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Hungry in Zenith City? Green Goods’ Favorite Duluth, MN Restaurants

Even if you’ve lived in Duluth, MN your whole life, you may have forgotten that the city was once known as “The Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas” for its location on the southwest tip of Lake Superior. But one thing you definitely won’t forget is the wealth of great food options in this beloved lakeside city. When it comes to hearty, rib-sticking fare, Duluth restaurants are second to none.

With that to whet your whistle, let us take you on a virtual tour of our favorite Duluth eateries.

Green Goods’ Favorite Duluth Restaurants

Lake Avenue

Duluth Restaurants 1
Source: Yelp via Rachael M.

394 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 722-2355

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One of the most consistently exciting spots on the Duluth restaurants scene, this New American eatery serves up a seasonal menu based on whatever tickles the chef’s fancy. That might mean hearty fare like a smoked Yker Acres pork chop with butternut squash grits or an unforgettable Vietnamese-style “banh mi” sandwich made with pink snapper and Japanese-style mayo. Yes, it’s pricier than the average Duluth restaurant, but we can’t think of a better place to splurge.

Northern Waters Smokehaus

Duluth Restaurants 2
Source: Yelp via Kara D.

394 S Lake Ave #106
Duluth, MN 55802  
(218) 724-7307

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This well-loved landmark is often described as a “must-visit” in Duluth, and there’s not much mystery why. From the perfect smoked salmon to corned bison (yes, bison) to sandwiches both traditional—try the ’06, possibly the best Reuben you’ll ever eat—and creative (smoked turkey, Russian dressing and kim chi?), you will likely never run out of options. The laid-back, gracious and welcoming vibe never goes out of style, either. Note: As of fall 2020, the Smokehaus is only offering curbside pickup and contactless delivery.

Jamrock Cultural Restaurant

Duluth Restaurants 3
Source: Yelp via Suzanne J.

1310 N 5th St
Superior, WI 54880
(218) 310-6320

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Okay, so technically this isn’t a Duluth restaurant, being located just over the bridge in Superior. And it’s pretty far off the beaten track in other ways, too (a Jamaican restaurant on Lake Superior?!?). But the rave reviews don’t lie: Chef Tony serves up a mess of authentic island-style flavor bombs, from rich stewed oxtail to fiery jerk chicken, sweet fried plantains and braised collards. If you’ve been craving a little spice in your life, Jamrock is definitely the place to be.

Duluth Grill

Duluth Restaurants 4
Source: Yelp via Heather D.

118 S 27th Ave W
Duluth, MN 55806
(218) 726-1150

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If the all-day breakfast is up your alley, you could do a lot worse than hitting this long-running and beloved breakfast-and-lunch joint. With classics like eggs Benedict, a benchmark biscuits and gravy, overstuffed breakfast sandwiches and more than a few surprises—Asian-style wild rice porridge or custard French toast, anyone?—this Duluth restaurant has been pleasing fans for nearly 30 years. Bonus tip: The Grill features an impressive selection of vegetarian and vegan options, a welcome option in these parts.

Va Bene Caffe

Duluth Restaurants 5
Source: Yelp via Samantha H.

734 E Superior St
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 722-1518

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Who says great food and great views don’t mix? This memorably classy indoor-outdoor eatery features a stunning view of the lake, but you may find your eyes are glued to your plate. From the housemade focaccia bread to the bountiful salads (we love the Pesto Verdura with warm basil dressing on fresh spinach), there’s no shortage of options here. But you’ll want to save room for the main attraction: The housemade pastas, dressed with perfect accompaniments like sausage and cream, San Marzano tomato sauce and meatballs, and smoked salmon and arugula. The restaurant goes out of its way to provide gluten-free and vegan options as well.