Happy hour is more than an event, it’s an art form. And where you choose to sip makes all the difference. A truly great cocktail destination should have three things: delicious bites, rich atmosphere and, of course, top-notch drinks. Combine those ingredients with a friend or two, and you’ve got a recipe for some midweek magic. From an ultra cool hidden gem to a glam-worthy lounge, here are 10 Twin Cities happy hour hot spots to hit this season.
Chef Ann Ahmed’s new Loring Park eatery deserves a top spot on your must-visit list. The vibrant cocktail menu artfully balances fruit flavors and bold spices, making this a delicious locale for your next high-energy hangout. Go early for the happy hour, but keep the evening open for dinner — the New York Times named it one of the top 50 restaurants of 2023 for good reason.
This bar flies under the radar with its unassumingly cool vibe, but don’t let the aloof disposition fool you. This hidden gem in Minneapolis’s North Loop is serious about its craft-cocktail game. The drinks are next-level, including perfected classics and inspired creations alike. Add a few mouthwatering plates from Sushi by Baaska into the mix, and you may never leave.
Aptly named after a small island in the Caribbean, Crasqui is the closest you’ll get to a tropical getaway in scenic St. Paul. This lively Venezuelan eatery from chef Soleil Ramirez combines bright flavors and vivid interiors to create a transportive experience. Snag a seat at the bar and choose one of the tasty fruit-forward drinks for a respite from the chilly Minnesota weather.
Set the tone for an elevated evening with an ambiance-rich experience at the Tasting Room. This cozy Uptown Minneapolis wine bar makes it easy to get lost in conversation over a glass of top-notch vino. Indulge in specials by the glass or bottle paired with tapas like flatbread and escargot. The warm hospitality will leave you feeling like you’ve reconnected with old friends.
This one-of-a-kind spot from James Beard Award–winning chef Ann Kim has been a Northeast Minneapolis staple since opening in 2016. Brimming with character, the lounge channels a charming nostalgia in its eclectic interiors. Enjoy specialty sips and a delicious pizza menu during the dedicated social hour, then sit back and bop to tunes from the vintage reel-to-reel player.
Embrace the inevitable change of seasons at this St. Paul stunner. Its moody design offers a stylish setting for sharing sips, snacks and stories during the cold winter months. A tasty array of bubbles, wine and craft cocktails awaits, including the fan-favorite Emerald classic martini. And don’t miss the delectable small plates, like the housemade French onion dip.
Craving a little glitz and glam? Look no further than chef David Fhima’s newest hot spot. Adding a French flair to the North Loop, it channels the spirit of La Belle Époque with polished decor, modern fare and a fantastic wine selection. Enjoy the social hour in the Brasserie Lounge or follow the dazzling lights down to the sultry Underground Bar to be transported to Moulin Rouge.
Let this chic Mediterranean-inspired lounge be your restorative escape from the everyday hustle. A jewel tucked inside the Four Seasons Minneapolis, chef Gavin Kaysen’s Mara Bar provides a stylish setting to unwind with a friend or colleague after a busy day. Settle into a comfy booth and prepare to be charmed by the exceptional service, which makes every hour here a happy one.
For a laid-back gathering at a beloved neighborhood haunt, make your way to Salut in St. Paul or Edina. The interiors of these Grand Avenue and France Avenue staples set a casual, mellow mood that’s worthy of a weekly pilgrimage. The happy hour regularly attracts local fans with deals on drinks and snacks, so don’t hold back on favorites like the sparkling wine and saffron mussels.
Indulge in plant-based delights at Francis in Northeast. Not only has this meat-free burger joint established itself as a Northeast hot spot, it also boasts Minnesota’s first fully vegan bar program. Sip on crave-worthy draft cocktails, like the Earl Giles gin–based Cherry Crush, during the weekday happy hour. Staple bar snacks are also on special, and you can’t go wrong with the fried pickle spears.