Since 1933, Jax Café has been surf 'n' turfing its way into the hearts and duodenums of Minneapolis with an extensive menu of steaks and chops. Cavalier carnivores get professional-grade protein in the form of slow-roasted prime rib, seasoned and slathered with au jus and creamy horseradish ($30.95), or the extravagant bone-in steer tenderloin, which couples the tender cut with a giant mushroom cap or baseball hat, depending on the season ($45.95). For a seafaring adventure, Jax Café invites crustacean cravers to pick their own whole Maine lobster from a saltwater tank before savoring it under more buttery circumstances ($48). Tickle liberated taste buds with a glass of effervescent Korbel Brut ($7.50) or white wine ($5.95–$8.50) from Jax's extensive wine menu.
Amid scenic views of the Mississippi River, the two-tiered patio and all-glass-enclosed dining room treat diners to breathtaking vistas of North America's largest river system and its mermaid inhabitants basking on the shore. Not just about the scenery, at Mississippi Pub, the cooks maintain a strong passion for the food they dish out. Plating traditional pub grub and fresh seafood entrees like fish tacos and shrimp po' boys, they take a fresh approach with their menu. A full bar, boasting bottled and draft beers, shots, and cocktails, complements hearty American fare, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and weekend breakfast options.
Mad Jacks Sports Cafe serves a spread of eclectic eats amid rustic décor marked by high-tech accents. Diners dig into a regular or gluten-free menu of steaks, cedar-plank-grilled fish, and sandwiches under the glow of LCD screens and individual TVs stationed within every high backed booth. These flickering devices cast light across the log-cabin-themed space and tables filled with freshly spun pizzas and grill-kissed entrees. As they eat, diners can watch flames dance inside the fireplace, lament a dropped pass or an ill-purchased vowel on one of the looming TV screens, or drink in the fresh air on an outdoor patio.
Restaurant establishment is a Kozlak family tradition. Back in 1943, Joseph and Gertrude Kozlak purchased what would eventually become the well-known Jax Café. In 1977, their son Jax Kozlak and family embarked on a massive restoration project to beautify and expand a new large space that would become Kozlak's Royal Oak Restaurant, which has since been voted Best Ambiance, Best Service, and Neighborhood Gem by OpenTable diners.
Well known for its steaks, Kozlak's serves top-shelf cuts such as bone-in tenderloin, roasted prime rib, and tenderloin filet crowned with add-ons of rich blue cheese, Cajun spices, or fresh sauteed mushrooms. Single tails of steamed African lobster recline on plates with drawn butter, and Australian sea bass receives a stuffing of spinach and crab before being topped with a butter-tarragon sauce. Kozlak's Royal Oak Restaurant boasts a screened-in patio with a canopy.
Maiv's Egg Roll Basket, an eatery that's relatively new to the Saint Paul scene, serves up creative Asian and American dishes in a fast, casual environment. The menu includes Vietnamese specialties such as banh mi sandwiches and pho, American salads and sandwiches, and egg rolls with fillings that range from savory steak to fruit and chocolate. Try your meal paired with one of Maiv's many bubble teas.
After spending seven seasons with the North Stars, Tom McCarthy finished his NHL career in Boston, but still he couldn't shake his Minnesota roots. In 1991, he transformed an old St. Paul gas station into a full-fledged fish shack. Since taking over the operation, Dan and Tom Flanagan have grown Mac's—the namesake remains—into a restaurant named one of the five best locales for fish and chips by CBS Minnesota, serving hand-battered cuts of fried cod, walleye, and halibut with baskets of hand-cut fries. As plastic lights shaped like walleye hang over the outdoor patio, cooks accompany the meals with sides such as coleslaw, cheese curds, and homemade bites of salt-water taffy, Poseidon's favorite adhesive.