THE HOT FIVE

"Rent" is rocking the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Minneapolis through Sunday, a fine excuse for a pre- or post-curtain nosh.

BARRIO

Excellent (and affordable) tacos and enchiladas, a huge tequila list, late-night hours (to 2 a.m. Friday through Sunday) and stellar people-watching. What's not to like?

925 Nicollet Mall, 612-333-9953, www.barriotequila.com

BRADSTREET CRAFTSHOUSE RESTAURANT

The Graves 601 Hotel's sleek first-floor lounge is now an arts and crafts-inspired speakeasy, with meticulously crafted cocktails and a long list of affordable small-plate fare.

601 1st Av. N., 612-312-1821, www.graves601hotel.com

CHAMBERS KITCHEN

The art-filled House of Vongerichten only looks expensive. Chef Chris Damskey offers a beautiful three-course dinner every night for $30; toss in a wine flight for an additional $15.

901 Hennepin Av. S., 612-767-6979, www.chambersminneapolis.com

PALOMINO

Crowd-pleasing pizzas, pastas and seafood, with a Saturday lunch for matinee-goers that includes two courses for $12 or $13.

825 Hennepin Av. S., 612-339-3800, www.palomino.com

SOLERA

Do the eight-tapas tasting menu for $29 (two-person minimum), or just graze off the standard menu, which features several dozen small-plate choices as well as a handful of hearty paellas. The bargain-filled late-night happy hour menu is served to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

900 Hennepin Av. S., 612-338-0062, www.solera-restaurant.com

RICK NELSON