Top Five Old Fashioneds in NOLO

February 28, 2019 by Paul Begich

I love old fashioneds! I mean who doesn’t, right? I may not be the best at crafting my own within the confines of my apartment but damn do I know a good one when I taste it.

If you’re anything like me, then you also have a love for old fashioneds! And the best craft cocktails in all of Minneapolis are hands down in the North Loop. I challenge you to change my mind…

Without further ado here’s my list of the top five old old fashioneds in the North Loop:

5. The Freehouse

The environment at Freehouse is unparalleled by any restaurant in the North Loop (or the world!). Every waiter, waitress, and bartender feels like an old high school friend you’ve known for years – right at home – a true Cheers vibe. Freehouse is a joint you can casually stop in for #LunchWithLilly or a place where you can have a couple cocktails on a Friday night.

Their old fashioned plays well to their brand – “breakfast to beer.” Served with a hint of simple syrup it gives the sweetness you’d expect from a “breakfast” cocktail. Be warned, too much syrup and this drink goes south fast.

4. NOLO’s

The glasses! The low balls at NOLO’s are one of the reasons their old fashioned comes in at number four on my list. The ornamental glasses feel as though that’s how a craft cocktail was meant to be drank.

They have a seating area on the Washington facing side of the building and it’s PERFECT for a drink or two with a couple friends while you wait to be seated. Try this for an evening: old fashioneds, dry rub wings, and then basement bar to shut it down. BOOM!

3. Red Rabbit

Hands down the most underrated old fashioned in the North Loop! Everyone talks about the big names but Red Rabbit does cocktails right without being prissy about it. No frills and not too sweet just a damn good cocktail.

p.s. their brunch = heaven!

2. Hewing Hotel

I mean where do I even start! The entire property, main floor to rooftop deck feels as though they were designed specifically with the intent of kicking back and enjoying a drink and amazing conversation with your dearest friends. The design/layout, service staff, and exceptionally simple yet just sweet enough old fashioned are why they’re number two on my list. THE ONLY REASON it’s not number one is because the drinks are batch made. I guess that’s what you’ve got to do when you’re serving hundreds upon hundreds of old fashioneds a night.

1. Parlour

Mood and music set the tone for Parlour immediately upon entering the space. Parlour is a craft cocktail connoisseurs dream! The bartenders are top notch and take extreme care with every single drink and every single customer. What I appreciate more than anything else is the craftsmanship and tinkering they put into every one of their drinks. Parlour is truly a lover of the craft.

Not much more to say about the old fashioned at Parlour… it’s just… perfection. Oh, and add the burger and it’s game over!

Let me know what you thought about my list of the top five old fashioneds in North Loop! Do you agree? Disagree? What adjustments would you make…?

Honorable mention (in no particular order): Marvel, Edwards Desert Kitchen, and Dalton & Wade (R.I.P.).


To connect with Paul Begich, email or call him at (952) 847-3406.


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