Let’s face it. The quickest way to my heart is through my stomach. And the road to my heart is eating at uniquely local eateries whenever I get the chance to. Fortunately, I live in the Fargo-Moorhead area where our restaurants are plentiful. These are a FEW of my personal favorites that I’m feeling right now. I’m sure any local restaurant you end up choosing in our city will be a wonderful choice. So buckle up. Let’s eat! Here are my favorite 5 and 2 halves restaurants….the 2 halves? Because food trucks/stands are local AND equally amazing AND they don’t have seating AND they’re only open for half the year AND I LOVE them. These are in alphabetical order. Ya welcome.
Here’s the thing about Altony’s in Moorhead: if you go there, you’ll have a meal for the next 3 days! The portion sizes are huuuuuge! The food is amazing, the service treats you like family, and they pride themselves on genuine hospitality. Altony’s specialties are made-from-scratch 3 course meals, at very reasonable prices. You get anything from sausage and peppers to Altony’s famous lasagna.They also have gluten free options. If you eat here, maybe skip a few meals first. Or take it home. It still tastes amazing warmed up!
I think Cracked Pepper is one of the best-kept secrets in town. It’s your new favorite lunch spot that you didn’t know about. They change their menu daily, so expect something different and delicious every day. I once caught myself ordering from them 3 times in one week! ONE WEEK! My normal is the CBR (chicken, bacon, ranch) without the B (bacon), ranch on the side. And you can call ahead. The prices are reasonable. Get the special that comes with a dessert. They serve both breakfast, and lunch. Located in the strip mall behind Happy Harry’s on 17th Ave S.
The hot dog has been re-imagined. Or maybe the Hot Dog Peddler just added cream cheese in the bun and BLEW OUR MINDS… Either way, I love hot dogs more because of them. Or those footlong corn dogs! They are so good! The best thing about the Hot Dog Peddler is that they are always up to something. In the summer, you can find them on the street corner downtown on a Friday/Saturday night, or at events in town. They are always there. Always good. Always reliable. Good thing about Hot Dog Peddler is that they make special appearances at events, even in the winter. We saw them at Frostival, and then we saw them on the street during the St. Patty’s Day parade! They update their Facebook page all the time, so you know where they’ll be. They also have residency at the Windbreak. You can never go wrong with a hot dog from the Hot Dog Peddler (with cream cheese and caramelized onions).
I am always in the mood for JL BEERS. They pride themselves on their small restaurant sizes. Sometimes seating can be a problem, but the atmosphere feels like a pub in Europe. They have about 30 or so beers on tap, sometimes more sometimes less, including Schell’s 1919 root beer, which sometimes I prefer. Let’s not forget about the burgers. My order usually includes the Great American cheeseburger with no pickles with BBQ Ranch and chips. They make their chips/fries homemade on site. They are constantly voted best burger joint in town AND they are located in almost every section of town. They are never too far away.
In the mood for some “food with attitude?” I have just the place for you. You can often smell the alluring aroma of Spitfire’s wood-fired grill from blocks away. The relaxed, warm atmosphere sets you up for enjoying some of the best comfort food our area has to offer. Some of their best dishes include the Southwest Chicken Salad, or their amazing Raspberry Ribs! But let’s be real, anything on their menu is worth tasting. I personally go for the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, but you might like some Wood Fired Salmon or Walleye. Spitfire also has an incredible lunch menu. Just check it out. Okay? Okay.
Okay. I love Taco Bros. I’m not sure love is even a strong enough word to describe it. It’s the best cheat meal I have every week. It is probably my favorite place to eat in town. It’s a bold statement but I’ll SHOUT IT TO THE ROOFTOPS (Hamilton reference). I count down the days until they open their truck for the season, and cry when they close it up for the winter. I order the same thing every time (I like routines): the Big Mike with a side of rice and beans (the Big Mike is a butter fried tortilla with shredded chicken or beef, topped with lettuce and chipotle mayo). Even thinking of Taco Bros makes me salivate at the mouth.
I was first introduced to Toasted Frog in Grand Forks, ND. When I heard we were getting one too, I was ecstatic! I have a routine at The Frog. It’s a routine I’ve been using for years, and it works every time. I order the same thing every time and I leave feeling completely satisfied. I start with the caramel apple martini, it’s wonderful because they dip the outer rim in cinnamon and sugar, with a cherry as a garnish. It’s literally life-changing. For an appetizer, and honestly sometimes an entree, I order the fried cheesy pickles. If The Frog had a signature, I would say it’s their cheesy pickles. Cooked in an almost eggroll-esque breading and served with a spicy ranch, these will not disappoint you. For a main course, I order (split with a friend… sometimes… but mostly not) the margherita pizza. It’s so good! Make sure you save some of the spicy ranch left from the pickles to go on top of your pizza. Your life will be changed. This is a foolproof way to happiness.
Wurst Bier Hall is where you can find me hanging out with my friends on a Friday/Saturday night. I spend so much time here, I practically know their menu by heart. A very German feel, seating at traditional beer hall tables, the atmosphere encourages conversations and laughs. Doing a Das Boot with my friends is some of the best times I’ve had. I’m old fashioned, I just order the straight up bratwurst with sweet peppers and sweet potato fries with marshmallow fluff. I could eat this meal All. Day. Long. Sweet potatoes and meat are paleo so technically it’s healthy… right?
Now. Get out there and find some place to eat! Eat local!