A Visual Guide to Eating and Drinking at the DMAI 2016 Annual Convention

We spoke to six Minneapolis foodies to find the best places for a bite or drink in Minneapolis and curated a list that has something sure to please everyone. Before we get to that, we want to bring you live action and the best visual moments for #DMAI16!

Now back to the food! We included recommendations conveniently within walking distance from the Minneapolis Convention Center, and also some farther away gems worth the trip if you’re in the mood for a unique foodie adventure.

Quick and Casual Food

In need of something quick, but delicious, between conference events? Here’s what locals recommend for a casual meal.

1 | Hell’s Kitchen

Specialty: Breakfast, brunch and sandwiches

Address: 80 South 9th Street (9 minute walk)

2 | The Local

Speciality: Irish pub, fish & chips

Address: Nicollet Mall, 931 Nicollet Mall (10 minute walk)

3 | Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza

Address: 2550 Nicollet Avenue South (5 minute drive)

People’s Organic Cafe

Specialty: Organic, fair trade salads, sandwiches and coffee

Address:  80 South 8th Street #15 (10 minute walk)

4 | Cosi

Specialty: Counter-service salads, flatbread pizza and sandwiches

Address: 80 South 8th St #150 (10 minute walk)

5 | 8th Street Grill

Specialty: Burgers and sandwiches, great beer selection and a covered outdoor patio

Address: 800 Marquette Avenue (10 minute walk)


Further Away, But Worth the Drive:

6 | Birchwood Café

Specialty: Local, organic, seasonal breakfast foods. Home to the savoury waffle.

Address: 3311 East 25th Street (10 minute drive)


Formal and Sit Down Restaurants

If you are looking to slow down, relax and enjoy some great food at the end of the day, look no further! Here are some dining options for no matter what your tastebuds are in the mood for.

1 | Monello

Specialty: Italian, seafood, gluten free options

Address: 1115 2nd Ave South, Minneapolis (3 minute walk)

2 | 4 Bells

Speciality: Winner of 2016 Best Twin Cities Seafood Award

Address:1610 Harmon Place (10 minute walk)

3 | Marin Restaurant and Bar

Specialty: New American mains including duck breast and flatbreads, known for its health-conscious menu

Address: 901 Hennepin Ave (11 minute walk)

4 | Alma

Specialty: Special fixed price three course menu, options available for vegetarians and piscaterians

Address: 528 University Ave SE (7 minute drive)

5 | Crave

Specialty: Sushi

Address: 825 Hennepin Avenue (13 minute walk/5 minute drive)


We were tipped on several great restaurants that are right outside downtown, but worth the trip if you’re looking for a special dinner experience.

6 | 112 Eatery

Specialty: Unique, upscale menu & wine list

Address:112 North 3rd Street (9 minute drive)

7 | Revival

Specialty: Fried chicken, gluten friendly

Address: 4257 Nicollet Ave South (11 minute drive)

8 | La Fresca

Specialty: Mexican food with an unusual menu

Address: 4750 Grand Ave South (13 minute drive)

9 | Gorkha Palace

Specialty: Nepali, Indian food made with organic ingredients

Address:23 4th Street NE (9 minute drive)

10 | Karta Thai

Address: 3800 Central Ave NE (12 minute drive)

11 | Bachelor Farmer

Speciality: Eco conscious, local, organic nordic-influenced restaurant 

Address: 50 North 2nd Ave (10 minute drive)

Notes: Rumor has it that Hilary Clinton ate dinner here recently!


Whether you’re looking to chat with new friends over drinks or relax and listen to great music with a glass of wine, you will find something appealing here. After a long day of conferencing you deserve it!

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Specialty: Good place to listen to music and have a drink

Address: Nicollet Mall, 1010 Nicollet Mall (9 minute walk)


Specialty: Speakeasy underground atmosphere with inventive cocktails

Address:  80 South 8th Street #15 (3 minute walk)

The Local (Also Listed Above)

Specialty: Happy hour deals, Wednesday night wine specials, “every type of whiskey you could think of”

Address: Nicollet Mall, 931 Nicollet Mall (9 minute walk)

8th Street Grill (Also Listed Above)

Specialty: Great Beer selection

Address: 800 South 8th Street #107 (10 minute walk)


Farther out, but worth the trip if you’d like to get your party on! (Local cab company: 1 612-644-6569)

Surly Brewing Co

Specialty: Fantastic beer hall, but you can also get tasty snack food upstairs

Address: 520 Malcolm Ave SE (12 minute drive)

Notes: Make sure you make a reservation if you want to eat here! it’s 4 miles from the downtown main drag, but worth it.


Specialty: Dive bar

Address: 761 N Washington Ave (10 minute drive)

Notes: Dr. Mambo’s Combo plays Sunday and Monday nights and they were fantastic, this place is super fun after dining elsewhere.

Coffee and Treats

Minneapolis has some great coffee shops and bakeries if you’re looking for your caffeine or sugar fix at the conference.

People’s Organic Cafe (Also Listed Above)

Specialty: Delicious free trade coffee and lattes

Address:  80 South 8th Street #15 (10 minute walk)

Isle Bun & Coffee

Specialty: This Bakery makes most delicious cinnamon rolls there ever were! Paired with a coffee, they make for a great snack or breakfast. A little ways out from the conference, but worth the trip!

Address: 1424 West 28th Street (10 minute Drive)

Peace Coffee

Specialty: delicious crafted coffee in a collaboration-focused environment perfect for meetups or coffee chats

Address: 225 South Sixth Street (10 minute walk)


If you’re planning on grabbing a bite at any of these places, or have other local secrets of your own to share, let us know! DMAI’s 2016 Annual Conference is approaching quickly, and we are excited see everything that Minneapolis has to offer. We hope to see you there; Tweet us @CrowdRiff or come find us at booth 507 for a conversation on why 100 DMOs are using our visual influence platform to reach more travellers.



We would like to give a special thanks to our contributors for their suggestions. 

Maggie LaMaack – @MaggieLaMaack

Lee Hersh – @FitFoodieFinds

Lee Petrie – @peony_iris 

Emily Porter – @porterauthority 

Sofia Bapna – @BapnaSofia 

Jacqui Armstrong


Header Image Credit: Steve Johnson