Restaurants in Duluth, Minn., pack pleasant surprises, from small brewpubs churning out full-bodied beers to greasy spoons with vegetarian and even vegan options. Many first-time tourists are awestruck by how sophisticated and diverse this lakeside city’s culinary scene is. A small, but growing crop of independent restaurants, residents who support them and a reliance on local ingredients make Duluth one of the Top 10 Best Foodie Cities in the country.
Nowhere in Duluth is this more evident than the Duluth Grill, which oddly enough is located in an industrial part of town surrounded by asphalt. But much of Duluth Grill’s parking lot is filled with planter boxes growing herbs and greens used to make their extensive menu, which includes a long list of breakfast items, sandwiches, burgers and vegetarian meals. The menu explains where many of the primary ingredients come from - nearby farms, fields and fisheries.
The long lines on warm summer days outside of a small brick building on East Superior Street provide a clue that The Portland Malt Shoppe is a must do. It’s hard to determine which is the bigger treat, the delicious malts, sundaes and cones or the view of Lake Superior you’ll find behind the shop. Among the anointed restaurants by cooking’s elite is Pickwick Restaurant & Pub, which was named an “American Classic” by the James Beard Foundation in 2007. But one of the best things about Duluth restaurants is the lack of pretension in the kitchens. Show up as you are to most dining halls, and the waiters, cooks and owners treat you as one of the family. Uncle Loui's Cafe, which serves breakfast all day, is a great example of that.
Don’t Miss: Friday night fish fry at New London Cafe, sweets at Positively 3rd Street Bakery, the Stoned Surf IPA at Canal Park Brewing Company.