Snuffy's Malt Shop is like stepping into the 1950s: there's a red-and-white candy stripe motif, and the chocolate malts get poured into tall glasses. The sweet scoops of nostalgia come courtesy of founder Mike Mueller. In the early eighties, he found himself pining for the evenings of his youth spent at drive-ins and diners, a malt in one hand and cheeseburger in the other. In 1983, he opened Snuffy's Malt Shop in tribute. Cooks here grill up cheeseburgers and hotdogs and serve them up alongside classic treats: floats, phosphates, sundaes and, of course, malts.
With 2013 marking their 30th anniversary, Snuffy's has added a few updated menu items. They now make their famed burgers with bison or veggie patties, and malts come in inventive flavors such as Snuffy Colada. These particular takes on the good old days are now found at four locations, spread evenly across Twin Cities neighborhoods like chili over cheese fries.
In a series of black and white portraits that pop against the backdrop of rich burgundy walls, smiling farm workers stationed around the world stand amid their crops, tools in hand. The photographs are the first hint at Peoples Organic Coffee & Wine Café's mission to link ingredients back to their source. The second hint is the menu, which boasts a roster of local farms: the ham comes from Fischer Farm, the chicken sausage from Schultz Farm, and the bison from Eichtens Family Farm. Chefs spotlight these free-range meats in wholesome burgers, wraps, and salads, which they enhance with fresh, organic veggies and housemade sauces. To complement meals, the café boasts a beer menu filled with choices from local breweries such as the limited-supply Surly and Fulton. Additionally, its wine selection runneth over with biodynamic, organic, and sustainable varietals, which are tastier than their unsustainable counterpart, unicorn tears.
On an unassuming street just southwest of Minneapolis, someone discovered the secret to time travel. The formula: red stools, a checkered black-and-white floor, and a giant ice cream cone sculpture surrounded in neon lights that spell the name Edina Creamery. The shop transports its visitors back to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor circa the 1950's, long before you could download hot fudge sundaes from the internet. Inside, an ice cream case displays choices from more than 50 homemade flavors. Cups and waffle cones carry classic chocolate cookie dough, adventurous choices such as pumpkin pie, or signature creations like butter chocolate almond crunch. Alternatively, these flavors can turn into malts and milkshakes, which make sweet accompaniments to the shop's more modern menu of Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwiches. These homemade creations have garnered many fans, including glowing press from outlets such as the local CBS News.
Dairy Queen offers a cool respite for shoppers tired of fitting-room lines and surly sales clerks. The signature Blizzard Treat's chunky charms are as inescapable as ever, with classic candies and other flavor options blended to unmatched thickness with creamy soft serve (medium, $3.59). The waffle-bowl sundae slathers vanilla ice cream in fudge for an appealingly layered delight ($2.99), and the milkshake puts spoons to shame with its refreshing strawability (medium, $2.99). Alternatively, sizzle-starved denizens can gnash on a mushroom-swiss burger ($3.79) or the crispy-chicken sandwich ($3.89). With a variety of meal options, the Edina location's grilled delectables offer appetites savory samplings worthy of being referred to as the dessert that comes before dessert.
Following a fine-tuned recipe calling for the freshest ingredients, careful mixing, and imported baby's giggle, Sweet Retreat expertly whips up batches of joy-inducing indulgences. Cakes and cupcakes are baked daily to ensure maximum freshness, and then hand-slathered with homemade butter-cream frosting to ensure maximum deliciousness. With today's Groupon, your very own batch of gourmet treats will be made to order in one or more of the flavors of your choice from the daily selection (e.g. red velvet, peanut-butter cup, banana, coconut, and more). Pick up a s'mores-flavored cupcake to celebrate the summertime camping season, or pay homage to your favorite shade of chocolate with a chocolate-on-chocolate.
In 1944, Reino Wuollet opened a small bakery where he prepared fresh bread each day. More than 65 years later, his humble shop has grown into six locations where 30 or so family members tinker over cakes, pastries, and pies. Wedding and other occasion cakes are one of their specialties; flavors such as chocolate mousse and Lady Baltimore can be coated with marzipan, buttercream frosting, or fondant in an impressive array of custom designs. Of course, they still bake breads: an international selection of loaves includes baguettes, challah, Swedish lympa, Irish soda bread, and buns shaped into busts of United Nations delegates.