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Explore North Dakota’s Unique Culinary Scene

Explore North Dakota’s Unique Culinary Scene

Amidst the vast plains and rugged landscapes, North Dakota’s culinary scene is steadily making waves with the recent recognition of three James Beard Award nominees in 2024. These nominations underscore the state’s growing influence on the national food scene and showcase the rich tapestry of flavors and culinary talent present in the region.
North Dakota Tourism invites visitors to experience the innovative dishes that celebrate local ingredients and traditions. From traditional Midwestern favorites to creative fusion cuisine, a trip to North Dakota isn’t complete without a stop - or a few! - at these must-try spots. Each with its own history, story, and motivation, no matter the mood you may be in, there is a restaurant that will suit all palates.

Anima Cucina
A bustling café by day transforming into an Italian inspired pasta & wine bar at night, Anima Cucina is inspired by the soul of “la bella vita,” the good life that connects us all. Enjoy a cup of coffee or house-made pastry in the morning; a lunch menu of artisan sandwiches and more in the afternoon; and slow the day down with a curated wine list, craft beer, charcuterie, fresh pasta, and unique Italian style entrées in the evening. Chefs Kenny Howard and Heath Stocks were also nominated for the 2024 James Beard Awards.

A dream of owners Shane Cornelius and Stephanie Miller, a Top Chef contestant, Butterhorn in downtown Bismarck is a fresh take on Midwestern cuisine to the table, with a French and Italian influence. The team at Butterhorn is dedicated to incorporating local ingredients, and the promotion of seasonal produce and proteins located in North Dakota and the surrounding states. Stephanie’s North Dakota roots often shine through the menu with regional dishes including lefse, bison and kuchen.

Huckleberry House
Huckleberry House is where Nordic culinary traditions meet contemporary elegance in a riverside setting. Inspired by an 1800s boathouse, this restaurant features two levels of indoor and outdoor dining. Chef Cody Monson provides a unique twist to modern Nordic dishes while local mixologist serves up inventive cocktails (think Huckleberry Cooler), and classic design elements for a distinctive dining experience by the river.

Hidden inside a quaint, mid-century antique furniture shop, BernBaum’s is a vegetarian Scandinavian-Jewish fusion bagel concept that brings a taste of old New York to Fargo modeled after shops in NYC’s Lower East Side. Andrea Baumgardner was nominated for Best Chef Midwest by The James Beard Foundation in 2024 and 2020. Food & Wine magazine considers BernBaum’s as having “the best bagels in the country” and “one of the best restaurants in Fargo.”


Luna Fargo
Originating as a coffee shop, Luna Fargo has grown into the “neighborhood’s kitchen.” Luna is a wine and beer lounge, providing an ever-evolving menu of food that honors North Dakota’s local providers and Midwestern tastes. At Luna, they celebrate the ‘Everyday,’ with thoughtful drink selections paired with desirable comfort foods made from scratch with the finest local, organic, and sustainable ingredients. Luna’s kid-friendly menu and environment opens the doors to families of all ages. Luna is the first collaboration with Nikki Ness Berglund and Chef Ryan Nitschke, who also own Nova Eatery in Fargo and are 2024 Outstanding Restaurateur nominees by the James Beard Foundation for Sol Ave. Kitchen in neighboring Moorhead, MN.

Nicholes Fine Pastry
A James Beard Foundation Outstanding Bakery nominee in January 2024, Nicholes Fine Pastry is located on Downtown Fargo’s Historic Eighth Street and creates small batch baked goods in the European tradition as well as classic American and local favorites. Each creation thoughtfully planned out by Nichole Hensen, head chef and founder. A North Dakota native, Nichole attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California and returned to Fargo from California to bring a bit of Paris to the prairie and opened Nichole’s Fine Pastry in 2003.

Rosewild at Jasper Hotel
The culinary experience at Rosewild pays homage to the rich flavors of the region, drawing inspiration from local produce and North Dakota’s traditions. Whether it’s a hearty breakfast, leisurely lunch, delightful dinner, or a casual cocktail, Rosewild is a destination in downtown Fargo that has an innovative twist of the beloved, Midwest classics and culinary heritage. Chef Austin Covert was nominated for James Beard’s Outstanding Chef in 2022.

Grand Forks
Harry’s Steakhouse
Voted a Top 100 Romantic Restaurants by OpenTable, Harry’s Steakhouse is a second-generation steakhouse that is intentional with every steak served. The steaks are cut to specifications for consistency and aged a minimum of 21 days for flavor and tenderness. Sourced from the top 2 percent of the humanely raised 1881 Hereford brand and raised on ranches throughout the state and Midwest region, dubbed the “Napa Valley of Beef.”

Skies 322
Skies 322 is a destination for seasonally inspired menus, brilliantly crafted cocktails, and gracious North Dakota hospitality. Skies 322 started as Sanders 1907, and has exuded Midwestern traditions, respected foundations, and good hospitality since its opening. Part of the recently opened Olive Ann, a boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Grand Forks, the relaxed elegance and inviting atmosphere of Skies 322 is not to be missed.

Theodore’s Dining Room
Theodore’s Dining Room offers dishes from the Old West with modern flair. From crisp salads and delectable brussels sprouts to bacon-wrapped steaks and tantalizing bison osso bucco, all taste buds will find dishes to savor at Theodore’s. Beyond the fantastic menu, the experience at Theodore’s is like no other. Set inside the historic Rough Riders Hotel, built in 1884, the elegant space boasts intricate stained-glass windows from a Wisconsin church as well as hand-crafted cocktails and local brews on tap at TR’s Tavern.

Prairie Sky Breads
A local independent bakery, coffee shop and community hub serving homestyle, from scratch food. Starting out with small appearances at the Minot Farmer’s Market, the demand for Prairie’s delicious sky bread was so high, they opened their first brick and mortar in 2020. Partnering with local farmers and small businesses, Prairie’s is considered a “Community Supported Bakery,” with year-round bread subscriptions, mouth-watering bread varieties, and delicious pastries.

Watford City
Slow Ride Tequila Cocina
Slow Ride is a hotspot in Watford City! This former car dealership is now a high-end tequila and taco establishment that boasts an eclectic vibe and serves up a delicious twist on Mexican cuisine. From infused tacos to kid-friendly fare, Slow Ride caters to all ages.

For more on legendary ways to experience the culinary scene in North Dakota, visit