The Minneapolis food scene is an eclectic one, for sure, with a diverse range of options for every taste.

From an incredible "celebration of fish" at Billy's Shusi, to the flavor explosion of a slice from Pizzeria Lola, you'll likely find a spot that's just what you need.

Adding to the list of must-try Minnesota restaurants, we have a unique new Twin Cities hot spot that has just been nominated for one of the most prestigious culinary honors in the country.

Minneapolis Restaurant Nominated For Best New Restaurant in the Country

James Beard Award (image by Eliesa Johnson and Melissa Hesse of The Restaurant Project® 2019)
James Beard Award (image by Eliesa Johnson and Melissa Hesse of The Restaurant Project® 2019)

One of Minneapolis' newest restaurants, Oro by Nixta, is up for the award of the nation's Best New Restaurant in the James Beard 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards

What is Oro by Nixta?

What started as takeout meals during the pandemic evolved into a small counter-service tortilleria restaurant on NE 2nd St called Nixta.

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In 2023, after a space next door became available, owners Kate and Gustavo Romero expanded and opened Oro by Nixta, a dine-in first-class authentic Mexican food experience, or more specifically, "A full-service masa kitchen dedicated to promoting corn from overlooked side dish to star of the show." -- as stated on the restaurant's website.

RELATED: Authentic Mexican Restaurant was Named the Best in Minnesota

"Corn Evangelist" Chef Romero explains the restaurant's mission is to help save heirloom Mexican corn and to "celebrate the power of corn, prepared in diverse ways with seasonal ingredients..."

Does Oro by Nixta in Minneapolis Get Good Reviews?

Since opening in early 2023, The food at Oro (the Spanish word for gold) has received rave reviews.

In an article published by Minnesota Monthly, food critic Jason DeRusha called it "solid gold" and "the most exciting food he's had all year."

What is the Criteria For the Best New Restaurant Award?

The fine folks at the James Beard Foundation describe the Best New Restaurant Award as,

"A restaurant opened between October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023 that already demonstrates excellence in cuisine, seems likely to make a significant impact in years to come, and demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations, while contributing positively to its broader community."

RELATED: What Happened To Minnesota-Founded Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant?

The other 29 nominees for Best New Restaurant are:

  • Ajja, Raleigh, NC
  • Alkemē, Santa Fe, NM
  • The Alna Store, Alna, ME
  • Alpino, Detroit, MI
  • Atelier, Chicago, IL
  • Ava Bakery, Phoenix, AZ
  • Bar Bacetto, Waitsburg, WA
  • Barbs-B-Q, Lockhart, TX
  • Barra Santos, Los Angeles, CA
  • Chez Noir, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
  • Comfort Kitchen, Dorchester, MA
  • Dakar NOLA, New Orleans, LA
  • Foul Witch, New York, NY
  • Foxface Natural, New York, NY
  • Hayward, McMinnville, OR
  • Jūn, Houston, TX
  • Kaya, Orlando, FL
  • Kiln, San Francisco, CA
  • Kisser, Nashville, TN
  • Lita, Aberdeen Township, NJ
  • Mainlander, St. Louis, MO
  • My Loup, Philadelphia, PA
  • Ramen Del Barrio, Austin, TX
  • Sado, St. Louis, MO
  • Sắp Sửa, Denver, CO
  • Scoundrel, Greenville, SC
  • Shan, Bozeman, MT
  • Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi, New York, NY
  • Tuxpan Taqueria, Central Falls, RI

There are also two Minneapolis Chefs nominated for Best Chef: Midwest

Ann AhmedKhâluna, Minneapolis, MN

Christina Nguyen | Hai Hai, Minneapolis, MN

The 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards winners will be announced on Monday, June 10, 2024, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Lyric Opera Chicago (Nikki Allen Creative)
Lyric Opera Chicago (Nikki Allen Creative)

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Gallery Credit: Charlotte Barnett

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