Red Wing Minnesota prides itself on being unique and charming. It’s a small lakeside town that is an artist’s dream. The people who live here work hard, but they play hard as well. Many people come here for boating and fishing but also for breweries and eateries.
If you want to try something new in a homey atmosphere with friendly waitstaff, Red Wing Minnesota is the place to be. Most of the restaurants here are fairly casual and cater to tastes for classically American comfort food, but there are a few exotic tastes here and there. Let’s see what Red Wing has to offer!
Bayside Saloon and Grill – Best Steakhouse
$ | (651) 388-1616 | WEBSITE
View this post on Instagram
The cartoon mascot for this place is a grinning bull in a t-shirt and shades having a martini. This is enough to tell you that this is a casual place to relax, have a steak or hamburger and maybe a cocktail or two. Their meat is fresh, never frozen and cooked to your specifications.
The hand cut steaks are USDA Choice or better and seasoned with Bayside’s own special blend of spices. If you prefer seafood, walleye, shrimp and tuna are on the menu. For dessert, there are four kinds of pie to choose from.
Bev’s Café – Best Home Style Café
$ | (651) 388-5227 | WEBSITE
The old-fashioned small town café that serves delicious food made from scratch still exists. They have special deals for people who just want to come in and drink coffee all day while perhaps working on a laptop. You are asked to mind your manners about it, however!
Old-fashioned as the food and atmosphere are, Bev’s is modern enough to take online orders to save everyone’s time. Come in early for breakfast or a little later for the soup of the day and a sandwich. For something sweet, they have seven different flavors of malts and milkshakes.
The Bierstube – Best German Food
$$ | (651) 385-8852 | WEBSITE
Sometimes you want your steak or burgers to come with a “Taste of Deutschland” in a fun and fresh atmosphere. The Bierstube has been in the Yanz family since 1962. The Red Wing location comes with a bowling center, so you can play a game after dinner.
It also has a stone oven that makes a pizza that is second to none. Do they have bratwurst? You had better believe they have bratwurst! Cold tap beer almost goes without saying. Different days of the week will give you specials on different entrées. They have Burger Monday, Taco Tuesday, Hot Beef Wednesday and more.
Fiesta Mexicana – Best Mexican Food
$$ | (651) 385-8939 | WEBSITE
Minnesota is a little far from the Mexican border, but Mexican restaurants still abound for people who like to try a bit of a zestier fare. The authentic Mexican cuisine served here covers everything from Huevos Mexicanos to Arros con Pollo and, of course, the expected tacos, enchiladas and burritos.
Do you like fajitas? They got all the fajitas. If you just want a burger and fries, they have an American food menu. Remember to save room for dessert! Flan, sopapillas and bunuelos are on the menu, as are ice cream and churros.
Hanisch Bakery and Coffee Shop – Best Bakery
$ | (651) 388-1589 | WEBSITE
View this post on Instagram
Handmade bread is almost a lost art, but Hanisch makes artisanal loaves of a variety of breads that are the perfect accompaniment to every meal. They make special occasion cakes and fresh baked treats, of course, but if you want an actual meal, they have that too.
Breakfast sandwiches, quiche and bagels are among their breakfast items. There is a vast variety of sandwiches on the lunch menu, or you could try their hot dog combo. For dessert, you could go with donuts, cookies or pastries, but a scoop of Kemp’s ice cream is also an option.
Liberty’s Restaurant and Lounge – Best Buffet
$$$ | (651) 388-8877 | WEBSITE
This place has a well stocked buffet, or you can order off the menu. The food is a variety of American, Italian and Mexican, along with an all-day breakfast menu including omelets. Pizza is also on the menu. For 79 cents, your pizza can come with some minced garlic for extra oomph.
For dessert, you can choose from a variety of cakes, pies or an ice cream sundae. If you’re a bit of a history buff, you may enjoy learning about this location rumored to have been built on the remains of a prohibition-era speakeasy.
Red Wing Brewery – Best Pizza
$$ | (651) 327-2200 | WEBSITE
As the name suggests, this place was built largely for the purpose of selling craft beers, but you might want something a bit high on the carbs to soak up the alcohol. Red Wing Brewery makes a good pizza to go with their original recipe beers.
For the teetotalers, a special root beer flavored with real maple syrup called “Good Old Zimmie’s” is on the menu. As for the pizza, the crust is handmade. You can build your own or choose from many of their specialty pizzas. If you’d like a calzone, that’s on the menu, as is cheesy garlic bread.
Wisteria Twig Tea Room – Best Tea Room
$ | (651) 276-4616 | WEBSITE
If you’re looking for a charming little tearoom, Wisteria Twig Tea Room is the kind of place you’re looking for. Breakfast and lunch are served, but so is the typical British tradition known as high tea. The four-course high tea includes fruit with vanilla yogurt, scones with lemon curd and Devonshire cream, finger sandwiches and a choice of desserts.
If you prefer your meals to be heartier, come in at 7 p.m. on Thursday for Pasta Night. You’ll be served spaghetti Bolognese with Caesar salad and garlic bread. If you’re all about the tea, Wisteria sells loose tea for you to take home.
Scarlet Kitchen and Bar – Best Views
$$ | (651) 385-5544 | WEBSITE
Located in the historic and luxurious St. James Hotel, the al fresco dining area of the Scarlet Kitchen and Bar provides diners with a gorgeous panoramic view of the Mississippi River. Even indoor diners will enjoy the view from spacious windows in the dining area.
On Sundays, live music is played on the patio. As for the menu itself, there is quite a bit to choose from. The S’mores French toast is a unique breakfast item. Soups, salads and sandwiches are available for lunch and dinner. Dinner entrées include salmon, steak, meatballs and more. Choose one of three desserts or all of them!
The Smokin’ Oak Rotisserie and Grill – Best Barbecue
$$ | (651) 388-9866 | WEBSITE
As the name suggests, this restaurant grills their meat rotisserie style over a wood-fueled fire. The wood on the fire is indeed some oak, though some cherry wood is used as well. (No one wants to eat at a place called The Smokin’ Cherry!) The steaks are hand cut from whole loin roasts that were seared by being continuously turned over an open fire.
Chicken and Hereford beef ribs are slow-roasted to reach the peak of flavor. Their award-winning pork chops are also wood fired, as is the pulled pork. Private rooms are available for banquets and meetings.
China Royal – Best Chinese Food
$ | (651) 385-7998 | WEBSITE
Don’t let the cheap prices or strip mall location fool you! This place is actually a favorite for locals who just have cravings that only an order of chow mein can serve. They don’t deliver, but you can order online and pick it up to go. The crispy chow mein is indeed on the menu, as are the softer lo mein noodles.
You can have your choice of beef, pork, chicken, crab or shrimp. If you can’t decide, you can order the specialty Happy Family, all of these meats mixed with vegetables in a special sauce with white rice. Try anything kung pao for an extra kick of spicy flavor.
Staghead – Best Gastropub
$$ | (651) 212-6494 | WEBSITE
This restaurant uses locally and sustainably sourced food to ensure freshness. Craft beer is on the menu to accompany your made-from-scratch meal in a casual yet decorative setting. The classic American fare includes sandwiches, salads and even mussels from the Mississippi River. Cheesecake is on the dessert menu and decorated ones are available for special occasions.
On nearly every menu you will find cheese curds and craft beer, the two culinary specialties of The North Star State. You’ll find a lot of homey, traditionally American fare, but if you look, you may find something a little out of the ordinary. That isn’t to say craft beers and specially made steaks are ordinary.
They’re anything but! You may have to ask for something extra spicy if that’s what you want at Mexican and Chinese restaurants, but you will find Minnesotans eager to please. The people of Red Wing are quite proud of their restaurants, and it isn’t hard to see why.
Hayden has been a digital director for years. He has five years of experience editing and writing about food, restaurant, and recipe review content. At Birch Restaurant, he’s in charge of scouting, showing up unannounced in different restaurants, and writing a thorough food guide!