We're not planning on putting away the forgiving fabrics anytime soon. This year's crop of new restaurants is promising all the cozy eats as we continue to grapple with the pandemic. Bring on the thick-crusted pizzas with gooey cheese, crispy-edged doughnuts dipped in tacky-sweet glaze and festive cocktails in cool new environs. Here are 10 restaurants we can't wait to visit in 2022. But as we've learned over the past two years, things don't always go as planned — keep checking startribune.com/taste for updates.
From the same team that made Estelle a must-visit St. Paul stop comes a new Detroit-style pizza and cold sandwich restaurant just down the street from the University of St. Thomas. The culinary team first met while they were all working at Tilia, so the kitchen will immediately possess the casual but refined clout that makes a great neighborhood eatery. Thick-crusted pizzas will be baked in deep pans, served with fresh mozzarella bubbling over fresh tomato sauce. (J.S.)
232 N. Cleveland Av., St. Paul. Opening before spring.
Speaking of Detroit-style pizzas, this wildly popular food hall stand (in Malcolm Yards and Galley North Loop) finally busts out of others' confines to open its very own restaurant with a bar. Before creating his runaway hit pizza, with toppings that include Tater Tots and hot honey-glazed pepperoni, chef/owner Jeff Rogers was a well known bar talent. This new spot, on the corner of Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue S., will allow him to bring all of his taste talents together under one roof. (J.S.)
701 W. Lake St., Mpls., wrecktanglepizza.com. Opening this spring.
This bakery has been an early-morning beacon in downtown Minneapolis since opening in 2017, and their crispy doughnuts have held the promise of a productive day throughout the pandemic. Now, as workers start to trickle back into downtown offices, more doughnuts are on the horizon. A skyway-level Cardigan outpost is expected to open in the IDS Center, and will add ice cream to the lineup. That means scoops sandwiched between split doughnuts are coming soon. (J.S.)
80 S. 8th St., Mpls., cardigandonuts.com. Opening in February.
The dormant Peace Coffee shops inside Capella Tower will get new life thanks to David and Eli Fhima. The restaurateurs behind the aptly named Fhima's expect to open Mother Dough bakery and cafe on the ground-floor and skyway levels of the building soon. In addition to coffee and tea, the menu will be stacked with fresh-baked goods like danishes, croissants, muffins, éclairs, cookies and bread that will be used to build fresh sandwiches. Plus, to kick the cozy season up a notch, the ground-floor location will include a beer and wine selection for sipping fireside. (J.S.)
225 S. 6th St., Mpls. Opening early this year.
A new North Loop addition will be Pedro Wolcott's Guacaya Bistreaux. The Panama-born chef made his mark cooking in top restaurants in the Big Easy, and he is bringing his culinary roots — both Latin-Caribbean and New Orleanian — to Minneapolis. While he's been introducing himself to Twin Cities eaters via seven-course tasting menus, look for his restaurant to be a little more casual and a lot more neighborly, a place where you can slip in for a (terrific) arepa during an evening stroll. (S.J.)
337 Washington Av. N., Mpls., guacayabistreaux.com. Opening this summer.
Vinai has the honor of being the most anticipated restaurant two years running, but for anyone who has dined at chef Yia Vang's Union Hmong Kitchen or watched him cook alongside guests on his TPT digital show "Relish" can understand why. The restaurant, which was first announced in 2020, will be the chef's most personal venture yet. Vang's comforting yet electrifying Hmong cooking will be the most soulful new addition to the Twin Cities food scene in 2022. (J.S. & S.J.)
1717 NE. 2nd St., Mpls., vinaimn.com. Opening this year.
The Apostle and False Eye Doll tiki bar and voodoo lounge
Brian Ingram's Purpose Driven Restaurants is getting in on the "inspired by a Wisconsin supper club" trend. Take that supper club, smoosh it with a tiki bar, add a piano bar crooner five nights a week, place it close to Xcel Energy Center and it sounds like a hit. The chef has been plowing through restaurant openings in the past few months and we expect this one to materialize faster than you can say "gin rickey." (J.S.)
171 W. 7th St., St. Paul. Opening in March.
When the Four Seasons announced it was opening a new mixed-use hotel and permanent residence in downtown Minneapolis, it came with the added promise of two restaurants that will be run by Gavin Kaysen, the city's boldest named chef and restaurateur, and his Soigné Hospitality Group. The James Beard Award winner will operate two street-level eateries: a grab-and-go lobby spot and a more formal sit-down restaurant with a full bar. (J.S.)
245 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. Opening this spring.
When wine is what you're selling, why not open a wine bar? That's the plan for a new Top Ten Liquors store that's taking over a former Champps at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka. And with 3,000 bottles of wine on the shelves, opening even a fraction of them will give tasters more options than they could dream of. Naturally, cheese and charcuterie will be available, both for dining in and in an attached grocery store that takes this liquor store up a serious notch. (S.J.)
Ridgedale Center, 12401 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka. Opening this spring.
Butcher & the Boar
The beloved eight-year-old downtown Minneapolis mainstay closed in fall 2020. And while the strikingly similar Butcher's Tale has reopened in the same spot, there's more meat-centric revelry on the schedule. Jester Concepts purchased the rights, and the recipes, to the original concept and will open in the North Loop by this summer. With the recent passing of Butcher founding chef Jack Riebel, the revival is expected to be even more meaningful. (S.J.)
901 N. 3rd St., Mpls. Opening this summer.
For a comprehensive list of anticipated openings, keep checking our frequently updated Restaurant Roll Call.