Fargo, North Dakota EXCEEDED my expectations when it came to food. I knew that many of the restaurants were locally sourced from area farms but I had no idea that Fargo would be such a great destination for foodies!
You know you’ve had a great time when your friend says that she would fly back to Fargo just for the food!
In Fargo, you get the best of both worlds with Midwest hospitality and charm along with creative takes on the classics.
Our Fargo Foodie Strategy
My friend Beth helped me “research” area restaurants during our visit. We like to try “all the things.” Our strategy at a destination is to try what’s local, popular, unique, and of course, what also sounds good to us.
We look over the menu and find at least two menu items that “check the boxes” and then we split everything so that we can try more food… for research purposes of course.
Brunch at The Boiler Room
210 Roberts Alley, Fargo, ND
Our adventure in Fargo started at The Boiler Room. The Boiler Room is self-described as an upscale take on bar food brunch, lunch, dinner, and late-night food options.
They offer both outdoor seating and plenty of room inside. We enjoyed sitting outside for a few minutes before our table was ready on a Sunday around brunch time.
We started our meal with their famous Scotch eggs as our appetizer. Their Scotch eggs are made with hardboiled eggs wrapped within the sausage, deep-fried, and served with spicy maple aioli. The appetizer was a nice blend of sweet and savory.
You know you’re off to a good start when your appetizer smiles back at you. I didn’t catch this smiley yoke during our meal.
Credit goes to a Facebook fan who noticed this smile when I shared a few pictures of our meal online.
Next, we tried their Rumchata French Toast. This breakfast entree is topped with banana butter sauce and served with scrambled eggs & two strips of bacon.
If you want a combination of protein and you have a sweet tooth this breakfast entree is a nice option. If it had a few strawberries on top it would have been perfect.
For our savory option, we ordered Marge’s World-Famous Hotdish.
If you are in the Midwest a hot dish is a popular staple but I think it’s more well known in the northern Midwest states.
What is a Hot Dish?
A hot dish is a Midwestern word for a casserole. Hot dishes are usually made with some kind of meat and cream mixture and tater tots and are very popular to heat up on a cold day.
We discovered that Marge’s World Famous Hot Dish is worthy of praise!
The potato for the tater tot was the perfect blend of crisp on the edges and soft in the middle. I couldn’t taste the mushrooms in a good way (I like the mushroom flavor but don’t like the texture.) The carrots were shredded and the green beans were smaller too.
The dish is made with ground bison, mushroom demi-glace, green beans, carrots, mushrooms & corn topped with cheddar cheese & our cheesy tater tots.
Enjoy the View From Camp Lone Tree (Part of 701 Eateries)
701 N University Drive, Fargo, ND
Camp Lone Tree is named after their dad’s hunting camp located southwest of Harvey, ND. We visited late Sunday evening on a very windy day.
If the weather would have been better we would have definitely dined in the rooftop area.
There are plenty of tables and a high-top bar around half of the perimeter of the space. The area is very inviting and laid back with giant outdoor games, corn-hole sets, and seating around a firepit.
We dined inside the “cabin” area instead. I loved the details of the colorful wallpaper, Jenga games on a few tables, and beautifully patterned back pillows on the bench along the wall.
For appetizers we started with their cheese curds made with locally sources jumbo curds from Red Head Creamery, served with ranch or ketchup. I would recommend the cheese curds with their ranch…because everything is better with ranch.
During a visit to Door County, Wisconsin I learned that you can tell a good cheese curd if it squeaks in your mouth. And I’m happy to report that these jumbo cheese curds were squeaky.
Next, we tried one of “Debby’s Dips.” We opted for the Pickle dip served with chips and watermelon radishes.
If you are unfamiliar with watermelon radishes, they are named for their appearance similar to watermelons, not their taste. The flavor is pretty mild but can have a slight sweetness and they are very crisp.
For our meal, we ordered The Lone Tree Burger reminded us of a classic burger at an old-school diner in the best way.
This juicy burger was made with a double patty burger, cheese, housemade pickles, and special sauce.
Breakfast at BernBaum’s
402 Broadway N, Fargo, ND
BernBaum’s was an unexpected gem that I can’t say enough good things about.
After some coaching through the menu items inspired by the owners’ Jewish and Nordic roots, we landed on three menu items to try. We were given a toy as our creative table number alternative.
We selected the partying camel as our table marker and I got my caffeine boost with a lavender latte.
Another fun detail on the wall is a collection of vintage toy ovens.
Many of the ovens are filled with notes from customers of all ages.
When our food arrived at our table, the hardest decision was deciding what to try first.
We tried the “Sweet Porridge” made with local malted oats, wild rice + rye porridge, creme fraiche, matzo granola, and maple syrup.
The “Classic Latke” was made with potato latke, apple compote, and creme fraiche.
Our Nordic-inspired dish was the “Iceland Bagel Plate” made with lox, gravlax, fennel, cucumber + onion pickles, capers, and chevre schmear.
I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite of the three because each dish was SO GOOD!
Listen to Vinyl in an Electic Atmosphere at Vinyl Taco
520 1st Ave N, Fargo, ND
I appreciate the little details and the menu at Vinyl Taco, presented on vinyl, was such a fun first impression. All of the music played in the restaurant is on vinyl, played on turntables behind the bar.
The bison displayed above the bar was a creative tv holder.
The large murals and vintage and neon signs were also a fun touch.
Now on to the food. We started with street corn nachos made with tortilla chips topped with queso sauce, creamed corn, queso fresco, Blanco crema, and cilantro.
We washed the nachos down with their wonderful raspberry margaritas.
The four tacos we tried were the following:
- cilantro lime chicken > lime-marinated chicken, pico, cilantro, queso fresco and jalapeño ranch
- crispy chicken & mango > crispy crusted chicken, fresh spinach, shredded cheese, fresh diced mango and house-made sweet onion vinaigrette
- pork belly “agridulce” > smoked, sweet and sour braised pork belly, tobacco onions, red slaw and au jus
- shrimp a la parilla > grilled shrimp, creamed corn, pico, serrano-avocado salsa and jalapeño ranch
We split each of the tacos and our favorite was the “Crispy Mango and Chicken” pictured above perfect for sweet and savory lovers.
Our other favorite was the “Shrimp a la perilla” that had great heat if you are a fan of spice.
In addition to indoor seating, there are a few tables outside surrounded by colorful bicycle wheels.
German Cuisiane at Wurst Bier Hall
630 1st Ave N, Fargo, ND
When you start your meal with a “Flight of bacon,” you know you’re off to a great start!
Our Bacon Flight included peppered, Guinness Glaze, brown sugar, and hickory smoked bacon.
Next, we tried the Bavarian Beer Pretzels served with Haus beer cheese dip and marshmallow fluff.
I’ll admit I was skeptical of the marshmallow fluff. I was envisioning marshmallow fluff used in a “Fluffernutter” sandwich and what came to our table was anything but.
This magical marshmallow fluff is made with half & half, marshmallow creme, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper and it is WONDERFUL!!!
I’m going to give you a tip that we got from our server that will forever change the way you want to drink coffee. Order extra marshmallow fluff before you leave Wurst Bier Hall and use it in your coffee the following morning.
It is a GAME CHANGER!…and you’re welcome.
Next, we ordered the Spaetzle mac & cheese made with spaetzle dumplings in a creamy buerre blanc cheese sauce.
Our Spaetzle mac & cheese came with our choice of sausage.
We opted for the German sausage (Smoked sausage from West Fargo, ND) and jalapeno cheddar sausage (Smoked sausage from Casselton, ND. ) Our server had the kitchen split our entree which made it even easier to enjoy.
If you want to try more exotic sausages there are some menu options that can take you out of your culinary comfort zone. ( Boar-buffalo cheddar, Elk with jalapeno and cheese, and rabbit with rattlesnake and jalapeno)
European Inspired Pastries at Nicole’s Fine Pastry & Cafe
13 8th St. S, Fargo, ND
If you have a sweet tooth, you need to plan a stop at Nicole’s Fine Pastry & Cafe offering both American and European-inspired pastries made by hand from scratch.
The cafe offers breakfast, lunch, dessert, and espresso, making it a great stop for lunch or a treat.
The cafe was also featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on The Food Network on January 29, 2021.
We started with a roost beef with pear gorgonzola sandwich that was served with a cup of cream of mushroom soup.
For dessert, we tried one of the most popular pastries, the Feuilletine Tower. I’m glad that we split it because it would have been too rich for one person and each bite was laid with an assortment of flavors and absolutely delectable!
The Feuilletine Tower is made with chocolate cake, croquant, dark chocolate mousse with a chocolate ganache, crunchy hazelnut, and crunchy feuilletine flakes, and topped with an edible gold leaf.
Safe to say you can’t go wrong with any pastry selection from Nichole’s.
A Theodore Roosevelt Inspired Experience at Teddy’s Eatery & Parlor
212 Broadway N, Fargo, ND
Teddy’s Eatery & Parlor displays an adoration for the 26th U.S. President who spent a lot of time in the Badlands of North Dakota near Medora.
The restaurant is set up for both regular dining and also has a private event space.
The wall art and rail spike coat hooks are just a few of the details that added to the theme.
I also appreciated that the bar had both outlets to charge your phone and hooks for your jacket or purse.
Teddy’s is known for their grilled cheese sandwiches ranging from creative to classic. We opted for menu options that would give us a chance to try both their tomato soup and their gouda fondue.
“Ghost Rider” is made with Pepper-jack, habanero & ghost pepper-jack on toasted sourdough bread served with a crisp pickle & dipper of tomato soup.
Beth also wanted me to mention that it wasn’t as spicy as it sounds. She doesn’t like crazy spicy and I typically wish menu items were spicier so she is a better judge of the spice level.
“Sweet tooth” is made with Cranberry muenster, sliced gouda & honey butter with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on toasted cranberry wild rice bread served with a dipper of gouda fondue.
We split each sandwich and rotated bites with dips with their correlating soup or cheese…but no double-dipping allowed. Alternating between sweet and savory bites of each sandwich was PERFECTION!
Creative Pies at Rhombus Guys
606 Main Ave, Fargo, ND
If you are in the mood for pizza, Rhombus Guys is a great option. There is plenty of seating inside in addition to rooftop seating 6 days a week, weather permitting.
We ordered the 12-inch pizza and split it with two “Unbelievable” specialty pizzas.
What’s nice is that you don’t have to have the same base sauce for the two pizza selections which allows you to go as extreme as you want in your selections.
We tried the “Louisiana Saturday Night” (pictured on the left.) It was made with Cajun marinara, shrimp, sausage, pepperoncini, red pepper, caramelized onion, and mozzarella.
The other half was the “Spicy Pickle.” It was made with roasted jalapeno cream cheese sauce, Canadian bacon, bacon, pickles, parmesan, provolone, cheddar, and mozzarella.
We both enjoyed each specialty pizza equally because they were both so unique.
Farm to Fargo Dinner at Rosewild at the Jasper Hotel
If you are looking for an elevated farm-to-table dining experience Rosewild checks all the boxes and then some!
The atmosphere is both cool and welcoming with dining options for guests both inside and out.
Rosewild incorporates hearth cooking and traditional preservation methods in their seasonal menu.
Rosewild also sources locally from the following farms:
- Doubting Thomas Farms – Moorehead, MN
- Dig It Produce – Fargo, ND
- Sandhills Farms – McLeod, ND
- Earth to Jar Botanicals – Minneapolis, MN
- Breadsmith Breads – Fargo, ND
- North American Bison – New Rockford, ND
If you spend a few minutes at the bar you can watch their chefs in action as they prepare food over the fire.
While you are at the bar you’ll definitely want to try one of their craft cocktails. The “Garden Party” is a light and refreshing option made with Wheatley vodka, aquavit, cucumber, lime, basil, fennel, and soda.
It was so good that my friend Beth has been trying to recreate it at home ever since.
I also enjoyed the “Dakota Dave” made with Rittenhouse rye, ginger, Averna amaro, lime, mint, and cucumber.
Sharables at Rosewild
We ordered several menu items to share and requested that they be sent out one at a time so that we could focus on enjoying each one.
First, we tried the “cast iron cornbread” made with Doubting Thomas cornmeal and served with honey butter and bacon caramel…yes bacon caramel!
Next up was the “Bison Tartare” made with violet mustard, caper, and bone marrow crostini.
The flavors were fantastic and the presentation of the Bison tartare on a bison femur bone was definitely unforgettable!
The “crispy cauliflower” is another MUST TRY made with sesame, pickled red onion, and lime crema. The crispy outside and the citrus flavors almost make you forget that you are eating cauliflower!
Our final selection was the “Smoked whitefish carbonara” made with English pea, egg yolk, and parmesan.
Normally I would not be a fan of peas as someone who typically avoids cooked green vegetables but this dish overcame my normal preferences and was delicious!
Save Room for Dessert at Rosewild
At the end of our meal, we were not hungry at all BUT we happened to notice our server toasting something at the table next to us and we had to find out more.
Our curiosity demanded the need to do more “research.” And that’s why we couldn’t leave without ordering the “Have You Wanting Smores.”
This incredible dessert is made with chocolate pudding, graham cracker glaze, and meringue.
The toasting is done tableside by your server and it’s Instagram-worthy in both presentation and taste.
Breakfast at Rosewild
The next morning we tried Rosewild’s breakfast and this was no ordinary hotel breakfast! I did NOT expect breakfast at Rosewild to be equal in quality to the dinner that we experienced the night before.
The pastries in the case come from Nichole’s Fine Pastry & Cafe.
We decided to try the breakfast sandwich and the homemade cinnamon roll made in-house.
The descriptions don’t do them justice. The “breakfast sandwich” should be renamed “The BEST breakfast sandwich you’ve ever tried!”
I’ve had a lot of breakfast sandwiches and yes, it was THAT GOOD!
The brioche bread melts in your mouth and the combination of fried egg, house sausage, and caramelized onion with dijonnaise.
The sandwich was served with a side salad with a light vinaigrette which was also surprising.
The homemade cinnamon roll was made with cardamom, and orange, with a cream cheese frosting, served in a warm dish.
The cinnamon roll is both gooey and crisp in a good way. I was glad that we split it because even though it was a regular size, it was very rich.
Sweet Treat at The Silver Lining Creamery
123 Broadway N, Fargo, ND
If ice cream makes you happy, look no further than The Silver Lining Creamery.
Local ice cream is a must when you visit a destination and The Silver Lining Creamery will definitely make a great impression. Thrillist Online Magazine also recognized The Silverling Creamery as one of the “Best Ice Cream Shops in the Midwest.”
They serve fresh and unique flavors of small 2.5 gallon batches of ice cream.
Pictured above is a homemade waffle cone with a scoop of almond poppyseed on the bottom and a scoop of chipotle chili blackberry on top (this one has a great kick if you like spice.)
Beth tried the almond poppyseed, Captain Crunch, German chocolate cake, and lavender honey. Her favorite flavor was Captain Crunch.
In the freezer case, there is also a variety of Mason Jar Sundaes featuring toppings and sauces with Silver Lining ice cream.
Where to Grab a Drink in Fargo, ND
Fargo has several places to grab a drink that you will want to add to your list.
Coffee Stop at Twenty Below Coffee Co
14 Roberts St N, Fargo, ND
If you like coffee, you’ll want to plan a visit to Twenty Below, ranked top coffee shop in North Dakota by the Food Network and Fargo’s only independent coffee roaster.
If you are unsure of what to order the chart helps break down the coffee brewing methods/options and non-coffee menu items available.
I tried “The Kinnick” made with Grade A Minnesota maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon described as a lumberjack spin on their regular latte.
I immediately understood why it was so popular after I tried it. It reminded me of the Roosevelt latte from Honest Coffee in Franklin, TN.
A Beautiful Building and Great Branding at Drekker Brewing Co.
1666 1st Ave N, Fargo, ND
In full transparency, I typically don’t like beer BUT I do love sours and unique buildings which made Drekker Brewing Co. my kind of brewery.
Drekker Brewing Co. was also recommended with affection from just about every local that we met during our visit. We shared their enthusiasm after our experience.
First of all, the building is absolutely GORGEOUS! The ceilings are high and the space is open and welcoming.
We visited during a windy/raining evening but I’m sure that the outdoor space is very popular on warm days. The outdoor space is also pet-friendly.
The building dates back to the late 1800s and was formerly used for rail car storage. Notice the original arches where the trains passed through.
The skylights are where the smoke from the train exhaust used to rise.
The branding is also really fun in design for their drinks and also their merchandise.
I typically don’t buy merchandise at a brewery but the unique Viking logo and soft material of the t-shirts made us instantly want to give them our money.
During the day the space is very family-friendly and after 8pm it’s only for guests 21 and up.
Drinks at Drekker Brewing Co
The sours and hard seltzers were both wonderful. Their hard seltzers don’t have the typical bitter seltzer aftertaste and are almost fluffy… which I realize is a weird way to describe it. They use real fruit to have a consistency that reminded me of something similar to a smoothie.
Drekker Brewing Co. doesn’t offer flights but they do offer smaller pours to help you discover your favorite.
We tried the following during our visit:
- Techno Viking – Berlinger Weisse
- Braiiins – Blueberry & Lemon sour
- Plop Hefty Fruited Hard Seltzer – Pain Killer
- Plop Hefty Fruited Hard Seltzer – Strawberry daiquiri
- Slang Du Jour – Coconut key lime pie
- Everybody Love Everybody -Rainbow sherbet
- Eye Scream – frozen version of one of the sours
- Nitro Coffee- Oat milk lattee
Craft Beer at Fargo Brewing Company
610 N University Dr, Fargo, ND
We also had to check out Fargo Brewing Company while we were in town. Fargo Brewing Company has a great atmosphere and appeals to a variety of customers who have a love of beer in common.
We parked across the street because the parking lot was packed with cars and motorcycles that evening. There was live music on the loading dock and a bar nearby for patrons who wanted to enjoy the music while sitting at a table outside.
Around the corner was the taproom where we saw several families inside and in another outdoor space, we observed lots of runners grabbing tables in groups after completing their run.
If you want to multi-task there is even a barbershop inside the brewery.
That’s right, Nice Barber Company is located within the brewery and walk-ins are welcome.
We tried a flight of beers based on their popularity and fun names.
- Wood Chipper – American IPA
- Funk Monster – Saison
- Full Send – Smoothie Sour
- Stones Throw – Scottish Ale
Try Experimental Ciders at Wild Terra Urban Cider Bar
6 12th St N, Fargo, ND
If you like cider, you will definitely want to check out Wild Terra.
The space and design are beautiful both inside on the main level with additional seating in the loft area and outside with large black and white striped umbrellas and colorful murals.
We tried a flight of the following creative ciders:
- Lily Dipper- strawberry infused
- Fruited Sour- blood orange and tangerine
- More Sauce-ancho chile and gooseberry
- Slacker Packer- pineapple and hops
The “More Sauce” was probably my favorite because I like anything with a kick to it.
Make sure that you visit their bathrooms at some point during your visit because they are worth checking out.
The 80s themed unisex bathroom has real cassettes on the wall and the blacklight and ceiling of the other unisex bathroom are also memorable.
Try Local Spirits at Proof Artisan Distillers
414 4th Ave N, Fargo, ND
Specializing in small-batch spirits, Proof Artisan Distillers has collectively won over 30 national awards. They take pride in all of the details from grain-to-barrel to bottle-to-glass.
Creative repurposing has brought new life to the historic building dating back to the 1920s. What was once used as a Ford and Cadillac dealer and Fargo Municipal Courthouse, is now the location of the first legal whiskey distillery in North Dakota.
Proof Artisan Distillers uses locally grown potatoes for all of their vodkas and gins. The potatoes can take 40 days to ferment and the process is very delicate because a slight mistake can ruin a whole batch.
In addition to using North Dakota grown potatoes, Proof Artisan Distillers also uses local barley and corn for their whiskey and bourbons.
Normally, I’m not a big fan of gin, but the MINIONS Gins at Proof Artisan Distillers changed my mind.
So much so that Beth and I each brought home a bottle for our husbands. This gin has a reputation for converting non-gin fans like ourselves and we see why. It doesn’t leave a strong pine needle/ bitter/ juniper taste in your mouth and it’s light and refreshing.
Make sure that you schedule an appointment if you want to experience a tasting.
8800 25th St S, Fargo, ND
Unfortunately, Bear Creek Winery wasn’t open during our visit so I can’t share my personal experience. Guests can enjoy a tasting of award-winning North Dakota wine in a scenic setting.
Why The Lunchbox Eatery is Worth the Drive
101 E Main St, Fort Ransom, ND
Located less than 90 minutes from Fargo, Lunchbox Eatery resides in a town with a population of 75. Fortunately, the restaurant is less than 5 minutes from a popular tourist attraction for recreation, Fort Ransom State Park.
If you are visiting anywhere near the area make sure that you plan a meal at The Lunchbox Eatery. I promise that it’s worth the drive.
Of course, we had to try a cup of “Yesterday’s Soup (It’s always better the next day!)” which happened to be clam chowder.
The Rueben is made with freshly roasted corn beef, homemade Rye bread, Swiss cheese, house-fermented sauerkraut, and 1000 island.
Their Reuben sandwich should come with a warning label on it because once you try it, it will forever wreck you.
You’ll have no choice but to compare all other Reubens to theirs and all others will fall short. So if you try it, don’t say you weren’t warned and enjoy every bite for me because I’m already wishing I had one in front of me as I type.
We also tried their Lobster Mac made with rich lobster stock, gruyere cheese sauce, bacon, lobster meat, and cavatapi, and additional grilled shrimp just because we could.
After our meal, we were so full… but we powered through and ordered a few desserts because they are also known for their baked goods. They make all of their bread and pastries in-house.
We tried both their Reese’s cake and their lemon blueberry cheesecake.
We were told that their assorted cheesecake flavors are very popular.
Back for Breakfast at The Lunchbox Eatery
We stayed overnight at the Bjone House at Fort Ransom State Park and it would have felt wrong not to come back and experience their breakfast menu items the following morning.
We struggled to narrow down our options and then we were presented with the half order of biscuits n’ gravy for the win.
Their buttermilk biscuits smothered in sausage gravy didn’t disappoint!
After a fantastic Reuben sandwich the night before, we knew that we wanted to try the hash. It was made with house-roasted Corned Beef, potato hash, two eggs our way of choice, and the option of white, wheat, rye, sourdough, or cinnamon swirl toast.
We had to go with the rye toast to enjoy their rye bread one last time…because that Reuben wrecked us.
The final menu item in the trifecta of breakfast awesomeness was their cinnamon swirl pancake with bacon.
I’m not sure what kind of magic they are doing back in the kitchen but I’ve never had a cinnamon pancake that was “perfection” with each bite.
The pancake was fluffy and had the perfect distribution of cinnamon and sugar within the pancake and flaky frosting on top.
After our breakfast, we were STUFFED but that didn’t stop us from buying a piece of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting to share later.
It’s one of their other most popular baked items and it was also our reward on the plane after sprinting through the airport in Chicago to make our connecting flight before the gate closed.
Which Restaurant Do You Want to Try First?
With so many great options, your hardest decision is deciding which restaurant in Fargo you want to visit first.