Good eating tips along Minnesota’s trails

Here are some good eating tips when riding along Minnesota’s trails. Maybe it’s to a new area you haven’t had the chance to explore yet. When visiting a new town, or one that you may not have been to in a while, where is the best place to eat, find that afternoon snack or a refreshing beverage?

A meal can add to the experience of the trail.

A tasty meal can add to an outing, but locating a good restaurant in an unfamiliar place can be tricky — especially when hunger has already set in. To find the best tastes in a new town, follow these tips to know whom to ask and where to look. Bon appetit!

1. Plan, tap your network, then look at local news/blog posts

Traveling to a new place can be nerve-racking, but don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from the barista at that coffee shop near your hotel or the locals there. My first move is to check my contacts for locals to hit up for advice or contacts who might be able to introduce me to someone in the area. Often, locals won’t send you to the restaurants on every best-of list but to their beloved haunts.

Add some fun research to your trip planning by reading up on local history that may influence a signature dish or sandwich served along the trail. A treasure trove of posts from local food bloggers or reporters is a quick Google search away to find the hot spots to add to the memorable trip. It’s easy to save all the addresses to a Google Map or print one out and highlight the places worth visiting along the trail. Also, before you go, you can post on Facebook and Twitter to see if anyone in your circle also has must-visit spots to share.

Another option is putting the word out to your social media network that you plan to visit an area and are looking for recommendations to favorite haunts. Put the word out on your Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn page.

Another option is to look at local newspapers and websites, though, increasingly, vigorous local food scene coverage can be hard to find. “Local news is much more helpful in larger cities.

A deli might be the perfect option when a picnic along the trail is in the plan.

2. Ask the locals where to eat

Getting recommendations from the hotel staff or local chamber can be a reputable source. But,¬† some of the best restaurant picks we’ve gotten are people we’ve met along the trail enjoying the many highlights the area offers. The local police can be a wealth of knowledge of good eats, and employees at the local bike shop could have a scoop on what’s good nearby for lunch. And asking people you meet can be a good icebreaker for even more tips and suggestions to discover that gastronomic delight.

3. Avoid eating on the main tourist drag

Restaurants near prominent tourist attractions usually don’t have to be excellent or exciting to get a decent crowd. Most travel experts say, “Usually, neighborhood places are a better bet than the main tourist drags.” Don’t be afraid to walk down a famous restaurant stretch and pop into a place where the menu draws you in. If you are like me, “I am moved by menus that make me hungry.” Follow your hunger, and you (probably) can’t go wrong. Do some research beforehand through Yelp, message boards, and friends who have been there.

When the food is spectacular, you may have to make reservations.

4. Look for lines, and then book reservations

That says a lot if people are willing to wait to dine at a particular eatery. We’re not advocating wasting precious vacation time waiting long times to be seated for every meal, but once you find a spot that looks hot, research to find a better time to come back, or even better, see if they take a reservation.

Enjoy our list of fun places to eat when riding Minnesot’s trails.

5. Our list of good eating places along Minnesota’s trails

At, with all the new maps in the 2023 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, we are constantly scouting for good places to eat. See our evolving list of places for a delightful gastronomic meal as you explore Minnesota’s trails and touring roads.