5 World-Class, Farm-to-Table Minnesota Restaurants

Fresh vegetables from the Minneapolis Farmers Market

/ Jenni Hagen

Birchwood Cafe, Minneapolis (temporarily closed)

Few Minnesotans have done more for local farmers and purveyors than Tracy Singleton. You can bet everything served at Birchwood Cafe, her iconic Seward neighborhood restaurant, was grown organically, sourced ethically and hails from some cool Midwestern farm. Open all day, the cafe caters to early birds with its savory kale, quinoa and feta waffle served with pineapple pear chutney, lemon rosemary butter and bacon lardon, topped with a sunny-side-up egg. 

Lunch and dinner are all about super-fresh salads, soups, sandwiches (try the pork belly steamed bun) and hearty, but healthy, entrees like Khmer spiced pork ribs. With lots of gluten-free and vegetarian options, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Brasa, Minneapolis & St. Paul

Though Alex Robert’s menu is an ode to the South, the ingredients are all about the Midwest. Nearly 100 percent of Brasa’s meat, dairy, eggs, flour, sweet corn and cornmeal come from small farms throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Protein offerings are short and sweet: simple and sublime slow-roasted pulled pork, rotisserie chicken and smoked beef. You’d be a fool to skip the roasted yams and Andouille, creamed spinach with jalapeno, perfectly acidic coleslaw or cornbread served with butter and honey. Gluten-free folks rejoice—you can enjoy nearly everything on the menu.

For a more upscale version of Roberts’ food, check out Brasa’s big sister, Alma, in Minneapolis’ Marcy Holmes neighborhood.