Eating & Drinking At The Mall of America: The Hotel Bars Edition

If you don’t eat a piece of cheese from the sample table at Rybicki, you aren’t are a real Minnesotan.

Just kidding you still are.

Neither of us particularly enjoys shopping, but we love wandering the Mall of America. Each lap is supposedly a little over 1/2 a mile. We love walking with the mall walkers.

Six years ago (!!) I wrote a blog post called “My Short Guide To Cheap Mall Of America Food Dates.” This was back when we lived next to the Mall of America. Occasionally we’d pop over for weeknight snack and walk dates.

Many things have changed since we moved back home to the Twin Cites and while others are the same.

Our old favorite food court restaurant is still busy. We loved Ruby Thai Kitchen then and we still love them now. We’ve never found the food terribly greasy and like that the spicy dishes are actually spicy. For the love of God, don’t form your opinion based upon Yelp reviews. It’s a steam table food court restaurant, people. But it’s better than you’ll typically find in a mall food court.

I’ve always wanted to go on an “Every bar in the Mall of America crawl,” but that would be too many drinks for me and I’d surely die. You can find a handy happy hour guide on the mall’s website.

*A couple of friends recommended Cadillac Ranch‘s happy hour, adding that they play music videos from the 80’s and 90’s. You’ll have to visit Monday-Friday to catch this special, though. 

Now there are two hotels directly connected to the mall: The Radisson Blu and JW Marriot. Both hotels are stunningly decorated and designed and offer their own restaurants. We wanted to take a look and visit both hotel bars.

The Radisson Blu’s Firelake Grill House & Cocktail Bar offers a sweeping view with big, beautiful windows. Star Tribune’s food critic Rick Nelson describes it best when he writes, “If Martha Stewart had a 10,000 square foot Swedish farmhouse. . . it might resemble FireLake.

FireLake doesn’t particularly have a happy hour. However, the Mall of America’s happy hour guide mentions the bar offers two daily $12 specials from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. including a burger and beer combo and lunch trio with wine, ” until July 31st.” When we visited, I don’t remember this being offered to us.

We enjoyed our beverages here. It’s hard to get mad at a $12 cocktail when it’s really strong and served practically tumbler-sized. Overall, I’d describe the Radisson Blu bar as a very tranquil place to enjoy refreshments away from the noise and chaos of the mall. You’ll forget you were even in a mall.

The JW Marriott’s bar at Cedar + Stone may not have the Radisson Blu’s view and Martha Stewart Swedish farmhouse look but has its own appeal. Think, “If Martha Stewart and Bruce Wayne shared a sleek and industrial, condo in the city.”

If you wander through the restaurant from the bar to the bathrooms, you’ll pass by the spacious dining room and entrance to the patio with a fire-pit.

We’ve found the bartenders at Cedar + Stone very welcoming. The bar top is adorned with pretty glass containers of housemade syrups.  On our first visit, we enjoyed our drinks so much that we returned for happy hour.

Happy hour at Cedar + Stone is offered every day between 3-6 p.m. As of now, it includes discounted wine, beer, $5 well cocktails, and generous $7 appetizer plates. My whiskey sour was made with a tart, housemade sour syrup.

Cheese curds, chicken wings, sliders, and brussels sprouts were all delicious. We especially liked the crispy brussels sprouts sweet with savory with honey and bacon.

Cedar + Stone offers another mall oasis, located just steps from all of the action, but an atmosphere that feels far, far away.

What are your favorite places to eat and drink in the Mall of America? What happy hours have you tried?

3 Comments

  1. Happy Hour every day?!? Noted. I haven’t hit up Twin City’s Grill specifically for happy hour, but a dirty martini and a steak salad is my favorite meal at the mall!

  2. I was at the Mall of America just last Thursday taking pictures for a “Flat Stanley” project I was roped into. I saw the signs for the Radisson Blu, but had no idea that a hotel – actually two hotels – were now attached to the mall. I contemplated getting a burger at Shake Shack, but it was full of diners. Twin City Grill was also an option, but I decided to go to Davanni’s for an assorted sub. Hadn’t had one of those for awhile.

  3. Worth checking out, thanks! We’ve only been to one of these, Cedar+Stone. Burger & Beer… Now that’s talking to me.

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