112 E. Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis Minnesota 55414United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Good food, friendly staff and The World's Most Dangerous Polka Band make this spot a fun, laid-back destination for food and drinks in downtown Minneapolis.
If you go to Nye's, get ready to kick back and enjoy yourself. With good music, friendly staff and generous servings of food, it's no wonder Nye's is always busy with happy regulars. Nye's Polonaise Room ("Polonaise" is French for "Polish") is a dimly lit restaurant with shockingly retro decor: red carpeting, dark wood paneling and crazy multicolored light fixtures that you haven't seen since 1971. But, as they say on their website, Nye's place "continues to add to the funky, indescribably irreverent personality" of downtown Minneapolis, and the decor just adds to the fun personality of the place. Each of the four rooms has its own bar. One of the rooms is affectionately called Nye's Polka Lounge with two accordions mounted on the wall to let you know what you are in for, as it gets rocking on Friday and Saturday nights with The World's Most Dangerous Polka Band keeping the tiny dance floor hopping. The main dining room includes a piano bar with a large portrait of Chopin (Chopin was Polish, after all). Customers drop a dollar in the piano man's jar and request a tune to sing along with. The piano guy can play anything -- popular prior to 1960. He won't know any Taylor Swift or Beyonce, but he can play Sinatra all night. We finally found three stools next to the bar in one of the side rooms, saddled up and ordered an amazing slice of carrot cake, with large chunks of walnuts and raisins, a cream cheese frosting and a dusting of coconut flakes. Glancing around, plenty of people were dining on hearty servings of Nye's famous prime rib (king cut, $34) or dishes like the pierogi and polish sausage platter, served with housemade sauerkraut ($19). There is no typical customer at Nye's. Baby boomers, 20-something hipsters, senior citizens -- you'll find them all at Nye's, peacefully coexisting, brought together by a shared affection for good food, good drinks ... and darn good polka.