Food & Drink

Tempt your tastebuds in Greater Mankato!

Enjoy an array of cuisines whether you’re stopping for a quick bite during a busy day, a casual lunch, or fine dining experience, we have it all. With so many choices for sipping and snacking, how do you know where to start? Go where the locals go! 

Restaurants and Food Trucks

Greater Mankato has been cooking up something just for you. Whether you’re craving breakfast, bar food, something sweet or a new fresh brew, the area is bursting with restaurants to serve up a memorable dining experience. Local classics, international cuisine, food trucks and familiar chain favorites, our variety of options is sure to satisfy. Find what you’re craving in Greater Mankato! 

Check out the Food and Beverage Directory listings! 

In downtown Mankato, diners in search of upscale eating can find it at Number 4, a homegrown restaurant with a liberal touch of class. From New York strip steaks to specialty pasta dishes to pesto salmon, you can bet your beer-battered asparagus fries your party will walk away satisfied. At Swiss and Madison on Mankato’s hilltop, sink your teeth into a prime rib sandwich on a toasted bagel, a tender eight-ounce sirloin—or keep things lighter with a spicy BLT and cup of soup. Whether for a business lunch or date night, Swiss and Madison will serve it up right. For a stylish stop with Mediterranean flair, look no further than Olives, which mixes sophisticated cocktails with creative meals, picture-perfect desserts and topnotch service—conveniently located within the Hilton Garden Inn across from the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center.

Nolabelle Kitchen + Bar sources ingredients from local and regional producers to create tantalizing appetizers like candied butternut squash steak, a chopped kale and brussels sprouts salad accented with bleu cheese, wheat berries, and pistachios and entrees like a pork chop with pomegranate and molasses reduction. Clearly labeled gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options allow groups to easily accommodate appetites and dietary restrictions of all types. In Old Town, look for Wooden Spoon to lead the way with its farm-to-table producer partnerships resulting in sandwiches like its Kato Classic (a gourmet grilled cheese dripping with smoked provolone, sharp cheddar, feta, and a garlic spread on Italian sourdough), from-scratch soups and daily mouth-watering pastries and breads.

Get Creative

Get creative at Frozen Yogurt Creations, which tempts with indulgent treats like frozen yogurts, gelatos, custards and Italian ices—oh, and 75 possible toppings!

Satisfy your sweet tooth and your passion for zero waste with a visit to Mom & Pop’s ice cream shop, where waffle or sugar cones serve as edible containers. Even if you opt for utensils, dip into one or more of Mom & Pop’s 32 flavors of house-made, handscooped ice cream, gelatos or sorbet with confidence; after all, their cups and spoons are compostable.

Dinos Still4
Family Friendly

A legendary Mankato must-do is Zanz Mexican Restaurant. Fill up the whole family with tacos, tostadas, burritos or the famous Zanz cheese chilitos.

Pub 500 is so welcoming, even your dog will feel at home. And everyone can find a favorite here, whether it’s an appetizer of poutine, a cajun chicken pita, fish tacos, a hickory burger or a gluten-free grain, veggie and protein bowl. Who won’t toast (from Pub 500’s extensive libations menu) to that?

The celebrated Tav on the Ave serves up a sports bar ambience complete with wings, waffle fries, roll-ups, burgers, and malts.

Did somebody say pizza? Whether it’s one of Mankato’s classics (Pagliai’s or Jake’s Stadium Pizza), Dino’s Pizzeria in lower North Mankato) or many others, you can’t go wrong with sharing a hot ‘za. Mangia

Food Truck Fanatics!

Don’t forget to check out The Hub in Old Town, where a constantly revolving list of food trucks rolls in. Brats, BBQ, Asian cuisine, authentic Mexican fare and more are available at various times.

And keep an eye out for The Pelican of North Mankato, which pops up seasonally with mouth-watering gourmet hot dogs, burrito bowls and salads, pork nachos, and more offerings that make any line totally worth it.

But first, coffee

With multiple institutions of higher learning on hand, it’s no surprise that coffee shops are also popular. A few to fuel your caffeine fix: Coffee Hag, Beans Coffee House on Belgrade Avenue, the Fillin’ Station or River Rock Coffee & Tea. Hometown roasters Beans Coffee Company sells bags of its beans and individual steaming cups; at Tandem Bagels, pick up a dark roast to complement your fresh, cream cheese shmeared bagel.

Southern Minnesota Vineyards

Wine & Brew

Let’s raise a glass to Greater Mankato’s wineries and breweries! Each offers a unique experience and entertainment options from tours and tastings to live music and more. Providing an escape and time to relax, unwind with a nice glass of wine or hometown brew. There’s so many great establishments to talk about, we decided to dedicate a page just for that! Head on over to Wine and Brew to tour.

Best of Mankato Free Press

Local Favorites

Every year, the Mankato Free Press polls residents, and visitors to develop the annual Best of Mankato issue. This publication celebrates the best businesses, organizations, people and more that YOU think deserve to be named the best. It is always stiff competition each year as Greater Mankato offers an abundance of fabulous establishments.

Check out some of the winners of The Free Press Best of 2022 and Best of 2021.

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View Mankato’s Visitor Guide online or request a copy in the mail.

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