The owner-chef of Spoon and Stable, a new Midwestern-inspired restaurant in North Loop, shares his local culinary hit list.

Gavin Kaysen
Credit: Courtesy of Bonjwing Photography

The Café Boulud alum and Food Network regular has been on a whirlwind over the past year: returning to his hometown Minneapolis to open Spoon and Stable, a James Beard Award finalist for Best New Restaurant, and, as head coach, leading team USA to a second place finish (its highest ever) at the renowned chef comp Bocuse d’Or. Kaysen took a timeout with T+L to reveal his five go-to meals when he’s home in Minnesota.


“Al’s is a classic breakfast spot located in the heart of the University of Minnesota, with 11 counter seats and no oven. They turn out diner staples that remind you why home cooking is still where the goods are. Fun fact: it’s reportedly the narrowest restaurant in Minneapolis.”


Zen Box is a place I like to go for afternoon ramen when I have a bit of time; it’s close to my restaurant and near the Mill City museum. Afterwards, you can walk on the bridge over the Mississippi River and pick up some ice cream at Izzy’s.”


“I go for anything pork on the menu at Corner Table, a tiny place run by Nick Raccone and chef Thomas Boehmer. It’s flawless food that taste delicious, like the braised pork coppa fresca with tomato, hominy, radish, and cilantro.”

Late Night

“The perfect nightcap: the brie-covered cheeseburger served on an English muffin at 112 Eatery, a classic by James Beard Award-winning chef Isaac Becker that’s been around for over a decade”


“When the patio’s open there’s no better place to sit and indulge than Hola Arepa, a Latin-inspired food truck that recently opened a brick-and-mortar. Christina Nguyen is doing a wonderful thing out of that kitchen.”