Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
Seemingly endless road construction has diners scrambling to access restaurants along Nicollet Mall, starting with this civic treasure, a live music venue that boasts serious cooking chops. Chef Derik Moran nimbly satisfies all kinds of cravings, whether it’s cornmeal-crusted catfish po’boys and root beer floats, or scallops in a lobster risotto and smoked duck paired with autumnal vegetables. Dinner nightly.
1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010, dakotacooks.com
La Belle Crêpe
France and Vietnam are celebrated at what just might be downtown’s tiniest restaurant. One emphasis is crêpes (both sweet and savory), another is pho, the steaming rice noodle soup from Vietnam. In between: bánh mì, the Vietnamese sandwiches served on crusty French baguettes. They’re all served just off the impressive lobby of the historic Medical Arts Building. Breakfast and lunch daily.
825 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-333-1100, labellecrepe.com
This atmosphere-for-days destination for all things Irish is coming up on its 20th anniversary, a fine reason to raise a glass of Jameson or a pint of Guinness. Kudos to the late-night menu (served to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday), which ranges from beer-battered cod with chips and a massive burger to a long line of shareables. Lunch weekdays, brunch weekends, dinner daily.
931 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-904-1000, the-local.com