Top 10 Bars/Clubs of 2009: Twin Cities

Call it master escapism. The Top 10 Twin Cities Bars of 2009 are all about ambiance, indulgence and artful concoctions. Click through and see if you agree, but note that our Top 10 is randomly listed and not necessarily in any order of preference. (Photo courtesy of Barrio)

Updated: December 11, 2009

The Top 10

Bar La Grassa

800 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401

The decor at this North Loop 'small plates? bar and restaurant is refined and classic, with candlelit tables and dark wood beams stretching their hands out above downtown diners and gabbers. And the cocktails and extensive wine list--offering up unique bottles you won't find in stores--reflect a vibe dedicated to high class and high times.


925 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

La Belle Vie owner Tim McKee scores again with this tequila and tapas bar, dedicated to serving up only the real deal. You won't find anything that comes in a syrupy, hard-to-swallow mix here. The tequila-filled cocktails are made by master mixologists from scratch, and the affordable small plates and tacos ensure everyone can partake in the fiesta.


2940 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

The only sake brewer in the Midwest, Moto-i serves up killer sake and killer happy hour and late-night deals. The bar's famous buns are as little as $3 a piece. And sake flights provide a crash course in craftsmanship.

Bradstreet Crafthouse Restaurant

601 First Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Space-age mixologly meets Soho refined at this Graves 601 Hotel lounge and restaurant. Master mixologists lovingly and painstakingly prepare drinks here using the freshest and most unique ingredients around--like house-made bitters, flowers, candy and more.

Town Talk Diner

2707 1/2 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

The bartenders here have won awards for their homemade drinks, like the Green Meany, featuring Bombay Sapphire and absinthe. Even the classic cocktails--from the Manhattan to the gin fizz--come with an added splash of made-from-scratch goodness.

La Belle Vie

510 Groveland Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

This world-famous Minneapolis restaurant is known for its food and mixologist-made drinks, including one that comes with real gold flecks. And the lounge serves up decadence and indulgence a plenty, offering up an atmosphere fit for a king and chef-approved and totally unique cocktails infused with bitters, vermouth and single-barrel scotch.

W.a. Frost & Company

374 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102

This super cozy bar in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood serves up an extensive wine list as well as house-made specials like Frost's Hot Apple Pie, a hot brandy or the Ginger Snap, which comes with dark rum, molasses, ginger syrup and cappuccino.

Happy Gnome

498 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102

This neighborhood bar is St. Paul is known for its great food and its even better beer collection. Not only does it feature more than 70 draft beers, but the Gnome also offers up tastings, brewmaster dinners and limted-release beers. It's a wannabe craftsman's dream.

W Minneapolis The Foshay

821 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402

Prohibition, the swanky bar on the top floor of the luxurious W Hotel in the Foshay Tower, is luxurious and dark in all the right spots. Under the stars of the downtown skyline, bartenders turn into mad martini scientists, whipping up concoctions that glow like magic potion.

Peacock Lounge

323 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Located next to Erte in Northeast, this hip bar serves up an extensive wine list and toe-warming specials like creamy martinis and coffee with Baileys, Frangelico and Kahlua.