3 Most Under-rated Happy Hours in Uptown (for Food)

Maybe it’s because we’re so involved in the Twin Citie’s food and beer culture that I’ve found this bothering me….

If you’re like me, you’ll see some list somewhere of a new place you gotta try. Some great new burger and beer place that is apparently, “the best.”

But what is the based on?  Here at ThriftyHip, we’re starting to feel its all based on “best for the bar” because every time I try them, I’m like, “what happened to my wallet?”

So when people ask me, “where do you like to eat” I give them the BEST places: where I get quality, value, and flavor all for a fair price.  I also consider how nice the staff is, and how good an attitude the owners have toward their customers (aim to please not aim to just make money).




Happy Hours

GET: Shrimp or Carnitas tacos, Pozole soup, Tortas – all under $12! (and the FREE house-made hot sauce is some of the tastiest in all of MN!)


tinto uptown mpls

Perhaps the best place on this list and personal fav, and thereby most under-rated is Tinto.  I leave there feeling good; a nice buzz and full-but-good-feeling you can only get from a quality meal for under $20.


Tinto makes fresh, authentic Mexican food prepared with quality ingredients and bursting with flavor.  They make all tortillas, juices, mixes, salsas fresh in house (which also make the chips awesome) and use mostly local meats.


THRIFTY TIP: $5 ANY TIME FOR A 16oz Fresh Margarita

House Margaritas are superb! House-made mix of real lime/lemon/orange juice, not just some crappy mix of corn syrup like most places.  They include generous pours of decent tequila and are served in a Pint glass (we can’t even get some breweries to do that!).

tinto cantina uptown mpls happy hour menu






Lyndale Ave

Happy Hours

GET: Pot Roast Poutine (appetizer just $6 on happy hour!), Any Burger or Special of the day

bulldog uptown poutine

I absolutely love this bar.  Bulldog is the best Late Night Eating in Uptown!

There is a reason that it’s always full of regulars; people that love their beer and quality bar food.  Bartenders consider the ‘Golden Rule’ when pouring,  and even with sparse happy hours, prices are always more than fair.

Sadly, we had to do our final cheers this year to their original owner and founder, Matty, but the deals live on!  The concept of the Bulldog Uptown was to make great food that the man loved, and sure, Jalepeno-Bacon-Fried Cheese Curds sure aren’t good for you, but it’s like a party in your mouth!


bulldog burger


THRIFTY TIP: ½ Priced Apps Make Perfect Late Night Snack.

Bulldog doesn’t mess around with food.  At full price, it’s damn good.  At half-price, you can’t beat it. And ALL Appetizers are 1/2 off after 11pm.  I’ve been in there with 3 friends, gotten several plates of food, way too many dranks, good tip, and still walked out for less than a $20 spot.




Happy Hour

GET: Chicken Wings, Drink a Lot.

nightingale mpls uptown


The Nightingale is a dim-lit, gourmet, small, super Service-Industry type bar is aggressive on their happy hours, and even more once you get used to sitting at the bar, chumming it up with the bartender, and enjoying a communal shot.

THRIFTYTIP: Everything is good for Happy Hour.

Most Tallboys are $2.75 (with some craft taps at $3.50). And if you’re as much a chicken-wings fanatic as me you’re gonna love ’em from Nightengale; crispy, huge, and some of the best wings in all of Minneapolis! (and $9/10 burger/hamms


Happy Hour Honorable Mention:

The ones above are always solid, but when I’m looking to trade up, I’ll also go to:

  • Chino Latino:  They might have done away with the $1 Tacos, but at $2 they are still a killer deal!
  • Moto-i: When it’s after 10pm the drinks/food on happy hour are probably one of the best deals in Uptown. The Pork Buns and JVC are perfect orders.
  • Bryant Lake Bowl: When I want an activity to add to my drinking. Don’t miss fish tacos!
  • Lucia’s: To impress a date by knowing the best, and 1st farm-to-table restaurant in Minneapolis

– Here's the Deal –

New places get the hype, but these classic spots for food treat you right.