cold brewed coffee with rice, almond, and cashew milks hits smack in the sweet spot of summer fun and our café needs without being too saccharine.

Peace Coffee Shop—Wonderland Park, 3262 Minnehaha Ave, MPLS; peacecoffee.com


Secrets of the City Award: Best Pre-Movie Brunch at West End

cooper

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to.

Brunch is risky business. You’ve not at 100%, you’re hungry and need coffee, other people are cranky—it’s the last time you want to be waiting in a line to sit down and get food. But when done right, brunch kicks butt, and that’s why it’s such a big, big deal. Since we’re fans of pre-movie activities, when in need of seeing a new movie before it trickles down to the second run theaters, we hit Sunday brunch at Cooper at West End before heading across the street to our pre-assigned seats. Since the Irish pub is suburban-sized, getting a table happens right when you walk in. Their brunch menu has a bunch options for filling you up, like a classic Irish breakfast (Eggs, bacon and sausage, black and white pudding, beans, mushrooms and tomato) or our favorite the Benedict Hash. There’s also a bacon flight to split—or just eat yourself, you know what you’re about. And since Cooper has that size, they’re well staffed so you’ll be in and out before catching your movie.

Cooper Pub & Restaurant, 1607 Park Place Blvd, SLP; cooperpub.com