If you've got a hankering for Mom's pot roast, the Modern Cafe is your kind of place. Mom gets stiff competition here: The food is hearty and delicious, and it's served within a midcentury brick building that's been a staple in the northeast Minneapolis Arts District since the 1940s.
Lunch and dinner entrees hover around $10 and include traditional favorites like meat loaf and pot roast. But there are also a few surprises along the lines of grilled venison Merguez, gnocchi with preserved black garlic and oyster mushrooms, and a turducken terrine with crab apples. The breakfast menu (served until 2 p.m. on the weekends) highlights the Famous Modern Hash ($10)—a genius way to enjoy pot roast for breakfast with eggs and crispy hash browns. The mimosas made with Prosecco are likewise excellent.
The Modern Cafe vibe falls somewhere between retro diner and hipster hangout. There's a small lunch counter with wine and beer selections written on a chalkboard overhead. On the walls, you’ll see funky works by local artists and a large blue marlin trophy. After dining, stroll through the neighborhood and browse the variety of art shops in either direction on 13th Street.