With a 2 am bar close time, the Twin Cities aren’t exactly nightlife hotspots. Consequentially, finding good late-night food in Minneapolis and St. Paul past 11 pm can give off the “needle in a haystack” feeling.
Between raving all night at Skyway Theatre in high school and bar-hopping with my friends on visits home during college, I’ve admittedly enjoyed my fair share of late-night food in the Twin Cities.
Night owls can relax: though they may be fewer and farther between than in other major cities, there are plenty of top-notch restaurants open late in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Previous late-night darlings such as Wakame and Psycho Suzi’s hours may not have yet recovered from the last few years, but the new guard has stepped in with grace, from upscale elevated New American cuisine at Nightingale to vibrant international fusion at Little Tijuana, and authentic Mexican bites at Taco Taxi.
While you can find plenty of good restaurants open until 11 pm on the weekend, an 11 pm close has never qualified as “late night” to me. To make this list, restaurants needed to close at midnight or later on Friday or Saturday night (hence why Twin Cities late-night favorite Barbette, with an 11 pm daily close, did not make the cut).
The Best Late Night Restaurants in Minneapolis and Saint Paul
17 E 26th St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Hours: Open 4 pm-1 am Monday, Wednesday-Saturday; and 10-1 am on Sunday. Closed Tuesdays.
A Mexican Eat Street staple and now service industry hotspot for its late hours, Little Tijuana closed in 2020, reopening under new management just recently. The new team, Bennett Johnson, Dan Manosack, and Benjamin Rients, and Travis Serbus, are also behind Petite León, recently named one of America’s Best Restaurants by The New York Times.
Little Tijuana’s updated menu takes on a global approach, featuring flavors from Laos, India, and South Korea, rather than Mexico, in a retro-inspired, vibrant space. The reinvented space takes on a youthful, exuberant energy on the bar side, and a chilled out, neighborhood vibe on the other.
I tried the scallion pancake wrap with roasted mushrooms: a marrying of Chinese cuisines and Vietnamese flavors. The definition of fusion food, the scallion pancake wrap’s fried crispy pancake, bright herbs, and creamy mayo was exactly the type of indulgent late night food I’d want to reach for after a night out. The dish comes with kettle chips, with the option to upgrade to waffle fries (which I did, and now know to skip for next time). My friends went for the mapo rigatoni, and palak paneer dip.
Open until 1am daily, there’s few restaurants for late night food in Minneapolis open past midnight with a better menu.
Mesa Pizza Dinkytown: 1323 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Dinkytown hours: 11 am-11 pm Sunday-Wednesday, 11-2 am on Thursday, and 11-2:15 am Friday-Saturday
Mesa Pizza Uptown: 1440 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Uptown hours: Open 11 am-11 pm Monday-Thursday, and 11-2 am Friday-Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
Known for its signature macaroni and cheese pizza and loved by college students and bar-close patrons alike, Mesa Pizza is the Twin Cities’ essential late night pizza joint.
Mesa Pizza’s inventive slices don’t end with the macaroni slice, the chain’s menu also features pies such as chicken penne alfredo, tortellini pesto, cheesy potato, gyro, and even guacamole burrito (yes, you read that right). Mesa’s pies are loaded, large, and in charge—the epitome of a guilty pleasure.
You can order Mesa Pizza or pick it up at one of their two Twin Cities locations. If you’re looking for a late night pizza delivery, you’ll need to use Doordash or Uber Eats to order Mesa, and won’t be able to order delivery directly.
A slice of Mesa Pizza is a late night must for any Minnesotan (I can’t help but crave the macaroni and cheese pizza when I’m visiting). Just make sure not to place your order too late—both Mesa’s Uptown and Dinkytown locations close at 2 am and 2:15 am (respectively) on the weekend.
Bryant Lake Bowl and Theater
810 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Hours: Open 9 am-11 pm Sunday-Thursday, and 9-12 am Friday-Saturday
An Uptown classic, Bryant Lake Bowl and Theater just might be the Twin Cities’ most unique bowling alley. Before you scoff at the idea of dining at a bowling alley, hear me out: Bryant Lake Bowl’s menu goes beyond your standard bowling alley offering. The menu features sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, at a truly affordable price (the whole menu is $15 and under). In addition to food, BLB also has a full bar featuring local beer on tap from favorites like Modist, Pryes, and Bent Padding Brewing.
On Monday nights, Bryant Lake Bowl hosts Cheap Date Night: one entree per person, two tap beers each or one shared bottle of wine, and a free game of bowling for $38 total. Although BLB closes up shop by 11pm on weekdays, it stays open until midnight on the weekends.
The space features a classic 50s eight-lane bowling alley (so vintage that you’ll keep score by hand, no cheesy bowling animations here), and an 85-seat cabaret theatre that regularly hosts everything from dance performances, to emerging local bands, to comedy.
This spot for late night food in Minneapolis is the perfect casual neighborhood hangout for a laid-back night with friends.
The Sonder Shaker
130 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Hours: Open 4-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, and 4 pm-12 am Friday-Saturday
I’ll admit, the first time I visited the Sonder Shaker, I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it was my choice of cocktail or going too early, but in my head, I wrote it off as another overhyped cocktail lounge in the Twin Cities. It wasn’t until my boyfriend’s friends brought us back one late winter night that my opinion changed.
At night, the Sonder Shaker comes alive. Nestled in Northeast Minneapolis, the cozy, brick space next to Nye’s Bar fills up with friends and couples, serving up New American fare and craft cocktails.
The brussels sprouts are a must. Made with togarashi and a hot maple glaze, the perfectly crispy sprouts are like a comfort vegetable: every bit as indulgent as comfort food, but enough parts vegetable to convince yourself that you’ve made the semblance of a healthy choice.
Cocktails were a significant improvement over my previous visit. I tried the Swizzle, made of Blanco tequila, mezcal, lime, watermelon, jalapeño, and peychauds; and the Amelia, a simpler song of vodka, elderflower, blackberry, and lemon. Both drinks were solid but felt a little expected and forgettable (though still above average in the Twin Cities’ cocktail scene).
If you’re heading to the Sonder Shaker past 10 pm, you’re in luck: the lounge is home to a late-night happy hour from 10 pm to 12 am. These days, there are few restaurants for late-night happy hour in Minneapolis or St. Paul with a higher quality menu.
1511 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hours: 10-2 am Monday-Friday and 10-3 am Saturday-Sunday
Put down that late-night Taco Bell order—Taco Taxi is the premium solution to all your post-midnight Mexican food needs. Brothers Carlos and Hector Lopez founded Taco Taxi in the heart of Minneapolis’ Latino community after being inspired by the Mexican fast food in their hometown in Jalisco.
Located in Powderhorn, this unassuming, family-owned Mexican restaurant serves up traditional, Jalisco-style dishes. I can personally attest that the quesadilla hits the spot in the early hours of the morning. Non-vegetarians will enjoy Taco Taxi’s authentic birria, tacos, burritos, and tortas.
Open until 2 am weekdays and 3 am Saturdays and Sundays, Taco Taxi is one of the few restaurants in Minneapolis open past 2 am.
Spoon and Stable
211 N 1st St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Hours: Open 4 pm-12 am Monday-Saturday, and 10 am-2 pm, 4 pm-12 am on Sundays.
Dinner service begins at 5 pm daily.
There are few restaurants in Minneapolis more beloved than Spoon and Stable. James Beard Award-winning Chef Gavin Kaysen’s rustic-chic, French-inspired restaurant has touched many a Minneapolis foodie. The restaurant is every bit reflective of the best of Minneapolis as the former carriage house it’s in. It’s casual but considered, rustic but sophisticated, and highlights seasonal Midwest ingredients.
The North Loop restaurant is open until midnight daily and has been known to go out of its way to offer special options for late-night food in Minneapolis. Most recently, Spoon and Stable brought back its Night Burger. The Night Burger Is a double smash patty topped with smoked Gouda mac and cheese, roasted barbecued pork shoulder, and chipotle aioli on a cheesy brioche bun.
The burger is only available at 10 pm in Spoon and Stable’s bar and lounge, though it’s been known to make appearances as early as 8 pm.
Spoon and Stable’s late-night food changes weekly. During cooler months, the Night Burger is typically swapped for ramen to combat Minnesota’s notorious winter weather.
Late-night diners looking to snack can enjoy the bar’s small plates, such as the black truffle arancini and meatloaf sliders.
Those looking for a more substantial meal can settle into the restaurant’s spacious dining room. Just do yourself a favor and skip the creamed spinach and cheese curds—it’s a super salty plate of contradictions that don’t seem to find harmony.
The Nicollet Diner
1333 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Hours: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Nicollet Diner is a nostalgic place. This Minneapolis late night institution is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The old-school diner whips up breakfast favorites all day, in addition to diner classics like milkshakes, burgers, and fries.
My friends and I spent many a post-rave night at Nicollet Diner in high school. While I can’t say that the Nicollet Diner has the most gastronomic late night food in Minneapolis, it delivers on solid hangover prevention that perfectly satisfies a midnight craving. Plus, being open 24 hours a day, the Nicollet Diner is one of the most reliable restaurants for late night food in Minneapolis.
The diner recently moved locations, expanding to include Roxy’s Cabaret, which hosts regular drag shows in the Twin Cities. The expansion also includes the Muffin Top Cafe, a community coffee house in Loring Park. The Nicollet Diner also has a full bar, open 8 am-2 am daily, with happy hours between 8-10 am and 3-6 pm, weekdays.
711 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Hours: Open 5 pm-12 am Wednesday-Thursday, and 5 pm-1 am Friday-Saturday. Closed Sunday-Tuesday.
As mentioned in my guide to Minneapolis’ trendiest restaurants and bars, Volstead’s Emporium has quickly become my go-to haunt when visiting the Twin Cities. This speakeasy features live music, craft cocktails, food, and whimsical surprises in a dimly lit space that feels equal parts sexy as it does a 1920s living room.
Although Volstead’s may be known around the city for its cocktail menu first, the food also receives high praise. I can never resist an order of the chips and dip: house-seasoned potato chips paired with a rich and tangy French onion dip. It’s so addictive that one order never quite feels like enough.
Volstead’s is closed Sunday to Tuesday but stays open until 12 am Wednesday and Thursday, and 1 am Friday and Saturday, cementing the cocktail lounge as one of the best spots for late-night food in Minneapolis.
2551 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Hours: Open 5 pm-1 am daily.
I stumbled upon Nightingale on one cold date night in Minneapolis. We had been at Colita and were searching for somewhere to end the night. Unfortunately, on weeknights past 11 pm, there are few restaurants open late in Minneapolis. Lucky for us, Nightingale is open until 1 am daily.
Located in Minneapolis’ Whittier neighborhood, Nightingale is an elevated New American restaurant with a sweet spot for seafood (octopus, shrimp, and mussels are on the menu, amongst others) and a lengthy drink menu of wine, beer, cocktails, and whiskey. The restaurant offers its full menu until midnight and a late-night happy hour from 1 pm to 1 am.
Nightingale’s happy hour is surprisingly affordable, offering $3.50 rail drinks, $2.75-2.50 beers, and appetizers ranging from $2-10. In addition to their happy hour specials, Nightingale also has weekly specials daily, such as half-priced wine bottles on Monday.
We stopped at Nightingale for a round of drinks and oysters for my boyfriend. Conveniently stopping by on a Monday, we had to take advantage of Nightingale’s half-priced wine bottle special. Wine aficionados will love that Nightingale is one of the few restaurants in the Twin Cities with orange wine on the menu (even including one of my favorites).
Nightingale’s laid-back yet upscale ambiance is the perfect vibe for midnight in Minneapolis. As a bonus, if you’re looking for a pet-friendly restaurant in the Twin Cities, you’re in luck. Nightingale’s patio is open to dogs.
Eight locations across the Twin Cities metro area: Downtown Minneapolis, Uptown Minneapolis, Seward, Eden Prairie, Richfield, Hopkins, Roseville, and St. Paul.
Downtown hours: Open 11-2:30 am Monday-Friday, and 10-2:30 am Saturday-Sunday
Uptown hours: Open 11-2 am Monday-Friday, and 10-2 am Saturday-Sunday
St. Paul hours: Open 11-1am Monday-Friday, and 10-1am Saturday-Sunday
Pizza Luce is quintessential pizza in Minneapolis. Originally a humble slice counter in Downtown Minneapolis’ Warehouse District, this longstanding pizza chain has since expanded to eight locations in the Twin Cities, in addition to a location in Duluth.
Pizza Luce has long been a favorite of my family. I danced just a few blocks away from their flagship downtown location, and a slice of pizza from Luce became a frequent post-ballet meal (my order is always the veggie slice). While I can’t say quality has remained the same across all their locations, Pizza Luce is still one of the best spots for late-night pizza delivery or pickup in Minneapolis.
Pizza Luce’s Downtown Minneapolis, Uptown Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Richfield locations all stay open until 1 am or later every day of the week. Pizza Luce Seward closes at 11 pm for dine-in but offers delivery until 1 am. The restaurant’s Hopkins, Eden Prairie, and Roseville locations all close at midnight on the weekend.
More Top Late Night Food in Minneapolis and St. Paul
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to try these late night restaurants in the Twin Cities myself, but many are high on my list for my next trip back. These restaurants receive consistently high ratings or have local notoriety.
1124 Payne Ave, St Paul, MN 55130
Hours: Open 5:30 pm-12 am Sunday-Monday, and Thursday; and open 5:30 pm-1 am Friday-Saturday. Closed Tuesday-Wednesday.
The brainchild of the team behind now-defunct St. Paul hotspot Cook St. Paul (and in its former space), Juche is a casual yet stylish, Korean-influenced lounge. Juche (pronounced joo-chay), has quickly made it to the top of my running list of must-try restaurants in the Twin Cities.
Cook favorites, such as the Mac ’N’ Chi and the Trust Me entrées are still on the menu. They now live alongside new Korean fusion plates, like General Khan’s Chicken, that are totally unique to Juche.
The Juche team decided to forgo a full liquor license. Instead, Juche crafts cocktails out of the milky Korean rice drink, makgeolli. Late night diners can enjoy trying the spirit, sourced from New York-based Makku.
Open until midnight on weeknights and 1 am on the weekend, Juche is one of the most unique late night food options in the Twin Cities.
Minneapolis: 730 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Minneapolis hours: Open 4-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, and 4 pm-1 am Friday-Saturday.
St. Paul: 267 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
St. Paul hours: Open 4-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm on Saturdays, and 11 am-10 pm on Sundays.
Known for its eponymous burger, Parlour Bar is one of the leading American restaurants in the Twin Cities. What originated as a waiting room for Chef Mike DeCamp’s earlier venture, Borough, took on a life of its own.
Diners can now find Parlour in five locations across the Twin Cities. The bar has two flagship restaurants, one in St. Paul near the Xcel Energy Center, and another in Minneapolis’ ElseWarehouse building; along with three outposts at the Target Center, US Bank Stadium, and Huntington Bank Stadium. Parlour also operates a food truck, which makes its rounds to Twin Cities breweries.
Parlour’s food menu may be brief, but it’s only because the restaurant knows what it’s doing. The famous Parlour Burger is accompanied by elevated bar favorites, like a dill-brined fried chicken sandwich, and popcorn, given a lift by bacon, togarashi, and pineapple. Despite the small menu, vegetarians are shockingly not left out—Parlour also serves up falafel.
For a post-midnight burger in Minneapolis, skip the McDonald’s drive-thru line and make your way to Parlour instead.
603 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55102
Hours: Open 11 am-2 pm, 4-9 pm on Mondays; 11 am-2 pm, 4-9 pm Wednesday-Thursday; 11 am-2 pm, 4-8:30pm, 10 pm-3 am on Fridays; 4-8:30 pm, 10 pm-3 am on Saturdays; and 4 pm-8 pm on Sundays. Closed on Tuesdays.
Note: Tori also has a Minneapolis location, Tori44, however, it closes by 8-9 pm each night.
Nothing says “late night food” like a warm, comforting bowl of ramen. If you’re looking to skip the instant noodles and end your night out with a more authentic bowl of noodles, Tori Ramen’s St. Paul location is your place to be.
This noodle specialist is a St. Paul favorite, opening its doors as the city’s first ramen concept in 2016. On Tori’s menu is pork-free ramen, along with vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant’s ramen ranges from more classic approaches such as the chicken noodle and shoyu, all the way to modern, inventive bowls like the K-pop, a Korean ramen with American cheese melted into the broth.
Tori’s hours vary heavily throughout the week, however, on Friday and Saturday, the restaurant is always open until 3 am.
2940 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Hours: Open 12 pm-12 am Monday-Friday, and 11 am-12 am Saturday-Sunday.
moto-i is a buzzy izakaya, serving up Tokyo straight style ramen and Japanese small plates in Lyn-Lake. The restaurant is not only Minneapolis’ only craft sake brewery, it’s actually the first sake brew-pup outside of Japan, brewing the spirit on-site.
Literally translating into “stay saké shop,” izakaya are informal Japanese bars with small plates. Izakaya are at the heart of Japan’s nightlife culture. They’re natural late night food spots, and moto-i is no exception.
Stop by for a big bowl of ramen, or enjoy house-made steamed buns, drunken noodles, bibimbap, or gyoza. If you’re craving something closer to American late night food, order the Idaho fries: house cut potato fries and katsu served with miso béarnaise.
492 Hamline Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116
Hours: Open 11-12 am Sunday-Thursday and 11-1 am Friday-Saturday.
Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, the Nook is a no-frills burger joint specializing in stuffed patties. The restaurant is not just of Food Network fame: The Nook has long been known locally for having one of the best Juicy Lucy burgers in Minnesota.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the Minnesotan delicacy, a Juicy Lucy is a cheese-stuffed burger. Minneapolis bars Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club battle over which created the sandwich to this day.
The Nook isn’t just good for a post-bar burger. If you’re looking for things to do late night in St. Paul, look no further that The Nook’s bowling alley, Ranham Bowling.
The Nook offers daily specials on a monthly rotation, including the two-buck Chuck Burger and $1 French fries on Monday, and $3 malt or shake add-ons on Thursdays.
Taqueria Los Ocampo
801 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hours; Open 9-12 am Sunday-Thursday and open 9-4 am Friday-Saturday
With a whopping 4 am close, Taqueria Los Ocampo isn’t just a restaurant open late in Minneapolis, it’s one of the restaurants open the latest (save for Nicollet Diner, and occasional 24-hour McDonald’s). The counter-serve Powderhorn taqueria is part of the Los Ocampos chain, which operates several Mexican eateries across Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Compared to its nearby neighbor, Taco Taxi, Taqueria Los Ocampo offers a more robust menu. You can find just about any classic, casual Mexican plate on the menu here, such as flautas, gorditas, tacos, guacamole, huarache, menudo, and tortas. Those looking for more of a snack than a meal can nibble on tostadas, nachos, churros, esquites, and elote.
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