What Food is Minneapolis Known For? (Best 10 Local Favorites)

Minneapolis is not only known for its stunning lakes, rich cultural scene, and friendly residents but also for its delectable food offerings.

This city is a melting pot of flavors, where you can find a diverse range of iconic foods that cater to every palate. In this article, we’ll explore ten iconic foods that Minneapolis is renowned for, each with its unique story and mouthwatering taste.

What Food is Minneapolis Known For?

Minneapolis is known for its hearty and comforting Midwestern cuisine. The city takes pride in its juicy and flavorful Jucy Lucy burgers, where cheese is stuffed inside the patty for an extra burst of deliciousness. Minneapolis is also celebrated for its Scandinavian heritage, offering dishes like lutefisk and lefse, reflecting the region’s immigrant history.

The city’s vibrant food scene includes diverse international cuisines, but it’s best known for these signature dishes that provide a taste of its cultural heritage and culinary creativity.

1. Juicy Lucy – A Minneapolis Invention

Juicy Lucy – A Minneapolis Invention

The Birth of Juicy Lucy

One of Minneapolis’s most famous culinary inventions is the Juicy Lucy, a burger with a delightful twist. This iconic burger is made by sandwiching a molten core of cheese between two beef patties, creating an explosion of flavor with every bite.

The Battle of the Bars

Minneapolis boasts several bars and restaurants that claim to have invented the Juicy Lucy, and there is an ongoing friendly rivalry between these establishments. Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club are two of the most renowned spots to savor this cheesy delight.

2. Wild Rice Soup – A Native American Classic

Wild Rice Soup – A Native American Classic

The Indigenous Staple

Wild rice, often referred to as “manoomin” by the Ojibwa people, has deep roots in the history of Minnesota. This staple grain is celebrated in Minneapolis through a comforting dish known as Wild Rice Soup. which is a staple grain with deep roots in Minnesota’s history

A Hearty and Nutritious Delight

In this comforting soup, the nutty and earthy flavors of wild rice are artfully combined with an array of vegetables and often chicken or turkey. Simmered to perfection in a creamy broth, Wild Rice Soup is a satisfying medley of flavors and textures, providing a taste of both tradition and the natural bounty of the area.

Whether enjoyed on a chilly winter day or as a year-round comfort food, this Minneapolis favorite embodies the spirit of the region and its deep connection to its indigenous culture.

3. Tater Tot Hot dish – A Comfort Food Classic

Tater Tot Hot dish – A Comfort Food Classic

A Nostalgic Comfort Food

Minneapolis residents have a soft spot for Tater Tot Hot dish. This quintessential comfort food consists of tater tots, ground meat, and vegetables, all baked together with a creamy sauce.

A Dish for All Occasions

Often served at family potlucks, church suppers, or as a cozy weeknight dinner, this dish embodies the essence of home-cooked comfort in the heart of Minneapolis, offering a taste of both tradition and togetherness.

4. Lefse – A Norwegian Treat

Lefse – A Norwegian Treat

A Scandinavian Influence

Minneapolis has a strong Scandinavian heritage, and this influence is evident in its cuisine. Lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread, is a beloved treat in the city. Its thin and tender layers offer a taste of tradition, evoking a sense of nostalgia and warmth, making Lefse a beloved symbol of Minneapolis’s cultural and culinary diversity.

Thin and Tasty

Lefse is made from potatoes and flour, rolled thin and often served with butter and sugar. It’s a delightful snack that pays homage to the city’s Nordic roots.

5. Jucy Lucy – A Cheeseburger with a Twist

Jucy Lucy – A Cheeseburger with a Twist

A Friendly Rivalry

Minneapolis’s love for cheese-stuffed burgers doesn’t end with the Juicy Lucy. The “Jucy Lucy” at Matt’s Bar features a slight variation, and locals have strong opinions about which one is the best.

Cheese Heaven

The Jucy Lucy is known for its oozing cheese filling, which takes the burger experience to a whole new level.

6. Swedish Meatballs – A Taste of Sweden

Swedish Meatballs – A Taste of Sweden

Swedish Culinary Heritage

Minneapolis’s Swedish community has left a significant mark on its food scene. Whether enjoyed as an appetizer or part of a Swedish-inspired meal, Swedish Meatballs in Minneapolis are a nod to the city’s Nordic ancestry, providing a taste of tradition and a savory connection to the diverse cultural tapestry that defines the local food scene.

Small but Flavorful

These bite-sized meatballs, crafted from a harmonious blend of pork and beef, are meticulously seasoned and expertly pan-fried to golden perfection. Often served with a dollop of lingonberry sauce, their exquisite taste offers a sweet and savory dance on the palate

7. Buttered Corn on the Cob – A Fair Favorite

Buttered Corn on the Cob – A Fair Favorite

Fair-Style Delight

During the Minnesota State Fair, which is a beloved annual event in the Twin Cities, one of the most cherished treats is buttered corn on the cob. It’s a cherished tradition that symbolizes the joy of communal gatherings, where friends and families come together to relish this timeless delight, making it an iconic and delectable emblem of Minneapolis’s culinary culture.

A Simple Pleasure

Freshly grilled corn slathered with butter and sprinkled with seasoning is a simple yet satisfying snack that captures the essence of the fair. As you sink your teeth into the tender, smoky kernels, you’re transported to a world of sweet and savory flavors that capture the spirit of the fair

8. Cheese Curds – A Deep-Fried Delight

Cheese Curds – A Deep-Fried Delight

Cheese curds, a beloved Minneapolis delicacy, are small nuggets of cheese joy that epitomize comfort food. These bite-sized wonders are traditionally made from fresh cheddar cheese, and their distinctive characteristic is their squeaky texture when bitten into.

Deep-fried to a crispy, golden perfection, cheese curds offer a delightful contrast between the crunchy exterior and the gooey, molten cheese inside.

Whether enjoyed at the Minnesota State Fair, local diners, or food stands throughout the city, cheese curds are a ubiquitous treat that evokes nostalgia and a sense of communal enjoyment, making them a cherished and irresistible snack in the heart of Minneapolis.

9. Walleye – The State Fish

Walleye – The State Fish

The Pride of Minnesota

Walleye, the official state fish of Minnesota, is a sought-after delicacy in Minneapolis. It’s known for its mild, flaky white flesh, This flaky, mild-flavored fish, revered as the official state fish of Minnesota, takes center stage on local menus

From Lake to Plate

Savoring a plate of tender walleye not only offers a taste of the state’s aquatic bounty but also a connection to its rich outdoor traditions, making it an iconic and cherished culinary symbol of Minneapolis.

Freshly caught walleye is often pan-fried or baked and served with a side of wild rice, creating a classic Minnesota meal.

10. Vietnamese Pho – A Global Fusion

Vietnamese Pho – A Global Fusion

A World of Flavor

Minneapolis’s diverse food scene extends to international cuisines. Vietnamese Pho, a flavorful noodle soup, has gained popularity in the city. The heart of this iconic dish lies in its meticulously crafted beef or chicken broth, simmered to perfection with aromatic spices.

Delicate flat rice noodles provide the canvas upon which a variety of proteins, from thinly sliced beef to succulent shrimp or tofu, create a harmonious symphony of textures

A Taste of Vietnam

Pho is a comforting and aromatic dish made with beef or chicken, rice noodles, and a fragrant broth. Minneapolis’s diverse Pho offerings provide a taste of Vietnam’s rich culinary heritage, making it a beloved fixture in the city’s vibrant food culture


Minneapolis is a city that not only offers a vibrant cultural experience but also a diverse and delectable culinary journey. From the invention of the Juicy Lucy to the comforting warmth of Wild Rice Soup and the global flavors of Vietnamese Pho, the city’s iconic foods reflect its rich history and its openness to culinary innovation.

Related: What Food is Colorado Springs Known For? (Try These Top 10 Dishes)

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