Nisswa was awarded the best small town in Minnesota by CBS station WCCO in 2018. Nisswa, the activity center of central Minnesota’s Brainerd Lakes area, with a population of 1,971. This number skyrockets in the summer. Every Thursday, come for the turtle races and stay for the history and amazing variety and quality of the local Nisswa, Minnesota eateries.
Cross the motorway through the well-lit underpass to a tranquil park with a lecture room, bike rack, and gazebo. Take the way down to the little port pier, past the American flag and seat, and relax for a while. Visit in August for the annual Viking Festival. During the year, take part in Norwegian-themed events. Return for one of the greatest Christmas light shows in the nation.
Nisswa, which was formed in 1900 as Smiley Township, was renamed in 1908 from the Ojibwe term nessawae, which means in the middle or three. Appropriate, given Nisswa’s preference for being in the thick of things.
You’ll like the great range of meals available in Nisswa restaurants at any time of year. From classic brisket (try Big Axe) to seafood (try Bar Harbor Supper Club) to the greatest scones in the world, there’s something for everyone (Stone House). The range of alcoholic mixtures will astound you. After all, it is an ale town. Yet, there are some excellent restaurants in Nisswa.
Are you passing through the area? Check out these resources:
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- 1 5 Must-Try Nisswa, Minnesota Restaurants
- 2 Which of these Nisswa, MN restaurants do you want to try the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!
5 Must-Try Nisswa, Minnesota Restaurants
Big Axe Brewing Co.
Main Street, 218-961-233725435
This dual winner boldly displays Best Brew Pub AND Best Brisket. It’s more than simply a dinner; it’s an experience. When the owner’s high school buddy mentioned this, I questioned whether it was simply more advertising. Then I saw the service manager Melissa gives, from taking orders to pointing out the water cart (orange jug on cart with individual table cutlery and napkins), to accepting jugs or growlers for a refill of their assortment of beers and ales.
Pick one of their home-brewed ales on tap, and they’ll pour it for you as you sit back and watch. A blonde ale is the current top seller.
Big Axe Brewing Company has become its own attraction. In the summer, it is overrun with visitors. Even on a wet September day, residents and tourists crowd around their tasting boards.
This Nisswa restaurant serves a variety of brisket combos, as well as burgers with fries or kettle chips. Pollack is used in their fish and chips. Its menu includes chicken clubs, pulled pork, all-beef hot dogs, Babes Blue Cheese Brats, and vegetable wraps. There are several allusions to Paul Bunyan and Babe, his Big Blue Ox, around the area.
What are the most popular appetizers? By far the most popular item was the cheese curds, followed by the pretzel bits. Try both when visiting this brewery.
The waitresses are knowledgeable about allergies and may help you make some products gluten-free. I got the brisket sandwich without the bread to avoid gluten. It had the perfect amount of salt and was sliced perfectly. As I relished the brisket, the individuals around me were having lengthy discussions about their beer preferences. They provide tasters in three or six glass sizes here. They even write your name on it so you don’t forget. Each beer has its own personality, and the sampler is the best way to experience them all. The brisket was accompanied by a substantial serving of fries, so I had enough to eat here.
If you have space for dessert, they have a root beer float made with house-brewed root beer and vanilla ice cream. You will not go hungry after visiting this excellent Nisswa restaurant.
Coffee & Roastery Stone House
(BEAN)25346 Smiley Rd 218-961-2326
This is the place to go for luscious, fruit-filled scones. The environment is relaxing after shopping or attending the turtle races, with two lounging spaces in the store and a huge terrace for sunny days. When combined with a berry smoothie, the scone will keep you satisfied for many hours.
The scone formula, created by proprietors Mike and Julie French, is crucial to their success and prevents them from franchising. They are not prepared to share it. They are also concerned about maintaining consistent quality.
We enjoyed a cherry almond scone with a raspberry smoothie today, as well as a cinnamon apple caramel scone with a pumpkin spice latte with soy milk. Even as the raspberry from the smoothie bursts in your tongue, the aroma of pumpkin spice wafts around the establishment. Like a youngster on a hot summer day, eating the scones leaves you with sticky, gooey fingers. Perfect.
Mike and Julie French were unable to locate what they want in a nice scone. The majority of what they tasted included more chemicals than flavor. They researched history and studied several books. They then began baking. Julie claims that they cooked everyone’s recipes. They wanted a decent recipe that would work every time, regardless of the baker.
They began with three types, but the selection has expanded. They now have various options. They employ eight to ten varieties on a regular basis, with additional tastes changing periodically. Julie is in charge of the menus. Julie is the only one who can accomplish a handful of them. They must be cooked in a certain manner. She explains that they have rotating bakers and that it is just too difficult to get everything done precisely.
Costco, Krispy Kreme, and Panera have all contacted them about selling the mix. Others almost beg for a franchise. Thus far, they’ve resisted. The scone mix is available for purchase. My photographer, who was watching her eat a cinnamon apple scone, said, There’s an outside shell, then it’s moist and lovely on the inside. I’ve never had anything like that.
They are only closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. They used to shut on New Year’s Day, but Mike decided to do it on his own one year. They are now open all year. What is my New Year’s resolution? Visit Stone House, one of the best restaurants in Nisswa, MN, more often.
Supper Club in Bar Harbor
Phone: 218-963-25688164 Interlachen Road
This vintage-style dinner club has antique images and chalk drawings of former renowned and local visitors. Erv Anderson had a vision of what may be on this land in the late 1930s. His early fortune was founded on gambling and booze sales. When regulations in Minnesota were changed to enforce anti-gambling statutes in the late 1940s, a kitchen was added, and the success continued. When John Allen bought it in 2012, the emphasis moved to high-quality cuisine and service to suit the expansion in Brainerd Lakes. It’s just a fifteen-minute drive from the town center, but it’s well worth the trek to one of Nisswa’s best restaurants.
We were lucky to get seats among folks engaging in a weekend fishing event as we entered the busy eatery. Reservations must be made in advance. A toasty fire greets you as you enter. A full-sized humidor is on the right. We were greeted with leather-covered booths for sitting away from the bar. We were excited to try the meal at this highly regarded Nisswa restaurant.
Cauliflower was cooked but not battered as an appetizer, and it was delightfully al dente. It’s not mushy. Each was its own small unit, a separate component, which exceeded expectations. The shrimp cocktail was delicious. The shrimp were tender, and the cocktail sauce had a surprising bite to it.
They’d ran out of Walleye by the time the server arrived. She suggested the Reuben. The corned beef wasn’t too flavorful, and the sauerkraut was softer than I’m used to. It had the consistency of applesauce. The texture and flavor of the bread were both excellent. The fries that came with it were delicious. Everything is served in generous quantity.
This evening’s dessert selections include crème brulee, cheesecake, and bread pudding.
Take your time entering and exiting the restrooms. See images of celebrities who have visited Bar Harbor throughout the years, ranging from Clark Gable to sports icons. The historic clippings include the Bar Harbor Clipper launch on Gull Lake waters, as well as other fishing events and meals from the past. The history of those meals will take you to one of Nisswa’s top restaurants today.
The phone number is (218) 963-302325457 Main St.
The Nisswa restaurant is one of four in the region and is widely regarded as having the greatest pizza in the area. It may be all about the sauce, with locations in Brainerd, Nisswa, Crosslake, and Crosby. The pros realize that additional sauce on their pizza is a must. Otherwise, it’s not quite as nice. Why settle for less when you can try this Nisswa, MN restaurant?
Begin with the starters. The pepperoni bread is fantastic, and the jojos are out of this world. It’s difficult to find potatoes like that.
There is a gluten-free crust and a cauliflower crust on the menu; the difference in appearance is tough to tell.
The basil on the Margherita pizza is crisp and salty. If you want your basil fresh, let them know ahead of time so it may be added last, perhaps even after the oven. A typical family order includes pepperoni bread, jojos, a big pepperoni pizza with additional sauce, and a small pepperoni, green olives, sausage, red pepper, and onions pizza. There is nothing left to bring home. You may customize your pizza with five sauce options, a dozen meats, and over twenty veggie toppings.
Although the pizza is delicious, the broasted chicken is a fan favorite. Salads, wraps, and sandwiches round out the menu.
The outdoor terrace is the nicest aspect of the site. People may hear the turtle races and observe them. It’s entertaining to make up life tales for all the individuals shopping along the main strip. This renowned Nisswa restaurant offers one final pleasure.
Billie Brown American Legion Post 627
Main St., (218) 963-994625807.
Pull into the American Legion parking lot on Main Street, beyond the hardware shop on the left. Observe the tank and the flag-draped monument. You can see the lake from the other side of the roadway. Pay your respects, then go to the front entrance of the building on the right.
This fantastic Nisswa restaurant is named after Billie Brown, who fought in WWII alongside his brother in the 194th Tank Battalion. They were in the Philippines at the time of the Japanese invasion and through the Bataan Death March. Billie died later at Camp ODonnell, despite the fact that they survived the march. His brother made it out alive and returned to Brainerd Lakes.
Lunch is provided Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is open to the public as well as our veterans. Go on in and take a seat at one of the seven rectangular tables, three circular tables, or twenty-one bar stools. If you have any questions, ask the woman selling pull tabs in the window. She described the evening’s activities at the Legion. Every night of the week, there is a new meal special, and there is even a weekly Bingo game on Wednesdays.
Pull tabs were explained to me by Annie, the bartender. Buy these little tickets, pull the tabs, and if a stripe is revealed, you will win $2 to $100. The majority of the proceeds are returned to the state, but the Legions share has been utilized for community initiatives such as the primary school, the Legion Ball, or, this year, purchasing tasers for the police force.
Annie prepared the quickest home-cooked dinner I’d ever eaten in a restaurant. Wayne, a 25-year resident who brings his daughter-in-law to the Legion every Monday (her day off), chuckled at my astonishment. When I have company, they seldom finish their drink before the meal comes.
To be clear, I am not a fan of meatloaf. My mother’s meatloaf did not appeal to me. And I haven’t loved any meatloaf since. But because today’s supper is meatloaf, I ordered it without the gravy. Although I was disappointed with this modification, they listened to my demands and offered me with some butter for my mashed potatoes.
I can’t believe how delicious their meatloaf is. It has a homey flavor. This award-winning Nisswa restaurant serves award-winning seafood soups. Locals also strongly suggest the pepper jack chicken sandwich.
Cheese curds, onion rings, tater tots, and mini-tacos are among the appetizers. Sandwiches are offered as wraps or on white, wheat, or rye bread. The Legion Club consists of turkey, ham, and bacon, as well as American and Swiss cheeses, and is topped with lettuce and tomato. Baskets of shrimp, chicken strips, battered fish, or chicken wings are available (with fries and bread). Several people like traditional burgers. They also provide salads and a soup of the day.
To accompany your meal, the bar offers coffee, hot or iced tea, beer, wine, and mixed beverages.
Lunch specials are, in my opinion, the greatest bet. This renowned restaurant in Nisswa serves the utmost in comfort cuisine.
Nisswa locals are attentive and kind. They acknowledge the economic benefits that tourism offers. The turtle races are a big draw in the summer, while the lake sports and snow activities are big in the winter. You should pay a visit whenever you are in the region. Make a point of visiting these Nisswa, Minnesota eateries while you’re there.