There's no excuse for eating badly in Fargo-Moorhead. You want cheap, delicious and quick? You got it. Looking for white cloth napkins and a wine list? You got that too. Whatever your heart (and your appetite) desires, the growing food scene here has it.
HoDo Restaurant, in downtown Fargo's Hotel Donaldson, offers “scratch cooking with a local, sustainable focus,” while Monte’s Downtown is similarly regarded as one of the city’s premier establishments. Enjoy authentic Italian at Toscana. Also downtown is Mezzaluna, a casual fine-dining establishment that features artisan food and drink. Meanwhile, Maxwells tempts patrons with its “adventurous cuisine.” In downtown Moorhead, Rustica Eatery & Tavern serves traditional American food with European influences.
Breweries and Wineries
Around the country, local breweries are inspiring foodies and beer connoisseurs alike, and Fargo's no exception. Start at a joint founded and run by locals: the taproom at Fargo Brewing Co. They brew a small collection of beers, but they brew them really, really well. Next take in Moorhead's contribution to the beer scene: Junkyard Brewery. They make beers so specially-crafted that they call themselves a "nanobrewery." At Drekker Brewing Co., located in downtown Fargo, visitors can enjoy guided tours and taste a selection of the handcrafted beers on tap. Round out your pub crawl with the newest entry to the craft beer scene, Kilstone Brewery, in North Fargo's warehouse district, or at Proof Artisan Distillers, distillers and purveyors of fine whiskey, vodka and gin.
Maple River Winery is worth the short drive from downtown Fargo to Casselton. Red Trail Vineyard also highlights local fruits and provides a unique winery experience every fall in its annual Grape Stomp.
Fargo Billiards and Gastropub is distinctive in that it’s a full-service restaurant and lounge inside North America’s largest billiard parlor.Rhombus Guys Pizza is for pie lovers, offering 34 gourmet pizzas, including a gluten-free option.
Sickies Garage is known for its homestyle burgers and sandwiches, served alongside traditional malts and milkshakes, and tableside beer taps!
Over at JL Beers, the mindset is simple: “Red meat is good for you. And potatoes are vegetables.”
The Boiler Room might be underground (they're located in the basement of the Loretta Building), but the sky's the limit with their extraordinary menu of everything from bar breakfast to late-night options.
For excellent food in a laid-back environment, The Toasted Frog on Broadway.
Pounds serves made-from-scratch food like lobster egg rolls, burgers and sandwiches, as well as unique drinks, including the cucumber jalapeño martini.
Rounding out the casual dining options are the Blarney Stone Irish Pub, which gives you a taste of The Old Country.
One might not expect to find great sushi so far inland, but there are several excellent spots, including Samurai and Wasabi. Other options? Go for the Vietnamese dishes at Jade Dragon or the authentic Thai food at Thai Orchid. For Indian cuisine, head to India Palace or Everest Tikka House, which also serves Nepali dishes. Lucy's North China Cuisine features owner Lucy Penney's family recipes and menu items such as tea-smoked duck and spicy beef with cilantro.
Must-Try Local Favorites
Zorbaz on the Lake is a favorite chain frequented by locals who head to lake country on summer weekends. At Vinyl Taco, diners enjoy authentic Mexican food as they listen to music on vinyl records. Nichole's Fine Pastry serves European-style pastries made from scratch, as well as soups, salads and sandwiches.
Beer lovers delight in Würst Bier Hall in downtown Fargo, which has 36 beers on tap and many more in bottles, a menu full of German food, including many different types of sausages, and the option of ordering the 78-ounce "Das Boot" of beer to share.
Usher's House, located in Moorhead's Davey Memorial Park, overlooks the Red River and offers a full menu as well as several signature cocktails. The Moorhead Mule, which includes Smirnoff vodka, ginger beer, mint simple syrup and fresh lime juice, is just one of the restaurant's many creative drinks. Located in West Fargo, Spitfire Bar & Grill is known for "food with attitude," including wood-fired steaks, spit-roasted chicken and pit-smoked ribs.
Festivals and Events
The Cork & Canvas Wine Walk provides an opportunity to sample wines and view the works of regional artists. It's held in downtown Fargo on the second Thursday of every month between mid-May and mid-September.
In the fall, Fargo hosts two beer festivals. The Fargo Beer Festival gives beer lovers the chance to sample more than 120 premium craft brews, and Oktoberfest Fargo features a pub crawl, a tire bean bag tournament and a hot-dog-eating contest.
Other options include Alley Fair, an event that "activates and transforms" the alleyways of downtown by bringing together some of Fargo's best arts, music and food. The Fargo Bacon and Beer Festival brings together local eateries and craft brewers, while Happy Harry's Ribfest at the Fargodome features ribs, chicken and pulled pork made by some of the country's top cooks as well as nightly live entertainment.
Find out more on the food scene in Fargo.