Aug 16, 2021 - Food and Drink

Minneapolis Indigenous restaurant Owamni is a can't-miss experience

A photo of a colorful garden squash tart.

The garden squash tart at Owamni. Photo: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

I managed to snag a reservation at Owamni, Minneapolis' first full-service Indigenous restaurant, to see if the rave reviews were well-deserved.

Behind the scenes: Created by Sean Sherman, aka the Sioux Chef, Owamni — which opened last month — promises a "decolonized dining experience."

  • The restaurant showcases native ingredients such as wild plants and game, while omitting foods brought here by white European settlers, such as wheat flour, cane sugar and dairy products.
  • The drink menu includes zero-proof cocktails that use Indigenous plants such as sumac and corn, along with beer and wine from women and Black, Indigenous and people of color-owned businesses.

What I tried: Everything.

  • I started with the light and slightly sweet Amikomin mocktail, made with black currant, juniper, sumac and birch.
  • Next: The Red Cliff lake trout with white bean spread and cornbread, which came wrapped in corn husks. (Of note: The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is a band of Ojibwe people in Wisconsin.)
  • I also ordered the butcher's cut bison entree, accompanied by sunchoke puree and a mustard green sauce.
  • For dessert: The colorful garden squash tart — both aesthetically pleasing and unique.

Thought bubble: Worth the hype. It was one of the best meals I've had in recent memory. (Check out the Axios Twin Cities Instagram for all the pics.)

Tip: Dinner reservations are booked solid through early October, but there's some lunch availability next month — or, you can try for their walk-in patio.


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