12 Best Restaurants in Coon Rapids, Minnesota

Last Updated on February 12, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Coon Rapids is a northern suburb of Minneapolis located in Anoka County, Minnesota along the Mississippi River. With a population of over 62,000, Coon Rapids has developed into a thriving community with plenty of entertainment, retail, and dining options.

Foodies visiting or living in Coon Rapids have plenty of delicious dining choices from fast casual to fine dining. The city showcases cuisine from around the world including Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean and classic American fare. This article explores 12 of the best restaurants that Coon Rapids has to offer.

1.Best Fine Dining: Porter’s Five and Dine

When you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy an elevated dining experience in Coon Rapids, Porter’s Five and Dine is a top choice. This contemporary American restaurant resides in a Victorian-style home right along the Rum River.

Diners are surrounded by the home’s original 1890s architectural details as they enjoy seasonal menus focused on quality ingredients. Expect dishes like seared sea scallops with beet pesto fettuccine, pan-seared duck with blueberry compote and steak au poivre.

Don’t miss their extensive wine list and craft cocktail menu either. With refined dishes in a beautiful historic riverside setting, Porter’s Five and Dine provides a memorable fine dining experience.

2.Best Italian: Sicilian Chef Ristorante Italiano

For authentic rustic Italian cuisine, check out the family-run Sicilian Chef Ristorante Italiano. Their diverse menu covers Italian favorites like chicken parmesan, veal piccata, seafood linguine and various Neapolitan-style pizzas. Every pasta and pizza dough is made from scratch in-house daily.

Sicilian Chef incorporates special family recipes that have been passed down over generations. Diners rave about standouts like the seafood cioppino overflowing with shrimp, lobster and white fish in a zesty tomato broth. With friendly service and huge portions at reasonable prices, Sicilian Chef is a local favorite Italian spot.

3.Best Mexican: Maya Cuisine

Maya Cuisine brings vibrant authentic Mexican flavors to Coon Rapids in a lively, festive setting. Their expansive menu highlights foods from all over Mexico including classics like enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, fajitas and more. Adventurous eaters praise their traditional dishes like morisqueta and birria.

Vegetarians have plentiful options as well. Maya Cuisine also offers an extensive tequila and mezcal menu perfect for sipping a handcrafted margarita with your meal. From the bright flavors to the colorful décor, Maya Cuisine provides a true taste of Mexico.

4.Best Thai: Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine

The vibrant Thai flavors of lemongrass, coconut milk, chilies and fresh herbs shine at Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine. This popular local Thai restaurant crafts every dish using high quality ingredients based on family recipes. Their pad thai features the traditional sweet and salty balance with fresh bean sprouts and peanuts.

Other standouts include aromatic panang curry, crispy garlic chicken and pineapple fried rice. Lemon Grass incorporates plenty of vegetarian and vegan options as well. The serene dining room nicely balances the spicy, complex flavors indicative of true Thai cuisine.

5.Best Sushi: Fuji Sushi Bar Grill

For excellent sushi in Coon Rapids, locals flock to Fuji Sushi Bar Grill. This contemporary sushi restaurant crafts creative rolls along with nigiri, sashimi, tempura, teriyaki and other Japanese favorites.

Their signature Fuji roll with shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber and eel sauce is a favorite. More adventurous diners praise Fuji’s Hawaiian rolls incorporating tropical flavors.

Beyond sushi, pan-seared miso Chilean sea bass and hibachi steak entrees shine at dinner time. Fuji Sushi Bar Grill imports fresh fish and uses high-quality rice for authentic Japanese cuisine with a creative twist.

6.Best Chinese: Panda Garden Chinese Cuisine

Since 1988, Panda Garden has been Coon Rapids’ go-to spot for excellent Chinese cuisine in a relaxed setting. Their expansive menu includes all the classic Chinese favorites along with Chef’s specialties and contemporary interpretations. Crispy orange chicken, Mongolian beef, mu shu pork and kung pao shrimp are all standouts.

Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss Panda Garden’s shellfish dishes like shrimp with lobster sauce. For a unique experience, check out their weekend dim sum brunch. With flavorful food, attentive service and relaxed ambiance, Panda Garden is perfect for a family dinner or special occasion.

7.Best Hamburgers: Smash Shack

For juicy gourmet burgers cooked to order in Coon Rapids, check out Smash Shack. Their fresh never-frozen beef burgers let the quality of the meat shine. Build your own burger or try one of their creative house specialties like the Truffle Mushroom Swiss burger with truffle aioli and swiss cheese.

Smash Shack also offers all-natural chicken sandwiches, monster onion rings, hand-cut fries and decadent milkshakes. The laid-back counter-service restaurant has a fun local hangout vibe. Stop by Smash Shack when you’re craving an incredible burger and fries.

8.Best Mediterranean: Sahara Restaurant

For excellent Mediterranean cuisine, look no further than Sahara Restaurant. Family owned and operated since 1995, Sahara Restaurant serves Turkish and Mediterranean specialties in a warm inviting atmosphere. Their menu brims with kebabs, falafel, grape leaves, lamb gyro and shawarma.

Unique specialties like the iskender kebab and manti ravioli are also standouts. Sahara Restaurant has an extensive vegetarian selection as well.

Diners consistently praise their fresh baked pita bread, savory hummus, babaganoush and tabbouleh too. The welcoming service matches the comforting flavors. For a taste of the Mediterranean, Sahara Restaurant hits the spot.

9.Best BBQ: Smokin”s BBQ

Get your barbecue fix at Smokin’s BBQ in Coon Rapids. Seasoned pitmaster Jay Schwietz smokes Texas-style brisket, pulled pork, ribs, sausage and chicken over a hardwood fire. The tender, fall-off-the-bone smoked meat shines on its own or in creative sandwiches.

Don’t skip foot-long loaded baked potatoes overflowing with barbecue meat and cheese at Smokin’s. Other favorites include their homemade potato chips, coleslaw and jalapeno cornbread. Cool off with an adult milkshake spiked with whiskey or Baileys.

Locals flock to the counter-service restaurant for hearty barbecue plates, sandwiches stuffed with smoked meat and friendly service.

10.Best Sports Bar: Pub 42 Restaurant Bar & Grill

With a massive tap list, great bar food and plenty of TVs playing sports, Pub 42 is a top choice in Coon Rapids for catching the game. This lively restaurant and bar offers an extensive draft list with over 40 rotating beers on tap.

Bar food standouts include their signature brick-oven pizzas, jumbo pretzel with beer cheese, monster chicken wings and hand-pressed burgers. Several bar areas each have large flat screens, so you’ll always have a good view of the action no matter where you sit. Pub 42 brings locals together with excellent pub grub, ice-cold drinks and nonstop sports.

11.Best Breakfast: Hoban Korean and American Eatery

Locals start their day off right at Hoban Korean and American Eatery thanks to their creative menu of Korean and American breakfast favorites. Sink your teeth into Hoban’s legendary Duck Roll Egg Sandwich with braised duck, fried egg, cheese and veggies on a toasted brioche bun.

Can’t miss breakfast options include kimchi fried rice, bulgogi hash, pancake sandwiches and their Hoban Waffle topped with fried chicken, gochujang syrup and fiery Nashville hot sauce. Hoban also offers traditional American breakfast plates, omelets and sides like chicken and waffles.

The hip space features colorful street art celebrating the restaurant’s Korean and Midwestern influences.

12.Best Coffee Shop: Caribou Coffee

Residents of Coon Rapids start their morning, recharge midday or meet up with friends at Caribou Coffee. Minnesota-based Caribou Coffee serves premium coffee drinks, breakfast sandwiches, lunch foods, pastries and more in a welcoming coffeehouse setting.

Sip complex flavor profiles in their rotating coffee blends, cold press options or nitro infused cold brews. Tea drinks, smoothies and lemonade quench thirst too. Hungry guests have plenty to love with Caribou’s drive-thru service plus indoor and outdoor seating for working, relaxing or meeting up with friends.

As one of over 600 locations nationwide, Caribou Coffee maintains local Minnesota roots as a community go-to café in Coon Rapids.

Conclusion


From elevated fine dining along the Rum River to authentic ethnic cuisine to juicy burgers and barbecue, Coon Rapids dining offers something for all tastes. Foodies will enjoy experiencing the diversity of dining options highlighted in this list.

Beyond excellent meals, Coon Rapids restaurants provide gathering places for locals to connect over delicious food and drinks. New restaurants continue to open as the city grows, but these 12 eateries have stood the test of time as the best restaurants that define the thriving food scene in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

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