10 Famous Foods In Minnesota: Dishes Minnesota Is Known For

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If you’re a foodie traveling across the states, Minnesota has to be a pin on your map. The foods in Minnesota offer opportunities for a memorable culinary adventure. From classic comfort foods like hotdish and wild rice soup to more modern creations like Juicy Lucy burgers and walleye sandwiches – there is no shortage of amazing foods to explore in this great state.

What’s Special About Foods In Minnesota

Minnesota food is deeply rooted in the culture and history of the state. A combination of both native and foreign influences, such as Scandinavian and German immigrants, have all contributed to the unique Minnesota food scene.

Not forgetting about the geography of the state! Minnesota is home to over 10,000 lakes, which means access to some of the freshest and tastiest fish around. Walleye, crappie, and northern pike are just a few of the fish you can find on menus across the state.

It is no wonder that the diverse culinary scene is one of the most exciting facts about Minnesota, particularly for foodies.

If you’re ready to embark on an epicurean journey through this beautiful state, here are some of the famous foods from Minnesota to try.

Most Famous Minnesota Food

Juicy Lucy


The Juicy Lucy is a true Minnesota icon and has since become famous all over the country.

What makes it so special, you ask? Well, picture this: a piping hot beef patty, grilled to perfection, with a molten core of ooey-gooey cheese just waiting to burst out with every bite. That’s right, the cheese is stuffed inside the burger, creating a delicious explosion of flavor in your mouth.

This burger can be enjoyed with a variety of toppings like lettuce, tomato, pickles, bacon, and more. When paired with a side of fries or onion rings, it becomes an unforgettable meal for anyone who tries it! 

In Minneapolis alone, there are dozens of restaurants and food trucks that are dedicated to serving the perfect Juicy Lucy experience. 

Now, the debate over who serves the best Juicy Lucy in town is a heated one, but some popular spots include Matt’s Bar & Grill and 5-8 Club. 

So if you’re ever visiting Minneapolis, this is one dish you must try! You can even enjoy your burger with some tater tots, another food Minnesota is known for.

Popular Foods In Minnesota

Wild Rice


Wild rice is one of the traditional foods in Minnesota that’s been harvested by Native Americans for centuries.

First off, let’s clarify – wild rice is not actually rice, but a type of grain-like seed harvested from species of marsh grass that grows in the state’s many lakes and rivers. 

It has an unmistakable earthy flavor and chewy texture that make it great for everything from salads to casseroles. This ancient food can be served as a side dish or the main ingredient of a dish like wild rice soup. 

One of the most famous dishes featuring wild rice is Minnesota’s beloved hotdish. Wild rice is also used to make breads, pancakes, and sometimes desserts! 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even head to the annual Wild Rice Festival in Deer River to try some unique dishes highlighting this local ingredient.

Similarly, you can find several restaurants in Minnesota serving special dishes that use wild rice as the main show. This Native American food is so popular that it was adopted as the state grain in 1977.



Walleye is one of the defining foods from Minnesota; it’s a staple in the state’s cuisine for good reason.

This freshwater fish is native to the state’s many lakes and rivers, making it a local favorite for fishing and eating. In fact, the Walleye is the official state fish of Minnesota!

Walleye has a mild but slightly sweet flavor that makes it perfect for grilling or baking. With its delicate, flaky texture, the versatile fish can be prepared and enjoyed in many different ways. It can be served with vegetables as a main course, added to soups or stews, or even used in tacos. 

You can find several restaurants around the state serving up some truly delicious walleye dishes. One of the most popular ways to enjoy walleye is in a classic fish fry. 

Head to any local supper club or tavern and you’re sure to find a crispy, golden-brown walleye fillet served with tartar sauce and a side of fries. Now that’s a true Minnesota tradition.

Tater Tot Hotdish


Tater Tot Hotdish is the ultimate comfort food of Minnesota. It’s a hearty casserole made with ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, lots of shredded cheese, and of course, crispy tater tots on top. 

It’s warm, filling, and perfect for those cold winter nights when you just want something cozy and delicious.

Though simple at first glance, tater tot hotdish has become a beloved food in Minnesota thanks to its combination of flavors and textures. It makes for a great meal option on busy weekday nights or a hearty brunch any day of the week!

This dish is an integral part of Minnesota’s culinary history. It’s a cultural touchstone that represents the values of community, family, and comfort.

In fact, Tater Tot Hotdish is so iconic that it is considered by many as the unofficial state cuisine of Minnesota.

Porketta Sandwich

The porketta sandwich is a classic food from Minnesota that has been enjoyed by locals for generations. This traditional Italian-American dish is made with slow-roasted, seasoned pork served on crusty bread. 

After cooking for hours, the tender, juicy meat is topped with sweet and salty giardiniera (pickled vegetables) and a tangy mustard sauce to create the perfect balance of flavors. 

Other toppings can also be used according to preferences, such as sautéed onions, peppers, and melted provolone cheese. 

This hearty sandwich has been a staple in Italian delis and markets for generations, and lucky for us, it’s made its way into the mainstream.

You can typically find porketta sandwiches served as a hot lunch item at neighborhood delis or at outdoor events like fairs and festivals. It’s hearty enough to fill you up without weighing you down, making it an ideal comfort food on brisk fall days in Minnesota.

This mouthwatering sandwich is packed with flavor and perfect for any time of day. It is also a convenient on-the-go food while you explore the famous landmarks in Minnesota.

Cultural Foods In Minnesota

Polish Sausage


Polish sausage is another one of the cultural foods of Minnesota that can be found at many of the state’s favorite eateries. 

This traditional Polish dish is made with ground meat, seasoned with garlic, paprika, and other spices to create an addictive flavor that can’t be beaten. 

Polish sausages are perfect for grilling during summertime cookouts or as an easy meal option on a busy weeknight. It has a deliciously smoky and slightly spicy taste that pairs perfectly with all sorts of dishes.

In fact, the real magic of Polish sausage is in its versatility. You can enjoy it in so many different ways! 

Grill it up and serve it with sauerkraut and mustard, slice it up and add it to your favorite pizza, or even toss it into a hearty stew for some extra flavor and protein. It’s also great for hearty breakfasts when served alongside eggs and potatoes! 

If you’re looking to truly experience the flavors of these classic foods from Minnesota, then head to downtown Minneapolis where Kramarczuk’s Polish Deli has been serving up delicious smoked sausages for decades.

There you’ll find several varieties of Polish sausage along with a selection of other foods from Eastern Europe. 

Swedish Meatballs


The humble Swedish meatball is a classic dish that has been around for centuries. It’s an especially popular cross-cultural food in Minnesota, which has a large Scandinavian population. 

These tasty morsels are made with ground beef and pork, mixed with breadcrumbs, onions, and spices to give them the perfect flavor. The mixture is rolled into little balls and then simmered in rich gravy for a hearty meal. 

For a more authentic experience, head to FIKA cafe at the American Swedish Institute that is famous in Minneapolis for a taste of the real deal.

Swedish meatballs can be enjoyed on their own or served over noodles or mashed potatoes. They also make an excellent addition to any party menu – just serve them up with some toothpicks! 

The next time you are in Minnesota, do yourself a favor and go sample some of these little balls of deliciousness.



Though not traditionally from the Midwest, pho is one of the most beloved Asian foods in Minnesota.

This Vietnamese noodle soup has been a staple in Saint Paul’s Little Mekong district for years and can now be found all over the state. 

Pho typically consists of rice noodles in a deliciously aromatic broth with some type of meat such as beef, chicken, or shrimp. But don’t let that fool you — there are countless variations on this dish! 

It is top with condiments that pack a punch such as fresh herbs, lime wedges, and sriracha sauce. They all add a burst of flavor to this already yummy soup.

Pho is served hot and fragrant, making it perfect for cold winter days or when you need a pick-me-up. The warm broth is said to be nutritious and great for digestion.

In Minnesota, you can find amazing pho at local Vietnamese restaurants like Pho 79 and Quang Restaurant. So if you’re looking to get a taste of Asia while visiting Minnesota, then pho is definitely one dish to go for.

Desserts And Sweets Foods From Minnesota

Blueberry Pie/Pancakes


Minnesota is famous for its wild blueberries, which are plump, juicy, and bursting with flavor. There are two types of blueberries that are native to the state – lowbush and velvet-leaf blueberries.

The indulgent taste of wild blueberries has become a beloved part of Minnesota’s food culture. These little gems are the perfect addition to sweet treats such as a delicious pie or a stack of fluffy pancakes.

For pie lovers, nothing beats a homemade Minnesota Blueberry Pie topped with freshly whipped cream or ice cream. Sweet yet tart, it’s an ideal dessert for any occasion.

Meanwhile, Blueberry Pancakes offer a delicious twist on the traditional breakfast treat. Served hot off the griddle and made with real blueberries, this stack of flapjacks will hit the spot every time.

Whether you’re looking for a satisfying snack or a hearty breakfast, Minnesota’s Blueberry treats are sure to please. Visit any local diner or bakery and get ready for an unforgettable taste adventure! 

Honeycrisp Apples


The Honeycrisp apple is a Minnesota-born variety that was developed at the University of Minnesota in 1960. This apple is known for its firm flesh and sweet flavor, making it one of the most demanded varieties around. 

Honeycrisp Apples are juicy with a satisfying crunch. They’re perfect for snacking on their own or adding to salads, pies, and other dishes. That versatility certainly contributes to their popularity.

Honeycrisp apples are also lauded for their health benefits; they have high levels of fiber and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. 

You can most commonly find Honeycrisp apples at farmers’ markets during the fall months. Some local orchards even offer experiential activities during the season. Try apple picking while enjoying some apple cider, and the beautiful fall colors.

Whatever way you choose to enjoy it, Honeycrisp apples are a quintessential part of the Minnesota food scene. They’re a delicious reminder of the state’s agricultural roots and a local favorite that’s here to stay!

Discovering Delicious Minnesota Food

From Pho to blueberry treats, Minnesota foods are nothing short of delicious! What makes the food in this state so special is its unique combination of flavors featuring influences from different parts of the world.

The foods of Minnesota also have a strong connection with local agricultural roots and provide many health benefits too.

In addition, one important aspect of food in Minnesota is the sense of community that comes with it. More than a form of sustenance, food is a way of bringing people together in the state. So next time you’re looking for an unforgettable culinary experience, don’t forget about all the amazing foods from Minnesota.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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