Yes, it does have a very... interesting name. But that's not the reason Electric Fetus widely known. Instead, it's gained popularity for its role as a gathering place for local music/culture enthusiasts since the late '60s. Although there's now plenty of ways to find new music without even looking up from your phone, the Fetus has maintained its following thanks to its friendly, knowledgeable staff, fantastic selection of vinyl, and frequent in-store performances. And don't worry if you're not close to the original store — they have locations in Duluth and St. Cloud as well.
You don't have to love bacon to enjoy a meal at Victory 44 — but it certainly doesn't hurt. This north side eatery offers up accessible-yet-ambitious food, a constantly-changing list of which you'll find on chalkboards throughout the restaurant. You'll probably want to ask your server for more details, since there are no printed menus and the chalkboard list is famously threadbare — options like "salmon", "sunchokes", and "duck" don't give you much to go on. But when in doubt, you can always opt for the porky trifecta of Devils on Horseback (bacon-wrapped dates), the Perfect Burger, which is topped with bacon, and the simply amazing Bacon Fries.
The Twin Cities' best roast beef sandwich doesn't come from a drive-thru window, but it might come from the side of a truck. Launched last year after successfully raising startup capital on Kickstarter, Bloomy's Roast Beef has quickly become a local favorite thanks to its certified Hereford vegetarian-fed roast beef that's slow roaster in an organic, gluten-free marinade. Aside from the many roast beef sandwiches, this diner-style truck also offers mac & cheese, coleslaw, mashed potatos and gravy, organic corn, and both fries and tots, either of which can be ordered with a side of beer cheese sauce.
Most "retro" bars were either designed and decorated specifically to be that way or are highly updated versions of their former historic selves. All of which helps make Nye's Polonaise Room so special. Virtually unchanged since Al Nye bought it in the late '40s, the "old side" is very much the blue collar bar it always has been, while the "new" dining room addition — purchased in 1964 — still boasts the curved piano bar, red carpeting, wood paneling, and gold-flecked booths that made it a draw back in the day. Oh, and we hear the drinks and food aren't so bad, either. [Scouted by Michael]
Yes, it's near the lobby of the hotel — but don't expect weak pours and mixed company. The Bradstreet Craftshouse can be found on the first floor of the Graves|601 Hotel, and offers a stylish yet intimate decor, with a hidden parlor room and a circular main bar. As for the drinks, they're made with care and artisan ingredients, including hand-pressed juices and house-made bitters — and there's also a food menu just in case you get hungry.
No matter which side of the river you sit on, if you're looking for menswear in the Twin Cities, it's worth a visit to BlackBlue. Located in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood, this upscale haberdasher offers stylish selections in denim, bags, shoes, shirts, and other essentials from brands like Levi's Vintage, A.P.C., Baldwin, Duluth, Pendleton, and Tretorn. Just don't stop by on Monday, because they won't be open.
If you like your burgers stuffed with cheese and other tasty ingredients, then you'll love the grub at The Blue Door Pub. Their menu is dominated by Juicy Blucys — their name for cheese-stuffed burgers like the Cajun, Luau, and Frenchy — but also includes appetizers like fried cheese curds and specialties like fish tacos. Of course, this is a pub, and as such they have a nice selection of beers on permanent and rotating taps, as well as several wine options available by either the glass or bottle.
Every city needs a standout French restaurant, and for the Twin Cities, that's La Belle Vie. Located in the historic 510 Groveland building, it's frequently recognized as one of the best restaurants in the city, offering up new interpretations of traditional French Mediterranean cuisine with both tasting and a'la carte menus available. Looking for more than just food? The spot also boasts a lounge serving some of the best martinis in town.
What is it about basements and booze? The Marvel Bar is yet another great subterranean cocktail joint. Behind its purple door, you'll find a fantastic white marble bar, comfy leather booths, appropriately dim lighting, and cocktails. Inventive, tasty, sip-worthy cocktails, created by master barkeep Pip Hanson. How do you know he's a master? Well, he spent five years in Japan studying his craft, which earns one the title of "master" in pretty much every movie we've ever seen.
When the zombie apocalypse hits, you'll know where to find us: in a hidden bunker somewhere. But Donny Dirk's Zombie Den is a close second choice. This neighborly north side hangout offers an intentionally rundown, retro decor that ties in perfectly with the old B-rated zombie movies playing on the TV and the inventive drink menu offering dark takes on old classics. Should an actual undead infestation crop up, they also have an emergency chainsaw hidden behind glass for exactly such an occasion.
No, it's not some sci-fi factory cranking out eligible men for any and all takers. Instead, The Bachelor Farmer is simply one of the Twin Cities' best restaurants. Based out of a historic brick-and-timber North Loop warehouse formerly used by fur, wool, grease, and rack companies, it offers fresh, simple food inspired by the area's Nordic heritage. Wondering why your marinated eggplant toast tastes so fresh? It might be the ingredients, which at worst are purchased from local farmers and purveyors, and at best grown on the rooftop farm.
The best hotels traditionally meld great artwork into their decor — and the Le Méridien Chambers is no different. Originally opened in 2006 by a well-known art collector, the 60-room hotel was designed by David Rockwell, and boasts over 200 original pieces of artwork. The rooms aren't too shabby either, with walk-in rainfall showers, heated floors, and comfy pillowtop beds. Don't stay in your room too long, though — the hotel is just steps from world-class dining and shopping, and you also get complimentary access to the nearby Walker Art Centre and Sculpture Garden just by flashing your room key.