The Top 10 Restaurants for University of Minnesota Students

Hungry? New to the University of Minnesota campus? Check out these popular restaurants on campus! These are some of the most highly recommended eateries by the students of University of Minnesota. Let us know what you think!

  1. Al’s Breakfast is located in Dinky Town and is reportedly the narrowest restaurant in the city of Minneapolis (10 feet wide). The tiny diner contains 14 stools and is considered a significant icon of the state. The restaurant creates an experience that is not duplicated anywhere else in Minneapolis. Because of the size constraints, regular customers expect to sit in multiple seats throughout their meal. As customers finish their meals, diners shift along the counter to allow space for new customers. In 2004, Al's Breakfast won a James Beard Foundation award in the "America's Classics Restaurants" category and appeared on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2007.
  2. Mesa Pizza was founded in 2006 and has become a staple in every University of Minnesota student’s diet. The restaurant is renowned for being the quick stop in Dinky Town before heading home after a social gathering on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night (open as late as 3 am).  The restaurant serves 50 different varieties of pizza for a little over two dollars a slice and you get exactly what you pay for—a king sized slice and a college networking experience. Mesa also now offers delivery as late as 2:30 am!
  3. Pagoda is also located in Dinky Town and offers your favorite Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Korean, and Thai cuisine. When it comes to Asian restaurants on campus, Pagoda offers great tasting dishes at a moderate price. Not only is there a great variety of food on the menu, there is also a great variety in the types of meals they serve—including Dim Sum and dessert pastries. Many college students take advantage of the happy hour specials to get the most bang for their buck.
  4. Burrito Loco is Dinky Town’s original burrito joint. “Locally-owned and operated by two former University of Minnesota students, Burrito Loco has the best food and drink specials on campus. Our approach is simple: Fresh, homemade foods, keep prices low, and offer great drinks. As a full service college bar we offer everything: Beer Pong, Karoke, Team Trivia, Sex Trivia, Birthday Night, free food specials, Shot Checkers and 16 beers on tap. Our award-winning restaurant has been called the best burrito joint in the state. Their goal is to make Burrito Loco the perfect combination between a full service college bar and a laid back burrito joint.”
  5. Five Guys is a chain that was established on the East Coast and was just recently brought to the University of Minnesota campus. Five Guys is the Subway of burgers and offers over 250,000 possible ways to order a burger. As you wait in line, grab a dish of peanuts to munch on. These nuts are a symbol of their use of peanut oil only. Five Guys also does not freeze any of its products, it simply cools them. The atmosphere reminds you of an old school diner and the burgers are enough to fill you up for hours. Don’t forget the Cajun fries!
  6. Hong Kong Noodles is another casual Asian restaurant on the University of Minnesota campus located on Washington Avenue. HKN is a family owned restaurant that offers a comfortable, homey dining experience. The restaurant is also open as late as 2 am. The restaurant is debatably one of the best Asian diners on campus and offers great tasting food (chicken, beef, seafood, vegetarian) whether it is dine-in, take out, or party tray.
  7. The Big Ten Restaurant and Bar is a casual themed restaurant and bar that serves legendary sub sandwiches and award-winning wings. Conveniently located in the center of Washington Avenue, “our locations offer a great atmosphere to meet with friends or family. Outside of the great food, we offer a huge beer selection and plenty of televisions to watch your favorite sporting events.”
  8. True Thai’s reviews speak for themselves. True Thai was named one of the best places for take-out in the March 2009 issue of Minnesota Monthly magazine and was selected for the Royal Thai Government Thai Select Award. “The excellent assortment of the best Thai food in town for the popularity of this appropriately named South Minneapolis winner where you can order anything on the menu and not be disappointed" (Zagat 2010). “The restaurant is beautifully decorated by folks who know and love Thai culture, but the food is the reason to eat here; freshness and subtlety characterize this extensive menu” (CitySearch 2007).
  9. Loring Pasta Bar “Since 2000, this temple of affordable elegance has provided Twin Citians and visitors alike with the ultimate relaxed (and relaxing) dining experience. The Loring Pasta Bar is fun, friendly, and so beautiful, you'd think Mother Nature herself designed it. At the LPB, the delight is in the details - the bar's whimsical brickwork and comprehensive beer, wine, and liquor selection, the main dining area's ornate floor, the plants that help make our sidewalk cafe one of Minnesota's most charming outdoor lounging spots, our meticulously prepared comestibles, and dozens of others, not to mention a staff dedicated to making your visit eminently memorable - whether you're a party of one or 300.”
  10. Crescent Moon Pizza “Consistently popular since 2000, our downtown facilities at 2339 Central Avenue NE offer catering and a large beautiful banquet hall. The Bakery offers fresh baked flat breads daily and the restaurant provides the highest quality Afghani dishes using halal meats and fresh produce. The dining ambiance is pleasantly casual and intimate, with seating available in a charming interior setting.  Stop by Crescent Moon Pizza at 1517 Como Avenue SE for a football pizza served fast and hot.”

Are we crazy? Did we miss any restaurants near the University of Minnesota that college students love? Let us know!


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