After nearly two years, we’ve tasted a lot of Fargo-Moorhead, though there’s plenty we still haven’t tried. Here is our list of favorite dishes from Fargo-Moorhead (and beyond).
Parma Prociutto Wrapped Shrimp with Marscapone Polenta & Sun-Dried Tomatoes ($7 during happy hour, $13 full price), Mezzaluna, Fargo.
Red Curry Scallops ($14), Sarello’s, Moorhead
Fish & Chips ($14), Hodo Lounge, Fargo
In addition to the Fish and Chips, our favorite Hodo plates include the Wild Rice Burger and Bison Burger. Again, these burgers are pricey since they’re served a la carte, but are consistently well-prepared.
Other dishes from the lounge menu have been hit or miss, but these three are consistently executed.
Dhamaka Balti with Lamb ($14.99), India Palace, Fargo
We’ve also found the service at Passage to India hospitable and the food tasty, but it’s just not as spicy. Their curry sauces are richly flavored, but the meat dishes provide less value than the vegetarian. Their weekend buffet is above-average if you like that sort of thing.
Spring Rolls ($5), Cafe 21, Fargo
We also like their hot, Chicago-style beef sandwich with horseradish sauce and extra hot pickled peppers.
German Sausage Chowder, Sanford Hospital Cafeteria, Fargo
Oddly enough, hospital cafeteria food makes the list. For my first year a half in Fargo, I worked in a neighboring clinic and often visited the cafeteria next door for lunch. Many of us took an early lunch when we spotted this soup on the menu and it ran out quickly. It’s made with a creamy broth (not the overly thickened kind), kielbasa, silky cabbage, and potatoes.
Hot & Spicy Tofu & Steamed Dumplings, Jade Dragon, Fargo
One of my last meals in Fargo was also one of the loveliest. Tender meat-filled dumplings steamed and served with vinegar infused dipping sauce and this stir fry made with fried pillows of tofu, scallions, onion and bell peppers cooked to an ideal tender-crisp. The sauce wasn’t extremely spicy but it had a kick. I also like that it wasn’t cloyingly sweet.
Buffalo sauce is above average but the wings aren’t great. They’re coated in a crumb mixture and I think they’re baked. On the other hand, the sandwiches are great.
Nichole’s Fine Pastry smells like butter, just as it should. Sweet bakeries that don’t smell like butter make me nervous.
I’ve never been let down by Nichole’s. Over the past couple years, we’ve tried many different treats like cranberry and brie-stuffed croissants, biscotti, quiche, constantly rotating cheesecakes, red velvet cookies, cannoli, and lemon tarts.
Nichole’s also offers coffee shop beverages. I like their strong coffee, signature hot tea blend, and rhubarb iced tea.
Buttermilk Pie ($2/slice), Pumpkin Cookies ($1.18) & Chicken Pot Pie Soup ($3-4) at Josie’s Coffee Corner Cafe
In full disclosure, I worked at Josie’s for a couple months this summer until we had to get ready to move to Mason City, IA. I was given the opportunity to try many of their foods and found some favorites. I’d order them myself even if I hadn’t worked here.
We especially liked the buttermilk pie, a tangy custard with a caramelized top baked into a homemade pie crust. The pumpkin cookies are fluffy and more like cake, topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. They’re intense for people like me who prefer salty foods, but I enjoyed nibbling them a little at a time.
Even though Josie’s is a bakery, it also functions as a busy little lunch joint where people order sandwiches and homemade soups. I especially liked the creamy chicken pot pie soup garnished with a handful of flaky pie crust leaves.
Coffee is freshly ground before brewing, as well as espresso. If you have a sweet tooth, look for Nancy’s special beverage creations on the chalkboard.
Jumbo Shrimp, Popovers, & Frosty Mugs of Beer at Wilkin Drink & Eatery, Breckenridge, MN
This 100-year old eatery located about 40-minutes from Fargo along the main street in Breckenridge. Kind of like a pub and kind of like a supper club. Guests receive complimentary bowls of popcorn and popovers with honey butter. Has a unique character you won’t find anywhere in Fargo. We felt completely welcome as non-locals.
Jumbo Shrimp at Theodore’s Dining Room at the Rough Riders Restaurant, Medora, ND
The town of Medora is nestled into the badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s got a family friendly Wild West vibe in the summer and eerie stillness in the fall. I had a lovely meal in the hotel’s restaurant that included lobster-like jumbo shrimp.
Neopolitan-style Pizza, Sorbet & Gelato, Fireflour Pizza, Bismarck, ND
Serves Neopolitan-style pizzas with blistered, airy crusts baked in a wood-fired oven. Toppings range from La Quercia prociutto to arugula to Calabrian chili oil. The housemade gelatos and sorbets are really fantastic.
Knoephla Soup & Rhubarb Pie with Meringue Topping at Home Plate Cafe, Fredonia, ND
To this date, Hot Plate Cafe’s knoephla soup and rhubarb pie are still the best versions of themselves that I’ve tried.
Too bad the cafe is two and a half hours away from Fargo. FYI, the town’s population was recorded at 46 in the 2010 census and it’s a locals-only joint. Don’t let this stop you from taking the road trip.
Breakfast Eggbake, The Lodge on Lake Detroit, Detroit Lakes, MN
This cozy dive bar is located in the small town of Sabin, about 20-minutes from Fargo-Moorhead. You’ll easily find this bar on a corner along the main street, across from a towering grain elevator. The scene is composed of mostly locals, but we felt very welcome. There’s graffiti on the ceilings and a popcorn machine in the corner.
Order a dinner special from the blackboard or flip through the tattered menu. We were happiest with a burger basket, more specifically, the cream cheese and olive burger.