The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is reimagining its selection of shops and restaurants

By Taylor Weeks

The MSP Airport is quickly becoming a destination in itself with trendy shops and tasty food options. Over the past year, it has welcomed about 50 new retailers and restaurants to its campus. Of these 50 venues, 15 are restaurants that were chosen to display Minnesotan culinary culture, including locally sourced icons, like Stone Arch and the Twins Grill, and much-loved food trucks, such as Holy Land and Salty Tart Bakery.

The airport is now entering phase two of its airport revitalization, announcing plans to commence construction on an additional 30 eateries after Super Bowl LII takes place in Minneapolis this February. In its entirety, this project is the largest turnover of concessions at the airport since 2004. The airport is more than just a travel hub; it’s a place to explore some of the best locales that Minnesota, and the nation as a whole, has to offer.

Similarly to the first phase, the newest wave of concession overturn involves a significant portion of Minnesota-based companies. These restaurants include:

Buffalo Wild Wings: This restaurant chain’s headquarters are housed in Minneapolis.
Bottle Rocket: A pair of Minnesotans had a dream to open a restaurant. Now, they have grown from one to almost ten local establishments, the newest being Bottle Rocket.
Hi-Lo Diner: The original establishment is a 1957 Fodero Diner that traveled from Pennsylvania to Minneapolis, where it has flourished ever since.
The Cook and The Ox: This is a brand-new concept from Jack Riebel, a Minnesota-born James Beard Award nominee and local restaurant owner.
Caribou Coffee: The first Caribou Coffee opened in Edina, Minnesota.
Tattersall Distilling: This distillery was co-founded by Minneapolis’ 2013 Best Bartender, Dan Oskey.
Peoples Organic: Lynn Gordon, the founder of French Meadow, another popular eatery located in the Twin Cities and the MSP Airport, also created this organic-focused restaurant.
PinKU Japanese Street Food: This restaurant first opened its doors in Northeast Minneapolis in 2016.
Blue Door Pub: Originally opened in St. Paul, Blue Door Pub’s venue at the MSP Airport will mark its fourth location.
Leeann Chin: This restaurant chain was founded by Leeann Chin herself in the Minneapolis metropolitan area in 1980.

The MSP Airport is also featuring some national companies, including:

Bruegger’s Bagels
Joe & The Juice
Panda Express
Shake Shack
Zona Cocina
Firehouse Subs
Moe’s Cantina

These new restaurants add dynamic flavor to the airport, representing a variety of cultures and lifestyles and promoting both local and national pride. The next time you visit MSP Airport—whether you’re flying in or out—make sure to arrive with an appetite.


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