Minnesota’s food scene is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by foodies from around the world. Let’s explore the best Minnesota munchies!

From traditional Scandinavian dishes to the beloved Juicy Lucy burger, the North Star State has something to offer everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a culinary journey through Minnesota’s best eats, including classic comfort foods, innovative fusion dishes, and everything in between. So pack your appetite and get ready to explore the Land of 10,000 Lakes one delicious bite of lutefisk at a time. Foodie’s get ready: it’s time to talk Minnesota munchies!

What to Eat: Minnesota Munchies

Are planning a visit to the Land of 10,000 Lakes or are you just wanting to eat like a true Minnesotan? Well, hold on to your lutefisk because we’re about to take a deep dive into the Land of 10,000 Hotdishes!

Minnesota has a diverse culinary scene that reflects its cultural heritage and natural resources. Here are some popular dishes and food items to try in Minnesota:

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1. Jucy Lucy

Ok, so we’re vegans and have never tried this but everyone I know swears by it. A Jucy Lucy is a cheeseburger with the cheese stuffed inside the meat patty, creating a deliciously gooey center. The iconic Jucy Lucy is said to have originated at Matt’s Bar, a cash-only beer and burger joint located at 3500 Cedar Ave in Minneapolis. They’ve been grilling Jucy Lucy’s since 1954, so I think they know what they’re doing!

Shortly after they opened, founder Matt Bristol explains the “Jucy Lucy” was created when a local customer asked for two hamburger patties with a slice of cheese in the middle. Upon biting into this new, molten hot burger, he screamed, “Now, that’s one juicy Lucy!”, and thus – a legend was born. Customer demand grew so quickly, Matt forgot to add the “i” and the “Jucy Lucy” has now become a local culinary hero. Remember, if it’s spelled correctly – “juicy”, you just might be eating a shameless ripoff!

2. Tater Tot Hotdish

A classic casserole made with ground beef, vegetables, and tater tots, a popular comfort food in Minnesota.

So why is it called Hotdish?

The term “hotdish” is a description of the dish’s temperature and form, as it is served hot and has a soft, spoonable texture. “Hotdish” is a regional word that is not widely used outside of the Upper Midwest, where it has become a staple of church suppers, family dinners, and potluck gatherings. Here in Minnesota, hotdish is often associated with comfort food and is seen as a way to bring people together over a warm, hearty meal.

3. Walleye

This freshwater fish is the official state fish of Minnesota and is a popular ingredient in many dishes, including fish and chips and fish tacos.

4. Wild Rice

Minnesota is the largest producer of wild rice in the United States. This nutty grain is often used in soups, stews, and salads.

5. Swedish Meatballs

A nod to the state’s Scandinavian heritage, Swedish meatballs are often served with a creamy sauce over mashed potatoes. A lot of locals I know visit the Mall of America just so they can drop the kids off at Nickelodeon Universe…then the parents sneak over to IKEA to eat cheap Swedish meatballs at the IKEA cafe.

6. Lefse

A Norwegian flatbread made from potatoes, flour, and butter, often served with butter and sugar or used as a wrap for savory fillings.

7. Jucy Lucy Pizza

A spin on the Juicy Lucy burger, this pizza has a cheese-stuffed crust and toppings inspired by the classic burger.

8. Cheese Curds

Deep-fried cheese curds, made from fresh cheese curds, are a popular snack in Minnesota, often served with dipping sauces like ranch or ketchup.

9. Krumkake

A Norwegian waffle cookie often filled with whipped cream or fruit preserves, commonly enjoyed during the holidays.

Now, before we reveal the top pick for things to eat in Minnesota, let’s take a second and talk Minnesota beverages. 

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Love Minnesota? You betcha!

If you love Minnesota as much as we do, you’ll probably love these cute items. They’ll definitely have you saying, “oh for cute”! Hehe…

What to Drink in Minnesota

If you wanna fit in and drink like a local, here’s some tips…

If you’re in the mood for something caffeinated, you can’t go wrong by visiting Caribou Coffee. This is a Minnesota-based coffee chain that specializes in espresso drinks, blended coffee drinks, and baked goods.

The whole family will enjoy trying a Spring Grove Soda. This is a brand of craft soda that is based in Spring Grove, Minnesota. The company was founded in 1895 and has been producing soda for over 125 years now. Spring Grove Soda is known for its all-natural ingredients, unique flavors, and old-fashioned glass bottle packaging. Some of the most popular flavors of Spring Grove Soda include: Orange Cream, Grape, Rhubarb, Lemon Sour and Strawberry. 

Those 21 and older might wanna try a sip of Grain Belt Beer or something from the Summit Brewing Company. Both are local beer brands that folks around here really love. The state is also known for its signature cocktail, the Minnesota Mule, which is made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. Have a strong Minnesota Mule and you’ll feel nice and warm…even on the coldest of Minnesota winters.

Ok, so let’s get back to our list of What to Eat in Minnesota. No stop here is complete without trying…

Lutefisk: King of Minnesota Munchies

Lutefisk is a traditional Norwegian dish that is popular in Minnesota, especially among those with Scandinavian heritage. It is made from dried whitefish, usually cod or ling, which is soaked in water and lye for several days. The lye solution breaks down the fish’s proteins, making it gelatinous and giving it a distinctive, slightly sweet flavor. After soaking in the lye solution, the fish is rinsed in water and then boiled or baked. It is often served with boiled potatoes, melted butter, and sometimes white sauce, mustard, or other condiments.

Lutefisk is known for its pungent aroma and its unique texture, which can be slimy and gelatinous. It is considered an acquired taste and is not to everyone’s liking. However, for those who enjoy it, lutefisk is a cherished part of their cultural heritage and a traditional dish that is often served at holiday gatherings and other special occasions.

I find the more Minnesota Mules or Grain Belt Beers you have, the better Lutefisk starts to taste.


So there you have it, a local’s guide to eating like a true Minnesotan. Have you ever tried any of these foods? Is there anything you’d like to taste…or anything that sounds not so yummy? Let everyone know in the comments. Thanks for reading.

What did you think of our list of Minnesota munchies?

Have a super day!

About the Authors
Jack and Kitty Norton are Emmy Award winning travel experts. They have spent a lifetime on the road: as traveling musicians, documentary filmmakers and television producers. They now focus on writing for their travel blog (JackAndKitty.com) and making fun videos for their YouTube channel. Jack and Kitty offer travelers fun and quirky things to do in Minnesota, the Midwest and beyond. High school sweethearts turned married soulmates, the couple lives in the small college town of Winona, Minnesota and would love to have you over for some hotdish.

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