Perfect Duluth Day | Duluth News Events Music and More

What is the best restaurant in the Duluth area? We’re working our way up to a poll.

Next in PDD’s series of restaurant awards is probably the one we should have started with — the grand champion: the best restaurant of them all. We’ll begin this process by taking nominations in the comments to this post.

The criteria is somewhat up to you. In our previous polls there were a limited number of restaurants that could be considered “new” or “breakfast” restaurants, but virtually any restaurant in the territory is eligible to be considered “best.” And whatever makes it “best” is certainly subjective.

We expect people will lean toward fancier operations and consider money no object on this one, but if you truly feel the best restaurant in town is a cheap pancake house or burger joint, we’ll respect that. However, if you nominate a fast-food chain we’ll tell you right now it won’t be on the ballot. So here it is right up front we so can all get a good laugh: “I nominate the West Duluth KFC.” Oh, ha ha ha. Very funny.

Also, we know some of you snobs are dying to rant about how Duluth doesn’t really have any good restaurants because your advanced taste buds can barely survive outside of New York or Marrakech. Shut up.

And, of course, we must define our territory: Any restaurant in Duluth or 10 miles of its border is eligible. So establishments in Superior, Hermantown, Proctor and the various bordering townships all qualify; Two Harbors and Cloquet are out of bounds.

With all that out of the way, let’s begin. Once the nomination list reaches a satisfactory conclusion, a poll will be posted.

29 Comments

emmadogs

about 12 months ago

Best dine in restaurant is Lake Avenue Cafe. You can spend a lot or a little (relatively), food is fantastic, lovely interior. Best to go restaurant is Northern Waters Smokehaus. Best sandwiches in the history of the world. Best decor, hands down, is Zeitgeist Arts Cafe. Best neighborhood joint is Chester Creek Cafe. So that's my 2 €ents.

heysme

about 12 months ago

Criteria is very vague so I will post what I feel is the "Best" in the sense of taste - New Scenic. In the area of "ambiance" - Lake Ave In the area of "feel good" - Duluth Grill In the area of "most likely to revisit again and again" - Amazing Grace

SuperX

about 12 months ago

Hands down it has to be The Pickwick! I know people who travel to Duluth just to get a pepper-cheese burger and onion rings.

Lawrence Lee

about 12 months ago

I'll throw out my nominations without reference to my criteria: Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe Chester Creek Cafe Duluth Grill Hanabi Lake Avenue Cafe New Scenic Cafe Va Bene Zeitgeist Arts Cafe

jakester

about 12 months ago

Sheesh! Rappdaddy hit everyone of the restauants I would include. Except Pak's Green Corner.

bluenewt

about 12 months ago

Zeitgeist and Scenic for creative food. Chester Creek for sunny morning ambiance. The Brewhouse for service, comfort, Duluth uniqueness, veggie burgers. Big Daddy for fries. Duluth Grill for gardens. Maybe a criterion could be: "Where do you take friends from out of town?"

tamara

about 12 months ago

JJ Astor's (ask for the spiced pecans) New Scenic Cafe Sunshine Cafe Duluth Grill Va Bene

Patrick Colvin

about 12 months ago

Best sit-down: Lake Avenue Best wine: Zeitgeist Best beer: 7 West Taphouse Best cocktails: Lake Avenue Best diner: Duluth Grill Best pub food: Dubh Linn Best Italian: Va Bene Best Asian: Pak's Green Corner Best Mexican: Guadalajara Best sandwiches: Northern Waters Best place to get drunk cheap: Mexico Lindo Did I miss anything?

emmadogs

about 12 months ago

I would have included New Scenic Cafe, but I thought it was too far out of town to include. Ditto to Brewhouse for best burgers, and also for best fries and beer. Yummy! Best wine: my kitchen on any given evening. Va Bene has a great view, but I think their food isn't so great. And I think there is no good Mexican/southwestern.

Claire

about 12 months ago

WHERE TO BEGIN? It really depends on what kind of mood I am in, and who I am with ... My top three favorites: New Scenic Cafe for world-class cuisine I can't even begin to replicate at home. Lake Ave for the ambiance and for sentimental reasons: first place Mr. Claire and I dined at when we moved here almost 20 years ago. Chester Creek Cafe because the food is delicious and it's like Cheers for me, I was actually one of their very first customers when they first opened.

Jana Hollingsworth

about 12 months ago

New Scenic Cafe has the best unusual and reasonably-priced wine and beer list and a menu that changes with the seasons; most everything delicious. The prices aren't as high as those in Canal Park and some lesser, more popular "fancy" restaurants. It is hands-down my favorite restaurant in Duluth and my go-to place to bring out-of-town guests. Also good are Chester Creek Cafe, Lake Avenue Cafe and Restaurant 301.

Claire

about 12 months ago

I knew I liked you for good reason, Jana. Forgot about 301. I love their cuisine, too.

gluvin

about 12 months ago

I am not going to say my favorites but, add to the list of places I would like to see on the initial list that haven't been mentioned so far. Anchor Bar, Thirsty Pagan, Azteca's, T-bonz, and Harmony Club's Palace Diner. I'm sure there will be more later as my taste buds wake up for the day.

Swan

about 12 months ago

Lake Avenue Cafe for food and Brewhouse/Rathskeller for beer.

runningman

about 12 months ago

On a night "out", which rarely happens anymore, here are the names being thrown out. Scenic Cafe Lake Avenue Cafe Zeitgeist The Pick Bellisio's (Oh, I can hear the booing) With the kids in tow (no particular order): Duluth Grill Northern Waters (Even without kids, but no booze) Thirsty Pagan Breeze Inn Eddie's Clyde Iron

runningman

about 12 months ago

Crap, I forgot The Brewhouse.

hansel

about 12 months ago

No mention of Pizza Luce yet so I have to throw that in with the bunch. I always bring my family and friends there when they are visiting. Whether it be for pizza in the evening or a hangover-curing brunch. Lake Ave, Brewhouse, and Scenic are major staples of the Duluth restaurant scene too and always come through for me.

emmadogs

about 12 months ago

Hansel, you're right about Luce's brunch. The pesto Benedict and Bloody Mary bar are great.

Endion

about 12 months ago

Azteca - Most authentic mexican food in town & cheap. Thirsty Pagan - Best pizza in the Ports & great beer. Brewhouse - Best french fries and craft beer. Anchor - Best burger Duluth Grill - Best organic, but worst ketchup Osaka - Best flames and Japanese food Lil' Angie's - Best Fajitas, but overpriced now Sala Thai - Best Thai food in town! Sammy's - Best broasted chicken Beaner's - Best sandwiches New Scenic - When you have money to burn Chester Creek - Best place to sniff your own farts while petting your dog on the deck. Pizza Luce' - Great bloody bar, but too small of not in same league as Uncle Lou's for breakfast food. Burrito Union - Just tortures you that there is no Chipotle in Duluth. Mexico Lindo - Best view, but not best Mexican Midi - Great burger and great view Blackwoods - Great meatloaf dinner & decent happy hour Texas Roadhouse - When you are extremely hungry

Paul Lundgren

about 12 months ago

At this point we've got a lengthy list of nominees, so the polling process has begun.

piker

about 12 months ago

HOUSE OF DONUTS

Herzog

about 12 months ago

Brewhouse and Co. product blows. Most highly overrated next to Anchor? Fitgers and Co. Burritos legendarily bad. Cod doughnuts require a nutcracker. Take your meatloaf and your seven dollar beer and give it to my dog Rod. I can buy a twelve pack of Torpedo for the price of one of your beers and call it a night. Yes, yes, Lake Ave and Scenic are fine and have been for over a decade. Now that we've all agreed on that over and over, can we move onto best dive bar so I can go find some pickled herring?

Bret

about 12 months ago

Nokomis was No. 1 (RIP) But, these are close! Restaurant 301 Lake Avenue Cafe JJ Astor New Scenic Cafe

Bret

about 12 months ago

Oh, and Zeitgeist Arts Cafe!

Endion

about 11 months ago

The top four stink. I guess fart-sniffing-over-40-former-hipsters rule this site. Remember having a PBR back when it wasn't cool to have a PBR?

rhetoricguy@gmail.com

about 11 months ago

I would like to see a poll based on best labor practices, too.

Barrett Chase

about 11 months ago

Endion, if they stink, why did you nominate two of them?

Endion

about 11 months ago

I nominated a different one, up above I wouldn't qualify what I said as an endorsement of any of the top four restaurants. Thirsty Pagan should have been in the top 4. I'm just sayin'...

Leave a Comment

Only registerd members can post a comment , Login / Register Here