Best Local Restaurants in the Twin Cities Suburbs

Diedrich RPM Marketing

Our marketing agency is located in a southern suburb of the Twin Cities called Burnsville, Minnesota. Yes, Minneapolis has been known to be a foodies paradise, however, we think there are many hidden gems in the greater Twin Cities area. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favorite local restaurants in the Twin Cities suburbs.

First, we want to acknowledge that none of these are chains, and we did that on purpose. Not saying chain restaurants are all bad. If you’re traveling to a new city, it can be nice to eat somewhere like McDonald’s because you know exactly what to expect. However, the benefits pretty much end there. Next time you’re deciding on where to eat out, think about the following reasons why you should choose a local non-chain restaurant over your common chain eatery.

Small Business Advantage

1. Top-Notch Customer Service

Non-chain restaurant owners are personally invested and value the relationships they have with their customers. Owners enjoy getting to know their patrons since they’re an important part of the community they serve. Word of mouth is powerful when it comes to small business advertising, so it’s not surprising that they want every single customer to have a positive experience.

2. Supporting Local Communities

By dining at a local non-chain restaurant, you’re also supporting the surrounding community. Spending your money there helps to stimulate the local economy and keep business booming within the area. Every meal purchased from these restaurants helps the owner to provide wages for their workers, keep the lights on, and put food on the table for their families.

3. Freedom for Innovation

Chain restaurants typically have a set menu that hardly varies from location to location. This makes it easy for franchise owners or managers to serve up food of consistent quality, but it also means that there is usually no creativity in the recipes. Most chain restaurants are more interested in being reliable than they are in pursuing the best possible flavor and constantly experimenting with their menu. Non-chain restaurants have the freedom to offer unique, expertly crafted dishes with an ever-changing menu if they choose to do so.

DRPM’s Top Non-Chain Restaurant Picks

As a smaller marketing agency located in Burnsville, MN, a southern suburb of the Twin Cities, we enjoy supporting other independent businesses in our local community and the suburbs we reside in. Keep reading for our top local non-chain restaurant picks for ideas on where to have your next outing!

Perron’s Sul Lago in Prior Lake, MN

Perron's Sul Lago
Photo form Perron’s Sul Lago Instagram
“Some of the best Italian food you will ever eat! The ambiance is fabulous, and the service is just great too.” —Owner and CEO Liz Diedrich

Cobblestone Cafe in White Bear Lake, MN

“They are a small breakfast/lunch establishment that has been a local favorite for decades…not exactly sure how long but at least the 30+ years I’ve been alive. I would venture a guess that most of the servers have been employed for that long as well because it seems like they have zero turnover as you always see the same faces. Absolute best eggs benedict you will ever eat! Generous portions, cozy atmosphere of maybe a dozen or so tables, plus a small patio area out front overlooking White Bear Lake’s historic downtown area.” —Director of Research Kyle Schwietz

Indigo Tea Company in Burnsville, MN

“Immerse yourself in East Asia’s rich cultural traditions at Indigo Tea Company, a family-owned tea shop in the South Metro. Since 2003, owners Annie and Neal’s goal were to advance the “tea lifestyle” of relaxation, good living, and simplicity through their high-quality teas, pastries, light sandwiches, and of course their signature bubble teas in Burnsville, MN. The Asian-style seating on tatami rice mats is a favorite as it is an East Asian tradition to sit crisscross style without shoes while sipping tea! Stop in and enjoy a variety of teas directly from Asia and experience the many benefits of tea: health, relaxation, tradition, and delicious taste!” —Research Marketing Specialist Noelle Sjoquist

“Indigo Tea is a warm, quiet tea house nestled in Burnsville. While it has a great assortment of tea blends, accessories, and pastries, it is the unique peaceful atmosphere that sets it apart from the other tea and coffee shops. Seating is split into an Asian section and European section, so you can curl up with a mug of masala chai on a tatami mat with pillows or share a pot of earl grey with friends at a wooden table and chairs. Either way, you can count on a relaxing and enjoyable experience at this delightful place.” —Web Developer Stacy Erickson

Lakeville Brewing Company in Lakeville, MN

Lakeville Brew Steak Tacos
“Lakeville Brew in Lakeville is hands down my go-to for a date night or the perfect place to take my out-of-town friends. They have so many different food options, but I highly recommend the brisket fries. The best part though is their beer. Craft breweries are very popular these days, and this one not only has great brews but also a family feel. There are picnic tables and cornhole out in the yard, along with games for kids. Another unique thing they do is feature local artists and bands for live music nights twice a week! Overall the atmosphere is fun, with great brews and an amazing food selection.” —Digital Marketing Associate Carly Jensen

Cam Ranh Bay in Burnsville, MN

“Growing up as an Asian American, my family and I would go out to eat Vietnamese pho soup almost every weekend. When I describe pho, I always say that it’s like the Vietnamese equivalent of American chicken noodle soup. It’s delicious, comforting, and you always get a huge portion. My favorite go-to spot in Burnsville for pho and other flavorful cuisine is called Cam Ranh Bay. They’ve been in business for over 20 years, and I can see why. You can taste the love in every dish.” —Marketing Copywriter Lareina Taing

McHugh’s Public House in Savage, MN

McHughs Public House
Photo from McHughs Public House Facebook
“Until McHugh’s Irish Sports Bar opened in Savage, most of the sports bar/restaurant choices in the area were chain restaurants that lacked any community charm and feel. McHugh’s is a little like Cheers (where everybody knows your name).” —Director of Marketing Colleen Lapel
Help small business owners succeed and keep their doors open. Go out and show some love to the local non-chain restaurants that support the areas where you live, work, and play!