There's no doubt that restaurants were hit the hardest because of COVID. First is was a complete shutdown. Then they were allowed curbside pickup and delivery. They're better now than a few months ago, but it's still far from average.

According to, fast food places were affected the least, with a 30% drop in customers. But that's not surprising given the business model and because many people go through the drive-thru anyway.

Casual sit-down restaurants, on the other hand, saw almost double that. And now that most Americans can go to them again in some capacity, what are the top casual dining establishments in America and what is Minnesota favorites? analyzed consumer tracking data to see where people went the most during the pandemic, and the place that Minnesotan loved the most was -- Applebee's.

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Here are the Top 5 casual dining places in Minnesota

  1. Applebee's
  2. Noodles World Kitchen
  3. Olive Garden
  4. Buffalo Wild Wings
  5. Perkins 

I'm good with Noodles being that high. I guess Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings are fine, but I usually go to better places if I want Italian food or chicken wings. I was surprised to see Perkins on this list.

But it could be worse. At least we're not South Dakota. They must not have many options out there. Check our midwest neighbors favorites places:

  • North Dakota: Olive Garden
  • South Dakota: Denny's (Denny's? Really South Dakota)
  • Wisconsin: Texas Roadhouse
  • Iowa: Texas Roadhouse

Find out the Top 5 casual dining restaurants for every state here.

Timberwolves Have Options for #1 Pick



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