At Havana South Restaurant and Bar, a conga line of authentic Cuban entrees parades out of the kitchen, transporting diners to the Caribbean with dishes such as picadillo a la Cubana and ropa vieja in criolle sauce. The chef draws on his culinary experience to populate the menu with true Cuban cuisine.
Meanwhile, drink enthusiasts can marvel at servers using guava, mango, and passion fruit to brew up refreshing batches of house-made mojitos. The tropical flavor carries over to the eatery's decor as well. A life-size painting of palm trees and domino players on the beach may fool diners into thinking that they're dining on the coast, whereas crimson-hued walls compliment heated salsa nights that are speckled throughout the eatery’s event schedule. Spanish music constantly pours from the speakers, inspiring guests to get up and dance, a practice encouraged by the staff.
The galleys at Joe’s to Goes garner gastronomically satisfied grins by housing a menu of handheld hunger stavers. Like a mom-piloted spoon-airplane, two toasted sesame-seed buns shepherd the half pound of ground beef, plus lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup cargo, inside Joe's original hamburger ($4.99) to eager cuisine landing zones. There is an additional charge for cheese, bacon, and extra toppings. The low-carb half-pound bacon cheeseburger, meanwhile, flavorfies the palate with gooey cheese melted over crispy bacon ($4.69). A troop of thick-cut steak fries shimmering in special seasonings rallies starving stomachs or buttresses burger-based hunger quenching, and a refreshing soft drink washes away all memories of previous meat deprivation and can be used as drinkable ink for napkin notes written with a fry.
Helmed by a brew-happy band of college comrades, Toasted &Tapped dishes up American fare and handcrafted beers in a communal, homespun brewpub. Guests can sample each of the nine beers currently on draft when boarding a beer flight ($7), or bolster biceps with a full glass of the new Rufus the Red Hulk, a hoppy Belgian amber brew that doesn't need to advertise its incredibility ($6).
From the time they were boys until they both had boys of their own, Jeremy Green and Josh Tedder maintained a close bond—even closer than the one between a man and his talking dog, to whom he tells all his secrets. The pair split up to pursue separate dreams after high school, but it wasn't long before fate and friendship brought them back together. Once they became fathers and husbands, Jeremy and Josh both sought out a family-friendly restaurant that was still young and contemporary. When they came up empty-handed, they decided to combine their talents—Jeremy as a chef, Josh as a businessman—and open their own: Green's Tavern.
At Green's Tavern, whole families can gather for a meal, and couples can stop in for a drink after work. The menu showcases a wide array of all-American grub that's suitable for all ages: burgers, barbecue, and even seafood. Plus, there are 12 beers on draft and 20 by the bottle, as well as 12 big-screen HDTVs and live music to keep everyone entertained.
Cheeky rouses a sizzling flavor fiesta with its fresh menu of made-daily Mexican favorites, signature salsas, and vast drink directory. Diners can sink tortilla chips into one of Cheeky's five vibrant salsas or wield crispy plantain wedges when chomping through an authentic shrimp-and-calamari ceviche ($9) to the rhythm of the Mexican national anthem. Paw-ready sandwiches include a crispy torta asada ($9), and custom-built tacos can be crafted from signature crab-cake fritters, steak, shrimp, and fish ($3). Grumbling bellies are hushed by piping entree plates, such as a shrimp-and-spinach quesadilla ($10) or a poblano pepper stuffed with melted mixed cheese and topped with a cherry tomato sauce ($8+).
Carrying the praises of OpenTable diners as the winner of Best Overall restaurant, Best Ambiance, and Best Food, Park Café's executive chef Michael Ganley is no stranger to success. He has honed his skills in the kitchen for more than 17 years, most recently as Executive Chef of The Ritz Carlton in Dearborn, Michigan. Arriving in Duluth in 2004, Ganley brought with him his years of experience perfecting European culinary techniques, crafting a menu of elegant twists on Southern favorites such as fried green tomatoes layered with slabs of warm, creamy brie.
Nestled inside the Knox House—originally erected in 1899 for the first Mayor of Duluth, John Knox—Park Café's refurbished interior remains true to the home's 19th-century character. Largely original hardwood floors and paneled walls lend a quaint charm to the romantic simplicity of the dining rooms, where tables draped in crisp linen glow beneath flickering candles and diners’ recently whitened teeth.