There are several reasons to visit the St. Paul Metro region. Its picturesque downtown has been restored in recent years, with the addition of numerous new hotels, restaurants, and shops. The tourist sector benefited greatly when its ancient lift bridge was converted into a lovely pedestrian and cycling route. Stillwater, Minnesota, has long been a destination for antique hunters, paddle riverboats, and gondola excursions. It is a thriving rural town approximately 40 minutes east of Minneapolis.
Stillwater located on the St. Croix River, which divides Minnesota and Wisconsin, in a verdant valley rich with deciduous trees. It was founded in 1848 and was an important timber town for decades. It is considered Minnesota’s birthplace. Today, it is designated as a national historic city with multiple classifications and has been awarded America’s most charming little town, with 21 structures on the National Historic Register. I was smitten.
Fortunately for us, it’s a little gastronomic haven, with roughly thirty eateries to select from. Readers voted it the fifth best small town food scene in 2020, according to USA Today. As usual, I was unable to visit every worthy location and am eager to return. In the meanwhile, here are six of the top restaurants in Stillwater, Minnesota.
Not in the mood to dine out tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver right to your door from the greatest restaurants in town.
Are you passing through the area? Check out these resources:
- Best Restaurants in Nisswa
- Best Baxter restaurants
- 21 Must-Try Duluth Restaurants
- 13 Must-Try Mall of America Restaurants
Stillwater, Minnesota’s Top 6 Restaurants
+1-651-651-342-2053227 S. Main St.
Stillwater Proper Distillery & Tasting Room, the new child in town, opened its doors in July 2021, providing elegantly poured creative cocktails created with Midwest spirits and a bar food-inspired menu.
Its appealing storefront windows conceal a contemporary interior with lofty ceilings and exposed masonry. Joe Ehlenz, Brad Nordeen, and Mark Miller are the proprietors of the ever-popular Lolo American Restaurant and Lolito.
Stillwater Propers’ meats and veggies are obtained locally. They mix a dedication to sustainability with real concern for workers via human-centric HR procedures, as my server highlighted with gratitude. Stillwater Proper, in fact, is a no-tipping restaurant. Instead, they charge a 20% service fee to your bill, which goes into greater staff compensation, putting them at the forefront of a contemporary trend targeted at frontline sector employees to alleviate some of the stress associated with difficult restaurant employment.
Now it’s time for them to eat. Let’s just say I’ll go returning for their Baby Wedge Salad and a la carte Fried Pork Belly. The Baby Wedge, a little head of lettuce split into four quarters, was crisp and cooled to perfection. It was loaded with medium-sized bacon pieces, sliced pickled red onion, ample blue cheese crumbles, heirloom tomato chunks, chilled, creamy roasted cherry tomatoes, and bacon fat breadcrumbs. The dish was topped with smoked blue cheese dressing. The ingredients are both refreshing and rich and chewy.
And the Fried Pork Belly is just delicious. These deep-fried chunks are very crispy on the exterior and covered in Togarashi flavor, with an outrageously fatty and chewy interior. The entrée is paired with amazing Texas-Carolina BBQ and mustard habanero sauces, so I restrained myself from devouring the whole plate (although I easily could have). This meal matched their Breakfast at Tiffany’s gin and Pamplemousse drink perfectly.
Lolo American Cuisine
+1-651-342-2461233 Main Street S.
Lolo American Kitchen is a contemporary take on a typical American diner. Consider metal-tiled ceilings with silver ventilation pipes floating over a traditional long, white restaurant counter with contemporary chandeliers and light fixtures intermingled. As previously stated, Lolo is owned by the same people that own Stillwater Proper and Lolito (which I didnt get a chance to visit but friends raved about). The restaurant serves lunch and supper.
Lolo specializes in concept cocktails using handcrafted bitters, excellent liqueurs, and catchy names like Clear and Present Danger and I’ll Be Gone Till Amaro. There’s also a good assortment of drinks and craft beer. If you’re looking for something exceptional, don’t neglect the Additional Reserve List.
Burrata was delicious, milky, creamy, and pure. It was served with a beautiful platter of bright, fresh peaches, cherries, heirlooms, and walnuts tossed in a big-flavored pickled cherry vinaigrette and tiny green sprouts.
Lolo’s Korean BBQ Hanger Steak Tacos are delicious. These were every bit as delicious as I had heard. Soft tacos with pickled cucumbers, Napa cabbage, and lemongrass aioli. The beef was soft, flavorful, and chewy, and the vivid cucumber stood out. Delicious. They vanished in an instant.
The Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt and Rosemary Fries with Basil Aioli had to be tried. These were flavorful, crispy, and thin, as expected. The rosemary fills your nostrils, and the basil aioli is delightful. The duet gives a new flavor to the earthy fries.
Their Fish Coconut Red Curry Bowl is very delicious. It’s a dish of sticky rice with shrimp and chunks of fish, broccolini, and hon shimeji mushrooms seasoned with ginger, lime, and lemongrass. Ideal for a hungry stomach!
It’s simple to understand why Lolo American Kitchen is a Stillwater institution.
Domain Restaurant, Wine Store, and Wine Bar
+1-651-439-1352102 South 2nd St.
On the advice of a friend, I went to Domain Restaurant, Wine Bar & Wine Store, which was located a few streets up from Main Street. It’s a European-style restaurant with plenty of wood, exposed masonry, and large windows with a view. They are available for supper and have a wine store that opens at noon. They have an extensive wine menu with over 600 varieties! And the young girls that work behind the bar were fantastic.
The 2018 Tendril Octave Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the Walla Walla Valley was their Cabernet pick for the evening. This is a genuine Cabernet Sauvignon, smooth and silky, with aromas of black currants and spicy black pepper.
Prosciutto, smoked chorizo, Marcona almonds, and Castelvetrano olives were served with a brie mix from Germany and smoked Gouda that was nutty and smooth. The Wine Lovers Plate charcuterie platter was my choice. The ensemble comprised creamy aged cheddar, a silky Cambozola
This lovely blend of bold flavors went perfectly with my full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. The smoked chorizo was delicious, with a deep flavour of smoke hitting the roof of your mouth with each mouthful.
Domain has a comprehensive supper menu with staples including Beef Tenderloin, Duck Breast, and numerous types of pasta that all seem delicious.
Domain is a fantastic spot to swap up artisan cocktails for a lovely bottle of wine.
Bourbon & Brick
Main Street S. +1-651-342-0777215 Main Street S.
Don’t miss the fantastically imaginative Brick & Bourbon for a fun and outrageous food and drink experience. Their cuisine is comfort food elevated to new heights and is available for lunch and supper.
First, a showy Smoking Gun: a large glass cake container filled with pumped-in hickory smoke that smothers a glass of B&B Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon. It’s a really spectacular mixture, with smoke billowing out to expose pieces of bacon, lemon peel, and a thick half-waffle that’s oh-so-delicious when dipped in the bourbon.
The Bugle follows: an elk bratwurst with jalapeo and cheddar bits wrapped in thick-cut pecan wood-cured bacon, swiftly deep-fried, stacked with cheddar cheese, chunks of juicy fried pork belly, and drizzled with house-made BBQ sauce on a pretzel bun. Very opulent.
The PB & Jay is a burger topped with habanero Jack and extra-thick bacon and served on a honey-glazed doughnut produced exclusively for the restaurant. Yowza! When you combine mayo, sriracha, pomegranate marmalade, and house-made creamy bourbon peanut butter, you get a mouthful of sweet and savory.
The PB & Jay went well with a Blackberry Wine Slushy. On a hot, humid day, black cherry rum, Merlot, Crème de Mure, and crushed ice went great together.
Salad with Radicchio and Chicken. The design is wonderful, with a large porcelain dish filled with lettuce pieces studded with goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and currants, and perched on top are extremely thin slivers of pear sliced like matchsticks. This delectable salad, which was large enough to split, was a crunchy, salty, and sweet delight dressed in a maple balsamic vinaigrette. Try the Maple Pecan Endive if you want something lighter.
A savory dish of fried Brussels sprouts coated in Buffalo sauce and topped with melted blue cheese was also large enough to share. The sprouts were rapidly deep-fried to impart additional crispiness to the leaves.
Chocolate Cigars, phyllo dough cigars loaded with mascarpone and Nutella, were not to be outdone. To top it all off, a pomegranate drizzle. Mascarpone and Nutella balanced each other out well.
Tilted Tiki Bar and Lounge
651-342-2545324 S. Main St.
Swing by The Tilted Tiki on Main Street for a great time. A tropical bar inspired by the beaches of Hawaii and Florida, it’s both nostalgic and refreshing.
Tiki has a wide cocktail menu, including thirteen different varieties of Mai Tais and their legendary shark shot. They host live music on their amazing front terrace from Thursdays through Saturdays beginning at 4:30 p.m. Drinks inspired by Trader Vics and Don the Beachcomber, as well as their vintage blue lounge furniture and bamboo bars, create a joyful and friendly atmosphere.
Their Tilted Hawaiian is perfect, complete with a tiny umbrella and Blue Curaao. They offer classic cocktails like the Zombie and the Road to Hana, as well as festive martinis and outstanding Bloody Marys.
A tropical-themed menu include Friki Tiki Cheese Curds and Coconut Shrimp, as well as Huli Huli Meatballs and Jackfruit Tacos. Vegans will be pleased to find that they have their own area, with food cooked in different pans. When the weather is beautiful, the Tilted Tiki becomes packed early, so keep that in mind! Lunch and supper are served.
S. Main Street
The Feller Restaurant at the lovely Lora Hotel boasts a one-of-a-kind environment and food. The beautifully refurbished structure is nestled into the stone river bluff on the grounds of the ancient Joseph Wolf Brewery, which was founded in 1846. While you’re there, take a look at Feller’s subterranean chambers. It serves lunch and supper.
The hunter-gatherer-inspired meal was devised by Executive Chef Sam Collins based on Minnesota traditions and his own love of hunting and the outdoors, and it is fantastic. From start to finish, I recommend every meal on the menu. The restaurant’s name pays homage to the lumberjack culture and the lumber town that thrived in the late 1800s.
Feller boasts an extensive wine selection as well as a whiskey, bourbon, and scotch menu. The Long Goodbye, the nearby bar, features beautiful cocktails crafted using Minnesota spirits, as well as wine and beer.
We began with an artful Hamachi Crudoa modern take on the traditional Nobu stylecubes of fish sprinkled with sesame seeds served on an attractive ceramic plate and surrounded by spoonfuls of sumac foam with golden berries, micro-greens, chili oil, single fried Brussels sprout leaves, and parsley root chip. That was fantastic! The sumac froth had an earthy and sweet flavor, while the plump berries had a bright and tangy flavor. This Crudo was a one-of-a-kind combination of tastes and textures.
The amazing Truffle Panna Cotta followed. This delectable dish came with speck ham, delicate herbs, aged balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and exquisite spears of charred bread. The panna cotta was a flawlessly smooth and velvety disc of paradise sprinkled with truffle shavings throughout. A slight horseradish aroma teased the nose and complemented the truffle. Delicious. At midnight, I completed the last pieces.
A delicious Potato Dauphinoise was presented in a little cast iron pan. The creamy potatoes were scented with nutmeg and cooked to a crisp on top. Also on the menu: Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar, Korean gochujang, and hazelnuts, a delicious take on a classic side. The homemade gochujang sauce was enhanced by a beautiful sear on the leaves.
The main courses were really delicious. The Sirloin was a six-ounce wagyu beef steak supplied locally from Snake River Farms. This meal was outstanding from start to finish, with a wonderful Sauce Diane (butter, shallots, garlic, cognac flamb, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, double cream, and black peppercorns), a vivid Cabernet reduction, vibrant fermented mushrooms, microgreen pea tendrils, and sweet potato frites.
A magnificent leg of rabbit came demi-glace covered with a lovely lacquer of sea buckthorn and berries, celeriac, encircled by a root vegetable puree. It was wonderfully frenched (a technique where you score the meat and then scrape it from the bone as you prepare it for cooking). A pansy and a bachelor button adorned this culinary art.
Lastly, dessert, which we couldn’t eat but had to try. It was a unique Strawberry Shortcake made of thick rum-soaked butter cake, half of wild berry and orange-vanilla semifreddo, and raspberry and orange coulis. This unique and delectable dessert was dusted with strawberry dust and butter cake crumble.
The whole dinner, as well as the service and environment, were excellent. Each meal was consistent and delicious. Nothing was too difficult, and everything tasted clean and pure.
Feller is the place to go in Stillwater for a great casual fine dining experience.