Late-night Lake Area Dining

You can still eat well after hours.
Cozy up to a crock of jerk chicken fondue at Redstone American Grill.

Minnesotans are known for their penchant for “supper,” which typically takes place between the hours of five and six in the evening. But things have changed! To be sure, the warmer weather and longer daylight hours push back the evening meal, but we have also discovered the pleasure—and sometimes the convenience—of a late-night bite. Whether working overtime or in full-on party mode, you can find a surprising number of places that will feed you well past the hour of 8 p.m. Why not cap a long day with a delectable nocturnal repast? Here are nine excellent ways to do so.



Chicken Nachos


Haven’t eaten all night? Probably because you’re out with friends. So go to the movies at the nearby cushy Logo movie theater and stop by Rojo Mexican Grill after the flick. What’s more convivial than sharing a big ol’ pile of nachos? You and your pals can dissect the plot of the movie while dissecting this glorious tumble of crisp corn chips, pickled jalapenos, shredded chicken, sweet roasted corn kernels and Pico de Gallo. Lucky exploradors will discover pockets of black olives hiding in the melted cheese. A crowning pouf of sour cream unites the mess. Dive in. $11.50, $5.75 happy hour. 1602 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park; 952.657.5385


Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles


Late-night Chinese food is a time-honored ritual, especially when eaten from take-out cartons while working on an urgent project (homicide detectives and trial lawyers, take note). Big Bowl is a reliably delicious purveyor of satisfying dishes for any night owl. The Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles is like two dishes in one: you get the classic Kung Pao with dark-meat chicken, blackened chilis and a shower of roasted peanuts, and then there are noodles, too! The toothsome rice pasta is handcrafted by Big Bowl’s own noodle-maker, destined to soak up that tasty and abundant Kung Pao sauce. $11.95. 12649 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka; 952.797.9888




This lively Tex-Mex joint is brimming with an irresistible fiesta atmosphere and the bar menu is a late-night treasure trove of flavor. Got a hankering for a smoked turkey leg? Got it! Buffalo Wings? Yup! Coyote Balls? Sure! (Whatever those are.) Go with the “Tex” part of the equation and try the brisket—local beef, smoked on-site for 14 hours and tender with sweet little veins of fat. Get at least two orders; it’s that scrumptious. Add some cerveza, park your hindquarters on a barstool and take a minute to admire the décor, especially that mean-looking stuffed armadillo. Then chow down. Mini-brisket, $2.99; turkey leg, $4.99. 11032 Cedar Lake Rd., Minnetonka; 952.540.0181


Late-night Happy Hour

BLVD’s kitchen kicks proverbial you-know-what, especially with its bounteous late-night happy hour menu. Of all the deliriously tempting options, the truffle French fries stole the show. They’re served with a gorgonzola cream sauce. Yes, you read that right: truffles and cream sauce! It’s total overkill, but in the best possible way. Before you get too entranced, try the glistening stack of BLVD wings marinated in sweet sesame Kalbi (Korean barbecue) sauce and served with another pot of that creamy-dreamy blue cheese stuff—like crack for the palate! The atmosphere hums with conversation and flattering lighting. Très chic. Truffle fries, $3; BLVD wings, $5. 11544 W. Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka; 763.9398.3200

BLVD's truffle French fries with gorgonzola sauce.

Turkey Burger


And what of those “unintentional” late nights? You may be delayed by traffic or stuck at work? You’re probably not looking for a party; you just want something nourishing and yummy that might redeem your day. What you need is a nice burger. It’s an easy hop off Interstate 394 to SLP Woodfire Grill; they’ve got four different burgers to offer! They are all delectable, but for a nighttime restorative, the turkey burger wins. Served with a mellow pepperjack cheese and a touch of aioli on an irresistibly salty-chewy pretzel bun, it’s flavorful, packs a decent dose of protein and it won’t keep you awake in the throes of digestion. It’s off to home and then dreamland! $10. 6501 Wayzata Blvd., St. Louis Park; 952.345.0505

Jerk Chicken Fondue


Late-night food should be fun food, and if it’s something we can all play with together, so much the better. Redstone’s jerk chicken fondue is an ideal—and delicious—case in point. The slightly spicy, grilled jerk-marinated chicken comes with sturdy sourdough croutons, sliced apples and red grapes, all served with a free-for-all fondue pot. Skewer some combinations at will, and dip into a vat of the unctuous smoked Gouda cheese fondue. Get at least one order per couple, lest an ugly scuffle break out. Play nice! $13.50. 12501 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka; 952.591.0000

Spanish Chicken Pizza


Pizza Luce is the king of the late-night eateries, dishing it out till 2 a.m. Thu.–Sat. (1 a.m. Sun.–Wed.), with delivery till 2:30 a.m. seven days a week. Stepping into the restaurant after midnight feels like landing at the coolest party in town. The edgy-hipster vibe matches the creative pizza combinations, which verge on true artistry. We love the Spanish Chicken pizza, for many reasons. The menu description in itself is a helping of Beat poetry: “I’m a renegade on a Western front where the dust never settles. I’m topped with mushrooms, smoked Gouda, red onion, marinated chicken, toasted garlic and mozzarella cheese on red sauce. Some call me the Spanish Chicken, and others, well, they run.” Whoa! We simply called it delicious, and then ate the leftovers cold for breakfast the next day. Ah, to relive our college days—no time machine required. $20.89/large. 210 N. Blake Rd., Hopkins; 952.767.0854

Filet Slider Trio and Oysters


On Friday and Saturday nights, you should stop by McCormick’s and hear some live tunes from the Irish Brigade band. The grill station stays open during the show so you can experience the most good-looking sliders we’ve ever seen: the Filet Slider Trio. Three spherical “country white” loaves provide a cushion for a triumvirate of perfectly seared beef tenderloin. A bit of shredded lettuce and a generous schmear of aioli are the only adornments necessary. We’d be remiss not to mention the daily delivery of fresh oysters, if you’re in that kind of mood (nudge, nudge). Our last visit yielded two varieties: Wellfleet from M.A. and Sunset Beach from W.A., served on the half shell with the classic lemon and house cocktail sauce accompaniments. These babies go down very easy in the wee hours. Sliders, $13.95; oysters, market price. 331 Broadway Ave. S., Wayzata; 952.767.2417


Chicken Tikka Masala


When the urge for Indian calls, it must be obeyed, no matter the hour. Curry ’n’ Noodles will sate your late-night craving, and the chicken Tikka Masala is the platonic ideal of Indian food: slightly sweet, creamy and rich with tomatoes and intriguing spices. The saucy, tender chunks of chicken are served with fragrant basmati rice that’s perfect for soaking up the dusky goodness. Add some fluffy naan bread and a few chutneys and you’ll be on your way to nirvana. Namaste! $10.99. 802 Mainstreet, Hopkins; 612.227.1030