Dec 16, 2022 - Food and Drink

Best new restaurants 2022: Our favorite openings in the Twin Cities

Three photos side by side: Purple pancakes, a grilled cheese sandwich and a brown cocktail with baby's breath on top.

Kalsada's ube pancakes, All Square's gourmet grilled cheese and Mara's non-alcoholic cocktail. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

The Twin Cities restaurant scene had an up and down year. We lost some beloved eateries, but plenty of buzzy and exciting spots have opened across the metro.

  • In no particular order, here are some of our favorite places that opened this year.

Kalsada — Best brunch

Kalsada's ube pancakes from its daytime menu and beef pares mami from the dinner menu. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

The modern Filipino restaurant has received plenty of accolades since opening in May, but its daytime menu is the star of the show.

What we love: Day-of brunch reservations can be harder to get than Taylor Swift tickets, but Kalsada reserves half the restaurant for walk-ins.

Mara — Best fine dining

The "Duplex" non-alcoholic cocktail and labneh dip. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

Gavin Kaysen's newest restaurant in the Four Seasons hotel has been the talk of the town for a reason — its upscale Mediterranean fare is worth the months-long wait for a reservation.

  • Chermoula-spiced chicken ($36) may seem like a simple entree, but Kaysen's sweet spin (with the addition of pomegranate) made it a menu standout.

What we love: The bar's non-alcoholic cocktails ($11) prove how delicious a spirit-free drink can be.

Apostle Supper Club — Best atmosphere

The exterior and interior of Apostle Supper Club. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

Stepping into this 1960s Palm Springs-inspired venue feels like entering another world, from the tiki bar in the corner to the retro sunken living room.

  • The mid-century modern decor is warm, inviting and groovy. Plus, there's a shag carpet wall.

What we loved: The piano bar is a lovely place to sit with a cocktail and enjoy the atmosphere.

Disco Death Records — Best coffee shop

Disco Death's exterior and menu, as seen in August. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

Combining three concepts in one small shop is a tough job, but this record store/film lab/coffee shop successfully does it all.

  • The $6.66 demon-themed coffees, featuring beans from Misfit Coffee, include unusual ingredients like Nilla Wafer syrup. Plus, the hand-picked record selection is worth sticking around to browse.

What we love: It's hard to find local places that develop film, and the shop's Basement Lab is a welcome, high-quality addition to the scene.

Arts + Rec — Best unique date night

A cocktail from Arts + Rec's summer menu and an appetizer from the winter menu. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

Great food isn't the first thing you'd expect from a mini-golf/theater/speakeasy venue, but this Uptown entertainment destination pulls it off.

  • Menu items include upscale options like pork chops ($34) and crawfish pasta ($21), as well as delicious shareables like Dorito-crusted cheese curds.

What we love: The extensive cocktail menu ($10-$16) is well-priced and features locally made liquors.

Soga Mochi Donuts — Best sweet treat

This box's flavors include Fruity Pebbles, toasted coconut, strawberry and yuzu. Photo: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

Mochi doughnuts — a Japanese dessert that's crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside — are having a moment, and this stand tucked away in Dragon Star Oriental Foods does it right.

  • All doughnuts ($2.50-$3/each) are made to order, so you're guaranteed a fresh, delicious treat within 20 minutes.

What we love: The rotating flavor menu has something for everybody, from classic plain to a Caramel Lotus Biscoff doughnut.

All-Square — Best "for a good cause" eatery

The Jerk Chicken grilled cheese with swiss and house-made tomato soup. Photo: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

Though this grilled cheese shop has been around since 2018, its February relaunch reminded us that sometimes it's worth splurging on a gourmet version of a childhood staple ($6-$12).

  • Plus, restaurant proceeds fund fellowships that provide formerly incarcerated people with leadership courses, professional mentorship and full-time employment at All Square.

What we love: The house-made tomato basil soup ($4) is a must-order side.

Earl Giles — Best distillery

Earl Giles' 400+ plants take a full day to water. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

A distillery may not seem like a family-friendly place, but this apothecary and restaurant manufactures over 300 non-alcoholic extracts in-house — guaranteeing a drinking experience for all ages.

  • Guests can add (or remove) alcohol to almost any drink; a coffee menu is coming soon.

What we love: The 400+ plants make the warehouse a cozy respite from Minnesota winter.

Asia Mall — Best foodie destination

Mochi Dough is one of many restaurants inside Asia Mall. Photos: Audrey Kennedy/Axios

Eden Prairie's Asia Mall only opened last month, but it's become so popular that guests need a reservation to enter.

What we love: First-floor grocery store Asian Mart 88 has plenty of staples from a variety of countries, including a fish market.


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