Destination Duluth: Where to eat right now

  • Article by: RICK NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2013 - 8:10 AM

Duluth is full of surprises. The ever-present lake views, the equivalent of a live-action postcard, never fail to startle and delight, and the tourist attractions seem to multiply each year. Also remarkable: the city’s ever-growing culinary scene. Longtime practitioners continue to impress, and a steady stream of talented newcomers are revitalizing downtown, energizing Canal Park and popping up in offbeat pockets across the city. Craft breweries, artisanal cocktails, locavore cooking, food trucks — dining in Duluth has never been more diverse or more satisfying. Let the good eats begin: Our summer 2013 guide to 25 drinking, dining and food-related shopping suggestions in Duluth (and a few in nearby Superior) starts now:

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LilBeaverJul. 10, 13 8:37 PM

You couldn't pay me enough to get me to go to the Canal Park and Lake Front tourist area, it is truly an engineering nightmare to attempt to negotiate. Not to mention that it borders on one of the seediest part of downtown Duluth. My wife and I avoid going to Duluth at all costs unless for medical treatment where we have no other alternative. I see no valid reason to support a town that receives over seventy percent of it's annual budget from state revenues with my disposable dollars!

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barbarawcarlJul. 10, 13 9:14 PM

No addresses for these great places?

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IceMinnJul. 10, 13 9:18 PM

You missed mentioning some really good "home grown" Duluth restaurants that were not included on your list: Valentini's on London Road, GrandMa's, The Pickwick, Emily's Lighthouse and Bellisio's just to name some obvious places. But, Valentini's has become the Duluth establishment I enjoy the most ... it beats the Duluth Grill but not by much. PS - I live in the Northland and have reason to be in Duluth regularly. I like the City, I do not see Duluth and the Canal park area in the negative as LilBeaver does.

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wwheinJul. 10, 13 9:33 PM

The New Scenic Cafe and Northern Waters Smokehaus, with their hot pastrami bison sandwich, are two of our favorites along with the unmentioned Sara's Table and their wine bar. Well worth the trip up the hill.

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DavidL11Jul. 10, 13 9:45 PM

It's odd that so many great eateries have popped up there because the city as a whole is deteriorating. It's become a dangerous place to be after dark.

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spicebearJul. 10, 13 9:50 PM

Amen IceMinn... Neglecting Valentinis, the descendant of an Iron Range "real deal" favorite, must have been an oversight. Absolutely LOVE the Duluth Grill and eat there whenever I am in town.

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spicebearJul. 10, 1310:09 PM

@ LilBeaver: Beyond the tourist zone, Duluth indeed has a gritty side, but it also is a very "complete" and diverse city... I travel there from Lake Wobegon monthly and prefer it to sanitized suburbs where the grit is swept out of sight and out of mind.

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tuite002Jul. 10, 1310:31 PM

Va Bene is quite good Italian food. Their steak -- BISTECCA (si, steak at an Italian restaurant) rivals steakhouse quality and is only 24$. I also like the bent paddle brewing company in west duluth with a food truck outside on thursdays. Also nearby is Beaners for music and low brow cuisine. Lastly, burrito union after 9pm is a bargain for tacos and a beer for $5 - and there are other specials on line.

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MN's loneliest REPJul. 11, 13 5:28 AM

Great article (addresses would have been good) thanks for the new ideas and great to see Duluth highlighted. It's a great waterfront town, but...How could you leave out Bellisio's..? My wife and I make the trip to Duluth from Mnpls regularly to eat there. Fantastic food and great wine list. Sadly, they did not make better use of the waterfront views when building the place.

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nanettepJul. 11, 13 6:29 AM

We go to Duluth several times during the summer and I'm happy to see most of our favorites listed. Others are Amazing Grace Bakery and At Sara's Table/Chester Creek Cafe. There is a lot to choose from and Duluth is my favorite out-state city!

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