Staff Directory 8509115

Jon Cheng

Restaurant Critic | Restaurant Critic

Jon Cheng is the Star Tribune's restaurant critic. In past journalistic lives, Jon wrote restaurant reviews and columns for publications in New York, London and Singapore. He is fanatical about bread.

Recent content from Jon Cheng
Doughnuts for dessert? Try Snack Bar's Crème Brûlée Doughnuts.

Our restaurant critic's 8 favorite Twin Cities area bakeries and restaurants for take-out dessert

When restaurant critic Jon Cheng doesn't want to show up empty-handed, he turns to these Twin Cities restaurants and bakeries.
Few pastas in the Twin Cities compare to Dario's Doppio, filled with sunchoke, ricotta, honey, hazelnuts and rosemary.

Review: New North Loop spot Dario a spectacle for talent, pasta and Instagram

Review: The restaurant has room for opportunity to grow into a premier destination in the North Loop.
A selection of dishes at Bûcheron in Minneapolis.

Review: Bûcheron is a landmark restaurant disguised as your friendly neighborhood bistro

Review: Find precise cooking, nuanced gastronomy and nearly a four-star experience at Bucheron in Minneapolis.
An array of dishes at Raag, a hidden gem of a restaurant near 50th and France.

4 hidden restaurant gems you need to know about

Our restaurant critic shares the Twin Cities eateries he can't stop thinking about.
The banchans — mustard greens, napa kimchi, daikon kimchi and kabocha squash — at Kim's honor chef Ann Kim's Korean heritage and her Minnesota upb

Restaurant review: Kim's is bold, flavorful and personal

The Sooki & Mimi reboot finally gives Ann Kim's Korean American heritage its due.
The open kitchen of Demi, Gavin Kaysen's Minneapolis restaurant.

Yes, Minnesota should have a Michelin Guide, and these 4 restaurants would likely get stars

Restaurant critic Jon Cheng has dined at hundreds of Michelin-starred eateries in dozens of cities around the world. Now, he's weighing in on our local dining scene.

Our restaurant critic answers your questions

Jon Cheng sifted through dozens of reader questions, from how many times he visits a restaurant to solo dining and his surprising guilty pleasure food.
The Bone Marrow & Duck Confit at Maison Margaux in Minneapolis.

The best meals our food writers ate in 2023

The Star Tribune's Taste team eats out — a lot. While we've had many memorable meals, these are among those that stood out.
The Chile Relleno at Oro by Nixta, the Minneapolis restaurant from Gustavo and Kate Romero. At $20, it’s the most expensive menu item.

Mexican powerhouse Oro is Star Tribune's Restaurant of the Year

What started out as a sliver of a taco shop outside a tortilleria has evolved into Oro by Nixta, and it has set the gold standard for Mexican food in Minneapolis.
Porzana’s pa amb tomaquet —  a traditional tomato toast. Daniel del Prado opened the North Loop restaurant late this summer.

Restaurant review: Is Daniel del Prado's Porzana worth the buzz?

The Argentine steakhouse in Minneapolis' North Loop is the chef's most ambitious project yet. Cue the anticipation.
The Del Caribe Para El Mundo — sea bass with mango chutney and shrimp salad — is a standout at chef Soleil Ramirez’s restaurant Crasqui.

Review: Crasqui in St. Paul an island escape for diners and the chef behind it

Chef Soleil Ramirez's fine-dining restaurant gives Twin Cities diners a taste of the bold flavors of Venezuela.
Brunch at Martina. Credit: Jon Cheng

Where our restaurant critic takes a first-time visitor to eat over a weekend in Minneapolis

Jon Cheng gave a whirlwind culinary tour of his Minneapolis neighborhood. Here's where they stopped and what they ordered, and it's a list that's not for the faint of heart.

Review: St. Paul's Herbst veers from New American classics, and it pays off

Chef Eric Simpson is inspired by the farm stands that supply the St. Paul restaurant.
The Gai Basil has a stir-fried sauce that teeters nicely between salty and sweet.

Review: Minneapolis' Gai Noi defies expectations and redefines casual dining

The Minneapolis restaurant is the latest from chef Ann Ahmed, and an intimate tribute to her homeland.

Review: David Fhima's Maison Margaux reinventing French classics in North Loop

The Minneapolis restaurant serves brasserie fare with a side of indulgent hospitality.

Review: David Fhima's Maison Margaux reinventing French classics in North Loop

The gumbo at Krewe restaurant in St. Joseph, Minn. Jon Cheng, Star Tribune

The 5 best surprises for our restaurant critic so far this year

Minnesota's restaurant scene remains anything but predictable.

Review: Oro by Nixta sets gold standard for Mexican food in Minneapolis

Kate and Gustavo Romero have opened Oro by Nixta, a Mexican fine-dining restaurant in northeast Minneapolis next to their tortilleria.

Review: Oro by Nixta sets gold standard for Mexican food in Minneapolis

The restaurant redefines counter culture as it steps out on its own.
The sausage sampler at Butcher & the Boar in Minneapolis.

Review: Does Minneapolis need Butcher & the Boar 2.0?

At the revived North Loop chophouse, some things are better left to rest.

Review: Does Minneapolis need Butcher & the Boar 2.0?

The Reuben at Kramarczuk's. Jon Cheng, Star Tribune

Our critic picks his 4 favorite delis in the Twin Cities area

They are all very different from one another, and all redefine what modern delis can be.
Blondette’s way with sauces is evident in the poached lobster, served with sauce americaine, artichokes, roasted fresno and chervil.

Review: Blondette in downtown Minneapolis is rowdy, fun and wildly delicious

Chef Daniel del Prado strays from the classic French playbook with extraordinary results.

Review: Blondette in downtown Minneapolis is rowdy, fun and wildly delicious

Chelas chef and co-owner Luom Bronko Do.

Review: Chelas in Minneapolis serves up fusion with flair

Latin and Southeast Asian flavors creatively coexist at this Tangletown newcomer.

Review: Chelas in Minneapolis serves up fusion with flair

The Czech burger at the Ettlin's Cafe. Nicole Hvidsten, Star Tribune

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team shares the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Bar+Cart on Grand Avenue has a menu filled with foods to pair with their top-shelf bar program.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team shares the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.

A restaurant critic's guide to navigating the Eden Prairie Asia Mall

Jon Cheng says the best way to enjoy the food hall is to try mostly everything.

There's nothing fancy but the food at the best Thai restaurant in the Twin Cities

There's nothing fancy but the food at the best Thai restaurant in the Twin Cities

Thai Café on St. Paul's University Avenue looks understated, but is brimming with flavor and personality.
Which of the Twin Cities salad chains comes out on top?

Our chain salad power rankings: Who dishes the best salad in the Twin Cities?

Restaurant critic Jon Cheng ate his share of leafy greens to find out.
Rediscovering old favorites, like tacos from Taqueria El Patrón on Minneapolis’ Lake Street, has been a theme for our food writers this year.

The best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area in 2022

Our food writers scrolled through a year's worth of photos and notes, and these are the meals and places we're still thinking about.
Mara is the Star Tribune's 2022 Restaurant of the Year

Mara is the Star Tribune's 2022 Restaurant of the Year

Gavin Kaysen strikes gold with his new restaurant, offering inspired takes on Mediterranean cuisine in a stunning dining room inside the Four Seasons.

Mara is the Star Tribune's 2022 Restaurant of the Year

Purple and lit: Blondette is now open inside the Rand Tower.

7 restaurant openings in the Twin Cities area you should know about

From new entries by marquee chefs to a supper club takeover of a suburban mainstay, it's been a busy few months on the restaurant scene.
Review: With Macanda in Wayzata, an empire has finally met its match

Review: With Macanda in Wayzata, an empire has finally met its match

One of the latest Daniel del Prado restaurants fails to rekindle the magic that made him king.

Review: With Macanda in Wayzata, an empire has finally met its match

Tres Leches Cake at 112 Eatery.

5 Twin Cities restaurant desserts our critic can't stop thinking about

Restaurant critic Jon Cheng (and his sweet tooth) make a case for why you should save room for dessert.

Review: Guacaya Bistreaux pushes Minneapolis' North Loop to cuisines near and far

The Pescado Frito; fried red snapper, with coconut rice, pickled cabbage, grilled lime, patacones, and cotija at Guacaya Bistreaux in Minneapolis.

Review: Guacaya Bistreaux pushes Minneapolis' North Loop to cuisines near and far

Chef Pedro Wolcott's food takes sometimes delicious twists and turns as he embraces his Panamanian roots by way of Louisiana.
Star Tribune restaurant critic Jon Cheng ate his way through the North Loop: Pizza special at Snack Bar.

Critic's diary: A day of eating and drinking in Minneapolis' North Loop

Restaurant critic Jon Cheng takes us to some of his favorite places in the food-centric neighborhood.
Review: Mara at the Four Seasons in Minneapolis reaches for the stars

Review: Mara at the Four Seasons in Minneapolis reaches for the stars

Behind all the opulence and grandeur of the Four Seasons is a Gavin Kaysen restaurant with really good food.
Four Juicy Lucys, but only one winner.

Restaurant critic Jon Cheng finally tried a Juicy Lucy and he has a favorite

After months of resisting, he tries four of them in one day — and has choice words.
Review: Fine dining finds a home in former hardware store in northern suburbs

Review: Fine dining finds a home in former hardware store in northern suburbs

Resident Carly Gatzlaff's work to raise the profile of Shoreview dining has paid off in several delicious ways.

Review: Fine dining finds a home in former hardware store in northern suburbs

The tortillas — and tacos — and Nixta are second to none.

A restaurant critic's quest to find the Twin Cities area's perfect taco

After a couple of weeks — and a couple of dozen taquerias — the search led him to a Minneapolis tortilleria.
Spring vegetables top the tamal at Sooki & Mimi in Minneapolis.

Review: Sooki & Mimi in Minneapolis a showcase for chef Ann Kim's worldly vision

The menu at the transportive restaurant reflects the chef's Korean heritage and love of Mexican cuisine.
Smoked salmon bagel from Rudy’s Bagel Sandwiches at the Mill City Farmers Market.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team shares the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Manny’s Steakhouse is a classic for a reason.

Who serves the best steak in the Twin Cities? Our steakhouse power rankings

Here's the beef: Restaurant critic Jon Cheng tried eight major steakhouses in the metro area so you don't have to.

Review: Searching for the New American ideal at All Saints in Minneapolis

Grilled asparagus, with ranchovy, egg, and potato crunch, as prepared by chef Denny Leaf-Smith at All Saints.

Review: Searching for the New American ideal at All Saints in Minneapolis

Twin Cities restaurant veterans Kim Tong and Dennis Leaf-Smith foray into a celebrated space.
Broccolini at Petite León.

Review: Minneapolis' Petite León redefines the local neighborhood eatery

Chef Jorge Guzmán's cozy restaurant proves that local hangouts can be fine dining, too.

Review: Minneapolis' Petite León redefines the local neighborhood eatery

Beef and plantain arepa with Hola sauce tastes even better on a patio.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team shares the highlights of recent dining experiences.

Review: At Creekside Supper Club, charm greets you like an old friend

Review: At Minneapolis' Creekside Supper Club, charm greets you like an old friend

Review: At Minneapolis' Creekside Supper Club, charm greets you like an old friend

With its wood paneling, relish trays and creamy dessert drinks, the Minneapolis restaurant is supper-club chic.

The best Chinese restaurant in the Twin Cities is on University Avenue in Minneapolis

The House Spicy Fish stews fish fillets in chili broth served with Chinese cabbage and bean sprouts.

The best Chinese restaurant in the Twin Cities is on University Avenue in Minneapolis

Tea House embraces the soul of China's regional cuisines — and nails it.
The Stand With Ukraine cookie at Kramarczuk’s.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team shares highlights from weekly dining experiences.
These tricky cupcakes are on the April Fools’ holiday menu at Nadia Cakes.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team shares the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Murray’s might be famous for steaks, but its raspberry pie is vying for the spotlight.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Dim sum is a comforting way to brunch.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Restaurant review: Creole and club classics served with fanfare at Mr. Paul's Supper Club in Edina

Restaurant review: Creole and club classics served with fanfare at Mr. Paul's Supper Club in Edina

Led by powerhouses Tommy Begnaud and Nick Kosevich, there's no shortage of good food or good times. ⋆⋆ ½
Tater Tots and cream of wild rice soup: two Minnesota favorites that were meant for each other.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Taste team members share highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Restaurant review: Khâluna in Minneapolis a first-class trip to the flavors of Southeast Asia

Restaurant review: Khâluna in Minneapolis a first-class trip to the flavors of Southeast Asia

Chef/owner Ann Ahmed is in her element as she puts her own spin on the tastes of her native Laos. ⋆⋆⋆
Animalz at the Opera was a recent flavor from A to Z Creamery.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Taste team members share highlights of their weekly dining experiences.

Restaurant review: Vann brings classy coastal touches to the Twin Cities suburbs

Restaurant review: Vann brings classy coastal touches to the Twin Cities suburbs

Restaurant review: Vann brings classy coastal touches to the Twin Cities suburbs

Chef Erik Skaar fuses his Norwegian heritage with Japanese touches, coaxing the best out of the ingredients. ⋆⋆ 1/2
The matzo ball soup at the Gnome defies all expectations of bar food.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Taste team members share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Rice tots at Bap and Chicken are a homage to bibimbap.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Taste team members share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
A feast for the senses at Adama Restaurant in Columbia Heights. Jon Cheng, Special to the Star Tribune

3 Ethiopian restaurants that are spicing up the Twin Cities area

Brimming with flavor and texture, these three neighborhood restaurants might become your new favorites.
Shaved beef with au jus and freshly made potato chips are served up at a new Minneapolis sandwich shop.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.