Food & Drinks

Fika: Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

Photo Courtesy of Urban Dynamics - Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

Photo Courtesy of Urban Dynamics – Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub


Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub, or otherwise known as Northbound, is a South Minneapolis, Standish Neighborhood brewpub. It is a fairly new local business which opened on September 20, 2012. But in that short time, it has made quite an impression on the neighborhood. In 2013, after only being open for about five months, the local brewpub “won the City Pages Best Brewpub award.” And in 2014, the brewpub “won the City Pages Best Neighborhood Bar.”

Northbound has a house selection of microbrews such as the Big Jim, Light Rail Pale Ale, Honey Wheat, and Smokehouse Porter which are served year round and very tasty.  And they offer seasonal beers as well. The brewpub also offers a selective menu of sandwiches and appetizers to complement that tasty housebrew of choice.

Northbound Burger

For this review, and during my evening out with my family, I had the Northbound burger with mushrooms and cheddar cheese along with the house fries (this is my augmented mushroom and swiss burger). I also complemented my meal with the Big Jim, which is a hoppy and tasty Indian Pale Ale (See the slideshow below). Indeed, if you enjoy an IPA as much I do, then this beer will not disappoint. I enjoy matching my meals with my beer. It is an amateur chemist’s way of enhancing the meal with the proper food and bear combination.

The Northbound burger is good burger. It is a

House-seasoned and hand pattied Certified Angus Beef® served with lettuce, tomato, and mayo on an egg bun.

To be clear, it is not the best burger that I have ever had, but it is a very good burger – much better than average – and worth going back for; and this burger has actually improved in taste and quality since my last visit. However, I cannot say the same thing for the fries. If there was a downside to the meal, it was definitely the house fries. They are not bad, but they are not great either. The onion rings are far superior and worth the price. The Northbound burger is not the only tasty and worthwhile choice. As my cousin stated during dinner

Everything on the menu looks like something I could eat.

This is true. And I must admit, this is not my first time eating at Northbound. My previous visit included the combination of the 18-Hour Porketta sandwich, onion rings, and Smokehouse Porter, for example. What a wonderful combination. The sandwich and beer are a perfect combination and a great example of utilizing that amateur chemist’s technique.

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Final Thoughts

It is not just a place just for adults. During my early evening outing with my family to the brewpub, there were quite a few couples in attendance with their young children. It is definitely a comfortable place for families and singles alike. In addition, Northbound added an outdoor canopy for its patio (the microbrew consists of indoor and outdoor seating during the warmer months). This is a great addition for both aesthetic and practical applications.

Northbound is not a trendy place. It is a popular, neighborhood brewpub within walking distance of the Blue Line 38th St. station. But expect this microbrew to be patronized mostly by locals.

Finally, the beer and food is a bit pricey. Expect to pay between $20 and $25 per person for a sandwich, onions or fries, and two beers. Think of it as a treat to yourself for a job well done during the week.

I give Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Author’s Notes:

  1. Northbound is located on 2716 E 38th St. Minneapolis, MN 55406; on the corner of 28th Ave. and 38th St.
  2. After 65 reviews, Northbound has a grade of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google Reviews.
  3. After 200 reviews, Northbound has a grade of 4.0 out of 5 stars on Yelp.
  4. For you vegetarians, the Wild Rice burger is a tasty and worthwhile experience according to my father.


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