Since this post was originally published in July of 2020, the highly anticipated restaurant, Owamni by The Sioux Chef, has officially opened at the Water Works Park Pavilion on the central riverfront (see #5 in this list). These must-taste menus are a must-go at least one more time before the summer wraps up!
One thing we love about summer in the parks is the delicious array of restaurants that open with the warmer months. There are a handful of take-away options for park goers, many with outdoor seating, and all next to beautiful Minneapolis parkland if you’d prefer to eat in a more socially distanced atmosphere. Two of these restaurants, Mill Valley Market and Owamni, are open year round, while the others are open seasonally for the warmer months. We’ve compiled six must-taste menus in various Minneapolis parks for you to dive into this summer!
Open for Summer Only:
Sandcastle is located right on the big beach at Lake Nokomis. With a large patio area with tables for outdoor dining, this is a wonderful addition to any park adventure. While their menu includes something for everyone, from your Coney (chili-cheese) Dog to a Kimchee Veggie Brown Rice Bowl, we have heard from reliable sources that a go-to for many is their classic Basket of French Fries. A simple, yet unbeatable, snack on a summer lake day. Check out their full menu, hours, and location here.
#2. Bread & Pickle
Bread & Pickle is a favorite among many who live in the Minneapolis Lake District. Located on Lake Harriet next to the Bandshell, this restaurant could not offer a more picturesque backdrop. On top of that, it’s a zero-waste operation, with everything served in compostable paper wrappers and biodegradable cups. In parallel with this, Break & Pickle sells an awesome reusable water canteen that you can fill up from their cold tap water spigot. It’s a perfect souvenir or much needed refresher if you’re out for a walk or kayak around the lake on a hot day. More restaurant info here!
Photos courtesy of Bread and Pickle Instagram account @breadandpickle (photographs #1 and #2 taken by @phatphood , #3 taken by @bscribbles)
#3. Sea Salt Eatery
Sea Salt Eatery is a Cajun-inspired seafood spot adjacent to Minnehaha Falls, located in Minnehaha Regional Park. While we’d argue you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, Sea Salt boasts some of the best fish tacos in the area. With a variety of fish, shrimp, calamari and other selections, you will easily find an option that satisfies your seafood cravings. More restaurant info and ordering options here.
Photos #1 and #2 courtesy of Sea Salt Eatery Instagram account @seasalteatery
#4. Mill Valley Market
Mill Valley Market is located in the Trailhead building at Theodore Wirth Park and remains open year-round, with some holiday exceptions. While they don’t market themselves as a health food restaurant, their menu is packed with healthy servings of nutrient-rich produce, whole grains, and sustainably raised meats and fish because as they say, “a satisfying meal shouldn’t just be filling, it should be nourishing.” With breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, beer, and wine you are bound to enjoy yourself on their patio after an outing in Theodore Wirth Park. As an added bonus, this Friday and next (August 20 and 27) there will be live music at the Trailhead from 5-8pm. Hours, location, and menu can be found here.
Photos courtesy of Mill Valley Market Instagram account @millvalleymkt (upper right photograph taken by @eatswithjason)
#5. Owamni by The Sioux Chef
With the highly anticipated opening of Water Works Park and Pavilion on the Central Riverfront, we are excited to add Owamni, by The Sioux Chef to this list of of must-taste menus. Located on the second level of the Water Works Park Pavilion, Owamni boasts stunning views of the riverfront from an inside dining area, as well as patio seating. This is the first restaurant for the globally acclaimed duo of Sean Sherman and Dana Thompson, co-owners of The Sioux Chef, who are committed to revitalizing Native American Cuisine and reclaiming this important culinary culture through food and storytelling. Owamni is currently open for reservations and curbside pick-up on Tuesday and Wednesday 4pm-9pm, and Thursday through Sunday 11am-9pm. However, there is a walk-up beverage hut on the main level plaza near the entrance of Water Works if you’re just passing by. The outstanding food and views mean reservations fill up quickly, but take a look and book your next best meal here!
In addition to providing a seasonal menu of Indigenous cuisine, The Sioux Chef will conceive and manage programming in the pavilion and on the grounds. The Sioux Chef plans to create events and educational opportunities to elevate Indigenous voices as part of its larger mission to promote Native American cultures, honor plants and natural resources, and foster a vibrant Indigenous food movement.
#6. Rotating Food Trucks
Along with the brick and mortar restaurants above, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board offers food truck permits at more than 15 park locations across the city – the full list can be found here. Also, check out this interactive map that you can use to find specific food truck locations across Minneapolis parks.
While there is no set schedule for which food trucks will be at which locations on a given day, it’s a wonderful way to experience new and different cuisines, and support small businesses. Additionally, if you are interested in attaining a permit for your food truck, you can fill out a simple application here.