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Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

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Orlando, FL
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Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

I will be traveling to MOA next month for a ladies shopping trip. We are staying at the Radisson Blu since we will not have a car and it is most convenient to the mall. Since we are limited to the mall, what are our best restaurant options? And we are arriving late at night after the hotel shuttle service has ended. Is a taxi or light rail from the airport our best option? Thank you.

Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

Many of the restaurant offerings in the Mall of America have been reviewed here. You don't really list your like/dislikes. One suggestion would be to open the restaurant list (link below) and expand the map (larger map) on the page. Zoom in on the Mall and the restaurants will show up and you can open/view those restaurant reviews. My personal favorites are Twin City Grill and Napa Valley Grille.

tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g42881-Bloomingt…

For transportation, I'd normally say lightrail. But if you are a large enough group, you might actually find a cab to be a nice option and it's not much more in overall cost - maybe $10-$15 before tip.

Minneapolis...
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2. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

I am not big on any of the mall restaurants. IMO the best of the bunch is CRAVE, and if you go try to get seated out on the terrace with an overlook of the theme park. Not as confined. Decent view.

I also don't think you are limited to mall restaurants. At least one night you guys should consider heading into Minneapolis to find real restaurants. How many in your group? That will help determine a few things, including best mode of transport from the airport to the Radisson Blu. Light rail connects you (to some degree), but I am inclined to think you want to spend for the taxi at least upon arrival. That way you can grab your luggage, step out the doors and jump in a cap to take you right to the front door of the hotel, and it's not that far.

Light rail involves picking up your bags, trekking it to the light rail station, each of you paying for a ticket and then walking with bags from the MOA to the hotel. I think the taxi is the way to go. Especially late at night.

Orlando, FL
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3. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

There are 4 in our group but 2 groups of 2 coming from different parts of the country! We arrive at 11pm and midnight. We could travel away from the mall. We were just expecting to spend 2 full days there. Is there anywhere to eat easily accessible by light rail? We are not too picky about the type of food, but not fast food or not extremely expensive. Would a taxi be better? And if we take light rail to the Radisson Blu from the airport, would we have to walk outside at all? I understand that a taxi might be more convenient but I am just looking at all options.

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

I really think you will want to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. At that time of night I think you will want the quickest, easiest way to your hotel rather than navigating in the dark from the light rail station to the hotel. Yes, outside.

The light rail route would take you another hour at minimum, in my opinion, due to the walking TO the station from the baggage claim, the waiting for a train (they aren't as regular that time of night, so it's conceivable you wait half an hour), and the inglorious walk in the dark (outside) from the MOA light rail station to the Radisson.

I don't think you want to start your vacation like that!

Where the light rail might come in handy is is you would like to take a break from the mall and head north in to Minneapolis to get out to a nicer restaurant (non-chain, better atmosphere, more interesting, not attached to a mall).

And there would be about a half dozen good options off one of the downtown light rail stations for eating. Nicer places (Saffron, 112 Eatery for example) and also some real casual spots too. And there is always the option of heading down early if you wanted to shop downtown. They have a couple stores not at the MOA, including Off Saks. Let us know. It will take some effort to do it, but it would break up the trip and let you see a little nicer area of the Twin Cities than a big ol' mall

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

I totally agree with mn - pay the extra $ and take a cab to your hotel for a late night arrival. The taxicab bay is also a much shorter walk from baggage claim. - vs. the extra steps to do lightrail. I also agree that you should consider a night - maybe after your first day of shopping - to head downtown and partake of a restaurant there. You are missing a lot if you only focus on the Mall of America restaurants, and the lightrail line makes an excursion downtown very easy.

Orlando, FL
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6. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

Thank you, bk and mntoathens for your help. We will definitely take the cab instead of light rail to the hotel. (Especially being Florida and Arizona girls, we will be freezing at night!) It will be well worth the money. I will look into shopping, attractions, and restaurants that are close to the stations. Unless you have any more good suggestions...

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

How about you tell us what appeals to you in a restaurant (budget, food type, nicer or more casual). Will you just be in the clothes you were shopping in? Or does appeal to you to dress up a little and have a ladies night downtown? We can suggest some places.

Shopping downtown is mostly centered on Nicollet Mall ,which is not a mall like the MOA, but a pedestrian-friendly street that is closed to all but bus and taxis. Lined with stores and the Crystal Court ( kind of like a mall with Bana Republic, Gap, etc). Stores on Nicollet Mall include Saks Off 5th, Macy's, Len Druskin, Ann Taylor among others.

Orlando, FL
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8. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

We probably will go in our comfortable "shopping clothes." We will be looking for lighter food, including salads, nothing very fancy or expensive. (I would say no more than $15-20 per entree.) The Nicollet Mall area does sound interesting including those stores. And I believe the Mary Tyler Moore statue is nearby? One of the ladies in our party is interested in seeing that. So what midrange restaurants would be nearby? Thanks again. this is a big help!

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

There are many restaurants, but I'll throw out one idea - Zelo - good ratings, good food - I've eaten there myself for lunch. Great salads and I think flatbreads.

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g43323-d44…

The best part is that it's about 1-1/2 blocks from the MTM statue. But, there are tons more in the list and you may be ok just waiting and making a decision on the whim.

tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g43323-Minneapol…

Minneapolis...
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10. Re: Questions about mall restaurants and light rail please

Zelo is a good option. It's been there for a long time while many others have come and gone, so it's doing something right. I'd recommend Solera as well. About 2.5 blocks off Nicollet Mall. I like it because it has a little more variety and small plates and a great wine list (which isn't why I like it but my wife, so it gets me downtown more often than otherwise!). Zelo will have more Italian dishes and wines. Solera more latin/Spanish. I think there's a little more atmosphere at Solera, altho that will depend on when you go,.