Best Place of 2013: Zen Box

People always ask me, “what is your favorite place…?” or “Who has the best happy hour in Minnesota…?”  Well, this week is devoted to you loyal friends and fans of ThriftyHipster.

We literally go to over 200 places a year, looking for something new, something to tell you about, something that no-one else is raving about, something with a lot of value… Disagree? Let us know what we’re missing @ThriftyHipster


Overall, Best Place you should know about but Probably Haven’t Been: Zen Box

ramen zen box
Homemade noodles, limited quantity stocks…

Zen Box is one of the most amazing restaurants in all of Minnesota.  They have not received nearly enough hype from some of our snootier writers (ahem, Zimmerman) and it is one of our top places to go for a meal that is going to be unique, authentic, flavorful, and won’t make us go broke. I don’t even know where to start, but seeing as how I have dreams of their food, I’ll start there.


A large, and completely authentic-Japanese Izakaya menu of home-made noodles, curries, sashimi, and small plates are priced ($4-8) and portioned so you can order a bunch and share them all. And although I could rave about the presentation, let’s face it. I eat for flavor. Go with something simple and delicious; like Karaage, or get crazy with squid balls or tamagoyaki, there is no way you can go wrong.


**TRY** Japanese Style Curry with Karaage, the Mussels, Kani Potato Korokke, and the ‘Tonzen’ Tonkotsu Ramen (made with fresh noodles and lot’s of love from the owners!) oh, and seaweed salad fans; Zen Box makes one of the best!


It maintains the Izakaya feel, but opens up the kitchen so you can watch the numerous chefs hard at work.  The staff are friendly, and you can tell that everyone that works there is cool and likes their jobs.  The place is decorated exactly as you would expect it to be; simple, with touches of color, and flat-screens that feature Japanese game shows and news.


zen box izakaya restuarant minneapolis


Anytime a visitor is in town and wants somewhere unique and awesome, we send them there and everyone always loves it; and so will you!


Check it out and let us know what you think.


Oh, and Happy Hour is Monday – Saturday 5-6pm & Monday – Thursday 9-10pm; it even includes some Surly:)