MN Restaurant Makes List of 18 Best New Restaurants in America
Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant Hai Hai in Minneapolis has been named one of the best new restaurants in the country.
That's according to Eater.com.
Hai Hai in NE Minneapolis only opened last November, but it's already making national waves. The second restaurant by wife/husband duo Christina Nguyen and Birk Stefan Grudem, it's proven as successful if not more so than their south Minneapolis Latin-inspired Hola Arepa. Hai Hai was inspired by Nguyen and Grudem's travels across Asia and Nguyen's own Vietnamese background. The name Hai Hai means "Two Two" in Vietnamese and is "a nod to the building's past life as the infamous 22nd Avenue Station" -- a dive bar & strip club.
This isn't the first time Hai Hai has been recognized; last year it made another Eater.com list of Most Beautiful Restaurants of 2017 receiving plaudits with other restaurants in major cities like Mexico City, Chicago, Nashville and Toronto.
According to Eater Restaurant Editor Bill Addison -- who wrote the article "18 Best New Restaurants in America" -- Hai Hai just creates a positive experience. "So much about this place uplifts: the beachy wallpaper prints, the citrus-fueled cocktails, and a confident, effervescent staff." Even the food carries something special: "Nguyen’s stirringly personal food gives Hai Hai its depth of spirit."
Bill gives special praise to Hai Hai's banana blossom salad which includes fried shallots, peanuts, and sliced watermelon radish "for echoes and echoes of crunch."
On a personal note, I can confirm that the leftovers my wife brought home not too long ago were amazing! I can only imagine what the food tastes like straight from the kitchen, which -- fortunately -- I'll find out for myself this weekend as we celebrate our one-year anniversary!
Located at 2121 University Avenue Northeast, Minneapolis, it sounds like you should start planning your trip to Hai Hai as well!