Whether it’s dine-out fare or takeout food, the Lake Minnetonka area dining scene is delivering. Over the last year and more, some new restaurants are offering (and getting set to offer) diners fresh menu options from fast-casual to fine dining. Palates can savor tastes from south of the border, modern classics or the flavors of Italy.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest entries into the restaurant game. And, who knows, maybe they’ll garner some of your votes in next year’s Best of 2023 readers’ poll.
Dukes on 7
With the latest modern American fare, craft cocktails and wine, Dukes on 7 is the one-stop-shop for you and your dog. The dog-friendly “pawtio” is open year-round and features complimentary water, yoga mats, treats and a three-course menu (savory smoked pig ears for an appetizer, meatloaf and salmon cakes for the main course and fresh baked cookies for dessert) for your fluffy friends. The main menu, for humans that is, features an array of fan favorites including the popular fish and chips, burgers and chicken wings. Don’t forget to check in on the weekend brunch specials.
15600 Minnesota 7, Minnetonka; 952.767.2320
El Travieso Taqueria
El Travieso crafts food with an attitude, characterizing its menu items by personality traits: frisky (burritos, bowls and quesadillas), flirty (tostadas), edgy (arabas-style tacos with meat infused with fresh herbs and cooked on a rotating spit), impish (discada tacos, otherwise known as Northern Mexican tacos made from a mixture of grilled meats), subtle (tortas), playful (appetizers, including guacamole, ceviche and queso) and rowdy (beverages).
17623 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka; 952.473.2433
El Travieso Taqueria
First launching as a food truck in 2013, this family-owned Japanese restaurant is home to classic miso soup, savory hibachi steak and plenty of house made yum sauce to go around. Opening its second brick-and-mortar location in Mound, Hibachi Daruma is fresh new take on authentic Asian cuisine. And word around town is that diners really love the teriyaki chicken.
2330 Wilshire Blvd., Mound; 952.283.1375
Chef Daniel Del Prado (the culinary mind behind Martina, Rosalia, Colita, Sanjusan, Cardamom and Café Cerés) brings a new addition to his restaurant family. Inhabiting the former Bellecour space, Josefina provides an elevated Italian experience fit for any occasion. Featuring wood fired pizza, handmade pastas and an approachable wine list, this is the perfect date-night spot or casual hangout destination.
739 Lake St. E., Wayzata; 952.208.9568
Josefina's pineapple fra diavolo pizza topped with calabrese (sprouting brocolli), serrano peppers and mozzarella
Kazoku, meaning “family” in Japanese, embodies the nature of this family-owned and operated restaurant. Fusing the best of both worlds, Kazoku provides traditional Japanese cuisine with an American twist for a variety of fresh sushi rolls, ramens, salads and more.
5445 Eden Prairie Road, Minnetonka; 952.681.7194
This local pizzeria recently welcomed a sister location. The original restaurant opened in 2020 on Shoreline Drive in Wayzata, and the latest member of the family resides in Excelsior. Since not all slices are created equal, Lulu’s offers traditional Chicago-style pies, nods to Detroit-style creations and New York-style versions. Sandwiches, salads and sides are offered, and don’t skip dessert. (Watch for pasta to make it on the menu, too.)
2413 Highway 7 E., Excelsior; 952.234.4750
Red’s Savoy Pizza
Red’s is a Twin Cities mainstay and has been branching out to reach a whole new set of pizza lovers, who are partial to thin crust, square-cut pizza blanketed with cheese. Is this style of pizza good? Let’s put it this way, with a specialty pizza called Meat Raffle and a secret pizza sauce that’s tagged “passive-aggressive,” you betcha!, Red’s is worth the stop. (Opening soon at press time.)
19215 Highway, Excelsior; 651.646.6400
Is there anything that’s served in a bowl that isn’t yummy and satisfying? By way of Colorado, this eatery offers plenty of fresh fruit and veggie options to go along with organic granola, grains, seeds, toppings and “boosts,” including kale, spinach, whey, soy protein, matcha and lots more. Choose from “destination,” “endurance” or “wellness” bowls or smoothies.
13005 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka; 763.545.8905
Stalk & Spade
Stalk & Spade features fast food alternatives for good ol’ American classics. Taking the guilty out of guilty pleasures, its plant-based and dairy-free menu features burgers, fries, nuggets, “chick’n” sandwiches and shakes.
740 Lake St. E.; 952.222.5499
Stalk & Spade
Tequila Butcher at the Caribbean Marina
Tequila Butcher at the Caribbean Marina is adding a spicy flare to the lakeshore. As its second location (the first is in Chanhassen), this modern Latin-American spot is the perfect summertime oasis. Serving up wood fired barbecue with a Latin twist, the menu also features a variety of handcraft cocktails and hundreds, yes hundreds, of tequilas and mezcals to choose from.
135 Lakeview Ave., Tonka Bay; 952.474.6825
Transforming the landscape of liquor stores, Wineside (with plans to open in September) will provide an all-encompassing wine lovers paradise. Showcasing over 3,000 types of wine, this venue is set to feature a sit-in wine bar equipped with simple sandwiches, salads, flatbreads, soups and of course, charcuterie to pair with your glass of choice. Extend the happy hour to your home by purchasing take-home food selections, such as cheese, cured meats and craft pastas from the adjacent grocery store. (See our June issue at
lakeminnetonkamag.com for more details.)
1641 Plymouth Road, Minnetonka