Photo courtesy of Owamni
Photo courtesy of Owamni

Best of The Hit ListMinneapolis

Owamni, Estelle, Black Walnut Bakery, and More: Twin Cities Dining’s Best in 2021


What a year it’s been for the Twin Cities food scene. We’ve said goodbye to old favorites (RIP Burch Steak), welcomed intrepid newcomers — upwards of 125 fresh faces and expansions — applauded the increase in patios, and upped our take-out game to support the industry. In the face of all the madness, chefs, staffs, and owners have tackled the challenge with brio, pivoting when needed, getting creative, and not losing hope. Everyone who made it happen deserves to be commended.

Among all those superstars, we wanted to highlight our absolute favorites from 2021 as we close out the year. Petite León kept upping its game, slowly building from takeaway-only to dinner a few times a week to a six-night schedule. Chef Daniel del Prado delighted fans by heading west of his other locales and opening Josefina in Minnetonka. And Owamni by The Sioux Chef made a giant splash, not just locally but nationally, being hailed by Vogue as “one of the most exciting new restaurants in the country.” We couldn’t be prouder.

Minnesota restaurants might have been down in 2021, but they weren’t out. The proof is in the myriad places still turning on their stoves, welcoming guests, and keeping the spark alive — including the 10 bright lights below. Please welcome our Best of The Hit List for the Twin Cities.